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My new boss gave me a bad review … Now what?

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Question: "For eight years, I received 'outstanding' performance reviews. Two months ago, I got a new boss who doesn't seem to like me. When she did my annual evaluation, I got low ratings with no suggestions for improvement. Now I have no idea what to do. Before I had this boss, I really enjoyed this job." — Not Appreciated
 
Marie's Answer: Your boss obviously didn’t handle this very well. An “annual” evaluation after only two months as your manager? With no helpful feedback? Sounds like someone needs performance appraisal training.
  • Although the sudden dip in ratings is upsetting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your stock has fallen. Different managers often use rating scales differently. Some give many high scores, others hardly any. If your previous manager was an “easy grader,” then everyone may have lower evaluations now.
  • However, if this new boss seems particularly unhappy with you, then you need to repair the relationship. Protesting this appraisal is probably counterproductive, so focus on getting a better one next time.
  • To improve your ratings, you must understand what this manager expects.  New management often means a shift in goals, priorities and leadership style.  Instead of resenting the change, ask your new boss what she would like you to do differently.
Although you may never like this manager as well as the last one, try to focus on her strengths. If you begin to think more positively about her, she may respond in kind.  And before your next evaluation, ask for a mid-year review to avoid any surprises.

For more Office Coach advice on performance appraisal issues, see Managing Your Performance Review.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jackie Jones December 19, 2008 at 1:09 pm

It’s also a good idea to put this request for suggestions in writing. This way you documentation that you asked.

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