The Performance Review


A chat with a friend recently took in the subject of annual performance reviews in the workplace. From what I could gather they can sometimes reveal a great deal more about the employer than the employee…

In my last job this sort of review was informal and scattered – I cannot remember more than two of them and they were certainly not on consecutive years. I think they were only held when the mood struck the management or when it was forced upon them by external pressures.

In any case I did not find the procedure nor the findings all that onerous. I don’t put this down to any merit on my part – I think the directors of the company were just embarrassed to be doing it at all and were afraid I would burst into tears if they said anything wrong.

I was frightened that I would burst into laughter…or worse…song. I had written a parody of Ron Moody’s song from “Oliver!” about ” You’ve got to pick a pocket or two.” and once started, I could not have stopped myself short of being tossed into the street. Fortunately I did not let it out, but it was a close-run thing there a couple of times.

The review possibly did some good – pointed out where efficiencies could be sought and economies effected. That they never eventuated is not the fault of the review process – life and business intervened. They were still a valuable bit of imagination.

At least I was not sent away, as my friend was, with the feeling that criticism had been leveled at me for doing too much for the customer and causing them to come back to the shop.┬áHeads are still being scratched over that one…