June 17, 2008

Putting the cart before the horse.

Every year in July our company has it's annual reviews of all the hourly employees. We give them their reviews and then we give them a merit increase based on how good/bad they did. It sounds like a simple task, and it really should be. Except that the upper management in my office could make flicking a light switch into a ten part process that requires paperwork and approvals from three different people.

This year, because they live to micromanage every aspect of the office. Including giving out the reviews and raises. This year their eternal brilliance decided that those of us that have direct reports have to turn in a spreadsheet of all of our employees, their performance level, current salary, raise percentage, the dollar amount of that percentage and the new salary. They want this so they can approve the raises we give, even though corporately we are locked into how big or small of a raise we could give. Sounds easy enough, except there's one thing. This was due today.

We were only able to get the data for their production and quality since the 11th of June for the review period. To make matters worse, the information to do the full review can't be done for another week. That's right, they want us to figure out what kind of salary they do prior to being able to do a complete and total review of the individual.

When I questioned this decision I was told, "You pretty much already know how your people are going to do. Just go with that."

Anyone that knows me knows that I don't just make guesses or snap decisions when it comes to things that are going to have a direct impact on other people. Especially when it comes to the fairness of salary increases. I want data. I want facts. I want to make sure each person is getting what the have earned. That means I HAVE to do a full review prior to figuring out their raise.

Let me give you an example. Overtime. I take the amount of overtime a person works into consideration. We have so many "required" hours a year. Plus there is a lot of voluntary hours. One of the things I touch in on the review is the number of OT hours that my people work. If they aren't doing at least the minimum required then I start docking part of the raise the lesser they work OT. However, I also adding to it if they work a lot of OT and are productive. If they work a lot of OT and aren't productive, then I also start docking.

Last year I was sure that I knew that four of my people's OT figures were. I had two that always worked OT and two that never worked OT... or so I thought. While writing their review I discovered that Employee A, whom I thought wasn't working OT, actually put in twice the minimum required. They just never spoke about it and were very quite. Employee B, whom I thought was putting in a lot of OT actually was doing less then the minimum, they were just very vocal when they did OT and made a show of it. Employee C, whom I knew did a lot of OT was so unproductive on OT that I ended up banning her from working it for three months. Employee D, which never worked OT, actually never worked OT and was always trying to weasel out of it.

Basically out of the four I thought I was sure on, I only got one right. So what I "knew" wasn't exactly correct. You get my point, if I had done the raises prior to the review two people would have received raises more then they earned, and a third would have received one less than what they earned.

Well since they want me to do it their way, I just decided to save myself time and I'm giving all of my people the maximum raise they could have earned based on their production and quality. Hell it's a merit increase, why should their merit have anything to do with it?

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at June 17, 2008 05:26 PM | TrackBack