How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

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bridgebetween
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How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by bridgebetween » Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:52 pm

I have recently been rated "below expectations" in my job.
I am convince they fabricated reasons to justify the rating.
Its quite common in large organisations.
Now I am depressed, and cant see myself sticking the job for much longer.
I am nearly FI status, but I could do with a few months to build up cash buffer.

Anyone have any words of wisdom or advice?

IlliniDave
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:09 pm

If sticking around for a while longer is a priority, then assume for the sake of argument they did not fabricate the rationale behind the rating and seek to improve in those areas as if the criticism is warranted.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:00 pm

Would a performance related layoff/firing provide you with unemployment insurance or severance? Could be a blessing in disguise.
Engineering your own demise could be a fantastic finale, and f*ck you to these people.

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unemployable
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by unemployable » Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:23 pm

If you make more money than you need and it's not a workplace that routinely culls its bottom performers, as GE used to do, I don't see an immediate-term problem.

If it's an environment where people can expect to be promoted every few years, and you're staying put while everyone around you is moving forward, that's paradoxically a longer-term issue but more urgent for you to address once it happens, as you're being signaled to that you're not a great fit. The folks that make these decisions usually have their minds made up once this determination is made, so it's time to work on that resume.

Those things are mostly capricious anyway, and all too often saying the wrong thing to the wrong person once can wreck your score, as at would with a turn of a single phrase at an all-day job interview. I remember one semester when I got a 5/5 for "creativity", then the next semester got 3/5. Did I get 60% less creative in six months and suddenly I'm average at being creative? What does 1/5 look like? Boss couldn't come up with very creative answers there.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:37 pm

IlliniDave wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:09 pm
If sticking around for a while longer is a priority, then assume for the sake of argument they did not fabricate the rationale behind the rating and seek to improve in those areas as if the criticism is warranted.
So long as you have a history of being honest with yourself. But if you are close to FI, do you care?

Just dutifully perform until you hit your number and give the minimum notice. I know someone who was giving notice 6 months ahead of FI and was laid off 3 months later.

Seppia
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by Seppia » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:03 am

It usually means that you’re about to be laid off.
Depending on your local laws and your status this may be great news if you’re close to hitting your number.

For example an employee here in Italy usually receives a minimum of six months pay when laid off.

If you are easily re-employable you could also be proactive and approach your boss to negotiate a severance. Something along the lines of “this isn’t working out, if you want I’ll leave quietly in exchange for X”.

As others have mentioned I would assume they are right in their assessment: for the future the lesson could be that it’s better not to end up in this situation.
It’s kinda like at school with grades: in my experience, outside of VERY unusual situations (which may well be your case) one just needs to pay attention to a few important things to be considered at least average

bridgebetween
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by bridgebetween » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:30 am

Thanks for all the feedback.

I have already made a huge effort in last past half of the year, and they still rated me below.
I am thinking its time to go. Have about 600K put away, and reckon my living expenses are 20K.

DutchGirl
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by DutchGirl » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:44 am

Yup, you're good to go with that kind of assets.

I would research if there is any benefit to getting fired versus quitting. If you get a severance package or have the right for unemployment money when fired, then it could be worthwhile to keep working there for a few more weeks. (As long as it doesn't kill you).

If there's no benefit to being fired, then quit. You don't need them anymore. Well done.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:17 am

If you feel you were screwed I suppose hanging around for a few more paychecks would not be the worst thing. You could float thru the workday on the magic of not caring.

Seppia
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by Seppia » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:45 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:17 am
If you feel you were screwed I suppose hanging around for a few more paychecks would not be the worst thing. You could float thru the workday on the magic of not caring.
^^^ this :)

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unemployable
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by unemployable » Mon Feb 25, 2019 5:14 am

Seppia wrote:
Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:03 am
For example an employee here in Italy usually receives a minimum of six months pay when laid off.

If you are easily re-employable you could also be proactive and approach your boss to negotiate a severance. Something along the lines of “this isn’t working out, if you want I’ll leave quietly in exchange for X”.
DO NOT do this in the US! You will probably be fired immediately or at the first opportunity they feel the need to cut back, and it'll be construed as a termination with cause, so no unemployment comp and a harder sell to a future employer. "Leave quietly" sounds like you're thinking of sabotaging something or about to be a complete PITA.

If it really pains you to be there but you want the money I would inquire into a transfer, change in job duties, move to more working from home or contract work or the like, but construe it in terms more positive than you not liking it there. If you up and quit they may offer you these things anyway if you do work they can't easily assign to someone else.

I agree you are in a position of strength that they don't know about, so coasting and gaming the system isn't the worst thing. Like, in a few months get a warning and some sort of 90-day improvement plan, then bug out on day 87 with a fair number of vaca days banked.

chicago81
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by chicago81 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:17 am

Agree with the last few posters. Don't approach the boss with an "offer" to leave.

Just ride it out (coast) until they get rid of you. Just make sure you don't do anything that would cause them to fire you "for cause" or for "gross misconduct." Approach it as if you don't give a flying F.. because if you are already at your number and just adding padding now, there's no reason to care too much.

In the US, at a minimum, you will probably be eligible to collect some kind of unemployment benefit for half a year or so. Best case scenario is a lay-off with a severance package. Even with severance, you'd be able to collect unemployment benefits too (either right away, or after severance runs out, depending on where you live.)

No reason to stress about it -- this is actually a best case scenario! You don't want to stay there -- and they might pay you to leave!

Tyler9000
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by Tyler9000 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:20 pm

@bridgebetween -- I've been there. Review systems like that suck.

