I did an appraisal for one of my staffs a few weeks ago. It was a regular kind of thing. I took the initiative to talk to her one on one today on how she felt about the appraisal, whether it was fair or biased, any areas we could work on together ... ... Well, I took the initiative as I sensed that she wasn't very happy from the sound of it last week though she didn't really express it that obviously... ... it was very subtle in fact... ... Personally, I didn't expect such a reaction as we have a really good and healthy relationship. I must say we get along well.
To get straight to the point, what was she unhappy about? Well... I have not been fighting hard enough for her as well as the other staffs. Their ratings should be higher, and it is a sour feeling to see colleagues who had not performed as well as you (you think) to be rated higher by management.
I had my reasons for doing so. I know each AO will be playing the game of fighting for their staffs, more than what they truly deserved. I think it is a waste of time and I do not want to be drawn into such child's play. Because I know how much I value my staffs and their contributions that I do not want to trade (pardon the choice of word) them away. I also do not reckon that the results will have any immediate and significant effect on their promotions/prospect. At the same time, I wanted to be fair. I wouldn't want to rate anyone higher than what they deserve. And I have to admit, I think this particular staff deserves the accolades for the contributions and attitude towards work. I also fully understand how she felt about the overall rankings... it's not fair. Hey, I'm also a been there done that! But that doesn't mean I'm carbon-copying my fate on my staffs. Upon reflections, I might be using my usual relax-jack style to rate them on the basis that 'I don't want to get involve with meaningless fighting but I-will-make-sure-you-get-a-good-ratings-according-to-your-performance'.
Obviously I was wrong, at least I think so after the dialogue session. All this appraisal might not mean much to me but it does for others. It's a fact I did not view the situations in their perspectives. I felt so let down due to the reason that I did not fight for my staffs for a higher rating. Also, I should have challenged the system for many of the unfair rankings. We shared the view that appraising should be reciprocal. I appraise you and you appraise me back. That's how we value add, else everything is just a nice little show we put up... ... Hi today, Bye tomorrow... ... That's not my preference... ...
Exchanging our precious little thoughts also jerked me into reminding myself of exactly the same environment I'm facing. Our rankings are not that fair either. Often enough, who we see going up might not be the stronger but rather the more articulate ones. Sad to say, I don't fall into the 'lucky' ones. We can only continue to place our faith on Him for guiding us to the paths that we are now threading on ... ...
And the work place, somehow ... I don't find it as fun and interesting as the first 3-4 months. The place has changed. Gone are the many familiar faces, replacing are the akward 'Hi' or a lazy smile to the newcomers. This has a powerful effect of darkening the paths to the hearts of many people. Trust has to be built from scratch and proven to be self-holding before the bridge to the hearts and thoughts can be layed.
I have a feeling that even my manager whom I admire the most in the department is beginning to sway with the destruction forces at work ... ... ... ... Take this as a test. Ask me how strong is my faith in God.