Q: “Last week, one of my co-workers handed me my annualand said my boss wanted me to sign it. When I saw that he had given me a below-average rating, I felt really hurt. During my ten years with this corporation, I have previously received nothing but positive reviews.
“I told my co-worker that I would not sign the form because I did not understand the reasons for my rating. Apparently, my manager doesn’t think I’m important enough to spend five minutes explaining it to me. Do I have a right to be angry about this?” Offended
A: Yes, you have every right to be angry, although openly expressing that anger might not be wise. Your cowardly boss’s behavior is absolutely appalling. Only a thoroughly incompetent manager would have a co-worker deliver a.
Since most corporations have specific guidelines for conducting appraisals, you might consider having a confidential conversation with human resources about your recent experience. But if that seems risky, you should at least request some clear expectations from your manager.
For example: “I was surprised by the low rating on my performance appraisal, because I thought I was doing a good job. I want to be sure that I understand how to get a better review next time. What can I do differently to improve my rating?”
Then ask for an interim appraisal in six months to see how things are going. By taking the initiative to broach this subject in a calm, professional manner, you will be demonstrating a lot more courage and maturity than your spineless boss.
Many managers do a poor job with reviews. Here are some things to avoid: Six Ways to Screw Up a Performance Review Discussion.