I used to work at a megacorp that utilized a forced ranking system where the managers would all get in a room and rank every employee in the group on a whiteboard. From what I remember, "exceeds", "meets", and "below" expectations were then set not by merit but by the percentage band you fell in on the list. Of course, this was ripe for manipulation. The top rankings would inevitably go to the guys who either were chummy with the managers or were so indispensable to the company that they couldn't afford not to have them on the short list for a bonus. This group could get away with murder and it wouldn't matter. On the other end, a young engineer like myself could put in 80-hour weeks and deliver stellar work that earned rave reviews from my boss, but would naturally be ranked lower by the management team than people with more name recognition. I still remember when my boss smugly said that review time is what separates the star employees like me and him from the normies, only to be shocked when I told him that I only earned "meets expectations" with no bonus. It turns out the rest of management overruled his recommendation and bumped me down the list.

I was very young at the time, so the only recourse was to brush it off, keep doing what I was doing, and eventually leave the company for a smaller alternative without such politics and more in line with my values. In your case, I'd probably just take it as an opportunity to feel great about your FI status and perhaps treat it as a sign that you're ready to go. Forget the golden handcuffs, reject their expectations, and embrace freedom! :D

SavingWithBabies
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:19 pm

I've tried to always work for smaller companies because typically they are less painful for me to work for. However, I have worked for some bigger companies too and in my experience things move very slowly. If I were in your shoes, I'd be hurt because I'm still a bit of a careerist. It sucks. But I also wouldn't do anything just yet. There is the chance of severance pay if it eventually comes to that down the road. In the meantime, you should focus on your objectives by building up your buffer. You don't need them. But you can use them to get what you want and there really isn't anything wrong with doing that.

I currently work for a small company that has all the feel of a big company and we are doing a review cycle. This company is very strange and I have no idea how this review cycle is going to go for me.

FBeyer
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by FBeyer » Wed Feb 27, 2019 9:18 am

bridgebetween wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 4:52 pm
...I am convince they fabricated reasons to justify the rating...
Anyone have any words of wisdom or advice?
As a life strategy the following turns out the be useful.
Whenever something overwhelming occurs, and it affects your mood like that, try to test your assumptions before you start making plans to mitigate the calamity. TALK WITH SOMEONE! Compassionate, seeking-to-understand kind of talking. Not the butthurt WTF kind of bitching one could expect from a pressing situation.

In this case: What did they do? Who did it? Don't ask why here, ask what. Get as much evidence as you can.
What was my target number? What was my real number? Where can I see those numbers in the future? What did the top performers do that I could learn from? What specifically would you like me to improve? How much would you like me to improve?

Y'know anything along those approximate lines. I'm certain you can wing your own questions. You might not be there to improve your job skills, but the answers you get should be illustrative. More illustrative than speculation that is.

We can all conjure up all sorts of disastrous scenarios in our minds, a bit of hypothesis testing goes such a crazy long way towards calming the anxiety, as well as finding the best possible course of action. If you don't even try to get evidence, you're basing future plans on current speculation. As a life strategy, how to you think that kind of planning pans out?

Test assumptions, make plans. In that order.

thrifty++
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by thrifty++ » Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:11 am

This kind of sucks but hey this is where personal finance helps out right. You have a ton of assets and are in a great position to not worry about it as much. Imagine if you were like most people with bugger all assets maybe a few thousand and maybe even in debt, you would be really stressed out right now.

Are the performance measures objective or subjective? In any event it sounds like you have given it your best go. You may as well leave without burning a bridge though. I would just take it in your stride a bit, coast a bit but not be a total slacker, and maybe start to look for other work to segue to, whether part time or full time or consulting, if you are not yet ready to completely retire. Also I wouldnt ask for money as you will have a black mark against your name and burn a bridge on your way out, adding some challenge to future revenue streams if you want them.

Pottlekid
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by Pottlekid » Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:57 am

I've worked for big organizations my whole career and it gets more subjective/personality driven the higher you go. When I first became a manager, it was pretty easier to look at the entry-level people reporting to me and identify those lacking basic skills, who shows up late or hungover, etc. to get to the mandated Below Expectations %. That gets much tougher to determine as you when you have professional & high qualified people reporting to you who are assigned easily comparable tasks. I've had years where 5 good people are reporting to me and had to fight to not give one a below average rating.

bridgebetween
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by bridgebetween » Mon Mar 18, 2019 12:40 pm

Thanks for the above feedback.

I am depressed in the job. One friend told me "roll with it".
I dont roll with anything. I deal with life problems head on.

I realise lifes too short to be enduring misery in the workplace.
I dont respond well to threats either.

I cant do anymore, or better than what I am doing.

Told my manager, my upset at the fabricated, forced rating in my yearly review.
Some BS about managing to the bell-curve.
If its same rating mid-year, I will quit. Its his choice now.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:19 pm

I respect you for informing your manager. I am not fond of my job right now and I'm unsure about what to do about it. I've been trying to just live with it and I think that has been an interesting experience and forced me to learn new things about myself. Long term, I'm still unsure what to do and I think partly that is my hoping the company will implode and I'll walk away from the washes -- so no action required on my part.

Tomorrow, I should learn the results of our peer review process which is apparently not tied to any kind of review in the context of salary/compensation. It'll be interesting to see if anything unexpected pops up.

Will you let us know how it works out in the end?

Augustus
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Re: How to deal with performance ratings in workplace

Post by Augustus » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:25 pm

You know that managers are often not allowed to give everyone high ratings right? A client of mine upset their employees because managers that were formerly allowed to handout straight A's to everyone were instead forced to make sure that the ratings balanced out to C's. So all of a sudden everyone started getting C's.

Performance ratings are TPS reports, I would care about them as much as I care about writing TPS reports. You're in it for the money. I literally picture dollars falling from the sky and landing on my desk while I work. The dollars are the reason I work, not the TPS reports.

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