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Dear boss, I quit – performance evaluations

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There is something about managers and supervisors.  The majority are good and do well for their companies.  Some are horrible, so horrible that they make employees quit.  What a tragedy.

Performance evaluations are meant for 2 things:

  1. To evaluate if the employee is a good fit for the company and if not, let them go.  If they are a good fit, then do not penalise them for their weaknesses.  Rather, put them in the roles which fit with their strengths while gently guiding them to work on their weaknesses without pushing them around.  The average person has strengths and weaknesses.  The path of least resistance is working with their strengths.  Narcisistic managers will keep hitting on the weaknesses until the employee quits.
  2. To train the employee in the areas where they need training.  In fact, the best performance evaluations are when you get the employee to evaluate themselves, identify what they did well and what they could do better.  Out of this dialogue often comes attending more training or being partnered with someone who has the skill the employee needs to improve on.  I saw this one in my life in the past.  I could code rather well but could not present or write a project report on which I had worked on.  The manager at that time acknowledged my weaknesses (and I knew I was weak in those areas but knew I had to improve).  She arranged for further training and here I am now writing and presenting to crowds without first running to the bathroom or sweating.

The problem with Uganda is the high unemployment.  Employers think they are doing people are favour by giving them a job.

Did you know by any chance that not everyone works for money?  They work for the community and will do it as long as you respect?  They also work for self development.  Many work hard so that they can be put on the next exciting project.  Yes, some work for promotions but do not get fooled by this one.  Most organisations now do lateral promotions, not vertical.  Vertical means you move a position up above your current one.  Lateral means you move sideways by getting onto exciting projects (oh, the rush).

Please sit down with your employees frequently and discuss with them (dialogue) of what they enjoy doing, what they would like to do and how best you can help them to achieve their goals.  You are the leader here, so lead as opposed to “managing”.  It is no longer human capital.  It is human assets.  Treat them with care or they could leave a note “Dear boss, I quit” (they could even text it in this age).

Martha Leah Nangalama  has an IT and business background.

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