Performance Evaluation

Scenario Description: A boss is about to given an employee his annual performance evaluation.

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BossHi, Joe.  Please have a seat.  I’ll be with you in a moment.  (boss is busy responding to an email)
JoeNo problem, boss.  Take your time.
Boss(boss finishes the email he was working on)  Okay, Joe, the purpose of this meeting today is to go over your annual performance evaluation for the year.  It’s been on the schedule for a few months now.
JoeYes, sir.  I knew it was coming up.  I’m ready.
BossGood.  Let’s get started then.  As you know, you rank yourself in several areas, and I independently rank you in those same areas as well.  Then we meet and “compare notes” to reach our final evaluation marks.  The five areas to be ranked are as follows:  (1) Job Competency, (2) Professional Growth, (3) Task Performance, (4) Leadership, and (5) Teamwork.  We use a 1-to-5 sliding scale where 1 is the worst, 3 is average, and 5 is the best.  Let’s start with Job Competency.  This is how well you know your job and includes your job knowledge and job skills.  How do you think you’ve done in this area?
JoeI’d rate myself a 5.0, sir.  Of all the engineers in our group, I have the highest knowledge level bar none.  They are always coming to me with questions when they are stumped.  I’ve been in our group the longest and have the most experience.  I feel I am pretty outstanding in this regard, sir.  Even you yourself refer other groups to me when they have questions that no one else can answer.
BossI can’t argue with you there, Joe.  I marked you as a 5.0 in Job Competency.  What are about the second category, Professional Growth?  This includes actions you took to increase your knowledge and abilities to attain higher levels of responsibility.
JoeLet’s see.  When you took a one-month vacation, as the senior member in our group, I stood in for you as acting manager, attended all your meetings, and ran the group during that time.  That experience taught me some managerial skills about how your high-level meetings work and what is expected from you as a manager, responsibilities that I wasn’t previously aware of.  I also attended a two-month Level A Leadership Qualification course to gain some pre-managerial training to prepare me to move up in the organization.  Some of those skills I learned came in handy when I became the acting manager for that one-month period.  So I would have to give myself at least a 4.0 in that area.
BossAgreed.  I actually gave you a 4.5 rating in this area because when I returned from vacation, I received a lot of feedback about your stellar performance while I was gone.  That’s high praise in my book, so I’m giving you a 4.5 in this category.  The next category is Task Performance.  This is your assigned tasks and how well you succeeded in doing these on time and on budget.  How do you think you did in this area?
JoeI’d have to give myself a 3.0 on this one, I think.  There were a few tasks where I bit off more than I could chew.  I was late completing a few tasks because they involved more work than I estimated.  This caused me to work overtime to get them done on time albeit overbudget.  I recall you got chewed out by your boss because of my going overbudget.
BossYes, I got raked over the coals for that mistake.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I lived through it.  We still met the overall budget goals for our group.  Estimating scope and cost of work is more of an art than a science.  I didn’t blame you for that one.  Sometimes we estimate wrong.  It happens. 
JoeI certainly learned a lesson from that though.  Next time I’m going to throw in some extra margin for unexpected circumstances that invariably happen.  Then there was another time when one of my project tasks slipped through the cracks, and I missed doing it completely.  Learning that it was due during a project status meeting almost gave me a heart attack!  Talk about being caught off-guard!  I had to tap dance like mad to wriggle out of that sticky situation, but at least I managed to get an extension from the project manager.  Whew!  I hope that never happens again.  I was completely caught flat-footed.
BossWe agree on this rating.  Next category is Leadership.  How do you think you did there?
JoeWell, I normally take it upon myself to take new hires under my wing and show them the ropes.  I really should delegate this task to someone else because, as the lead engineer in our group, I am always swamped with administrative work.  It’s just that I know everyone has a lot on their plate, and I hate to assign them the additional burden of having to train a new hire from scratch.  This is a failing that I need to overcome.  I also overextend myself by trying to do too much when others in the group could do it equally well.  I just don’t delegate enough of my work to others.  This is a leadership weakness.  I would give myself a 3.0 in this category.
BossI think you’re beating yourself up too much on this issue.  True, you should be delegating more of your work to the rest of the group, but I’ve noticed you always help the group to solve their individual problems, which distracts you from doing your work and causes you to get behind, but your involvement in solving their problems keeps them on track, which makes them look good, so there’s no need to punish you for helping others.  That would be counter-productive.  I’m going to give you a 4.0 on leadership.  Just work on that delegation problem, okay?
JoeWill do, boss!
BossOkay, that brings us up to our last category, Teamwork.  What say you on this category?
JoeUh, oh.  That’s my Achilles’ heel.  You know I like to work alone.  I hate depending on others to get things done.  Most times they let me down.  They don’t meet their deadlines, which delays my tasks and makes me late and, as a consequence, the whole project gets behind schedule.  I can often stay ahead of schedule when I work alone, but on a team I feel like everyone else is dragging me down and holding me back.
BossYou and I have had several meetings about this problem and about your need to improve.  I haven’t seen any improvement to date.  Am I wrong?
JoeNo… A leopard can’t change its spots any more than I can change my attitude towards working with a team.  I’ve tried but I fail every time.
BossThat’s what I thought.  I’m going to have to give you a 2.5 in this category.  I need you to try harder or I’m going to have to put you on a performance improvement plan, the dreaded PIP.  Everyone hates those!
JoeI know, I know.  I’ll try to stoke the fire and work harder to be a better team player.
BossThat’s the spirit!  Okay, I think that concludes this evaluation.  I’ll let you get back to work.  Meeting adjourned.
JoeSee you later, boss.  Thanks.
Jehan A

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