The 360 evaluation cupcake

To be honest, I can’t ever remember a #performance evaluation that I could use to # improve my performance.  However, it did keep large numbers of staff staff and consultants happily employed. About every 5 – 7 years, we added more consultants and staff to disassemble the current system and install the next best-ever performance management fad.  I say this as an MBA, from an accredited university, with an emphasis in organization effectiveness.

For that reason, I loved this spotlight on performance evaluations: It’s a Good Thing Some People Don’t Like You.

Two fails in people-friendly evaluations are the ‘sandwich’ and the ‘3-2-1’ evaluation.

The sandwich evaluation assumes that if you front and end load with praise, then the evaluation target will absorb the ‘helpful’ advice and judgement in the middle. In my experience on both sides of the evaluation was that this only builds tension and dread. Be the time the evaluation winds down the last set of praises aren’t heard.

The 3-2-1 is more subtle, as there are three praises, two observations on performance, and one recommendation for improvement.  Again, this is to make the receiver more open to the really important info. Yeah, right.

This gets me to another of the epic fails in cupcake-evaluations, the 360 degree evaluation.

My last 360 evaluation, back when they were the latest cupcake frosting, was enlightening. My peers put me in the top 10%. My boss’s peers put me in the top 20%. My subordinates put me in the top 25%.

I was fired.

Why? Because my boss, who was struggling in the bottom 45%, decided that I was his problem. He put me in the bottom 10%.

By then corporate enthusiasm for 360’s waned and we moved to the next cupcake flavoring. As for me, I had had enough of management. It was time to have fun, and make the real bucks as a consultant.