It is mid-year review time at my current and well appreciated employer. Having been a consultant last year, I was able (fortunate) to skip this process. There are many benefits to being on staff, but the big drawback is having to participate in this Hr mandated process.
I am (dare I say it) blessed with a manager who is incapable of hiding when she is displeased and is extremely clear about expectations and goals. This can be rough if you don’t agree with the direction or think the goals are wack-a-doo. However, if you make sure you understand what is expected, don’t over promise, working with her is nice. It helps that I’m 110% fine with letting her drive the overall vision and I will execute without the emotional involvement that caused me so much aggravation at MegaBank. It is not that I don’t care, because I do, but my own personal value is not wrapped up in “how” it is done. This attitude is refreshing to live with and I’m sure extremely refreshing to manage. I think it is called maturity. But I’m unclear as to what that really means.
Anyway, this manager takes the review process seriously and the feedback is helpful and doesn’t EVER come as a surprise. If she says something to you in your review that is a surprise, YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION.
I reported to the senior mucky-muck for a while at MegaBank, and it was great. I love it, but reviews were useless. “Keep doing what you’re doing.” This is nice to hear, but it sure doesn’t help me grow or identify the areas where I could be investing time and energy to be an even MORE spectacular employee.
My favorite in-house IT guy is also going through the review process and he seriously hates it.
I think the willingness to participate and spend the time to document your fabulousness is directly related to what the managers do with what you provide them. If they respond year after year with “yeah, you’re ok” and don’t provide the areas you need to focus on, and you get the peanut butter raise year over year, your willingness to spend the time is diminished. The peanut butter raise is where everyone gets the same 1.5%ish raise. HR likes to call it a “Merit” increases, but if your merit is equal to my merit, year over year, it is a cost of living, or “good for you for surviving another year” event.
Anyway, mid year, here is about touching bases. Bottom line... I'm on track. She's happy... I'm happy!