12:19 am, April 25, 2015

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  • Additional Performance Evaluation Issues
    Schully
    I'm a retired Fed supervisor, now a Fed contractor. Aside from quotas on level of performance, official or non-official, there are two other performance evaluation issues: 1)There are typically two approvers of a performance evaluation, the employee's first and second line supervisors. Where the second line supervisor doesn't agree with the first line supervisor's performance evaluation, that evaluation is changed to what the second line supervisor wants, and if it is a downward change, it becomes the first line supervisor's problem to deal with the disappointed employee; 2)Typically at performance evaluation time, employees are asked to document their accomplishments and submit to their first line supervisor to use in his/her doing up their performance evaluation. I did that very thing to my subordinates as a supervisor, because that was the drill. But, I always felt guilty about it, because what kind of supervision is it that appears to not have kept track of subordinate accomplishments and needs the subordinates themselves to identify their accomplishments. Is it not better for the supervisor to document their subordinates accomplishments and submit to the subordinate in draft to review for completeness?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Well, not really
    Just me
    It has been my experience, over twenty-five years, that the problem isn't REALLY about quotas. The problem with rating schemes breaks down into three distinct areas: (1) the politicization of any rewards system; (2) improper (read misaligned) evaluation criteria; (3) risk avoidance. The first problem is that the benefit derived (usually increased pay) is held hostage by Congress. Sure, they mouth platitudes about wanting better performance, but when it comes time to PAY for it the answer is invariably the same...we have no money because it doesn't fit their POLITICAL agenda. Thus it is that any PFP scheme is doomed before it starts. The second problem speaks to the practice of many agencies. They measure the wrong things, or they measure the right things the wrong way. This is also the reason why many governmental reorganizations FAIL. Once the wrong measurement model has been imposed it's almost impossible to abolish, and it becomes extremely destructive of morale. Thus it is that any PFP scheme (in the government) would be meaningless...because the metrics imposed often do nothing to improve the enterprise. The third reason speaks to the structure of government management, which is often risk averse. Management is often encouraged to AVOID lower levels of corrective action because the result is often costly and time consuming grievance actions. Thus it is that the evaluations are meaningless, because absent these actions it becomes impossible to rate substandard employees accurately. Because there is upward pressure, on the ratings of employees who (otherwise) would be said to be failing, the fully successful employees must now ALSO be rated higher, to avoid placing them in the same category as the marginal to poor employees. Senior management tries to counteract this "rating inflation" and a perception of quotas is thus created. The simple solution is to fix the initial problem rather than go through this convoluted process. If mid-level and first-level managers are supported in their initial efforts to correct the low performing employees then the ratings system will fix itself.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • re:not really
    Just me
    AS an addenda I would further stipulate that part of the support, required by mid-level and first-level managers, is a reformation of the grieveance and EEOC processes. As the system is, currently, structured the government pays the costs of the investigations, administrative hearings, and determinations. There is, therefore, no incentive for the representing authority to reduce the frivolous or unsupported claims of poor performers who merely seek to make the evaluation process so burdensome that they avoid the evaluation they deserve. This type of procedural abuse is not infrequent (in my experience). Does this mean that all grievances and EEO complaints are frivolous? No, but the filing employee or the representing employee need to have some "skin in the game." A loser pays system would go a long way to resolving this part of the problem. If one files a frivolous complaint, then one should bear the costs the government incurs in its investigation and attempts to administratively resolve it. If one prevails the costs should be the government's to bear. Simple, no?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Forget it
    Moderate
    The government has the money to stick it to people and make them afraid to file these grievances. The government also does its thing to workers and plays the game of delay. I do not think your solution is a good one.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Nah, I don't think I will
    Just me
    The government has the money to stick it to people and make them afraid? Really? Granted there are bad managers...and for those people who abuse managerial powers, well employees have a legitimate complaint and thus no risk under the system I proposed. Simply put, the system should be restructured to allow legitimate complaints to proceed while disouraging the vast majority of frivolous complaints whose only goal is allow the employee to avoid progressive discipline. The problem is that those who file spurious complaints are, in my experience, serial filers who abuse the system because there is NO cost to them to do so. Make them have some "skin" in the game and they may stop.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Forget it
