Sunday, June 14, 2015

Only a Three

I told my best friend this week that every aspect of my life sucks sh*t except for my relationship with her. She laughed and in the way she does saw the good side, "At least I'm a positive." 

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon I'm really struggling with going into work at the DayJob tomorrow. On Friday the Interim Vice Provost came down into the basement "to have a frank conversation with everyone." He proceeds to tell us that he has taken it upon himself to change the rubric for how employee evaluations are scored. The scores are going to remain on a scale of 1-5: 1 is unsatisfactory performance, 2 needs some improvement to meet position requirements, 3 meets position requirements, 4 frequently exceeds position requirements, and 5 is distinguished performance, with decimal points being used as intermediate values to the nearest tenth. However, appraisers will now be grading on a harder scale, a truer scale, a more honest interpretation of employees work, the good as well as the bad. 

He says matter-of-factly, "Nobody is a 5. A person that is a five is glowing - they can do no wrong. And frankly, I shouldn't see many fours either. Most everyone should and will be rated a three. So we won't be seeing overall performance ratings of 90s. Your rating will drop drastically."

I have plenty of issues with evaluations such as the fact that I have never been given goals to reach, merit raises are non-existent, and rewards systems such as Award certificates are neglected. But here are my main issues with the whole situation. If I am going up for a position against a person in another department that is continuing to be rated as a Rock Star and the hiring supervisor looks at my Performance Appraisal and I'm only achieving a 3, I could see where they would have a hard time choosing me. It is going to harm our staff more than help us. I'm not saying to blow smoke when there isn't a fire, but let's be real, some people do aspects of their job and they are on fire. Secondly, he came downstairs in his starched Oxford, with the rigid, wrinkled fabric stretching and pulling so hard that the buttons are straining to stay locked in their holes across his gut, to kick us all in the ego and morale. Each word in his statement beating in, 'Don't fight, don't get up. Don't even bother to strive for a five. You're not a five, you won't be awarded a five. You're not even a four.' That was the least motivational and absolute opposite of team building speech I've ever been forced to attend. 

I'm here to say, I'm not a three. I'm an 11 damn-it! I won't continue to be held to the mediocrity of a three. But, I will definitely need a leader that sees the value of their staff, not just envisioning us as warm bodies meeting position adequacy. 

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