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Thread: Employee Reviews: Helpful or Harmful

  1. #21
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    Interesting story in the second half of your post. One way for the evaluation to protect the company. Is that the main reason they exist? Is it more to protect company than employee. The generally struck me as things companies had to do more than they wanted to do. Granted that's in my limited experience. I probably only worked a small handful of places that offered reviews.

    Cool that you found they could be helpful for employees. They weren't for me, but I don't think I would have been representative of most employees. I was usually a pretty good judge of whether or not I was doing a good job so tell me that wasn't going to motivate any more and telling me I wasn't certainly wasn't going to motivate me more. In places where they would outline career paths within the company I thought that was good, but most of that information was usually already available prior to the review.
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    I've been in places where employee reviews were very helpful and places where they were a joke. The most helpful reviews were in a place where one of the senior managers was a mentor of mine. The review with my immediate boss was never very helpful, but after that one my mentor would sit down with me and I'd learn a ton in that review. I think that a review becomes much more useful when the person who is doing the review genuinely wants you to learn and grow. If it's just a touch base thing to get a raise, it's got no value.

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    Guess it depends where you work. Most of the reviews I've had were the usual this is how much of a raise you'll get. They would always find some minor thing to correct me on. One place it was my direct manager and she even told me the only reason she mentioned the minor thing is because she wasn't allowed to give anyone a perfect review, though she really had nothing to complain about my performance. When the reviews are like that I think they're silly. Like I said I may not be representative here. I usually have a better idea of how well I'm performing than the people giving me reviews so I was never sure what I was supposed to learn.
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    Honestly, reviews probably are more of a protection for a company more than anything else, unfortunately. And your both exactly right about the effect of the review. It all depends on the working relationship between management and the employee. A good manager will foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity with the people under them. They get this training from a good HR department. Generally speaking, if the people in the "people" department are doing their jobs correctly, and they care about the employees like they should, they will train management to also care for the workers as individuals.
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    Kind of what I figured and I guess part of why they seemed meaningless to me in most places. They never felt like anything helpful to me. Just more paperwork I needed to sign so I could go back to my desk and get back to work.
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    I think it could be helpful. I recently had to fill one out for a fellow employee. I was thrilled at the opportunity to share my view of the worker. She is a hard worker with good communication and goes the extra mile. It made me feel good to let her department know that she is a good employee. I think people that regularly work with a person should be able to mention that person's strong points and weaknesses.
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    Out of curiosity why couldn't you simply have said those things to her? Did you need the review process in order to be able to compliment a fellow employee and let her department know she was doing a good job?
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    It all depends on the working relationship between management and the employee. A good manager will foster an atmosphere of mutual respect and dignity with the people under them.
    That's a two way street. I always made a point of becoming friends with my manager. That was easier in my case because as a field sales guy I traveled with him a lot. Reviews were a non event because I already knew if I screwed up on something or my manager wanted me to do something different. I never even had a manager tell HR when I took a vacation day. Once I was in the caribbean and I called my boss and asked him if I could take the next Mon and Tue off to lay on the beach. He said sure and never debited me for the time. Again, they really can't tell what you are doing in the field that easily anyway.


    I eventually got laid off in a corporate merger. They paid me for all my back vacation time. I was there for 15 years and had several different bosses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    That's a two way street. I always made a point of becoming friends with my manager. That was easier in my case because as a field sales guy I traveled with him a lot. Reviews were a non event because I already knew if I screwed up on something or my manager wanted me to do something different. I never even had a manager tell HR when I took a vacation day. Once I was in the caribbean and I called my boss and asked him if I could take the next Mon and Tue off to lay on the beach. He said sure and never debited me for the time. Again, they really can't tell what you are doing in the field that easily anyway.


    I eventually got laid off in a corporate merger. They paid me for all my back vacation time. I was there for 15 years and had several different bosses.
    It certainly is a two way street. However, we always taught that It is the responsibility of the manager to take the initiative. I am sorry to hear about the layoff, I have been there and know how that feels. It's never an easy thing...
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    However, we always taught that It is the responsibility of the manager to take the initiative.
    That's the right approach. It's part of the responsibility of being a manager in general.
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