    Moderate
    I do not think so. I have heard of many good grievances that were denied under the Bush administration. Just because an arbitrator supports management the grievance is not necessarily frivolous. In my agency the union must back the grievant for it to go to arbitration. And the union must pay a part of the cost of arbitration. Therefore, the grievant has his skin in the game.-----And yes, the government has much more money to stick it to the grievant than vice versa. And the grievant must often wait 1-2 years for the problem to be solved. Yet the government goes on.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Getting faked at work
    Dale Armstrong
    I worked for an EPA supervisor who refused to apply rating quotas. She said most of her employees were outstanding, and they deserved outstanding ratings. Made ER furious, but it was wonderful to have someone stand up for us.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I do what I think is right
    SGT Pepper
    As an FM, I do the evals of my employees. If my manager wishes to question something on that eval, he will do that. It's up to me to provide the documentation to support the eval I present for approval. If I do that, I get no resistance at all. None. Not ever. Not even if my supervisor still doesn't agree with me. I have never, ever been told what rating to give an employee. Not once. And yes, I always ask my employees to submit something in writing for my consideration toward their evaluations. I do that because a lot of things go on during the course of each day, and I'm not there to observe it all. I spend half of every day buried in paperwork, answering phone calls, e-mails, reviewing reports etc, etc. I know what I see. I know what I review. And I keep a thorough accurate record of all of it. But do I see all things and know all things? Of course not. Why on earth would I feel guilty for giving my employees an opportunity to make me aware of something I may not be aware of?
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • I do what I think is right
    Schully
    I shouldn't have spoken universally in my speaking of second level supervisors overtaking an employee's performance rating given by the first line supervisor. But it happened to me as a first line supervisor several times and I suspect it's happened to other first line supervisors as well. Just don't want you to think that because it fortunately hasn't happened to you, it doesn't happen at all. Maybe the answer is no second level of approval. Regarding requesting subordinates to list their accomplishments because you are not aware of everything they do, has it occurred to you that maybe your request can be taken as your not being aware of anything they've done. I still contend that a supervisor should not be lazy and document their subordinates accomplishments which would show at least some awareness and perhaps appreciation, and submit to the subordinates to review and add to/change as applicable.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To Sgt, and Schully
    Moderate
    I am not in management. I think it is an excellent idea for managers to solicit imput from their employees regarding evaluations. My agency managers do this. No one is perfect, whether it is the manager or the employee. This allows the manager to review what the employee thinks and accept or reject all or some or none of it. It is considered. This does not make the front line manager lazy. It is a reminder system.------I hope and wish second line managers would rely on the front liners, who have an extremely difficult job, to give a proper evaluation unless the evaluation is clearly wrong or unsupported.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • To Sgt, and Schully
    Schully
    ...And as I've said, the employee should have input in their accomplishment listing. My issue is the order in which it should take place. To show the supervisor's awareness and appreciation of the employee's accomplishments, it should be the supervisor to initiate the accomplishments listing and provide to the employee to add/subtract/change, rather than the other way around.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • apples and oranges ... missing the point of fully successful
    khp3655
    Fully successful is not the same as average. We always seem to miss that point. Performance is an absolute, not relative scale. Shouldn't 95 percent or more of employees be fully successful at their job? There is no shame in being fully successful, and people who are well below average can still be fully successful. I believe that is why all these pay and performance comparisons fall apart. The statistics and premise is flawed. The people getting more than fully successful should be the best, be they the top 2 or top 10 percent. but that does not make everyone else average by definition. The person in the 89th percentile would still be fully successful and so would the guy who squeaks through as a below average but barely fully successful employee in the 6th percentile. Fully successful is a big category. Only the worst of the worst get less, and should get less, than fully successful.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • No, they're not
    Just me
    An employee who "barely squeaks by" is not fully successful, they are "Marginal." They are demonstrating a risk of failing, in one or more critical areas of performance and are thus in need of coaching, mentoring, and guidance. This is where the employees get it wrong. To put this in simple terms, a fully successful employee would be a "C" student. A Marginal employee would be a "D"student. You don't do either student a favor by calling a "D" student a "C" student.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }