(PMS) Performance Management System- Trips & Tricks

July 15, 2013 9 Comments

That time of year when men or women both suffer a common pain inducing ailment- PMS.

Yes, PMS. Before your run your horses wild, PMS stands for Performance Management System or in commonly management/ corporate known language- Appraisals. 

Some years back I used to see appraisals as a great opportunity but down the line I realized it is nothing but a snooze alarm for reality check. Introspection? Yes, we do that for full year, don't we? If you think a person should do self introspection only when his/her boss asks him to do, that person borders on being either highly uneducated or just a new entrant into the world of corpo-rats!

Yes, rats! Here's few "never failed" mantra for all those who in spite of high sincerity, honesty and dedication their work are still unable to climb that corporate ladder. Aha time for disclaimer, these mantras are purely factual and inferred from the cases I have seen around. They are strictly tried and tested by others. What's mine funda? Well I'll share them post these mantras-

1. Threat nor Plea- Before the time of appraisal, get another job or pretend to have secured another job and then hint your company about your plans to quit. You may actually put your papers. 99% chances are that you will be retained and retained with promotion.

2. Start socializing with your boss- If you are a man, playing golf with boss pays off certainly. Also, you can join same club as him and make frequent visit to bars with him. You must aim at fulfilling your boss needs and should also have an ability to keep secrets even if that involves hiding the fact that your boss last outstation visit was to check out a property called Munni or Sheila, you must be discreet and above all "resourceful". ( Golf tips here)

For females, wear attractive cloths, always smile at your boss even if he is trying to flirt with you to the level of indecency and worse sleep with him. Whatever you do, certainly do not dismiss his (shameless) passes made at you. In case, if you are one of those rare decent lots who believe in self esteem over boss' Ferrari, you need to quickly change your boss/job instead of expecting him to turn saint over your emotional pleas.

3. Go Blah- No matter how minuscule is your job, go around the town creating buzzword of how you moved mountains or bled sweats to achieve your tasks even if that involves opening your mail box and forwarding your mails to your subordinates to reply. A lot of bosses go for "perception". You may not been able to close a small operational issue but talking lengths about it, showcasing your concerns, throwing jargon do help. For example- Never say "blue sky". Rather say- "the ceaseless cerulean above the reach and  might of human reach in form or construction which is vast less and glowing in it's own solar incandescence". Another example- "I think raises will be definitely there this year. The portion may look small but it is actually a small box which is large from inside. We are giving small raises because we are not giving large raises". To lean more, here's the Forbes' list of most annoying business jargons.

4. Please everybody- No body cares what good you do to company as long as it doesn't harm them or question their inefficiencies. You must first work for your boss and his kitchen cabinet and then if there' any scope left- for company. Boss is your God, he is your Ayyapa temple. So what if you may have to compromise on organizational ethics? Ethics and moral values are weapons of weak. Sticking to them give you L4 ratings, violating them gives you A1.

5. Never say no to seniors and know the "who's who" of your team- Even if they ask you to carry their laptop, diaries etc over your own stuff for them. They asked you to get tea to a crucial meeting while you are expected to take notes? Take note and rush to get them tea, coffee and even edibles which they can happily munch on while you stay, sit empty stomach since last night working on the presentation for this meeting.

Knowing the influential team members and extending them your "free respect" also comes handy. He is after all may be a VP or your boss' ex-colleague or his/her blue-eyed boy. Oh! he misbehaved with you trying to violate the code of conduct right in front of your boss? well turn him as blind/ignorant eye that your boss has turned on it while being at the situation. Rather smile sheepishly and say you are most welcome.

Oh you told your boss about this rat in your system who is disclosing business secrets which were supposed to be confined within closed user group or just suggested him how a fellow colleague never supports with right data on right time and all of them turns to be his old timers (off course who else would dare to mess with boss' data otherwise), then you are gone for a six or even if there is a rating lower than that. So brave it all and never complain. Be a scapegoat, a smiling scapegoat to save your appraisal.

