Each week, at the meeting with the Director, we’d set new goals and discussed our achievements of the week before. Goals not achieved accumulated to the following week.
Those goals were in addition to our regular job requirements. We all knew we were cut thin and we accepted it. Going above and beyond was the only way to play the game and remain on staff.
I normally completed 95% of my goals in addition to exceeding in other areas.
He would listen to the recount of my week including where I had exceeded expectations.
When I was done with my dissertation, the inevitable question would come:
“What about xyz?”
“ I didn’t get to it” or “they didn’t get back to me” or “they refused to sign the contract for now”
On those rare occasions when something went wrong, a negative comment reached him from one provider upset over his reimbursement (not my services) out of the 120 I handled, that one comment weighted more than anything good I had done that week…or that year.
Well, that was it.
There was never a compliment but I could count on a reprimand to let me know where I had failed.
It drained me.
I finally left.
I didn’t really have a problem with the Director pushing us to be overachievers, after all, we accepted the challenge. What I had a problem with was the exclusive focus on the negatives overlooking (and if he did notice them he never commended us for it) all the positives. That, in my opinion, is not a way to move forward or achieve great results.
Nothing good comes out of negativity.
Assessing people’s performance should not be a criticism; it should incorporate the good as well and more so than the negative. Otherwise, they’ll end up with a sense of helplessness walking away to protect themselves and we’ll never know what it could have been had we appreciated their desire and effort to better a situation.
It is a no-win situation.
2 years ago