Performance review for Boss!

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sunny_socal
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Performance review for Boss!

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:08 pm

So it's time for our performance review again. And once again, I am asked to review my boss. However I feel like I cannot be 100% honest in my review since this would be "biting the hand that feeds." He controls the fate of everyone in the group :?

What's a good approach here? He's a "good guy" for the most part but there are several areas he could improve upon. If I were to tell him face to face he would never take it the right way. He never likes to show weakness or admit that he was wrong. Going to his boss doesn't seem like a good strategy either - that would be biting the hand that feeds the hand!

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corn18
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by corn18 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:15 pm

If this is part of a 360 review (great tool, BTW), then it should be anonymous. If it isn't, tread carefully, be nice and respectful and gauge your responses as you would in a personal meeting.

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SkierMom
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by SkierMom » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:22 pm

As part of his "review" I would state, in writing, that the review structure is inherently faulty and that you do not wish to take part in further such reviews.

You might also want to look at the fact that you chose to work for a company with an idiotic policy. I'm guessing this isn't the only stupid policy at your place of employment.

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sunny_socal
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by sunny_socal » Thu Jul 23, 2015 4:41 pm

The review is anonymous in the sense that the person under review does not directly receive the feedback. However the superiors always have the information in front of them and are able to share it.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by tim1999 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:12 pm

If your boss is managing less than say, 10-15 people, I'd be extremely careful about what you write. Where I work, the 360 reviews are technically anonymous but they cut and paste the answers to open ended questions verbatim when the person being reviewed gets the review. The boss could pick up on your writing or grammar style if he only deals with a small group of people on a regular basis. I was able to figure out who had written some comments about me with probably 90% certainty because they are basically the only one in our group who never uses contractions and tends to write run-on sentences.

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prudent
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by prudent » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:17 pm

Once worked at a place that did "360" reviews. It was inane. If you wrote something critical, it would never be mentioned without an example to back it up. You knew never to give an example, since 99% of the time that would only reveal who wrote it.

Reminded me of the time I got a new VP and she asked me if it would be OK for her to attend my next department meeting. Sure, no problem. Next week she comes to the meeting and introduces herself, gives a 5-minute overview of what she's hoping to do in the role and turns the meeting back over to me. As I dismissed the meeting, one of my newer recruits asked me and my new VP to stay for a minute. Then my newer recruit told me (again, with our new VP sitting right there at his request) that our department meetings were really not useful and he could be doing more important things, that any information I talk about in the bi-weekly meeting could be sent via email and they could just get back to me with any questions. I was dumbfounded. Before I could speak, the VP said she found the meeting productive, email is not the best way to communicate if you can do it in person, and asked what specific topics in today's meeting did he find not useful. Stammer, cough, uh, uh...

Did not go well for the newer recruit who was trying to hit a home run with the new big boss but was weirdly "out there" with that stunt. I guess in a way that was an attempt at an inverse bizarre world 360 review.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:23 pm

I would assume that every word along with my name and internet history is going directly to the boss. Heck, at previous jobs with 360, I delete the email without even opening it. I do know for a fact that when I brought an issue about my boss to HR there, my boss had a complete rundown from HR a day later.
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by nisiprius » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:40 pm

Reminds me of the time I found a paper survey form in my office mail inbox requesting that I complete a completely anonymous, completely confidential survey asking all sorts of things about how I felt about my work, my boss, etc. The form said that my submission was completely anonymous and there was no way to trace it to an individual person.

Since it couldn't be traced to me, I didn't return it. I did notice a mysterious little six-digit number printed near the lower left corner of the page.

Two weeks later, I got a letter noting that I hadn't completed and returned my survey, and please do it forthwith.

I wrote a note on the survey saying that the fact that I'd gotten the reminder proved that it was not anonymous, confidential, and untraceable, and therefore I was not going to answer it.

A few days later I got a call from HR, saying that the survey was too completely anonymous, confidential, and untraceable and that I shouldn't worry about it, the only reason for that six-digit number was so that they could make sure everyone returned the survey. And would I please return it because I had to.

