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Hello everyone;

I would like to know what the general rule of thumb is regarding sharing performance evaluations directly with directs after they are written.

I am a mid-level manager for whom half of my team reports directly to other "home room" managers in which I have been asked to provide feedback. It has been a rule of mine that I share what I write in their evaluations with them (the point being that I want to ensure that they have the information that they need to improve in their jobs, and this being one of them). As I was placing the information in the company's automated performance evaluation tool I noted a warning on the bottom of the page which states not to share this information directly with the employee.

Although I will no doubt follow this new "company policy" and not share the information directly (and as such it is not such a big deal since I do O3's regularly) I would like to know what the MT audience thinks about this.

tcomeau's picture
Training Badge

This approach is a real puzzle to me.

I'm trying to imagine the conversation that results with the staff.

[quote]
"Well, your overall rating was a 74, which translates to a raise of 3.7 percent. Thanks for having a good year, and try to do better next year."

"Well why did I get a 74?"

"I can't tell you."

"So, what should I work on improving?"

"I can't tell you."
[/quote]

I've heard two schools of thought about how matrix managers should give input. One version says that the staff manager should not share the input from the matrix manager directly, in order to encourage candid comments from the matrix manager. The other version is that matrix input should be shared verbatim, to maximize clarity and insure accountability for the input.

I'm on both sides of that relationship: I'm both a staff manager for guys who are matrixed to other leads, and a matrix manager for a project. I'm with the second school, for what it's worth.

But I've never heard of a case where the matrix manager was not allowed to share [i]their own input[/i] with the person being evaluated. Is there somebody you can ask for an explanation of what that "warning" means? Is there forward-looking information (apart from the evaluation) that needs to be delivered by the staff manager at a particular time?

As I wrote above, that's a puzzle.

tc>

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

This is a good question in terms of what it illustrates. When Tom is stumped, it's a sign that LOTS of others will be as well (like, all the rest of us).

I think it's important here to [b]separate the REVIEW from the feedback.[/b]

Look, if I'm the manager who is responsible for the review, and you're the manager responsible for helping me do so, or providing input, frankly, I'm RARE when I tell you I don't care if you give them their own mini-review.

VERY VERY RARE. (in other words, Horstman would be fine with you sharing, but most managers would NOT, for good reasons).

If you want to share your feedback with them, do so. But don't share the REVIEW... the review is for the boss. Because, if your review is at all different than mine, I'm the one that has to answer the questions, without perhaps knowing the details.

Give lots of feedback. Share. But let me write the review, with your input. And if you and I disagree, tilt toward my side, within reason.

Mark

tcomeau's picture
Training Badge

[quote="mahorstman"]
...
I think it's important here to [b]separate the REVIEW from the feedback.[/b]
...
If you want to share your feedback with them, do so. But don't share the REVIEW... the review is for the boss. Because, if your review is at all different than mine, I'm the one that has to answer the questions, without perhaps knowing the details.
[/quote]

Ah, that makes it much clearer, thanks.

I've been in this situation, recently. I had to explain to one of my guys why a project lead was rather unhappy with being "obstructed" by process. While the lead wanted to rate my guy down, I rated him up for it, because I needed him to make sure the other team was getting the process right. He had seen the original input, and was rightly concerned that he was "getting dinged for doing his job."

Without my weekly comments and questions about process issues, I can see where having the other manager give review comments would create problems.

Thanks again,

tc>