If you're like my company, you're in the process of doing performance evaluations. I've been on both sides of the fence on these—both as a recipient and as a manager going them for staffers. Each role has its down side. For managers, performance appraisals can take a lot of time, depending on the number of staffers. And it's pretty uncomfortable to deliver the news to an employee that he or she is not performing up to par. Not to mention that such news has to be backed up with loads of documentation in order to avoid legal ramifications.
It would seem that the staffer has the easy part, but not so. I've always been a little uncomfortable with the process of being told how I "measure up." I don't mind constructive criticism, but it can be a slippery slope when your manager doesn't have a really good grasp on what it is you do or don't do on a daily basis. And I don't mind reading my evaluation as much as I dislike having to sit there face to face. There's only so much nodding and smiling you can do when your strong points and accomplishments are listed. Also, reading about any areas that need improvement allows me to digest it and respond in a rational manner rather than just sitting there listening to them. The best thing is being able to look at yoru review a day or so before the actual meeting with your manager.
What are your feelings about written versus "live" performance appraisals?
Toni Bowers is the former Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.