So I filled out the survey with a pack of lies saying everything was peachy-keen and returned it.
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by JoinToday » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:32 pm

People's income, possible layoffs, etc are dependent upon these reviews. This stuff goes in their permanent record.

I just about never put really bad stuff down on reviews. For areas of improvement, I would usually write relatively benign criticisms. Good people got enthusiastic reviews, poor people got lukewarm reviews, but nothing really bad. Everyone knows who the good & bad performers are without the review process.

Many times, I would actually put the person being reviewed on distribution (blind cc,). If someone ended up getting a poor review, they knew it didn't come from me.

As stated above, I would tread lightly when making critical comments.
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by littlebird » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:57 pm

nisiprius wrote:Reminds me of the time I found a paper survey form in my office mail inbox requesting that I complete a completely anonymous, completely confidential survey asking all sorts of things about how I felt about my work, my boss, etc. The form said that my submission was completely anonymous and there was no way to trace it to an individual person.

Since it couldn't be traced to me, I didn't return it. I did notice a mysterious little six-digit number printed near the lower left corner of the page.

Two weeks later, I got a letter noting that I hadn't completed and returned my survey, and please do it forthwith.

I wrote a note on the survey saying that the fact that I'd gotten the reminder proved that it was not anonymous, confidential, and untraceable, and therefore I was not going to answer it.

A few days later I got a call from HR, saying that the survey was too completely anonymous, confidential, and untraceable and that I shouldn't worry about it, the only reason for that six-digit number was so that they could make sure everyone returned the survey. And would I please return it because I had to.

So I filled out the survey with a pack of lies saying everything was peachy-keen and returned it.
Reminds me of graduate school where we were given "anonymous grading numbers" to prevent any discrimination or favoritism. Once when I had a conference in the administrative offices, I heard a professor call out to a secretary: "Mary, what's John Smith's anonymous grading number?" True story.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by stan1 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:07 pm

I'd offer positive comments and withhold "constructive criticism".

If I didn't think my boss was doing a good job I would forget to submit the evaluation.

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goingup
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by goingup » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:10 pm

A number of years ago after having completed a "boss review" I happened to be working late one evening. I strolled to my boss's open door and he was hunched over the stack of reviews discussing "whose handwriting could this be?" with one of the supervisors.

Because the organization was small and dysfunctional (and he was a putz), I had answered blithely. I always assume there in no anonymity in the workplace.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by Call_Me_Op » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:21 am

I have never heard of this. If it isn't anonymous, I would just tell him he is great and his only fault is that he works too hard, and as a result you worry about his health.
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by Louis Winthorpe III » Fri Jul 24, 2015 7:26 am

SkierMom wrote:As part of his "review" I would state, in writing, that the review structure is inherently faulty and that you do not wish to take part in further such reviews.

You might also want to look at the fact that you chose to work for a company with an idiotic policy. I'm guessing this isn't the only stupid policy at your place of employment.
Practices like this are very common at large corporations.

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ClevrChico
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by ClevrChico » Fri Jul 24, 2015 8:40 am

My advice would be to answer that "everything is wonderful" and leave it at that.

Effort can be made to find out who submitted the survey based on the answers.

All review systems seem to be flawed.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by wfrobinette » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:09 am

sunny_socal wrote:So it's time for our performance review again. And once again, I am asked to review my boss. However I feel like I cannot be 100% honest in my review since this would be "biting the hand that feeds." He controls the fate of everyone in the group :?

What's a good approach here? He's a "good guy" for the most part but there are several areas he could improve upon. If I were to tell him face to face he would never take it the right way. He never likes to show weakness or admit that he was wrong. Going to his boss doesn't seem like a good strategy either - that would be biting the hand that feeds the hand!
We don't do formal 360 reviews at my company. However, as part of some outside leadership training I had to receive 360 reviews on me. I think these were very valuable to me and have become a better leader because of it. Sometimes they sting but the goal should be to see how others perceive you and make changes.

