A Candid Response to an Annual Review

See what you think of my response to my stupid annual review:

I wanted to respond to my annual review.  I feel that the scores and information contained in the reviewed do not accurately reflect my performance or who I am as an —– employee, in part due to the fact that the review was completed by two people who did not work with me long enough or intimately enough to accurately gauge my performance.  L— L — was assigned as my supervisor upon my return from maternity leave in February 2015, but she had extremely limited communication and contact with me.  During the time she was my supervisor, I felt as if I had no supervisor. J—- R—-, who began working at —— in April 2015, became my supervisor only recently (I believe in August), and since she became my supervisor, I have helped her on a number of projects (preparing for the ESSC/ESBA audit, creating a Billing Guidelines spreadsheet, updating staff rosters for ESSC/ESBA, creating and reviewing protocols for processing authorizations and time off requests; processing and tracking all time off requests; translating Social Skills handouts, ——‘s Customer Service Agreement, Client Information Form and several other documents, and others) in addition to assuming my new role as Sacramento Caseload Planner while still fulfilling all duties assigned to me as Insurance Coordinator.

First, I would like to provide some relevant background information. After working for —- for over 7 years, I went on maternity leave beginning October 27th, 2014. Before I went on maternity leave, I had been supervised by T—– P—, with whom I had an excellent working relationship, and who was a great leader and shared a lot of knowledge with me during her short time at —–. I also had worked closely with Speech Director I— D—, with whom I also had a good working relationship, and with T—– S—, who I still regard
as my ‘supervisor’ for questions about Sacramento caseload planning and policy and procedure, with whom I also feel I had open communication and a good working relationship.  Feedback for this review was not solicited from T—- (because she no longer works with —-), nor from I–, nor from T—-, even though I have not had a formal review for over two years.  I never had a review which included T—-, I– or T—.

Prior to taking maternity leave, I had confirmed with my supervisor T—- P—- as well as with COO P— K– that upon my return, my working schedule was to include two days working remotely from home using a company laptop and cellular phone.  This was presented to me as a a permanent arrangement not contingent upon any one thing or
circumstance.  I did return to work on February 9th, 2015, and I began working my new schedule.  However, I was shocked and dismayed when exactly one week later, on February 16th, 2015, I was pulled aside for a meeting that I was told was about authorizations and credentialing, and informed by L— L– and J— B— that I would no longer be permitted to work from home.  When I inquired as to why, the following reasons were given: I had moved closer to the LA office; I was not salaried, and working from home was a privilege that could only be extended to salaried employees (according to L–); all administrative employees had to be at the office 5 days a week (though even at that time, there were several administrative employees who were permitted to work from home); and that there were “productivity concerns”.  When as a possible solution, I suggested that it be considered that the company put me on salary, I was told by L—  that I was not a “professional” and was therefore ineligible to be salaried.  This was the one and only meeting I ever had with L— while she was my supervisor.

There were a number of organizational and procedural changes that occurred within the company while I was on maternity leave, and when I returned to work, I felt as if I was working for a new company; two of my supervisors (T—- P—- and P— K–) were no longer with the company when I returned; I was assigned a supervisor I had had no previous contact with and who supervised a department that I was not part of; my roles and responsibilities were unclear, and my working schedule was abruptly changed after having been confirmed with me only
weeks earlier, which created a very stressful and problematic
situation for me. Despite all of this, I remained loyal to ——
and did whatever was asked of me and even volunteered for additional work and responsibilities.  I even spent over two hours’ of my own personal time on Friday, July 31st translating a Social Skills handout that was given to me too late in the week for me to complete at work. I did this because I knew that the SSG team needed it for the session the following morning, and I did not want to let anyone down. I took time out of my own schedule to help out at the Autism Walk in early 2015 as well. Throughout the years, I have been very flexible, amenable and have invited extra work and responsibility; however, my
review seems to indicate the opposite, which I find very troubling. I wanted to share my thoughts on each of the scores given to me in each of the categories of the review and the commentary as well:

Job Knowledge/Quality of Work:  During my employment with ——, my job has changed a number of times, and I do not know that it would be possible to be an “expert” (or score a 5) in any one thing due to the numerous roles and responsibilities I’ve fulfilled.  My duties have varied greatly and have included many side projects for HR/Management. I have asked repeatedly for a job description in order to know exactly what was expected of me, what I was responsible for, who I reported to for which tasks, etc., and the response that I ultimately received was a request that I create my own job description.  I emailed these requests to T—- and T—- on 6/2/2015
and 6/20/2015 and to Janet Brown on 6/26/2014, but I did not receive a job description or any clarity on my roles and responsibilities. Instead, I was tasked with creating my own job description, which I emailed to T—-  and J— on 9/3/2014. I recently asked for a list of my responsibilities from J, who did send me the list of responsibilities for the Caseload Planner position, which I responded to with questions on 8/19/15.  I received some answers to my questions in a response on 8/25/15 and was asked to clarify a couple of my questions, which I did; I have not heard back since, and these responsibilities are only a small part of my overall responsibilities. In order for an employee to possess excellent job knowledge, he or she must first understand what exactly his or her job is, and what he or she is held accountable for.  In my case, I do not understand either, and my requests for a description of both in writing have not produced any clear answers or results.  However, despite not receiving an
excellent score on this category, during my review, J— repeatedly referenced my “institutional knowledge” as one of my strengths as an employee.  I feel like I am being sent mixed messages regarding my job knowledge.

