Team Member Never Wins

Morgan was hanging with me. He had never considered the conversation-as-relationship in the dynamics between the team member and the manager. We had been working on his performance review process.

“Morgan, it’s not the form from the office supply store. It is the conversation. In fact, think about the form. The form actually works against the conversation. It summarizes the complexities of human behavior into numbers.”

Morgan mounted a defense. “That’s why we have the person rate themselves first and then the manager. That way, if they disagree, the two have something to talk about.”

“Morgan, it is a game of tit for tat. A game. What happens when the manager wins the game?”

“Well, the lower the score, the easier it is to justify a lower adjustment to compensation.”

“And if the team member wins the game?”

Morgan stoppped. At first he wasn’t sure. Finally, he replied, “The team member never wins the game. It’s not how it’s played.”

So, in the long run, what impact does this process have on performance. Is there a better conversation that should be happening between the team member and the manager?

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