No matter what your heart says, follow your shrewd brains and social logics. BOSS IS NEVER WRONG even if he is Osama Bin Laden. remember he is like that American prez who has power by virtue of his position and electoral voting and who may not think twice before killing you, your family for some oil. If you still are not able to understand this, then my dear your "analytical skills" are weak too.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to call PMS as Painful Management System for many who slog hard around the year, compromising their personal life, family and parents only to be given blank responses and poor ratings. Some PMS reminded me the marking system at schools where certain egoistic teaches would cut your marks on a small spelling mistake in math's paper. Reason? You haven't enrolled for their tuition or may you have not praised their stupid demeanor to seal your mark as a lackey. Boss, you have not stayed to the norms, so bear the brunt.

Focus on Presentation- There are appraisals where your boss oblivion of your capabilities (however limited they may be) judge you by the Gucci bag you carry, color of eye liner you applied that day or oh no! you wore black color and boss just hates that color. If you are working in a support function like logistic, network or supply chain and your Power Point skills are better than other team members, you are in for success. So what if you do nothing except making slides and plagiarizing someone else contents.

So what if you slogged all year to get people trained for Six sigma and bring inefficiencies in their work, some appraisers will make you change your KRA on a minute before appraisal and happily transfer them to his yes-men in team asking you to swap your individual KRAs. So you are contemplating to complain to HR? Hmmm go ahead.

Theory of "Vital few and trivial many"- this theory suffers a big blow when in hands of certain boss who looks for every single opportunity to scrutinize and nail you down with destructive criticism. Out of 10 projects given you would have done 8 projects successfully but those 2 projects left will tarnish your ratings.

Out of 10 projects if you would have done all 10, still you are just meeting expectations as you did just what was told and lacked initiative to undertake an 11th project.

If you have done 12 projects from 10 assigned then you were given lesser work and you still could have undertaken more and justified your salary and growth to next level.

If you were given 10 projects and you finished all except one which was withdrawn from company ;level, still you have under-worked and do not deserve good promotion unless you turn puppy with a tongue.

In short, you can never win certain bosses and God forbid you if they are influential and yet biased.

I am not saying that all PMS are bad or there is no validity of having one in a company. There are certain company/ bosses who are interested in value you can create and also in your well being like developing you as a professional so you become a dream team member and together you can work on some ambitious projects amicably and successfully. Alas, they are very low in number.

My mantra for success is hard work, persistence and luck. Also, a very important factor is comfort level. If you are comfortable in a certain role, you may add value. But if you are given a good role for name sake whereas all the properties and elements of that role is assigned to someone else and you are expected to please either by secretarial kind of support or errands that are consequential in nature but never noted for appraisal unless you wear short-tight dress or play golf.

Luck is equally important as no matter how much hard work do you do, having a right boss is also important. To have a good boss, you need luck.

Grass is never greener on other side- If you think you will quit this idiot and move to better organization, you may be in for a good or bad surprise. What if you get a bigger idiot there who do not bother to spend ten minutes with you and still seals your performance ratings without even discussing with you?

On a lighter side, here's few comic strips to ease off your PMS pain.

So, are your PMS'ing yet?

You may also like to read- It's that time of Year again

The autor is half Human, half machine. Go Figure or just revel in what I write


  1. Hahaha hilarious! reminds me of my appraisals...for me last few appraisals have been brilliant but this year was a fiasco...loved this write up..keep them coming

  2. Anonymous16 July

    Can't agree more - no matter what you do, an appraisal would always be miserable.

  3. Interesting take on a topic dear to everyone's heart. But everyone comes up with their own strategies to survive in the system.

  4. Nice pics..and true lassion..............

  5. There is an easier way. Leave the moh maya for three things: Rating, Onsite and Promotion. And then life gets very easy. :P

  6. Anonymous21 July

    I am all giggling and thinking .. is that not what corporate success is all about .. thankfully I am out of the loop but then why blame .. govt job owners only !! hehehe
    very nicely packaged .. article Ekta .. super awesome !

  7. and that's what fun reading means..thanks for such a nice treat

  8. Ideas are quite interesting. Some bosses are very clever we can't make them fool. human resource department is sharp and give all your reports to boss.

    HR Consultants in Mumbai


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