Saturday, May 20, 2006

Lrudlrick gets Fun Day and I get conference room retreats

I had my ‘yearly’ evaluation and things seemed good. I hate evaluations that start with a self evaluation. The thing about self evaluations is that it’s hard not to check ‘Awesome!’ on every item. I’m not tooting my own horn but who really says, “I’m mediocre’?

Self evaluations to me are like report cards for kindergarten kids.

Listening skills.
Reading comprehension.
Writing skills.
Participates actively in events.
Accepts responsibilities.
Leads well.
Follows rules.
Plays well with others.

Mind you, the only below average score I ever received was in kindergarten. It was for naptime. Jennifer was making faces at me during naptime and I giggled. Once! Can you believe it! Next thing I know I get marked on my permanent record ‘Needs improvement’ in the naptime category.

I guess that’s why I can sleep anywhere at anytime now. I had to prove Sr. Clair wrong. I can nap and I can ‘exceed expectations’ with said naps!

Most tell me that they had the goals section of a self eval. I don’t mind listing goals. We all have goals of some sort, even if it’s simply get through a day without embarrassing oneself.

This year my goals are pretty lofty but I guess I wouldn’t want it any other way.

In my opinion you shouldn’t feel pressured to accomplish your goals within the 12 months b/w your next eval. The effort to reach your goal must be evaluated. In this day and age, company turnaround is high. With turnaround, especially in executive positions, company goals and focuses shift. Your goal may need to be altered with these shifts. Don’t be afraid to state a lofty goal because you may not accomplish it within 12 months.

Also, remember it may be your evaluation but that doesn’t mean you don’t ask questions. Ask your boss what are the goals for your department this year? What does he/she see will be the focus for the coming year? How does he/she see your role in these goals?

Even if you work all day staring into a computer for 12 hours, you don’t work in a silo. The worst thing you can do at your evaluation is to be silent. Ask. Respond. Your boss probably dislikes these as much as you do. No one likes being lumped into categories. The current system of employee evaluations is flawed. Many are being to change this process but until it becomes the norm, we still need to go through the process. The more you make it interactive, the more comfortable and more informative it will be and the less it will be about check boxes.

That’s just my two cents. Take it if you will.

In addition to my new department having yearly self evaluations, apparently we also have performance retreats. Anonymous nominations are accepted during the next two week and winners will have the chance to participate in a 4 day retreat at the beautiful 1st floor conference room where we will brainstorm for 8 hours on performance enhancing techniques. I picture this similar to the "Women in the Workplace' Seminar in ‘The Office(US)’.

The last retreat I had the honor of attending focused on time management. The concept of retreats are good in theory but I always find less than half who attend these retreats take anything valuable away with them. What did I take away from the last retreat I attended? ‘To eat the frog first.’ Of course, this meant for months afterwards, fellow retreaters found ways to incorporate this phrase in practical jokes and office antics. The most memorable involved gummy frogs scattered throughout the office. BTW, if you’re looking for gummy frogs, you’re best bet is asking for a special request order from your local mall’s candy store or FAO Schwartz.

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