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Appraisal due.. please remind me of what the norm is!

(25 Posts)
alltoomuchrightnow Mon 16-Nov-15 23:57:54

I posted a few months ago. I had my first appraisal in my new job and it wasn't great even though I've been working in retail for 28 years and they've always been extremely positive. The replies I got on here told me that it 'wasn't me' and the appraisal wasn't fair.

Please can anyone remind me… is having three people do my appraisal unusual (or rather, one i.e. branch manager, but two others are present and join in..in fact one of them really laid into me, and she's not my branch manager, she doesn't do any paid work , but is a trustee..it's a charity. The third woman remained silent the whole time! These are also the same three woman who did my interview) Or more the norm these days (i.e. to have more than one). It does seem a bit crowded and intimidating to have me and three others at my appraisal .

Also last time unfair (and often incorrect) and petty remarks were paid. As I am due my second appraisal this Friday (and will also find out if I passed my six month probation period) I am feeling very anxious.
I didn't say a word last time and just sucked it up and went away upset.
If it happens again.. do I say so at the time? That I feel the appraisal is unfair? Or do I report later to HR (assuming we have HR for our area.. I just don't know, but there would be someone to report to). If I , for once, stick up for myself, is the appraisal the place to do that? Or would that work against me?

I have gone beyond the call of duty for this job because it's my favourite charity. I have bent over backwards for them. I have given them good results and have had nothing but positive feedback from staff, customers and the woman I job share (manager) with . So it was gutting to have to take crap in my last appraisal when it was uncalled for. As i remember at the time, some of the comments I had on here were that they were unprofessional (in how they conducted the appraisal and what was said)

I know it's meant to be also be a chance to have my say, but to what extent? I am normally a doormat but I need to toughen up and start standing up for myself, having been bullied in the workplace before. Their micromanaging does seem to be running close to bullying

I wish I could have it just one to one with the branch manager as I've had with every other job

So, what should I be using this appraisal for (even if it's not in their view of how one should be?) And what do I do if it ends up like the last one?

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 17-Nov-15 00:09:24

Other issue is, having no confidence in the branch manager.
The trustee overrides her decisions constantly. I know that BM is intimidated and frustrated by her but her hands are tied ( I can't talk about this with her, but tellingly she recently was angry that trustee had again undermined her and gone against one of her decisions in my shop. She said she wasn't going to say anything 'in case it causes a row)

With a BM being 'bullied' (or least bossed around), I can't expect her support. Trustee is seen as being way above her. So what is the point of employing a BM , really ...

myfriendsson Tue 17-Nov-15 00:22:36

I used to work organise appraisals in an earlier career. Beforehand I would get feedback from at least one manager who didn't do the appraisal. Also, if relevant, a client so that we'd have an external view. I would also give the appraise a form to complete where they put their learning and development goals and also their own feedback. They generally took this along to their meeting as a basis for discussion.

There were only ever 2 people at appraisals, the person being appraised and the manager. This trustee sounds like a power, empire gathering pain in the arse. Could you perhaps email them (so you've got something in writing) and just tell them how distressing you found the experience? Ask them if they cannot get feedback on you beforehand? That you didn't feel it was a balanced meeting. The nature of appraisal is a two way process, a sort equal footing where you can discuss issues. Also, if you had personal issues, it wouldn't be nice having to discuss in front of 3 people!

We also were careful not to tie in appraisals with salary and always followed up peoples feedback for learning/development. Should have a 6 monthly review also.

It's difficult, especially if you're a bit of a soft touch. BM might be really grateful for you speaking up, considering they sadly don't feel able to.

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 17-Nov-15 00:28:07

Thanks for your input, Myfriend. If I do have issue do I say so IN the appraisal? Or put it in writing (or verbally?) after? To the BM or someone else?
The thing is, I should be used to appraisals, but this is something else.
It's a part time minimum wage charity shop manager position.
The pomp and ceremony that goes into having an appraisal is nuts. It lasts for so long too! It's like having another interview (with a panel)

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 17-Nov-15 00:28:43

should I even mention BEFORE it, maybe in confidence to the BM, that I find it intimidating to have three of them there?

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 17-Nov-15 00:32:36

I'm horribly pre menstrual too. I get it quite severely as well as endometriosis. Obviously not their fault re the timing and I can't bring that up (I am the one that wants to be professional! But I fear I may start crying out of frustration if it goes like the last one, or if I feel too overwhelmed. I do suffer bad anxiety since having PTSD the last few years, but have so far managed to keep this hidden from the work place. The timing of this is poo and I want to be able to be calm and collected all through it so I can put my points across

EBearhug Tue 17-Nov-15 00:57:35

You need to be prepared with facts and figures where possible. So if you get something like, "your sales figures aren't very good," you can say, "as these monthly figures show, I'm consistently one of the top two sales people."

