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Performance Appraisals

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Aug 30, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    Hello, I'm posting this question here because I want responses from
    engineers, so please don't be offended. I want to know what your
    thoughts are concerning Performance Appraisals at your company, are
    they beneficial, how are they conducted, and what is the best way go
    give performance appraisals?

    Where I work, the manager brings you into their office, starts a series
    of short questions concerning your family and other things not relating
    to your job and then finally gives you a pat on the back and says, good
    job. Not much is really discussed and therefore not really useful.

    Your comments are welcomed.

  2. Joe,

    The "performance appraisal" is a purely formal game. The only purpose of
    it is to protect the company from lawsuits. If someone who was let go is
    considering himself offended and brings the case to the court, then the
    company will need something in writing to prove their point.

    Vladimir Vassilevsky

    DSP and Mixed Signal Design Consultant

  3. If there were something wrong with your performance, this is probably not
    how the meeting would go.
  4. Nial Stewart

    Nial Stewart Guest

    The "performance appraisal" is a purely formal game. The only purpose of it is to protect the
    Not if they're done right.

    While I was at Nortel 8-15 years ago they carried out performance reviews
    which I have since realised were more useful than most people gave
    credit for. There were objectives set in agreement with your team leader
    that could be used to justify training etc. There was also a fairly
    honest apprisal of your performance against last years targets etc.

    The targets and objectives were set as much by your own character
    assesment as your bosses, these had to be agreed.

    Now, working for myself I know I should be carrying out the same exercise
    for myself (but never seem to have the time).

  5. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Joe,

    When I had to conduct my first ones I learned from a book:
    William S.Swan "How to do Superior performance Appraisals

    Helped me quite a bit and the engineers I gave appraisals later said
    they liked the style. Appraisals can be very helpful for the career of
    the person being appraised. If they are done right.
  6. Guest

    I've worked both sides of the desk since about 1974 when I first became
    a hiring manager. In organizations larger than a few dozen people,
    especially those with HR departments, the formal process is necessary
    to organize and document skill sets and salary administration in a
    uniform way.

    Many people have a hard time tooting their own horn, and a good
    reciprocol review cycle gives the employee a clear time to intiate
    discussion about new/added responsibilities, promotion goals, and
    salary goals.

    Likewise, sometimes marginal performance isn't worth the manager taking
    you aside and telling you to pull your own weight (or else), but at the
    review cycle, it's much easier to open the employee up and find out
    what is causing the weak performance. Be it training, home problems,
    lack of motivation, lack of respect inside the team, lack of guidance,
    etc ... all things easier discussed when this process is administered
    well. The first few places I was a manger, there was zero traning for
    what was expected, or the gains that could be made organizational if
    this was done well ... certainly better training can help both side of
    the desk.
    Stresses outside of work, affect employee productivity big time. A MH
    checkup at review is more than useful to understand what is going on in
    your life that affects your work. I'd say your manager is on the ball,
    and if anything was wrong, you certainly would have heard about it.

    It's always a good idea to take your boss to lunch, and talk about the
    review process from both sides of the desk. You will probably be there
    sooner than you expect, and having that discussion, can sometimes be a
    key opening discussion that you are THINKING about your job, and where
    your advancment will take you.

    Have Fun!
  7. Luhan

    Luhan Guest

    Glowing perfomance reviews and stock options are what companies give
    valued employees instead of raises.

  8. Luhan wrote:

    Good point, Luhan. In the big company, there is a salary schedule: how
    much is getting paid to a person in this position. There is actually no
    way for them to give any raise.

    Also this is how the loafers from HR are making themselves look very useful.

  9. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Luhan,
    And stock options can be a darn good thing. It's the American way :)
  10. Guest

    Glowing perfomance reviews are your collaterial for a promotion. Stock
    options are way far over rated. In 19 out of 20 small to mid-sized
    companies they are worthless, and maybe worth less than your option
    price when you can finally cash them out. In larger companies, they
    might actually be worth something, or a golden handcuff that stops you
    from advancing faster by changing jobs. Stocks are gambling, and unless
    you are on top of the market, or extremely lucky, I'd not bet on them
    even being worth the overtime you might spend to justify them.

