May 20, 2010

Performance Review

Otherwise known as Focal, Performance Appraisal, Career development Discussion, and of course, the End of Year review Cycle.

Is there any other phase of the large corporate world that sucks the very life from your soul more than this stretch of 3-4 weeks? I hate this with the fire of a thousand white hot suns. I don't enjoy coming up with jargon that makes me sound corporate, nor do I enjoy talking about myself in glowing terms with the express purpose of keeping my job and possibly getting more money.

The instructions for completing your performance review are the most laughable thing, and is why I am writing about this to begin with. My company wants us to keep these company goals in mind as we reflect back upon the amazing things we have accomplished this year.

Let's review what Chris, the minion worker within Big Corp Inc should "keep in mind", shall we?

o Process, technology, culture Big Corp is betting that collaboration is the way that all companies will be managed and run over the next 10 years. A high-level goal for Big Corp is to establish thought leadership in this arena, integrating collaboration into the processes and cultures of its customers, and into the technology that they use. All products/market adjacencies tie to technology architecture o Enterprise/SP/Commercial/Consumer o Any to any….device, content, anywhere, D/V/V/M Architecture is what differentiates Big Corp from its competitors. The company needs to tightly focus and integrate all of its products and its market adjacencies with architecture. This is what will differentiate Big Corp across all its market segments and technologies and enable its any-to-any strategy across data, voice, video, and mobility (D/V/V/M) solutions. Drive to trusted business partner strategy o Key customers, industries o Business structure enabled by technology architecture Big Corp aims to become the most relevant company in the world to its customers by establishing itself as a trusted business partner. As a start, the company takes its strongest relationships with customers and industries, such as those with 3.0 customers, and scales the strategies it has used as a trusted partner across all of its organizations. V/S/E…models in everything we do Vision/Strategy/Execution (V/S/E) is the framework for Big Corp's decisions about where to invest in its business to produce the best results. It helps the company make decisions in a consistent way across the organization. V/S/E-based decision making is becoming a new business model for Big Corp. Drive Market Adjacencies…30 - 50 o Speed/scale/flexibility/replicate Big Corp will move from 30 market adjacencies (market opportunities) to 50, which will be core drivers of the company's growth into the future. To move into so many growth opportunities simultaneously, Big Corp needs to spread more responsibility deeper into the company through its boards, councils, and working groups structure so that employees can all execute against those adjacencies with greater speed, scale, flexibility, and replicability. Drive growth and profitability… profit/expense execution engine Big Corp will operate as a growth engine and sustain its profits by managing expenses. While many companies believe these strategies are mutually exclusive, Big Corp believes it is possible and desirable to do both at once. This is known as "the Big Corp and." Market Adjacencies The market adjacencies, which aren't listed on Big Corp badges, describe shared goals for each of the markets. Watch for a subsequent CEC article that will describe each FY10 market adjacency in greater detail.

And there you have it, just a couple of very simple, measurable goals for me to focus on...
What. The. Fuck?

My idea of a perfect review for me is kind of like this:

Me: You wanted to talk to me boss?
Boss: Yeah, it's review time and I wanted to tell you that you are doing a good job. Keep it up.
Me: Thanks. Anything else I need to know?
Boss: I have a minimal amount of money to hand out for raises, but I will try and get you something.
Me: Cool. We done here?
Boss: Yeah.

30 seconds max. Now that is the way I will run shit someday when I own the place. But wait, I won't own the place until I come up with goals that sound a lot better than "My short term goal is to make it through the day. My long term goal is to string a bunch of short term goals together".


  1. My eyes glazed over about midway through that paragraph.

    You should copy and paste. Wonder if they'd notice...or just think you were on board?

  2. Oh. Good. Lord. I think I actually fell asleep reading that.

  3. I got an email yesterday that our "self-evaluations" were now going to be an online form, instead of a Word template. This was touted as much progress.

    But then I remembered Friday is payday.

  4. I gave up on that letter after a sentence. Good luck! Even things that suck eventually end.

  5. You efficiently leveraged your skills to craft a post that fit the paramaters of my humor response mechanism, facilitating the release of laughter from myself.

  6. One of the benefits of working for a small company is that my performance review is pretty much like your 30 second script. The downside is that it doesn't include the "I will try and get you something" part.

  7. I work for the state and my boss is really cool. This year, she asked me if I wanted to meet with her, or could she just email me her review, since it wasn't anything different than last year. Hell yeah, I went for the email option.

  8. I think your goals are awesome and I concur.

  9. Action plan complete. Key tasks ongoing. Performance reviews are, unfortunately, universal pish.

  10. Anonymous2:08 PM

    Please don't tell me that was actually written by an HR professional?

  11. I usually don't publish anonymous comments, but I want to know who you are. Please identify yourself.