Check the job description. We're you set goals? If so, make sure you can show how you've performed against each one, and against the overall job description. Have you got evidence of what the customers say, in emails or feedback forms or anything? Does the job share woman write in a handover book or anything?

If you are given negative feedback and you don't know where it's coming from, ask for clarification - " Can you give me an example of when I have done that?" I've pointed out to my own management that comments like, "you're not very good at X" generally isn't useful without explanation like, "because you always forget to do Y, which means..." - then there's something concrete to work with, so you can improve.

Find out if you have HR. Find out if the appraisal process is documented. Is there a staff handbook or code of conduct or anything? Do this before the appraisal.

You can't change how the branch manager is, so there's no point worrying about it. However, you can probably avoid dumping her in it too much, something like, "yes, I think I haven't understood that process properly - maybe we can go over it again together," rather than, "that's your fault! You never explained that!" (Which I'm sure you wouldn't do, but I 'm trying to make a point.)

You must try not to be a doormat, but challenge anything which is unfounded. Don't just suck it up. Look up assertiveness online and think about ways you could have responded more assertively last time (be sure it's assertive, not aggressive), and think about how you'll responding similar points are raised this time. If you'be got time and a friend you could role play with before Friday, even better! Try to avoid getting emotional, but keep to facts and evidence where you can..

At our place, your appraisal is 1-2-1 with your line manager, but it may well be different elsewhere.
Good luck!

EBearhug Tue 17-Nov-15 01:04:09

Oh, crosss-posted about being premenstrual and PTSD. I think I would try to have a word with the BM before, to say you find having all three of them there intimidating - if possible, without mentioning the anxiety, I guess. But you know already she might not feel able to support you against the Trustee, even if she thinks a 1-2-1 would be reasonable, so be prepared for that outcome.

alltoomuchrightnow Tue 17-Nov-15 23:16:05

thanks for the messages.
Need to re read again and absorb! Just preparing my notes now
I do wonder if I should even be answering to a Trustee as much as I do when she is not a paid member of staff. I don't see it fitting that she attends appraisals but feel I can't bring this up. I feel I can't speak up in them and it's not private and confidential

Choughed Tue 17-Nov-15 23:25:21

Do you have a HR department you can speak to?

I think it is inappropriate for a trustee to be there, especially if they are involved in any appeals or grievance policies.

Does every employee have 3 people in their review meeting?

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 18-Nov-15 14:49:02

As far as I know for definite, only my shop has the three. But I could imagine others in the area would have the same three
I cannot find out re HR department! I google it and nothing comes up for our area. Being a large very well known uK charity, they would at least have a central HR
One of the three to attend the appraisal is Branch Support (she always remains silent..I call her the Silent Witness to myself!) I wonder if that's what they count as HR. I have no problems with her personally but I would feel more comfortable if it was just me and BM doing it. I have met BS outside of appraisal as she took me out for coffee and a chat once when she was covering for BM

Choughed Wed 18-Nov-15 16:03:49

Do you have a staff handbook? That should have HR contacts in it.

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 18-Nov-15 19:29:52

No we don't. But have done some digging.
I was never told this but turns out that the branch manager is ALSO HR for our area.
The Branch Support woman is just that, her support. For HR as well as branch. I'd be ok really with just those two there.
It's the trustee that I feel uncomfortable with

alltoomuchrightnow Wed 18-Nov-15 19:30:53

(It was the trustee who really laid into me during last appraisal)

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 22-Nov-15 15:28:45

Update is that I had the appraisal and it was awful. My probation period has also been extended.
Colleague's appraisal was also not great (I don't think as bad as mine) but she doesn't have to worry about probation
All three women were there and equally awful. I got there half an hour early because I hadn't received message that it would now be half an hour later. I was met with three stony faces. Appraisal is always done in a local pub (in a quiet corner) as no room or privacy at the actual shop. I was ordered by the branch manager to go and wait in my car for half an hour.
I was already feeling ill and anxious and sat there freezing and shaking. They could have left it up to me.. I could have sat in a different part of the pub (as it's a big one) and got a hot drink, but no, ordered away like a naughty schoolgirl to the carpark
Actual appraisal was felt more like a disciplinary. (As I said, I've always had good ones in other jobs , and always sailed through probation period)
Out of what was said, one thing was something I do hold my hands up to (something that for various reasons had not been carried out, there were valid reasons..long story ..) but the rest was lies. Literally, lies/accusations and contradictions. They were rude, patronising and unfair. I said I would contest some of what was said as it wasn't true
I was not asked to sign anything.
I am unsure what to do now. Probation is extended until January.
They say that they DO want me to be their manager. I have given it my all and gone the extra mile so I actually said I don't see what I could do differently in the next three months than I have in the last three , since last appraisal. (apart from the uncompleted task of course). I do a lot of unpaid work for them too , they didn't focus on ANY positives
Colleague and I conclude they are thoroughly petty and nitpicking to the point of micro managing. But she is in a very different position to myself
I DO care about the charity/shop; I love the work and have a good team and great regular customers. This is such a blow.
i don't know how I can work under these three women, it does feel like ganging up. I can't go to HR when branch manager IS HR.

