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Work Evaluation: Let it be, or duke it out?

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11 replies to this topic

#1 of 12 Carl Miller

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Posted May 26 2004 - 12:11 PM

Hi All,

Need some advice here...I work for the gov't in a managerial position, where we get annual work evaluations from our immediate supervisor. 3 months ago, I took a new job, and my annual evaluation just came due.

The annual evaluation is supposed to be based on your past years work. In my case, this means 3 months from my current position, and 9 months from my former position. It's supossed to be weighted proportionately, in theory anyway.

My supervisor however lowered my overall evaluation from a score of 25 (out of a possible 25) to 20. The explanation given was that it is a new position, and that I have not worked the position long enough, or learned it top to bottom in order to justify being given a 25.

This is contrary to the union contract, though as management I'm not union. Numerically, given that this is supossed to be a weighted system, it's incorrect and should be 23.75 (my supervisor disagreed without explanation when I brought this up) . Finally, my 3 monthly reviews which are intended to track my progress and serve as a basis for the annual rating, have all been error free and there is no justification for lowering my score based on the actual work I've done thus far.

These evaluations are super important because they are major factors in determining whether you'll be able to get promotions to new jobs with better pay. If you have a 25 score, you're in the running for promotion. If your score is 20 or less, you're unlikely to earn promotions until you up your score.

In August, I'll be starting yet another new job after receiving a promotion to a new position two weeks ago. So in effect, even though I'll be carrying around this 20 score evaluation for the next year, it won't be impacting me much, as I was lucky enough to be promoted before my evaluation score went south.

My question is: Do I fight this evaluation, which currently will take me out of promotion opportunities for at least the next year? And possibly (though it's not supossed to) end up with a black mark in my personnel file for fighting it?.....Or do I let it go quietly, and just wait until August when my new job begins?

I could be happy at the new job in August, and even if it sucks I could stick it out a year and try to build my score back up. But at the same time, I hate to get screwed like this on principle alone. Plus, I'm not too fond of the idea of being locked out of any promotional opportunity for the next year...I might miss out on something better.

Any input would be appreciated.

#2 of 12 SethH



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Posted May 26 2004 - 12:28 PM

I don't think I'd fight it. You're getting a promotion in August anyway. Assuming the evaluations happen at the same time each year, that would put you in your new position for about 8 or 9 months. I may be wrong, but I wouldn't think there'd be a whole lot of room for promotion in that short amount of time. At that time you'll get another evaluation and it sounds like you've done well so far, so I'd assume it would be a good evaluation. I think I would want to stay in the job for at least 8 or 9 months before being promoted again, but maybe that's just me. Good luck with whichever you decide.

#3 of 12 Jeff Ulmer

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Posted May 26 2004 - 01:49 PM

I would raise it with your supervisor's supervisor more as an inquiry than a complaint. If your previous supervisor gave you top marks, there is no reason your score should be degraded on the basis of worked time alone.

#4 of 12 Chris Derby

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Posted May 26 2004 - 01:49 PM

i'd fight it... at a minimum i'd request that it be noted that the ONLY reason you were docked 5 points was for being new to the position.

#5 of 12 DarylA



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Posted May 27 2004 - 04:00 AM

I agree completely with Jeff and Chris. Take the word "fight" out of it and use the term "curiousity" or "clarification" when talking with the Super's Sup.

#6 of 12 Joe Szott

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Posted May 27 2004 - 04:26 AM

Sounds like your immediate supervisor was worried about his job ... and he was right Posted Image

I think raising as an inquiry to upper supervisor is a good idea, then drop it if nothing happens. After all, you aren't under that guy anymore and your next score after promotion will carry much more weight than the one before.

#7 of 12 MichaelGH


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Posted May 27 2004 - 05:34 AM

Unfortunately, I've found fighting something like this really doesn't do a whole lot of good. Most of the time, the manager's manager will stick up for the review process (i've gotten the whole excuse of 'not having worked long enough at the job' even though I was outperforming everyone I was SUPPOSED to be weighted against). I don't know that it'll be a black mark on your perm record for fighting it but it's likely to strain relations with your management chain.

All IMHO of coursePosted Image
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#8 of 12 Carl Miller

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Posted May 28 2004 - 11:13 AM

Thanks guys! I'm going to have an informal sit down with my manager's boss on Tuesday to discuss the situation...But I'm gonna keep it non-confrontational as you all suggested.

If it gets me nowhere, I'll just drop it and look forward to the next job in August.

#9 of 12 Eric_L



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Posted May 28 2004 - 12:14 PM

I have always found the best approach when dealing with my bosses boss is the ole' "If you were me..." approach.
It plays on the ego and peoples natural desire to give help. It goes something like this:

"Mr. Black, I could sure use some advice. If you were me, how would you handle this situation: (kindly explain the situation, being sure to sugar-coat how you feel about it and your boss) "

You don't come off complaining, if you are out of line in your feelings you will find out, and if he sympathizes and agrees he is likely to do what he can to fix it.

Much better than anything else that could be seen as a whine or complaint - same end result..

Good luck.

#10 of 12 Cary_H


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Posted May 28 2004 - 06:11 PM

Since you're asking....here's my take on your situation.
First off....make sure to fill in your immediate supervisor that you're still not 'happy' around his assessment and your plan to take your beef up the chain. Don't hang him out to dry by going over his head without him at least knowing about it beforehand. Give him the courtesy of this one additional opportunity to re-think his appraisal of you.
If I were him I'd want to tag along with you....hell, I'd even offer to set up the meeting. Without him present, his boss won't have all that much to go on, and your boss might think you're in there slagging him. Don't give him any fuel for dreaming up any fairy tales.

Whatever happens, win or lose, be gracious...and make sure your beef finds it's way into your personal file.
Compose a brief letter laying out your gripes so it'll be on the record.
Tell your boss it's not something he should take personal, but rather something that might come in handy for you sometime down the road, careerwise.

#11 of 12 Bill Cowmeadow

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Posted May 29 2004 - 05:53 AM


You are in a managerial position, take the evaluation for what it is and move on. Ask yourself this question: What will you do when you have to give an appraisal to a manager beneath you who has not worked for a year in the job and he or she has since moved to a new position?

Your appraisal was fitting from the situation you described. Had you been a bargaining employee, you could have got the score raised, but as management, you don't have a case to complain about.


#12 of 12 Carl Miller

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Posted May 29 2004 - 09:41 AM

Thanks again guys! My manager does know about my meeting, and will be present so he won't be hung out to dry.

Cary, the one thing I won't do is attach something to my evaluation. I'm entitled to do that, but it's too risky because it would follow me forever in my personnel file.

Eric, I did try that approach with my manager. He had nothing much to offer other than saying I should just speak my mind but keep it professional.

Buzz, that's just a crappy situation to find yourself in. One person stabs you in the back to cover their own ass, and you get screwed. And over something minor yet.

Bill, I just can't agree. The evaluation covers my performance over the past year. What would be fitting is to evaluate my work on just that; The work I've done over the past year, not what they think I can and cannot do in the coming year.

All I want is a fair and accurate evaluation, based on the work I've done during the period covered in the evaluation. I'm not asking for anything special here and to answer your question...I have and will always give people the evaluation they deserve based on the work they've done during the period covered in the evaluation.

If at some point this belief in fairness puts the brakes on my advancement because I won't hang someone out to dry at the request of my own boss, so be it.