I have been working with this company for the last 3+ years. I never got a raise or promotion, whereas everyone in my group (5+ people) regularly got promotions and raises.

When I found out about this, I sent an email to HR, and here is their reply:

For the last 2 years your appraisal rating category was F. Even though the client has given a good rating, we need to undergo a normalization process to arrive at the final rating category.

What can I do to address this?

UPDATE: So i got a call from director yesterday, 31st was last day to submit the appraisal and i was the only one who did not submit it. We spoke for 15 min. He acknowledged the issue with ranking system and promised to resolve this issue with in a week. so it worked! Thanks all.

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    search the internet for "stack ranking" to learn how this "normalization process" hurts companies and their employees. Whether you think it's BS or not, though, you have very few options other than raising your visibility within your own firm - the client loves you, but apparently nobody in your own firm knows about you. Mar 28 '14 at 18:42
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    Hi otti, welcome to The Workplace. Would you mind clarifying, what you want to achieve? You clearly stated your situation, but your post is missing a clearly cut question. "What are my options?" can likely lead to all sorts of answers that might not help you the least bit. Please do clarify. The help center may serve to guide you in improving this post.
    – CMW
    Mar 28 '14 at 18:46
  • Thanks, i read about stack ranking, actually the manager i report to is giving me highest possible rating. I spoke to him this morning, according to him i am top performer.
    – otti
    Mar 28 '14 at 18:56
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    Why did you not have a meeting with your manager and HR About this after the first time to get better feedback on why? Mar 28 '14 at 19:50
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    Convene a meeting with HR and your manager to find out why there is a massive discrepancy between your manager's appraisal of your performance, and HR's determinations. And then start working on your resume, because no one should have to work in a company like this.
    – alroc
    Mar 28 '14 at 20:03

Most companies rank people and change the ratings the initial manager gives them because they have only so much money to go around. If your rating did not survive the ranking process, then you have to work to have more visibility in the organization and your boss needs to have a reason to go to the mat for you when the senior management team discusses this.

There is nothing in any organization where you more clearly need to play the office politics game than in the performance ratings process. Sure you can opt out of it as you said you did because you didn't like the process. That makes it easy to rate you low and not give you a raise, so it is a stupid move, but hey your own opinion is more important than management's in getting raises any isn't it?

Your immediate boss either

  • thinks the other guys who did get raises did better than you (He likely had to put all of you in the order he would give raises),
  • he has no political clout in the company (which is why your rating didn't survive),
  • or you personally managed to piss off someone senior to him.

In the first case, you need to talk to the boss about what you can do to improve your rating for next year. You will likely need to make some changes to go from the no raise to the raise category.

In the second case, you will need to move to a different organization in the company with a more politically astute boss or you will need to raise your image among senior managers so that they like you and don't downrate you. Try to get involved in cross functional tasks as a good way to meet and impress higher-ups.

In the third case, you will need to improve your image to whoever is blocking you. Depending on how much you annoyed those people, it may or may not be possible in this company. Based on the fact that this happened over more than one year. it is likely that you have destroyed your reputation with senior management if this is the cause.

In any event, you will never do well as far as raises and promotions until you learn to play office politics. And you need to learn to control that anger and not refuse to participate because you are angry. Letting people know you are angry at work is rarely a winning strategy unless you already have a lot of political power either from your own efforts or positionally. (CEOs have much more latitude to get angry than junior developers for instance.)

  • Thanks HLGEM, it's all about money. I think it's time for me to take off because i am working at client's location and cannot take part in any politics.
    – otti
    Mar 29 '14 at 23:40

This smells of rack & stack to me. As was previously mentioned in a few comments, your options are a bit limited in my opinion.

However, I would mention that these are the types of things you should have also raised or mentioned during your performance review (if you have one). At that time of performance review, you could have asked what you needed to improve upon to reach these goals.

If you wish to stay with this company/organization it may be best to have a one-on-one with your direct manager and inquire what they expect of you from your current level in the company, what you need to do to get to the next level and what you can do to better your chances of a raise next review.

  • I refused to take part in performance review this year.
    – otti
    Mar 28 '14 at 18:57
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    @otti so you are asking, "if I don't participate in my companies performance review, can they give me whatever rating they want?"
    – enderland
    Mar 28 '14 at 19:13
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    @otti - I was on your side until I read these comments. While I understand your frustration withdrawing from the process is not going to make your situation better. Mar 28 '14 at 19:50
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    @otti if you want to withdraw from your company's policies and practices, you do so by getting a new job and resigning, not by "refusing to take part". You are giving an extremely clear picture right now of why you have not been given raises or promotions. Mar 29 '14 at 0:09
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    @Andy, no one got fired, things got resolved. You and other commenters are scaring people off. I don't know which shi*ty company you worked with and got this notion that solution to every employee related issue is either ignore them or fire them. There are good companies too, where managers listen and try hard to resolve employees problem. (how you got 1k REP?)
    – otti
    Apr 7 '14 at 5:07

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