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I'm looking for advice in the following situation:

Due to recent restructuring in the company I work for, I now report to a manager who is more than 2 levels above me and who is not interested in the details of what I do as long as the operations run smoothly (and they do). Also, the second person doing the same job as me quit last year and I have been handling the work of two people for the last 9 months. I believe I am doing a great job - I had to learn the business intricates of the other person's job and handle that end as well as my own and everything works smoothly, even though I have to work 10 to 12 hours a day.

My boss wrote a mediocre review as part of the HR process which I now need to officially acknowledge. I don't particularly agree with his evaluation of my performance which I believe is unfair and was written without understanding the circumstances, but I also don't want to come across as a person who argues with the boss about little details and cannot take criticism.

Is there any benefit in writing an acknowledgement comment stating that I disagree or should I just acknowledge the review and let it slide?

A few clarifications:

  • This manager is relatively new to this company.
  • The manager wrote this review after I have submitted self-evaluation for the past year, outlining all details of my achievements I found relevant.
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    Is there anything actionable in there that you could improve? Working 10-12 hours a day sounds like a crass HR violation to start with... was that mentioned in the review?
    – nvoigt
    Feb 16 at 15:49
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    Did you have a performance review meeting with this manager as part of the process? And if so, did you raise these points? Feb 16 at 15:50
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    @LaconicDroid, the review was written by the manager but not shared with me before the phone conversation where he apologized for not writing an excellent review (that affected my bonus also).
    – EᑎOT
    Feb 16 at 16:57
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    @DarkCygnus, HR requires me to submit an acknowledgement that I read the review and agree with it. This is all done online. The acknowlegement has room for comments to be submitted.
    – EᑎOT
    Feb 16 at 16:58
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    "...he apologized for not writing an excellent review..." Did he say why? I don't understand why he would write a review he feels he has to apologize for unless he is not allowed to give out too many Excellent or Exceeds Expectations on reviews. Is that what happened?
    – BSMP
    Feb 16 at 18:58

4 Answers 4

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Is there any benefit in writing an acknowledgement comment stating that I disagree or should I just acknowledge the review and let it slide?

If you acknowledge the review you are accepting it as it is, and stating that it is true. However, you do not think that the review is fair or justified, and stating the contrary would hardly be on your benefit.

If what is stated there is just not true, or does not consider your increased responsibilities and you working overtime, then politely stating that in this "acknowledgment" seems logical.

My boss wrote a mediocre review as part of the HR process which I now need to officially acknowledge

If there is an "acknowledgment" step or process after each review, then it precisely for situations like this that it exists. It gives a chance to amend or re-review the review (lol). It gives you the chance to politely have a say if you happen to disagree with something, or to just say "all ok" if you agree to let it pass.

I don't particularly agree with his evaluation of my performance which I believe is unfair and was written without understanding the circumstances

If it's true that your boss is not aware of this whole situation (restructuring, your coworker leaving, you taking all of those tasks, you working 10-12h a day), then that would be an issue on its own and one that I suggest you also address politely and professionally (maybe a meeting with boss).

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    Acknowledgment is not agreement. Feb 16 at 16:50
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    @GregoryCurrie I am aware that "acknowledge" does not imply that you agree with what you are acknowledging (as in just "I see your review", not "I agree with what your review says")... however, we may be assuming that the word means the same as this process: see what OP wrote in comments just now: "HR requires me to submit an acknowledgement that I read the review and agree with it."
    – DarkCygnus
    Feb 16 at 17:05
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    +1 Good answer. Dont be silent when you dont agree on something as important as evaluations. Dont let disagreement fester
    – Anthony
    Feb 16 at 17:35
  • @DarkCygnus Wouldn't expressing disagreement in this case be contrued as a general tendency to be "difficult"? The bonuses have already been distributed and it's a done deal from that perspective. What's the actual benefit of commenting on the negative or mediocre review in this case?
    – EᑎOT
    Feb 16 at 23:20
  • @EᑎOT Look at this from a different angle. New boss. Restructuring. Unexpected poor review. New boss doesn't understand what you do. People are discontent and leaving, and they are not replaced. Perhaps the company is preparing to terminate you and this poor review is part of that. Therefore there is a benefit in you documenting what you can and raising your points respectfully. Feb 18 at 23:38
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You could always write something bland an non-commital, such as "I have seen the review". That acknowledges that you have seen it, without saying anything about whether you agree or disagree with it.

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When I worked at a large company, you signed and acknowledged that you read the evaluation and then there was plenty of space on the form where you could write down your opinion. Like “I don’t agree with this evaluation because…”. And that’s how it should be.

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Is there any benefit in writing an acknowledgement comment stating that I disagree or should I just acknowledge the review and let it slide?

Just acknowledge and move on. If there are any areas where you can improve ( based on the review ), I would work on those. If the written review is lacking any specific information and your new boss did not specifically discuss your shortcomings, you can try to schedule a meeting with the boss to see how you can improve.

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    This strongly depends on the future use of the review. If in all likeness it will just be put in OPs personal file and never looked at again, then this is reasonable. If these reviews are used to decide who gets a raise and who doesn't, having a review that puts OP in an unfair negative light is a huge deal.
    – quarague
    Feb 16 at 17:53
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    @quarague OP's manager has already apologized for the review which OP stated will affect his bonus. This implies that the manager is not going to be changing the review regardless of what comments OP adds to the acknowledgement.
    – sf02
    Feb 16 at 18:14

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