The information posted on PayrollTalk is for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for obtaining accounting, payroll, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.

Is this fair?

edited August 2010 in Human Resources
I don't have access to the Let off some steam forum at work but I would like some HR feedback regarding this scenario:

Is it fair to be poorly evaluated on extra activities that you are doing that are above and beyond your job description? For example, I was hired as AP and Payroll. Even with these two responsibilities I am often bored. I brought this to my supervisor's attention several times and he has been trying to find "extra" things for me to do. He recently gave me a huge task working with the Supply Chain department. I could do the work but I was facing a lot of road blocks. They didn't have time to train me, never set aside time to go over the project with me or anything. Everything they needed done was urgent and I don't know anything about Supply Chain or how to use the tools in our software.

I brought this to my supervisor's attention and he called in the director of Supply Chain. He said he put me on this project as an extra source of support, not to be someone that is relied upon every day for urgent matters. He said that I didn't have the training and that I could only do things like data entry or other rather simple tasks. He said the goal was not to make me a Supply Chain expert. He also asked the Supply Chain director not to ask me for anything that was urgent anymore. He said that I would not be allowed to stop processing payroll or running AP checks, for example, in order to do something for Supply Chain.

Ever since that day I have not heard from the Supply Chain. Obviously everything they needed done was urgent because they haven't asked me for help since my supervisor met with the director of Supply Chain.

During my annual evalution (which they only had 60 days to evaluate me because two of my supervisors are new hires) they gave me a 2 out of 5 for motivation and initiative. When I asked why I got that score they said it was because of the my lack of motivation to assist the Supply Chain. They said that it didn't seem like a "good fit" for me and that maybe that project was not suited for me.

Whether professional or not, I disagreed with their 2 rating. I told them that if I wasn't motivated or one to take initiative then I would have just sat at my desk and been bored- not offering to do extra activities to help out.

They stuck with the 2 and I got a 1.5% merit this year. They agreed that I was at a disadvantage because they were both new but that a few things really stuck out in 60 days and they had to review that.

Is it fair to be evaluated on activities that are not your job? They gave me good ratings for the jobs I was hired for. I feel like I have been dealt a double-edged sword.

BTW, I haven't volunteered any time lately. But, I have signed up for AP certification that they agreed to pay for. I'll show them motivation... I am so motivated now that I think I'll go for my masters!


  • How many supervisors do you have? Was one of them the one that got you into the mess? Sounds more like the organization has a problem if it is going to dump on people like that. And only 60 days to evaluate someone for a year - the evaluation process is flawed - evaluation should be on-going and there should be no surprises - but then most organizations don't do it very well anyway. Sounds more like they had 1.5% to give you and the evaluation was "justification" for the amount.

    Reminds me of something that happened at a church I belonged to at one time. (We moved into the area - joined the church - we no longer live in the area).

    Back in the days when I still relied on telecoils in hearing aids to hear in auditorium situations, I asked to use a wireless receiver during one of the services - it was the same system we had used in my previous church where I have been worship and music elder - so I was very familiar with that part of the system. The problem was, the "technicians" operating the sound board that night, did not know how to feed to the wireless receivers - and I was not familiar with the sound board.

    So, for that night - for anyone who wanted to use it, the assistive listening system was useless. So, a couple of weeks later, when they announced training on the sound board, I signed up - just so I could know how to get the assistive part of the system to work.

    Next thing I know, I'm on the schedule for running the board for services. Not a good idea to have someone who is profoundly hard of hearing and cannot hear certain frequencies running the board - I agreed on the condition that someone else actually deal with the sound aspects - I could help with the physical set up of the microphones and control when certain mikes were on. I did take on some responsibility for our "concert" series - and as part of that, could help the musicians get the board to work to their satisfaction, but that did not require much more than the set up and tear down since the artists tuned the board to their sound requirements.

    Anyway, I tried to get off the schedule for nearly two years - and suddenly - with some change in church leadership and a couple of times on the board solo - I got a letter -- They "really appreciated that I was volunteering, but felt that it was not a good fit and it might be better if I looked for a more appropriate calling."

    I had a good laugh and called to let the writer know I was not offended and that I agreed fully. First time I had ever been fired from a volunteer job (sound guy) I didn't want in the first place and had tried to get out of for so long because I knew I couldn't hear.

    A key management skill is listening - and it sounds as if, no one listened in your situation - you volunteered to take on more work - you were assigned to do work you were not trained to do - either no one asked or no one paid any attention - they just threw work at a live body and expected things to get done.

    It could be worse - I recall a story in a book called "Cash Management" - the author was a consultant who would go into companies and review their cash management processes - and would be paid 30% of the first year savings which resulted from his recommendations. He went into one company (national office) and sat down with the accounts payable department (one young lady - high school education - one day of training on the job - all the company AP went through her) and he asked what she did. She received the invoices, matched to the PO and Rec Report, and if everything was OK, she passed it for payment. He said "How are you handling the discounts?" - She said "Discounts?".

    When he reported his findings to management, their first reaction was that she should be fired - but he talked them into letting him give her a few hours of training - said they had a valuable, conscientious employee who just needed to be properly trained. His fee for that one thing was about $300,000.

    Another situation was described by a tool crib supervisor at the automotive plant I worked in for a number of years - he noticed that they were going through a particular carbide cutting tool faster than normal - these are triangular shaped pieces of carbide with a hole in the middle and the working part at each point of the triangle - sort of like a double edged safety razor - when one side gets dull, you turn it around and use the other. Anyway, he also noticed that one particular operator seemed to be going through a lot of them - the next time the operator came to the crib with a requisition, the crib supervisor asked him how the tools were used on his machine - the operator told him he fastened the carbide cutter to the tool with a screw through the hole, ran the machine, when the bit started to get dull, he removed it and put on a new one.

    The crib supervisor then asked him how he knew which way to fasten the bit to the tool (that is, which point of the triangle is the working part) - the operator turned white - he realized that he was supposed to turn the bit when one point got dull and he should get three uses out of the bit rather than just one. The supervisor told him not to worry - it was not his fault - he had not been properly trained to use the machine - but to ask his foreman to see the crib supervisor - when the foreman arrived, the crib supervisor chewed him up one side and down the other for not properly training and supervising his workers.

    I'm not sure the foreman actually knew much about running the machine either - but that happens - bosses sometimes do not know what needs to be done and/or what is being done - and assume if they say it, it will be done correctly. They want workers who can hit the ground running - and that just is not going to happen.

    Not fair? Of course it isn't.

    But what really bothers me is that you have more than one boss. Of course you are going to get less than ideal reviews in that situation - nobody is responsible for all the conflicting instructions and priorities you are going to have to deal with - and if you do something for one, something for another is not done or not done as well. And shame on them for not doing their jobs properly in the evaluation.
  • As we say on one of the boards where employees post.

    Fair is where you go to see livestock and eat cotton candy and ride the ferris wheel. :wink:
Sign In or Register to comment.