Discussing team members performance semi-publicly

My boss has these big round tables where she asks us in her team to openly rate (in front of everyone in her team) each of those in our teams. How common is this? It feels like there are loads of potential issues doing this.

I’ve never been a part anything like this. Sounds like a shitty way to manage. You can openly tell her that, from me. Lot of good it will do, though.

There could be a lot of issues.

Or, you can all clam up. Consider it a team-building exercise.

I mean, does your company have those annual “How are we doing?” surveys asking you to comment on, well, how your company is doing? Those, if answered truthfully (meaning having any answers worse than “average”), usually lead to extended conferences with HR. Which most people (except HR) should find counter-productive.

Failing that, you can ask her, openly if you dare, what the goal of these roundtable discussions is.

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My newest boss (who I’ve only spoken to twice since I started a month ago) told me yesterday that he has prepared a ranking (1-10) chart that compares everbody’s skills across the team - the plan is to discuss it with the whole team, with the endgame being that we try to achieve 10’s across the board.

Non-insurance companies are weird and fascinating.

That sounds a bit better than what op is experiencing because you have an end goal that’s positive. Ops situation sounds like everyone for themselves and there are going to be some losers and disgruntled coworkers.

My opinion is that this is bullshit, I come here to work and this isn’t work. But there’s a reason I don’t work at head office anymore.

This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen and a good way to marginalize the contributions of introverted or non-confrontational type people.

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+1 on the scenario (as presented) is going to backfire.

While using such a session to present positives about your co-workers, there are people who really don’t like public praise. The only context where I can see any sort of benefit from a “group-share” is for team building; not evaluations.

In a similar vein, I hate it when our leadership comes to the rank and file and asks group questions about “why are our survey results down from last time?” and expect us to know any sort of answers right off the top of our head. The OP smacks of this type of exercise.

Ok so it sucks but am I able to do anything?

:laughing: I had one of these at my prior company and I was a week or so from when I was going to be giving my notice… sitting there in a room with the actuarial department like :tfh:

Perhaps chat with your boss privately about it? Seems reasonable to argue that you find the format difficult to give and receive critical feedback, although may depend on how aloof your boss is.

If the point is to criticize others in the meeting, criticize your boss for having such a shitty management idea.

In seriousness, I hope you talk to some people you trust in the org that can give you guidance. Eventually, someone with power probably needs to tell them to knock it off because if they honestly think it’s a good idea to do this, they probably won’t listen to their direct reports trying not tell that it’s not.

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Agree that my situation has more positive connotations than the OP. Just waiting for my male counterpart to be rated +10 K percent higher than me in every category.

This is definitely one of those things you participate in but keep your head down on. LIke HR exit interviews - I could barely tear myself away from this place because you’re all such wonderful people.

My prior company did something like this. Primary goal was to level set ratings on similar employees on different teams. For example, if we had 5 actuarial analysts on 5 different teams, and Sally has low expectations for her team but Jane has unrealistically high expectations but everyone knows Jane’s analyst is much stronger than Sally’s analyst.

There were some constraints. We’d start at the lowest level and work our way higher, and you would leave the room when it got to your level so you weren’t hearing discussion on your peers.
And not everyone was discussed. Only those in the highest and lowest buckets, or if someone had experience with one of the analysts that was not in line with their experience.

Had a lot of potential for things to go wrong, but in practice it resulted in affirming that the highest-rated employees were appropriately rated (which would stop senior mgmt from arbitrarily pushing for lower average ratings) and positive anecdotes on some of the lower rated employees (which would highlight roles they would be more likely to thrive in).

So overall a positive experience. And even with that, I would never choose to implement it myself. Too much potential for things to go awry, word to spread outside the room about sensitive issues, biasing future managers against certain employees, etc, etc.

If your whole team works closely AND you have good insight on all the players on the team (and your peers have similar insight into yours) AND the total group involved in your manager’s discussion is 4-6 people, then I could see some benefit there depending on the level of detail you’re being asked to present (which includes how refined your rating scale is). And probably a few other department-specific caveats as well. But there exists a scenario where this is not an awful idea.

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Rating people or rating work product? When I was tech writing that is similar to what we did it. Put your work product out in front of the team and they tore it to shreds (with kind words), then you rewrite. It made for great product but it wasn’t a process for the thin skinned.

  • Has your boss stated her goals? What is she looking to get out of these meetings?
  • How well can you read the team? Is there some tension/dynamic between certain members that is causing problems.

I used to work with a team where in our regular team meetings they would leave time to give feedback to other team members. It wasn’t explicitly stated, but the feedback was always posistive (at least when I was there). It was interesting. Some days there were only a couple of comments, but most days everyone said something. Most of the time I just felt pressured to say something because everyone else was. So it was usually along the lines of thanking someone I talk to every day for doign their job… Wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but sometimes a little uncomfortable.

What the OP is talking about doesn’t sound like fun at all. Unless you aren’t part of the team and just get to watch the mud slinging :slight_smile:

I’ve had jobs where the analysts would gather and openly talk about the managers (in an extremely brutal manner). This is part of the employee opinion survey process. I was never brave enough to shit talk managers in front of other employees, even though it’s supposed to be anonymous (to the managers that is).

wait, so if you hate one of your team members, this is the time to unleash on them with that specific person and THE ENTIRE team sitting right there? that sounds like a disastrous method.

my former employer had “managers”. the managers would meet and discuss all the employees, but they went from the bottom up and as it got to a managers level, they would leave the room for the future discussions. everyone would give written feedback on their team members though, which the person themselves would choose who to get feedback from. that the person saw, so it was somewhat open there.

i cannot imagine discussing this with the person sitting right there. it’s a format where the most confrontational will be honest, but most people will back down and be far less than honest in order to keep the peace.

with my current employer, non-managers don’t give written feedback. they will sort of ask us during our own performance review for feedback on others. it’s less structured. i like it better than having to write something on any coworker who asks.

ratemycoworker.com 4 stars to AO fan for participation. -1 star for indecisiveness over office furniture.

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Added. My freakin lord. That’s an actual domain.

So to clarify, this is not in front of the people it’s about. My boss has a team of several people, it’s in front of just them. The people it’s about are the people that report into this team. Sounds like this is not that common but there are some instances, probably in companies that are more willing to experiment like consulting? Also sounds like most people here think it’s a bad idea. Thanks for the validation😄.

I would mention this directly to my boss if I thought there was a chance she would listen to me, but on this item I am doubtful she would.