Annual Review: Waste of Time!
To justify their existence, Human Resources develops a new annual review process or a new spin on an old process every few years. Well, it's not really new. They just reword the form and reorder the sections to conform with what is being taught in university today. They seem to spend significantly more time developing a new logo and name for the annual review process.
I suspect that there may be some value in the process during the first five years of employment. I don't know for sure. During the first 25 years working for my company, I was on the road at a customer site when it was time for the annual review. I never saw the form and assume that my supervisor, at the time, filled it in for me.
Now that I've worked for the company for 30 years and don't travel as much, I've had to fill out the forms. They're ridiculous.
Identify what training you need to perform your job. What? Why didn't you make this offer 30 years ago? You're paying me 75 percent more than the average annual salary of others performing the same function because I had to learn what I needed to know while the technology was being developed. And, in some cases, I had to develop the technology because none existed.
Where do you want to be 10 years from now? Retired! However, given the Pension Protection Act of 2006, I may need to retire next year because I'm going to be penalized should I continue to work.
I've been blessed with supervisors that haven't had a clue about what I do or how I do it. They have been looking at the success of their projects and listening to their customers. On more than one occasion, I have received an annual salary increase exceeding 20 percent as a result.
I have won numerous company awards for special projects. In the United States, the Engineering Council has an event similar to the movie industry's Academy Awards. I was nominated by my company for my work in IT Security. Unfortunately, I didn't walk away with that year's "Oscar". That went to a lead engineer on a much "sexier" NASA project.
Although I only received a Merit Award for being a finalist, it did translate into a sizable salary increase. When you get down to it, this is the most important metric of your value to a company.
The point of this diatribe? The annual review process is a waste of time! You are much better off doing the best that you can on every assignment with a touch of creativity and as much elan as you can muster. It translates to the most important metric of all: the interest of the Internal/Inland Revenue Service in your well-being.