Problem is that most mangers aren't leaders and suck at their jobs.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by Louis Winthorpe III » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:13 am

wfrobinette wrote:
sunny_socal wrote:So it's time for our performance review again. And once again, I am asked to review my boss. However I feel like I cannot be 100% honest in my review since this would be "biting the hand that feeds." He controls the fate of everyone in the group :?

What's a good approach here? He's a "good guy" for the most part but there are several areas he could improve upon. If I were to tell him face to face he would never take it the right way. He never likes to show weakness or admit that he was wrong. Going to his boss doesn't seem like a good strategy either - that would be biting the hand that feeds the hand!
We don't do formal 360 reviews at my company. However, as part of some outside leadership training I had to receive 360 reviews on me. I think these were very valuable to me and have become a better leader because of it. Sometimes they sting but the goal should be to see how others perceive you and make changes.

Problem is that most mangers aren't leaders and suck at their jobs.
You have a healthy attitude, and unfortunately, I think you're correct about most managers. HR adopts practices like this with the best intentions, but they're rarely effective for the reasons noted above.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by mhc » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:27 am

After filling out an anonymous review on my manager once (I was foolish to believe HR), my manager walked into the staff meeting, looked me dead in the eyes, and quoted word for word one of my statements from the anonymous review. My foolishness was cured immediately.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by Clever_Username » Fri Jul 24, 2015 9:53 am

tomhole wrote:If this is part of a 360 review (great tool, BTW), then it should be anonymous. If it isn't, tread carefully, be nice and respectful and gauge your responses as you would in a personal meeting.
Ugh, 360 reviews. At a former job of mine, my boss's boss would receive all 360 reviews about said boss. They had been friends for over a decade and it was an open secret at the company that the reason my boss ran his team was due to his friend's influence. For whatever reason (I have a few guesses), other teams had a web interface to submit their 360 reviews, thus making it at least believable that it'd be anonymous. We had to email ours in using our company email. Since it was my first year at the company, a few of my teammates took me aside and told me that, rather than being honest, I need to leave a positive review unless I had another job lined up.

So I guess my advice to OP is to find out if it's really anonymous, and even then, tread carefully.
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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by jchris » Fri Jul 24, 2015 12:14 pm

Unless the review was conducted with true anonymity (something that is difficult to confirm, but you can be sure that any process requiring you to submit something from your email is not really anonymous) you should never submit criticism of the boss in a 360 degree review. It is potential career suicide. We do 360 degree reviews occasionally in my office (which is quite large) and when they are done at the full organizational level (hundreds of people) and using anonymous internet interfaces (i.e., there is a website that you are asked to go to from wherever you want and answer questions without submitting any identifying information), then they work pretty well. Still, I never submit serious criticism because I am paranoid. Just because you are paranoid does not mean that the little green men aren't actually out to get you.

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Re: Performance review for Boss!

Post by SkierMom » Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:21 pm

Louis Winthorpe III wrote:
SkierMom wrote:As part of his "review" I would state, in writing, that the review structure is inherently faulty and that you do not wish to take part in further such reviews.

You might also want to look at the fact that you chose to work for a company with an idiotic policy. I'm guessing this isn't the only stupid policy at your place of employment.
Practices like this are very common at large corporations.
Unfortunate. I thought maybe this was a California "Look How Enlightened Our Work Environment Is" fad.

My 360 review experience 15 years ago (in an office of 9 people, no joke) anonymous was certainly NOT anonymous. A word processor wrote on my review that I ought not correct her written grammar so often because she thought I was being patronizing to her. Her job was to type up technical data and reports that had my name and professional license on it. My boss at the time actually suggested that I let a few of the grammar mistakes slide. My "review" only served to enlighten me that I was working for an idiotic company.

Now, as a supervisor I use annual reviews as a tool to correct bad behavior of employees. I can specifically define an action associated with a job description and an outcome that I want, and back it up with the written review. Want a chronically-late employee to come in on time? How about one that refuses to do a task in the job description? Average performer who abuses sick leave policy? I've gotten them all out of my division or fired through the judicious use of the Annual Review.

Bottom line is that the Annual Review is only as good as the people putting the time, thought and effort into it.

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