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Dr Spouse

Have you ever been appraised?

What did it involve? I've been threatened with appraisal by my HoD, although he won't do it, he wants me to get one of my high-flying colleagues to do it. I suggested the most friendly one but a) she hasn't been trained for it and b) we collaborate so he wants someone else to do it.
frog

ah well, this is timely. I have my 'review and development' session tomorrow with my HOD. The new system means we have one of these every year, and this is my second year.

And this is the dilemma.

One one hand, it's a nice supportive thing in which you get to chat about your strengths and weaknesses, have a shared ponder about what 'training' (URG) you need to do and set a few objectives for the following year.

On the other, it's where your reviewer, (then passed onto senior management group, passed onto some HR thing) decides whether this year you have been 'exceptional'. And if you are you get a cash prize of 1000. And if you are consistently exceptional (two years on the trot) then you get this consolidated as a scale point. Which, in case moi, would at least mitigate a bit against the truly unfair scale point merging thats the cause of a nasty low pay situation.

So... honesty is a bit difficult isn't it? I'ld really like to say "I feel like I've been hanging on by my fingernails this year" or "I think i'm doing OK until I look at everyone else and then I feel like I'm doing shit" or even " I might want to go part-time in the future". But is it the best policy?

frog
Dr Spouse

Hello, frog Very Happy (someone other than me posting!)

I think I tend to go for one of the latter two in my annual review - but in fact I think the "I've been off sick for a month in the last term" made my HoD a bit more lenient towards me. He writes down what our plans are each year and I had at least achieved some of them.
But it didn't make him say "yes, you can have a part-year's sabbatical in 18 months time", sadly.

But one thing he pointed out was that as what he was doing was line management, I also needed to have an appraisal, and that was different and would be from someone acting as a colleague, not a line manager.

He framed it as "this is scary and I have to tell you to pull your socks up but an appraiser can be more positive and understanding". But it didn't really help me think that being told off by two people would be better than being told off by one person!
frog

Just to let you know that my review was nice and affirming, though there were a few scary things said about what I would need to do for promotion, and i didn't feel quite able to bring up the 'what if I want to go part time' scenario. But still, it was actually great to hear that someone thinks you are doing a good job, and that you shouldn't really worry about recruiting more PhD students. And I am being submitted for the cash prize lottery... whether or not I get it is down to lots of other factors though.

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