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In the context of performance appraisal I have an option to sign the document electronically to acknowledge that performance has been discussed. I can Agree, Disagree and also have an option to enter a comment.

My plan is to click Agree, since the appraisal is considered to be an accurate reflection of performance from management standpoint due to being vetted by more than two upper managers, even when listing some of the unfavorable characteristics of my performance. I am not sure that Disagree will help me, I do not have a good defense to disagree.

My question is in regards whether to leave comments on the appraisal, and if yes, what exactly do I comment.

The review in question in particular has the following in management comments:

  1. Completes assignments thoroughly, but often behind schedule.
  2. Improvement Opportunity: make more accurate schedules to completion. Establishing and meeting deadlines.

^ This does not go into detail, but aside from a general concept of "being behind schedule", I know that there was a particular project X that took most of the year and was very late due to many various things, and not all entirely due to my contribution, but my partial contribution to it being late was that I made a decision to use new technology to implement the project, rather than reuse old technology. This resulted in extra delays to the project that could have been avoided had I used old technology instead. I did not properly communicate this technology change to other team members, and their expectations were that project should be completed sooner on my part, not later like it turned out to be. This project being so big (& prominent) likely resulted in general manager frustration with deadlines, and likely is a big contribution towards the above comments on my performance review. I could be also wrong however, in a sense that review may be targeting "everything" and not this one specific project, or maybe that is a way to direct my attention in general towards deadlines, and schedules. I'm not sure.

My question here is:

Since that project X was NOT mentioned by name in the review despite likely being a major reason for this review comment, do I need to explain myself for the purpose of the review like I am explaining myself here now? Or do I instead just sign with Agree, leave no comment, and "move on with my life"?

If I do need to elaborate, what do I say, and if I do say anything at all will I only be hurting myself in the process by bringing attention to project X or to me knowing where I was behind schedule. In legal-speak, if I comment the way I envision commenting now, it will fall into the category of "Guilty with Explanation", where my Explanation may be used as cause to "incriminate me". This is why I am questioning if I should comment at all.

P.S. My performance Review also states that I need to be available during core hours and that I often fail to be at my desk during the entirely of core hours as it hinders teamwork. I am not sure at all how to comment on that either, or if I should comment at all. Thus I have basically the same question on the "core hours" as I do on the "scheduling and deadlines". Please let me know if that warrants me to ask a separate question for that.

  • What is your location? – SemiGeek Dec 4 '19 at 18:06
  • Michigan, United States – Chris Dec 4 '19 at 18:07
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    I need to be available during core hours are you? I don't mean to pick at something that may be really obvious, but you seem concerned about the paperwork aspect of the review. While that can be very important, I hope you're not losing sight of the actual message contained in the feedback. – dwizum Dec 4 '19 at 18:34
  • Why not take this chance, and ask the performance review, to be updated to indicate more specifics? Of course it sounds like you don't dispute you need to do a better job of staying on the schedule you set and communicating that schedule to your supervisor. – Donald Dec 4 '19 at 18:34
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    @dwizum, it is an area of opportunity for improvement for me. And thanks. Yes I am concerned with how I look on paperwork, but thanks for pointing out the actual message contained in there as well. || After reading answers and reflecting, I think I will not comment specifically on this project, since I cannot defend my lack of clear and effective communication to the team about me choosing a longer-term schedule. Basically I would be agreeing with the review, and I can do so without any additional comment.... Same goes for core hours. – Chris Dec 4 '19 at 19:55
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I did not properly communicate this technology change to other team members, and their expectations were that project should be completed sooner on my part, not later like it turned out to be.

It sounds like there's a legitimate issue here, so it's not clear what there is to disagree with or comment on. Speaking with your manager and assuring him/her that you've learned from this would be a better option. This is also a fairly typical mistake. Large projects are complicated and I wouldn't worry about it too much.

My performance Review also states that I need to be available during core hours and that I often fail to be at my desk during the entirely of core hours as it hinders teamwork.

It's not clear from the question whether or not your guilty of this or if it's a common practice at your company, but this is possibly something you should be concerned about. I would probably talk to my manager rather than commenting on the review, however.

I will add that it's a bit hard to answer this question without knowing the process or expectation within your company, so perhaps you should ask someone how to best address any concerns you have.

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Agree and move on.

That's not an overly negative performance review (completing tasks thoroughly is a good thing!) and you acknowledge it's at least broadly accurate in regards to this particular project. Accept it and learn from the experience. The more you try to comment on it, the more you're likely to seem like you're shirking responsibility, and that gives more of a negative opinion than a positive one.

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If you have opportunity and appropriate rapport, I’d suggest talking with the reviewer first rather than just assuming. But it sounds likely that the major example to which you speak is front and center in the review.

Done right, it might help you a bit to respond along the lines of what you’re asking.

  1. It demonstrates that you are giving thought to the issues and have identified paths to improve upon those issues. I’ve heard many comments through the years from managers finding it positive that employees are actually engaging in the process.
  2. You might also lightly defend what happened, BUT I caution against making that your focus. Don’t let alluding to a good long-term decision overshadow that the key point is you now recognize that more and sooner communication of the value and risks of the path would have helped.
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  • thanks. every time I ask my reviewer I get an answer along the lines of "yeah, you can comment". For example, if I say "can I comment this?", or "should I mention that"? I get a "yeah you can comment". The way it is said and from context clues I gather that my reviewer doesn't care whether I comment, and how and does not wish to offer directive guidance to me in that respect. I am back to square one – Chris Dec 11 '19 at 15:10
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often behind schedule

Is the word 'often' fair? If it was only one project, and you were on schedule for the others, you'd be right to disagree.

Estimation is hard. You could comment on what you've learned from that project, or just learn from it and move on.

often fail to be at my desk during the entirely of core hours

This is more of a problem, as it requires a change of behaviour. You don't explain why you were away or if you've got any choice in the matter. If your responsibilities require you to be off-site visiting clients, or in long meetings, you can't change.

  • Agree if it's a fair complaint, and you can easily address it.
  • Comment if you can't help being away from your desk.
  • Disagree if you spend as much time as everyone else at your desk.
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Press agree and prepare your exit plan

You got some useful feedback, now wipe the slate clean and restart with a fresh reputation at a new company.

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