You Can Always Quit

You Can Always Quit

Matt HealeyMonday,17 February 2014

The Snap:

Annual reviews suck. They suck from both sides of the table. The employees hate them and the mangers hate them. Actually the only people who think they have any value seem to be the idiots in personnel (Yes I know they like to call themselves “Human Resources” or “Human Capital Management” to dress up their title, but that is equivalent to calling gas station attendees “petroleum transfer engineers” ). But we still have to go through them, so let me provide this primer to the process.

The Download:

From the employee’s perspective the process is unfair and skewed in managements favor. Management doesn’t understand what is really going on. They are oblivious to the value that you bring to the organization and only reward other people who don’t contribute any value but spend all their time kissing up to the executives. After all you are working long hours and not being rewarded for it while others do nothing and get much better raises and reviews.

From the management’s perspective, the process is cumbersome and difficult. The employees are ungrateful because they don’t understand how much time and effort you put into trying to get them into roles that they will thrive in. They don’t realize that you have multiple people that you are trying to balance and that there is not enough money to go around so you are doing the best you can.

So let’s lift the veil off of this process. It does suck. There are valid concerns on both sides but there are also unreasonable complaints on both sides. From the employee side, everybody values their contributions more than their manager does. We all think that we are the only ones that can do the job correctly. We think that without my contributions they are so screwed so I should get more money. Let me be as clear as I can be here – No one is irreplaceable. No one. Period. That affects your raise and review. If the company thinks can replace you with someone who can do the same job for less money, you will get a lower raise and worse review. You likely will not be fired due to the disruption that would cause, but your growth will be capped. Granted they might be right in the assessment of how easily you could be replaced, or they may be wrong. That answer comes down to necessity vs value.

Employers, yes, a lot of the people who complain are ungrateful. They feel like they are not being recognized and think that they are the only ones who know anything. But one of the reasons they feel this way is that in a lot of cases the metrics that are used are soft and hard to quantify. So the process looks skewed and manager can easily look like they are playing favorites.

So, before you complain from either perspective keep this in mind. As an employee, you always have the right to look for a new job and take it if you get something better. You owe your employer nothing more than doing a full day of work for every day you are being paid. If you leave the company is not going to fall apart. As a manager you have to expect that some of your employees will leave and be ready for that to happen. They owe you nothing more than a full day of work for each day you are paying them. If they leave there will be some stress in the system but the company is not going to fall apart.

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