Friday, March 27, 2009

Progressions and Appraisals

Mid way through the fiscal year and everybody wants to know about their performance, more so what future has in store for them. Yeah I am talking about the mid term performance discussions and the progressions associated with it. While the discussions will happen in their due course of time, its the progression which is the most interesting and difficult part to handle.

I find it difficult most of the times to make the associates understand why the progressions do not happen. Yes, there are cases where the picture is clear and we simply give them the reasons which are strong enough for the promotions being held up, but the borderline cases. Also the way one project leader will present his case is different from what the other project leader will present.

With the associates, its a different case. While some of them are ready to accept the improvement areas, there are who find it difficult that there can be improvement areas. Somehow they have started believing that once the eligibility criteria of a certain time period passes, they shall be progressed. They do no understand that fact that they are only eligible for the progression assessment, but that does not mean that they will be progressed. They need to clear the assessment for getting a promotion.

I have also noticed that people who got promotions very early, easily and that too at a fast rate, have developed an attitude which can be considered as rude. It seems like success has gone into their heads. Progression at an early stage has given them growth but they are still immature. This is another aspect which I would clearly see in an associate before recommending his name for progression. One needs to have that attitude and maturity to handle the senior position. No wonder there is always a certain number of years of experience needed when people at higher positions are required.

There are times when doing the appraisal, I want to tell the person that they need to work on their attitude and the way they communicate which has to be softer and in line with the corporate world, but I cant. As a manager, I have to be soft and never lose my temper. There have been times when I have actually asked the associate to have a glass of water, calm down and then start talking. I understand they are young and have aspirations to grow in the industry, but at the same time they need to develop their technical as well as soft skills. While the improvement areas shall always be there, the degree to which that is needed, is what matters a lot. Also I also feel that the person should be open to feedback and not come with a closed mind, when they enter into a room for discussion. While there are lots of positive points being discussed, one cannot run away from the improvement areas. The problem seeps in when the associate is unable to digest that he can have any improvement areas.

Everytime the discussions happen, I guess I am more worried than the associates. I am the one who is assessing them and putting their cases forward. I play a very importance part in deciding about their career and trust me, its not an easy job to do. Somewhere down the line, I feel like telling the associates that its easy to rave about not getting a promotion, but its not easy to do it when there are reasons strong enough to hold it back..

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