Not my fault

Senior Manager A is with the CEO, for his annual appraisal.

CEO : So, how has the year been ?

Senior Manager A : Reasonable, I would say. Could have been much worse.

CEO : How long have you been in this role ?

Senior Manager A : Exactly a year.

CEO : That’s a good long stretch.

Senior Manager A : Yes and no.

CEO : Hmmm. Anyway let us begin. Firstly, your Net Profit has gone up and you are meeting the target numbers. Well done !

Senior Manager A : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on this. It is a result of some key initiatives I was able to deploy during the course of the year that have yielded these results.

CEO : I see. But then your Revenue numbers have slipped. Both against last year and against the target for this year.

Senior Manager A : I know sir. The Sales Plan that was in place before I took over had a residual impact during the year which impacted on overall achievement.

CEO : I see. So you could implement hey initiatives to impact the Net Profit but you could not implement key initiatives to impact the Revenues.

Senior Manager A : No sir. It takes time to fix Revenue isues. Profitability reacts faster to tactical measures. I assure you that we will perform much better next year.

CEO : I am sure you will. Coming back to this year, the client survey done in the middle of the year of the year has shown a marked improvement over last year. That is a good sign.

Senior Manager A : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on improving client perception. The survey results are on expected lines I would say.

CEO : I am glad you identify so closely with this measure.

Senior Manager A : I do sir.

CEO : On the other hand, the employee survey done around the same time as the client survey paints a fairly dismal picture of the internal work environment.

Senior Manager A : The policies practiced by the last Senior Manager, unfortunately, have had a trailing impact. We are working on it and I am sure the survey next year will have much better feedback from employees. You know how hard it is to change the work environment.

CEO, after a deep breath : I see. Thanks anyway for your inputs. I will let you know the final assessment in due course.

Senior Manager A, getting up : Sure sir. Thank you.

The CEO takes a bio break and calls Senior Manager B for his annual appraisal.

CEO : So, how has the year been ?

Senior Manager B : Reasonable, I would say. Could have been much worse.

CEO : How long have you been in this role ?

Senior Manager B : Exactly a year.

CEO : That’s a good long stretch.

Senior Manager B : Yes and no.

CEO : Hmmm. Anyway let us begin. Firstly, your Revenue has gone up and you are meeting the target numbers. Well done !

Senior Manager B : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on this. It is a result of some key initiatives I was able to deploy during the course of the year that have yielded these results.

CEO : I see. But then your Net Profit numbers have slipped. Both against last year and against the target for this year.

Senior Manager B : I know sir. The Budget that was in place before I took over had a residual impact during the year which impacted on overall achievement.

CEO : I see. So you could implement hey initiatives to impact Revenue but you could not implement key initiatives to impact the Net Profit.

Senior Manager B : No sir. It takes time. I assure you that we will perform much better next year. Revenue reacts quickly to tactical measures. Profitability, on the other hand, is slow to react.

CEO : I am sure you will. Coming back to this year, the employee survey done in the middle of the year of the year has shown a marked improvement over last year. That is a good sign.

Senior Manager B : Thank you sir. You know how hard I have worked on improving employee conditions and perception. The survey results are on expected lines I would say.

CEO : I am glad you identify so closely with this measure.

Senior Manager B : I do sir.

CEO : On the other hand, the client survey done around the same time as the employee survey paints a fairly dismal picture of our standing in the marketplace.

Senior Manager B : The policies practiced by the last Senior Manager, unfortunately, have had a trailing impact. We are working on it and I am sure the survey next year will have much better feedback from clients. You know how hard it is to change perception in the marketplace.

CEO, after a deep breath : I see. Thanks anyway for your inputs. I will let you know the final assessment in due course.

Senior Manager B : Sure sir. Thank you.

Annual appraisal and increments – maximising value

Discussion to finalise annual increments

Manager : While I am in agreement with the overall guidelines of the company of an increment of 8% for the top 20% of my team, I would like to use managerial discretion, also permitted by the company, in a couple of cases.

Senior Manager : Which ones ?

Manager : The first is Peter. Though he has made it to the top 20% bracket, he has not performed well. In fact, on a couple of occasions his actions have cost the company financially. I would like to bring him down to 6%, in line with the next 40% of the team. At the same time, Paul has shown himself to be an outstanding performer right through. He is of immense value to the company. Though no individual is indispensable, his value is immense. I would like to up his increment to 10%.

Senior Manager : I agree with your decision to reduce Peter’s rating. It will also save the company money. I am, however, not in agreement with your proposal to increase Paul’s increment. I don’t think he has done anything special. Any employee in his position would have done what he has done. He should be grateful to the company for having been given this responsibility. Besides, giving additional increment costs the company money. In these times, a penny saved is a penny earned.

Manager : May be additional increment costs money. I daresay it will become a lot more expensive for the company if he decides to leave. And I think he is considering options.

Senior Manager : That’s an illogical argument. Employees cannot start holding the company to ransom by threatening to leave.

Manager : I fully agree sir. However, this is not a case of an employee holding the company to ransom. It is a question of fair reward for work done keeping in mind the marketplace realities.

Senior Manager : He will not go anywhere. Take my word for it.

Next week

Manager : Sir, Paul has given in his resignation today.

Senior Manager : What ? How did you not see this coming ? You are expected to know about the people working for you. If we had known in advance we could have done something, like an additional increment.

Manager : I did tell you when we were finalising the increments. I did recommend an additional increment for him of 10% which you shot down.

Senior Manager : Don’t make excuses. What will happen to the Project he was doing ?

Manager : It will continue. But we will need to rework the timelines. And hire someone in his place.

Senior Manager : Let us try to keep him back. How much increase is he getting in his new job ?

Manager : Not sure, but I believe about 12%. Senior Manager : He is important to the company. Offer him a 15% increase and retain him.

Manager : As you say sir. I hope you will fund the extra 5% cost that we are having to pay Paul, from your Budget !

Appraisal – good only if it is better

The annual performance ratings have been finalised and informed to individual employees. There is a mood of despondency in the office as people meander around the office like zombies complaining about the unfair rating they have been given. Everyone is talking to everyone else despite company guidelines clearly stating that an assessment rating is private to the individual and should not be shared with others.

Employee A to Employee B : This company is doomed if it continues its selfish and high-handed way of treating employees. I am going to quit the job. I put in so much hard work through the year and what do I get for it ? A paltry 8% annual increment. Just about enough to cover inflation. In a year when profits have been good.

Employee B : Hey, that’s not bad. You got away light. My increment is only 6%.

Employee A : Really ? Sorry to hear that.

Employee A continues meandering around the office.

Employee A to Employee C : Hello mate. How are you ? How do you feel about the appraisal ? I seem to have got a bit of a raw deal. My increment is 8%.

Employee C : Hey, that’s not bad. I must congratulate you. My increment is only 5%.

Employee A : Really ? Sorry to hear that.

Employee A continues meandering around the office.

Employee A to Employee D : Hello there. Looks like reasonable appraisals this year. I got a raise of 8%. Hope you got a decent one as well.

Employee D : Judge for yourself. Mine is 4%.

Employee A : Really ? Sorry to hear that. Better luck next year.

Employee A continues meandering around the office. By this time he is positively beaming and ready to spread good cheer around.

Employee A to Employee E : What a great company to work for. Never imagined a company could be so fair in annual assessments. Got an 8% hike, cannot believe it. Enough to beat inflation and put away some. I am an employee for life here.

Employee E : Good for you mate.