can I refuse to do a self-assessment? — Ask a Supervisor

A reader writes:

I work at a college the place the employees is kind of divided into Skilled or Technical/Clerical. I’m a long-time technical/clerical employee, which implies I’m within the union. I’ve no actual emotions about my union a method or one other — I see each the great and the unhealthy. One of many issues about being a union member is that I by no means get bonuses; we get yearly raises below the phrases of the contract. It additionally implies that I’ve no method to keep within the union and be promoted. I’m each on the high of my pay scale/step AND the best grade I’ve can have (the roles are graded A-E, A being essentially the most entry stage, E being not relevant in my occasion)

Yearly or so, the college will get in an uproar about self-assessments and each time it comes up, I refuse. Nobody claims that it’s obligatory, however HR sends out pseudo-perky THIS IS FOR YOUR BENEFIT emails, however nobody will say what precisely is being carried out with the data as soon as the shape is submitted. Skilled employees are additionally anticipated to fill them out, which I perceive. They’ve bonuses and yearly raises and the self-assessment makes a distinction for them, since they’ve measurable targets/expectations and sitting down with their supervisor will play a job of their bonus.

Since there is no such thing as a profit in any respect for me, personally (and truthfully, no profit for any union member), am I improper to refuse? I’ve been in my place for a really very very long time, I’m good at my job, I’m thought-about (or so folks have informed me) extraordinarily educated and useful properly above and past my grade. I make a beneficiant wage. Frankly, I discover it barely insulting to be requested to fill it out, not solely due to the above talked about no profit in anyway to me in my place, however the implication being I’m not self-aware sufficient to know what my weaknesses are and that I wouldn’t take my very own steps to work on these weaknesses.

I’m semi-sure I’m overreacting, however I suppose I simply wanted a actuality test. What’s the level of self evaluation in my state of affairs? Are you aware?

In concept the purpose of self-assessments is that it’s helpful to put aside time to mirror in your work, what’s going properly, what may very well be going higher, and work targets for the approaching yr, and it’s helpful for managers and staff to ensure they’re each on the identical web page about these issues. If I’m your supervisor and I’ve issues about your work in space X and your self-assessment is glowing about X, then clearly we’ve got a disconnect and it’s helpful for us each to know that so we will attempt to determine why we see issues so otherwise. (That’s not code for “in order that your supervisor can let you know that you just’re improper.” It’s doable that you’ve got data your supervisor doesn’t, and that sharing that data will change her perspective. That’s truly actually frequent.)

That stuff is effective even when it’s not tied to raises, bonuses, or promotions. It’s about your work and the way you do it, and even when you know that you just repeatedly mirror on these issues by yourself, a part of the worth right here is doing it together together with your supervisor.

That’s in concept. In actuality, plenty of self-assessments, and assessment processes generally, are badly carried out and of restricted worth. Typically that’s as a result of they concentrate on the improper issues. They need to concentrate on what you’ve achieved, the way you achieved it (as a result of assembly objective X isn’t so nice when you did it by, for instance, alienating all of your coworkers), what you’re striving to attain subsequent, any locations the place you and/or your supervisor wish to see you enhance/develop, and what help you want out of your supervisor alongside the best way. Too usually, although, they concentrate on targets that don’t mirror what your focus actually wanted to be through the time in query or targets nobody ever even knowledgeable you of, or they aren’t given any actual weight and are only a box-checking bureaucratic train, or are largely fluff, and/or are by no means mentioned together with your supervisor and thus seem to enter a void.

If a few of that’s the case with yours, I can see why you don’t see any worth in doing them. And hey, when you can flat-out refuse to do it with none penalties, I’m not going to let you know that it’s essential. (It’s additionally actually intriguing that you just’ve simply not been doing them and nobody has stated something.)

However in your sneakers, I’d wish to make certain there actually aren’t any penalties. Sure, you haven’t been fired or disciplined for not doing it — however is it making you look adversarial or troublesome to work with? Is it making your boss conclude you’re not somebody to contemplate for higher-level obligations or promotions, and in that case do you care about that? Is it contributing to an general impression that you just’re type of a ache within the ass (and thus making it extra doubtless you would be the one who will get minimize if somebody must be minimize sometime)?

You may know for positive none of that’s occurring. You may be broadly hailed because the division rock star for all I do know, by which case extra energy to you! Otherwise you merely won’t care about that stuff; not everybody does.

However this can be a fairly minor hill to take a stand on if there are any penalties.

Since most of your objection to doing a self-assessment appears to be “what’s the purpose?” … why not ask your boss that? Inform her you’re not clear on how they’re used or how one can make them of worth, and see what she says. For those who’re not happy along with her reply, so be it. However because you’re taking type of a stand right here, it’s value at the least having that dialogue and listening to the reply.

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