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open thread – March 15-16, 2024 — Ask a Supervisor


What’s the norm for efficiency evaluations when rating on a five-point scale?

Final yr was my first time collaborating in efficiency evaluations at my group.  I gave myself largely threes and fours out of 5.  I used to be extra beneficiant with my direct stories, since I believed if I couldn’t consider something to enhance, I ought to give them a 5.  My supervisor mentioned I used to be too arduous on myself and gave me largely fives with a pair fours.  This yr, I calibrated to that scale and used 5 to imply “can’t consider something to ask you to enhance,” 4 to imply “I’m typically comfortable, however can consider one thing to work on,” three for “I’m not proud of the caliber of your efficiency so we now have critical work to do,” two for “you’re actively doing belongings you shouldn’t be” and one for “this rises to the extent of doubtless endangering your job.”  I used this for my self-evaluation, my supervisor analysis and my direct stories.  Everybody had fives with a number of fours.

We’ve a brand new HR director this yr, and after the evaluations from managers had been due, she introduced she was pausing the method.  At a employees assembly, she instructed us the evaluations could be returned to us to rewrite as a result of we clearly weren’t given sufficient steering on the ranking scale.  Apparently, three is “meets expectations,” and that’s the place she anticipated mainly everybody to be rated, as a result of “the group could be a special significantly better place if we had been all fives,” and “mainly we’re aiming for all threes.”  The evaluations had been kicked again to us with a observe that the size is 1=Unsatisfactory, 2=Wants enchancment, 3=Meets expectations, 4=Above expectations, 5=Exceeds expectations.  (I don’t even wish to get into the truth that the clarification doesn’t really make clear that a lot as a result of “unsatisfactory” and “wants enchancment” and “above” and “exceeds” wouldn’t have a quantitative distinction.)

I’m involved as a result of solely managers are being requested to rewrite evaluations, that means self-evaluations will probably be mismatched.  Additionally, for anybody who was right here final yr or earlier, it seems like there’s motive to suppose everybody, not simply my division, was scaled up in comparison with what they need us to do that yr, that means it can appear to be everybody’s work declined.

So my query is, is that this actually out-of-step with norms and the HR director is correct to be recalibrating us as a company?  Or are my considerations legitimate?  Full disclosure:  I personally have a tough time with pondering I ought to be okay with a 3 ranking when a 5 is accessible, and I hate the concept of telling my crew they’ve what seems to be like quite a lot of work to do after I actually solely have minor recommendations for enchancment, so this would possibly simply be a query of needing to regulate my very own expectations for the method.

Facet observe:  Compensation is totally divorced from efficiency evaluations.  We’ve compensation evaluations at a special time and solely obtain cost-of-living and market-rate changes, except we obtain a promotion.  That’s one other kettle of fish.

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