I worked in project A for about a year with a Manager X before I moved to my current project B with a Manager Y. I work in a physically different geography, in fact different country and don't see both the managers face to face.

When I moved out of the previous project A, I clearly stated to the manager X that I want to discuss about my performance appraisal as I am moving to another project (and under a different manager). X agreed, we had a discussion and he said he will rate me "N" in the scale. The conversation ended that he will note this N into the company's Performance Appraisal Tool when he moves me to a different project so the new manager can rate me accordingly.

After couple of months, when the actual performance appraisal rating was out, I got "N-1" rating, and I was taken aback and shocked. I approached the new manager and requested that I would like to discuss as this was a very short time for him to evaluate me and the new goals need to be on the tool. He instead of discussing directed me to talk to the previous manager.

I tried to talk to my previous manager by email, phone and chat, he never acknowledged back and looks cold to my communication. My HR is pressing me that this needs to be accepted within a week. I am seriously stuck with this approach of my manager and Unfortunately in our company there is no 360 feedback. Please advise, should I escalate to his manager or HR or just blindly accept this rating considering that this can turn worse.

  • We don't know you, your work, your management or your company policies and practices. How could we answer this better than you can? I'd suggest talking to your current manager and asking for help understanding what happened.
    – keshlam
    Dec 30, 2014 at 5:21
  • Dont accept change.any ways this will cling to you till you work there your capability and enthusiasm stand compromised.
    – amar
    Dec 30, 2014 at 7:03
  • 1
    see also: Performance review with a manager who doesn't know me?
    – gnat
    Dec 30, 2014 at 10:00
  • @gnat How is this a duplicate? The supposed duplicate talks about the fact that the new manager does not want to follow the old ones performance marks. This one is about the old not following his own words.
    – nvoigt
    Dec 30, 2014 at 15:17
  • @nvoigt I believe the key aspect here is move to another project and another manager. As for the issues like one with old manager, these are also covered in prior questions here, see eg How should I confront my boss for not being open with me about my performance and development? and linked to it
    – gnat
    Dec 30, 2014 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


should I escalate to his manager or HR or just blindly accept this rating considering that this can turn worse.

For obvious reasons you should not just accept this. Fortunatly, you don't need to escalate it on your own, HR already did this for you:

My HR is pressing me that this needs to be accepted within a week.

Just tell HR the truth: your former manager communicated to you that your performance was N. Seeing N-1 in the systems, you can only assume it was a typo and you cannot accept that. You tried to contact your former manager, but he did not respond. Make sure you attach the communication with your former manager that is on file, at least the email.

Let HR find out why your former manager is suddenly unavailable.


The old supervisor's reaction tells me that the rating was not a typo or mistake. If it was he would not be avoiding you.

Now as to how that can happen, let's talk a bit about performance ratings and how they are determined. First line supervisors are virtually NEVER the only ones with input into this or even the ones making the final determination. He may be avoiding you because someone above him changed the rating and he is not allowed to tell you that. He may not agree with what happened and he knows that he would not be able to keep that from you so he avoids you. This is one of the most likely scenarios.

Further, since you don't work for him and he wants to reward the people who do, that may have contributed. If you have 10 people working for you and 7 of them are outstanding, almost no company will allow you to give out 7 outstanding ratings. So which ones are you going to lower? Are you going to reward the people who you need to keep happy because they still work for you? Or the other person who is now working for someone else. It is not in his best interests to reward you if he can't also reward the people stuill working for him.

Remember no matter how much a company claims to be a meritocracy or have "Objective" performance reviews, they are always subjective and no company can afford to reward all the people who deserve high appraisals.

Your focus should not be on correcting the error but on how to dispute an evaluation you do not agree with. Now only you can determine if this is in your best interests. If the appraisal should have been an outstanding and was changed to a highly satisfactory, it is probably best to let it lie and work on imporessing your new boss. You might also want to take some time to learn about how to increase your organizational visibility (so the high level people won't make yours the one they reduce for budget reasons).

If the change is from staisfactory to unsatisfactory, it is probably worth it to dispute. Talk to HR about how to dispute if you don't agree with the rating. They will try to convince you that you have to sign it and agree to it, but you do not. Not signing will not change the rating though. Know that disputing is risky especially when you have a new boss who will then consider you a troublemaker, but a less than satisfactory rating already puts you in that at risk category.

The hard one is if you are reduced from a highly satisfactory to a satisfactory rating. Only you can decide if you want to dispute that, if you are better off working to get a better rating from your new boss or if it is time to leave.

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