alltoomuchrightnow Sun 22-Nov-15 15:32:53

Other point is that the BM's DAUGHTER has played a part in all this. I find this grossly unfair when she is not an employee.
Last Sunday when shop was closed, she let herself in (got key from her mother) to drop some donations off. Which would be fine except she had a good old rummage/ inspection round the building. There were two items not priced to her liking (one had been put out and priced by me, the other by my colleague whom I job share with). When I got in on Monday, I found these items dumped by the till with a particularly psychotic looking note written in huge letters in green felt pen! It was unsigned.
Now I know why..it was from her.
Can you imagine if I let myself into HER place of employment, had a good snoop around and left unsigned notes!? And then that affected her appraisal?!

Evabeaversprotege Sun 22-Nov-15 15:40:19

How'd your appraisal go?

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g Sun 22-Nov-15 15:54:40

I have read here before that charities are often very badly run indeed. This sounds like another example. OP, I'm sorry you've had to go through all this. If I were you, I'd start looking for another job. Staying in this one will do your health no good at all. sad

Choughed Sun 22-Nov-15 22:36:36

They sound shit. I would raise a grievance. Ask your BM for a copy of the relevant policies.

I'm so sorry they are putting you through this. What a bunch of power-crazed cunts.

TwoTonTessie Mon 23-Nov-15 06:23:31

They just seem to be stringing you along by extending the probation period. I would leave but definitely lodge a grievance. They sound very unprofessional and just plain nasty.

whirlybird42 Mon 23-Nov-15 06:50:04

They sound atrocious. I would start looking elsewhere for paid work and give your free time to the charity without this horrible pressure. I've heard similar horror stories about charity shops being run badly.

After you go, document all of this and send it to the most senior staff members you can get details for. I once did this at a major retailer and it did get things changed for others..

KenDoddsDadsDog Mon 23-Nov-15 06:54:01

I remember your last thread and sorry it hasn't got any better. Horrible bastards.
Do you have your appraisal in writing ?

ethelb Mon 23-Nov-15 08:10:21

With regards to HR can you just call up HQ if it is a large charity to ask about procedures rather than going through your managers who you should really raise a grievance against.
Harassment by the managers daughter is really not on.

alltoomuchrightnow Mon 23-Nov-15 20:03:46

I have had bullying badly in the last charity I worked for, though that was mainly by other employees and we did have a good HR (although the whole charity was based on bullying culture admittedly..ie if you didn't reach your targets you'd be named and shamed, publicly humiliated etc) and I always received great appraisals and shop audits

This is gutting for me as I was led to believe they were super laid back and friendly. The shop is independently run although it is part of a nationwide charity. I honestly don't know where HQ is apart from for my own area... and that really does just consist of BM (who is also HR), her support (who also stuck the knife in at my appraisal ) and the person who does the accounts. That is it.

It's such a difficult position. The trustee overrides everyone and is a bully. I can clearly see that her and the BM clash (BM has even told me before she can't upset the apple cart and override trustee's often questionable decisions as it will cause a row). It's like she (trustee) upsets the BM so the BM takes it out on me even though we're both in the same boat. Such a crazy situation. BM also has serious anxiety problems. I'm not criticising by the way as I'm on Citalopram for my own anxiety, but I do keep it under control at work. However it's not doing much and I'm a nervous wreck due to the micro managing. I've seen BM sometimes in tears because she received a phone call and it was all too much as she 'had too much to deal with already'. Basically, she's the last person who should be a BM. She has told staff before that she does suffer from anxiety attacks

I know it's time to look for another job but having been off work with PTSD after leaving DV it took me so long to get this. It was the job I really wanted and I felt I was doing it quite well. It meant so much to me. If i quit I will feel like such a failure. But after what I've been through I know life is too short and I will get really ill again

alltoomuchrightnow Mon 23-Nov-15 20:04:14

The sending me back to my car was the last straw. It just sums them up really.

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