A few days ago I had my yearly employee's evaluation, during which we have to report what we have accomplished, what good and bad things have happened, and evaluate ourselves on a scale of 0 to 10. At the end of the evaluation, we name a percent or precise number detailing how much we want our raise to be. I have been working like hell for the past 6 months, and I wanted to impress my manager and direct boss who listens to my evaluation. So I was prepared perfectly.

During the evaluation I think I did something bad for my career, and probably bad for another colleague, too. I said good things about myself whilst also saying a few bad things about my co-worker.

I wanted this evaluation to be purely based on my growth and accomplishments. During the evaluation, I panicked a little when I was asked questions I was not prepared for, saying that my colleague did not do what I was willing to do to increase productivity. I focused too much about what he refused to learn, and said that I had to do these things on my own, which is fine by me, but with his help I would have done it 10x faster and raised productivity.

So now I feel kind of bad and I feel that this could somehow impact not only on my own raise but the other person's too, because I mentioned a specific name.

I wanted to know if anyone has had a situation like this before, and what the outcome could be? I asked for the maximum raise amount that I could. My behaviour might indicate that I am more self driven and more of a solo player than others, not a team player, which is a must in this job.

In other words, can anyone who had more experience with performance reviews or evaluation answer what his or her thoughts would be about this?

closed as off-topic by gnat, Jan Doggen, Garrison Neely, jcmeloni, Michael Grubey Aug 15 '14 at 20:07

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  • I've made some grammar tweaks and made the wording reflect what I think you were trying to say. In particular, in a work context, "promoted myself" sounds a bit like you gave yourself a better job, but I think you mean to say you boasted about your abilities. – yochannah Aug 11 '14 at 16:48

It is almost never a good idea to throw someone under a bus. Even when they deserve it and, to be honest, it doesn't sound like your coworked deserved it. At least it also doesn't sound like a very big bus either.

It's not fair to say but no one likes a whiner. In most workplace cultures in the modern world no one wants to hear "But I could have done it better except ~Bob~ screwed up!" Especially when it's not a specific thing you can point to ("Bob dropped trou and started waving his genitals at the clients..." is something you can point to, "Bob was ineffient" isn't so much something concrete.)

This isn't to say you shouldn't discuss your challenges with your supervisor. You absolutely should and if 'Bob' is a jerk who refuses to do any work then you should spend some time discussing this and getting advice for better ways to handle it. The time to do something like that, though, isn't in your yearly evaluations. Your yearly evaluations should be about you and what you did or didn't do. It's ok, and in fact should be good, to be honest and say "I struggled with this" or "This thing happened and I didn't know the best way to handle it". But once you start bringing in other people's names(with the caveat that as management this changes a bit) then you've pulled the focus off of you and onto your relationship with this person OR, even worse, onto this person entirely.

That being said it's water under the bridge at this point. You can't go back and change the past. It may be worthwhile, depending on your relationship with you manager, to ask for a moment and roughly talk about what you've mentioned here. Something like "Hey, I was reflecting on our conversation during my yearly eval and I feel I may have spoken inappropriately. Coworker 'Bob' is an awesome coworker because reasons and I don't want you to have the impression that bad stuff is the only thing I think about. Additionally I've come up with better answer to your question. What do you think?"

There are all lessons we learn the hard way and this, honestly, doesn't sound like a huge deal. But if I were you I'd keep it in mind. The most successful people I know build others up around them, they don't tear them down or throw them under buses. Keep this in mind for the next time you end up with a panic inducing question during an eval so you can breath, take a moment and answer it in a way that will best characterize you.

  • The thing is i did not throw him under the bus, i said this little specific thing that really gave me boost. Altho i did not say anything bad about him, just that he was not willing to do what i was. I guess that complicated. Maybe it sounds and feels worse than it actually is. Thank you for response :) – Cardiner Aug 12 '14 at 7:32
  • @Cardiner - Yes; Yes you did "saying that my colleague did not do what I was willing to do to increase productivity ... but with his help I would have done it 10x faster and raised productivity." thats basically saying you had no help and if you did have somebody else you would have 10x better productivity ( which isn't exactly a good point for you either ). – Donald Aug 12 '14 at 11:55
  • I guess you are right. I feel bad i hope it works out the best. i talked to my manager, and he said it is no biggie, that they don't care about others while one is evaluated. – Cardiner Aug 12 '14 at 12:12
  • To be honest it doesn't sound like all that bad of a situation. That being said, if I were you I would evaluate why, in a stressful situation, your first instinct was to deflect blame. It's a natural, normal human reaction but it's not a great behavior in the business world. What's worked for me is that I began to embrace blame which might be going too far in the other direction but, I've found, companies and superiors like that the buck stops at me and I am willing to own it. – Nahkki Aug 12 '14 at 12:16

Your manager may well already have made up his or her mind about your actions at this point. If they know the other colleague, and they know their temperament, then they will probably be able to tell your behaviour is unreasonable.

