Just got my review from direct manager, among other things he is claminig my lack of urgency and thus giving me a lower score.

After thinking a bit was able to identify the situation where I have might been perceived as not having a sense of urgency. What happened was that I was asked from a different team to give approval to some of the work they did, usually the technical leader of the component is the one to give such approval.

At that point I was somehow playing that role but was never appointed to it, actually another person was appointed while I was left asking what is the official status for that position and was half told that is my decision.

So I treated the request as I did with all requests, they get handled when there is time after I handle higher priority own work. Also that point was asking for that other team representative to give an idea when they would need the approval but was never answered.

Is my manager right to give low score for this reason? I haven't really challanged him why I got low score, he wasn't able to give examples but I guess the one described above should be the one.

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    The first thing to do is make clear it is about that incident, because you seem not be to sure at all. My guess is it is not just about that incident, it would be strange to base a statement (lack of urgency) on one incident. – user8036 Dec 20 '16 at 18:45
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    You need to ask your manager to clarify. "You demonstrate a lack of urgency" is bad feedback. Ask for specific examples, not so you can defend yourself, but so you can understand what needs to change to meet your manager's expectations. – Chris G Dec 20 '16 at 18:52
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    You walked out of that meeting without getting this ambiguity resolved. That demonstrates a lack of urgency. You had the forum to get this clarified then and there yet opted not to. – Myles Dec 20 '16 at 19:08
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    I would not assume it was that one incident. Your manager should not mark you down for lack of urgency if they have no examples. How are you going to improve performance without specifics? – paparazzo Dec 20 '16 at 19:21
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    You're guessing as to what happened, and you want to us to answer based on the reliability of your guessing? Give me a break. Your question sounds like an invitation to speculate, and we could be at it all day without resolving anything. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 20 '16 at 20:46

If you have been assigned a work task it is yours. You don't need a contract change for things like that. Failing to place the correct priority on some task because you didn't perceive it as your work is naive at best. If you are expected to do it, it is your task. If they asked you to do it because the regular person wasn't available, then it was likely urgent. I would not be at all surprised if they complained to your boss and that he mentioned it, and rightly so, in your performance evaluation.

What you should have done when you got the task, was to ask your boss to prioritize it not pretend you didn't have to do it.

Another issue I can see in performance reviews (and this matches up with him not being able to give you details) is that they are only rarely done by one manager. Since bonuses are limited, often they all go to a central group of senior managers who determines the final rating. Since they will often arbitrarily reduce some items to keep everyone in the company from getting an outstanding review, then there may be no specific reason why it is lower except that you didn't make the cut for the number of people they could give the next higher ranking to. Not because your performance was bad, per se, but because the budget could not support giving everyone who deserved it the benefits of the higher rating.

Performance ratings are a competition not an individual thing. It pays to remember that.

This is one reason why it is critical to be political in your organization. This group will reward the people whose work they know of above everyone else. They only way people outside your immediate group know of your work is if you make sure they do.

Often the only time these senior managers have heard of a person is when they were part of an escalated problem or appear on some sort of bad list, like people who didn't fill in their timesheets on time. If this is the only impression they have of you and they know Mary's work from the awards she got for her project and from her work in a cross-functional team. Well then, who do you think they are going to award, Mr. Troublemaker (remember they only know what has come to their attention) or Ms. Project Success?

  • Thanks for the answer, would be strange if company would operate as you suggest because I got a good raise ( at least compared to some other highly rated corworkers ) but got a 2 out of 4 for the service to other coworkers. I am still troubled of why I got the rating and why the direct manager can't justify it with concret examples. – Bogdan Petrica Dec 20 '16 at 20:06
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    @BogdanPetrica Try to get MEASURABLE examples. Otherwise how do you know if you successful in your efforts? – Neo Dec 20 '16 at 20:08
  • Every company I have worked for in the last 40 years operates this way. – HLGEM Dec 20 '16 at 22:01

We can't really answer questions like "is he right" or "is it fair". But given what you said, what he did is, arguably, justified from his perspective - given the environment at your workplace.

It sounds like you have a workplace that lacks formality, documentation, and clarity about processes.

If you're being asked to step in for an absent team lead, and formally approve something, then there needs to be some documentation from someone higher up in the management chain that you are, indeed, the approval authority for some period of time. At the time that documentation is issued, you should have also been given instructions to change your priorities so that the other team's work would be reviewed sooner. That's when you should also push back, if necessary, and say "that will take up 20% of my week - what work do I postpone?"

From what you say, none of those things happened in a clear, unmistakeable fashion.

Furthermore, it seems like the other team never clearly understood that you were THE approval authority, or they would have gotten back to you when you asked about a deadline. Or perhaps they did understand it, but assumed that you knew what their normal deadline schedule was, or that you had access to their project planning tools.

Your manager probably assumed that you knew what it meant when you were "asked to give approval". What he assumed, and what you understood, are apparently different things.

Count the number of times I just wrote the word "assume"...

If this is the way your company is run, then it's up to you to discover these unwritten rules. You need to ask questions of your manager and your peers, and get confirmation whenever you get into a situation that's outside your normal responsibilities.

  • Just to clarify this role I was playing was not supposed to be temporary, someother person was appointed as technical leader while most request that technical leader should handle were routed to me via some non formal way( with exception of a few key topics ). Other then that I think you figured out exactly how the company operates. – Bogdan Petrica Dec 20 '16 at 20:13

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