Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Interim Review

I had my interim review with my HEO last week. I had to sit with him in a room for quite some time to discuss my progress. So far I'm coping OK with having to do some work during the past few weeks, and I'm squaring up nicely for the challenges ahead. Some problems were highlighted, like my complete laxity in relation to the management of my own staff. Seemingly I'm not shouting at them enough, or kicking them up the arse sufficiently well to motivate them.

This was my first interim review as an EO, as I have only been doing this for a year. However, I decided at the annual review stage six months ago that I hated these things. The reason being - I have more private sector experience than I do public sector experience. The only time you would sit in a room with your boss would be if they were tearing strips off you - and even though this hasn't happened to me as a civil servant, I still cower when I have to go through these things. And I breathed a sigh of relief when it was all over, relief that my dignity remained undented, that my skin was still intact, and that I did not at any time feel an urge to stab my HEO in the eye with a letter opener.

Another reason why I hate them is, as a manager myself, I have to review my staff's performance. They're all there a lot longer than I have been. What I need is a team of fresh-faced 18 year old clerical officers that I can intimidate and terrify by screaming at them and waving my hands about in a menacing fashion. That approach won't wash with the ones I've got now, they're far too experienced at these things. Feck.

The interim and annual reviews are a form of structured performance appraisal, and one of the fun things you can do is give your boss some "upward feedback" about how you feel you are being managed. So you can tell your boss that they suck and they have to listen.

It will be interesting to see what my lot have to say to me at their own reviews in the coming days.

MEMO TO SELF: Bring a big plank with six inch rusty nails sticking out of it to work this week.

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