Unfortunately, at this stage the damage may be done, but if you want to try to remedy it, consider asking for a meeting with your manager explaining that your brains went out of your head when you were at the review, and you said some unfair things you'd like to retract.

If you think you'd lose your head again in another meeting, writing an email - taking time to think it out and review your actions before sending it - might be a practical approach.

Try not to do this again next time. Slagging someone off to try and make your own contribution bigger is unfair. Try making detailed notes to draw from, rather than talking from memory.

  • It was not intentional and i did not lose my head, i was planing to tell this anyway, but without co worker involved, but the question was kinda complicated so I kinda panicked and gave this weird response from myself. Thank you for response :) – Cardiner Aug 12 '14 at 7:34

Having been on both sides of doing evals, I think you are putting more weight into your discussion than it deserves. While I have never worked anywhere foolish enough to expect me to tell them how much of a raise I want (Duh, what is the highest number in the range?), I can tell you that raises are something that are generally carefully negotiated over a period of time by managers as they have a set budget for raises and allocating them involves much poltical maneuvering.

It is possible that, in your company, your manager was given a bucket of money that he can allocate, in which case, he probably still went into the meeting knowing roughly what he intended to give everyone. Or at least he did if he is all all competent.

If I think you are a 10 employee and deserve the 6% (highest amount of a raise I can give) then likely I won't change my mind due to one flub in the discussion. If I think you are a 4 out of 10 employee and deserve no raise or a very tiny raise, the flub just confirms my opinion.

Where there might be room to change is if you are in the 6-8 range where this might mark you down a notch and allow him to reward someone else a bit more than he had budgeted orginally. Of course this is only if he has someone else he thinks deserves more than he could afford to give them and would depend on exactly how appalled he was by what you said. After all it is not uncommon to have performance discussion where the person says something silly. It is also not uncommon to have these discussion where the person thinks he is doing wildly better than the manager does. So managers tend to give little creedence to the content of these discussions in doing the appraisals. By the time it gets to the discussion, it is usually too late to change his opinion of your performance.

And most managers, being human, are difficult to convince to change once they have decided anyway. After all if I take 1% from you, then who do I give it to? Is it fair to Bob if I give it to Harry when they both get the same rating? I am certainly not telling senior management that my staff isn't worth the amount they had budgeted. All this seems too much trouble and especially if I have already turned in the paperwork to HR (or at least prepared it), so forget about it.

For such a minor thing, I would find it unlikely that his decision will be terribly affected. What could affect you more, I think, would be if he caught you in a bad lie or if you showed a bad attitude throughout the discussion. This is not to say you will get the raise at the level you asked for. From other questions this appears to be one of your first jobs and and many people who are new to the workplace have an unrealistic idea of what consititutes a normal annual raise and what constitutes outstanding performance.

What you may have done however is give him a bad impression that might affect your future. He may be watching you more closely now to see if you are the jerk you came across as being. Throwing people under the bus is generally frowned on except by the really nasty political players. If your boss doesn't generally disparage others to make himself look good, then he is probably not happy to think you are. You want to correct that impression as time goes on so that your next evaluation isn't skewed lower.

First step is to find something praiseworthy about the person you threw under the bus and make sure to bring it up to your boss and preferably in public. Next step is to make sure you are seen to be a team player over the next few months. I would be careful about criticising in the next couple of months. This is a minor issue as workplace mistakes go. It should not take long to prove you really are a team player (assuming you are!) and reverse poor impression.

You may have to pay more attention than you have in the past to how people see you. Your performance is being measured at all times not just during an evaluation. Make sure what you do comes to the attention of your boss throughout the year and he will do a better job of rewarding you than if you tell him a bunch of things he didn't know at your evaluation discussion. Nothing you bring up at the discussion should be a surprise to him. If it is, he is going to be more likely to think you are not telling the truth even if you are.

  • This is a good answer, informative and well constructed from both sides or evaluation. Thank you – Cardiner Aug 12 '14 at 7:35

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