    Raises in almost every company are there for those that show steady
    improvement in skills at all levels, a strong work ethic, and a
    stronger interest in being successful and making the company
    successful. For those companies where this is not true, I'd change
    jobs, unless you have decided this a comfortable retirement job, AND
    you have some faith they will let you stay to retirement. Even then,
    I'd change jobs, because I HATE the lack of challenge in my job.
  11. Can be, but often aren't. I've seen the existence of stock options
    used as an excuse for keeping salaries low ("You'll get rich on the
    options!"). All of my Intel options (seven years worth) are
    underwater, most by a large enough margin that's there's little hope
    that they'll be worth anything before they expire.

    The story was similar at my previous company, and it was always
    amusing that every time options were granted the stock price went down
    a notch. So the options were never worth anything and had an effect
    sort of the opposite of incentive (i.e., demoralizing). Once every
    few years they'd restructure all the worthless options in order to get
    some incentive back, and the stock would just drop further to negate
    the new structure. It was comical once you got past the sadness. ;)

    So I've got about sixteen years of "stock option incentives" that have
    essentially cost me money. :(

    Eric Jacobsen
    Minister of Algorithms, Intel Corp.
    My opinions may not be Intel's opinions.
  12. Only ever got one of those. Threw it away unread.
  13. Andrew Holme

    Andrew Holme Guest

    My previous company defined "pillars" (personal, technical, career, business
    ....), career paths (technical, delivery management, project management...)
    and career levels (1=grad ... 7=MD), and published a document which
    attempted to define the essence of how a person at level X on path Y behaves
    in respect of pillar Z. Obviously, the language was a bit vague and
    hand-wavey in places - but what's the alternative? It's not easy to
    implement something that's fair and consistent across a company employing
    thousands worldwide.

    Staff commented on their own performance against pillars, and agreed
    objectives. Feedback was received from project managers for whom staff had
    worked during the year. The pillars provided a framework for the
    questionnaires which staff and managers had to fill-in. A lot was captured
    in writing. Everyone had a staff manager with whom all this was reviewed.
    The staff manager was ultimately the person who scored your performance.

    It's easy to be cynical on encountering the sort of management-speak in
    which these things are couched, or else get frustrated - especially if
    you're an engineer - about the apparent vagueness of the questions, but I
    always managed to think of something to put in every box eventually!
  14. Then what is the alternative to HR, ( dont ask me, I havent had a
    "job" in almost 10 years), and I've never worked for a company that
    had a "modern" HR dept. In those days they where called " personnel"
    deparments, much more human


  15. wrong Algorithm maybe?


  16. Guest

    ROTF ... keep the Faith Baby :)

    Great title!
  17. Guest

    I've worked for a couple of places that were deliberately kept too
    small - below 250 employees - to support a personnel department. The
    managers and their secretaries had to do the necessary scut-work. It
    seemd to work out.

    My experience of personnel departments, both as a job interviewer and
    as a job interviewee, was that they ranged from the useless to the

    Most of them thought that they had the right and duty to filter
    candidates for engineering jobs, and they reliably let through totally
    unsuitable candidates, and tried to block people whom we eventually
    hired. None of them had the vaguest idea what a "good" engineering CV
    looked like, but the "good" ones were at least aware of their
  18. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Stock options are what you get when a company is destined to fail ;-)

    Now-a-days, when someone walks in the door and offers me a percentage,
    I SHOW them the door ;-)

    ...Jim Thompson
  19. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Yep. Once upon a time I had a bundle of options should I join Mattel
    Toy Co.

    Went up like a rocket until they were exercisable, then fell to
    worthless :-(

    ...Jim Thompson
  20. Joerg

    Joerg Guest

    Hello Eric,
    I meant small companies where you as an employee can see what's going on
    and can actually have an impact. That has paid off well for me. Then I
    invested a little in Intel. Big mistake, because they began making lots
    of mistakes after that IMHO. A mono-culture isn't going to work, wether
    that's in ag or in electronics yet they seem to be going there. Oh well,
    so we are in the same boat. My stocks are under water as much as your
    options :-(

    Sometimes I dream I could be at the helm at a company like Intel or
    Infineon, just for a year, and turn a few things around. Intel had some
    dynamite products like programmable logic etc. Most of the time just
    when it began to work they ditched it.

    Probably via dilution. Maybe they overdid it a wee bit.

    That would be the time to start looking for "other ventures". Either the
    products are dull or management is.
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