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it really means “find ways to penalize them” March 9, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Economic Downturn, Inexplicable Memos From Above, Overheard.
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The following e-mail, minus some redacted elements, made its way to my inbox. It is from a company that CorporateSpeak works with, but is not affiliated with us.

Just a little think piece for you. Tom and I were talking about ways to audit the marketing representatives, a.k.a. check and measure their performance. Tom really only has the logs and the e-mail traffic to go on. He says that, since everyone is using the proper codes and since you can’t really tell if the log is wrong, everyone has been scoring 100% on the audit. Any suggestions for better evaluating their performance?

What the sender is basically saying is, “find ways we can penalize people because everyone’s doing too well at their jobs and we can’t fire people who consistently score 100% on their audits”.

This sort of thing is happening more and more often as companies are being forced to downsize, or at least cut salaries. At CorporateSpeak, raises have been suspended for 2009, and when I had my 2008 review (six months late, but I had it), my boss said that we’ve made our employee review standards tougher in hopes that fewer people would even be eligible for raises. That’s the company’s prerogative, as long as they apply it across the board (which, to my knowledge, they have), but in order to pull it off, they have to find new ways to penalize employees who have traditionally done a really good job.

The e-mail I received from that other company just reinforces the concept.

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