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PR Grouch: How to approach appraisals

26th January 2016


My yearly appraisal is around the corner. A huge waste of time for me, and also for my boss, poor woman. I will give her hell. And she will give me, well, nothing at all. No extra pay, no more benefits and there’s obviously no budget for training. I will get zilch.

The reason I give her such a hard time every year is because I’m bored of this annual tax on my time. I reckon that if I dragged it out long enough every year, she might agree with my request to abort the whole thing next year. Hasn’t worked so far.

I quite like my boss, but unless she’s had a bottle of wine she doesn’t do banter. So to attempt to liven the appraisal up a bit, I thought I’d score myself top marks. Problem was this meant endless arguments. So the appraisal went on for hours. And that’s before the 40-minute second session! At the end of it all my boss went from thinking I was relatively normal, to believing I was nuts.

By the final session she was spitting nails. Genuinely livid. Sweating anger.

So here’s my amended advice for getting the most out of appraisals:

  1. Make sure you tell your boss that you are planning to give them top marks for excellent management skills. Sucking up is always a wise move.
  2. Explain that as your boss is so busy, you are happy to postpone the appraisal. Indefinitely. After all, what’s the point? What’s the chance of a payrise in the current economic climate?
  3. If you can’t cancel the damn thing, make sure you get the timing right. For example, after a boozy event. This is only good for you if your boss likes to drink too much and you don’t. It could be a disaster the other way around.
  4. Offer to write up the action points for your boss. After all, you know they are very busy...
  5. Don’t worry about the payrise. After tax, unless you’re looking at a 15 per cent increase, you really don’t notice the difference in the bank account. And more money, means more pressure.

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