Quantity of Work: I was scored as handling a “satisfactory” volume of work and “occasionally” doing more than required, which I find to be inaccurate.  I feel that I handle a large volume of work and am more productive than the average employee.  Not only do I handle a large volume of work, but I actually go out of my way to request additional responsibilities because I actually like to keep busy and be productive, and I have made such requests also because I know that I am more capable of following through on certain responsibilities than the person whom the task(s) were originally assigned to (e.g., Sacramento debriefs and report sending).  In addition to my own roles
and responsibilities as both insurance coordinator and caseload
planner, I have helped to translate numerous documents; I assisted in logging and tracking immunization paperwork in preparation for the ESSC audit; I’ve updated staff rosters for ESSC and ESBA (without being explicitly told to do so in one case); I volunteered to take over debrief scheduling and report sending for the Sacramento region on September 3rd because it was not being done satisfactorily, and I knew I could do it well; I accepted the assignment of sending out and tracking LAUSD reports upon my return from maternity leave even though
it had nothing to do with any of my other responsibilities; I process all authorizations from ESSC, ESBA and private insurance, enter contracts and maintain four separate spreadsheets with authorization and report information; I took on the processing of TORs (a seven step process for each TOR), and I’ve managed to handle all of this – keeping up with multiple responsibilities and projects across several different departments – remarkably well.

Reliability:  I was scored a 3 in this category, defined as “usually
gets the job done on time,” and I wanted to ask when I had ever missed a deadline or not completed a job on time to have been scored a 3 instead of a 4 or 5.

Initiative: I was scored a 2 in this category, defined as “does not
proceed on own, waits for direction, routine worker.”  I often do ask my supervisor or whoever assigned me a certain task questions regarding the task if they were not provided to me upon assignment because I like to work efficiently and not have to do the same job twice (i.e., I make sure I understand the assignment before proceeding because I do not wish to complete the assignment in an unsatisfactory way and have to go back and make corrections a second time).  I have
often found that my emails go unanswered, and I find myself having to follow up two, three and even four times to receive the information necessary to complete the task assigned.  I do not feel I should be penalized or “scored low” because I seek out clarification upon being assigned a task or project.  As far as suggesting “better ways of doing things,” I have made suggestions in the past that were overlooked (i.e., saving soft copies of TORs instead of printing them; sending reports to LAUSD electronically instead of wasting paper, envelopes, stamps, ink and time sending them via snail mail; reformatting the TOR form so it contains the information needed for
processing; pulling authorization information from NPA Works instead of manually entering it on numerous spreadsheets; informing parents of their insurance coverage before proceeding with services – this was actually eventually implemented, et al.).  I do not feel that I deserve the label “routine worker” after all I have done during my time at ICT, and I do not feel that this score or label is accurate.

Judgment: I am unsure why I received a score of 3 as to my “judgment,” and I would be interested to know of any work situation that has arisen where I have not made a sound decision. On the other hand, I would also opine that it is unfair to score someone on their judgment when they have not been granted the permission to exercise their own independent judgment as per their job description.  Only recently (on
10/1/2015) was I able to confirm that I am permitted to accept
Sacramento referrals using my own judgment; prior to this, I never made any type of independent decision because I was not permitted to do so by my superiors/the nature of my job, despite having worked for —— for over 8 years in several different positions with many varying responsibilities.

Cooperation: I do not understand why I received a 3 and/or 2 (both scores are highlighted?) in the area of “Cooperation,” defined as “making little effort to cooperate or is disruptive to the overall group or department.”  I do not feel that I am disruptive to anyone at ——, and I would be interested to know if any of my coworkers felt differently (which I doubt).  In fact, many clinical staff members actually seek me out to ask me questions or request my help on scheduling and other matters because they feel that I am easier to talk to than other ICT administrative team members. It was also stated that I often respond to inquiries from my superiors by telling them that I do not know the answer, and this was viewed as my being
uncooperative (i.e., “”B— tends to respond to questions about
processes or policies by stating lack of knowledge and/or
responsibility”). I would like to reiterate what I explained in the
meeting – if I say that I do not know the answer to an inquiry, it is because I genuinely do not know the answer and do not wish to lead whoever is inquiring astray (this pertains to this section, but it was listed under the comments section).

Attendance: As for my attendance, I did experience some personal issues and was very forthcoming with Management about exactly what was going on whenever I had to take time off, and I don’t feel that it is right for this to be held against me in my review.  As per California Labor Code 230 (c), “An employer shall not discharge or in any manner discriminate or retaliate against an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for taking time off
from work to obtain or attempt to obtain any relief, including, but not limited to, a temporary restraining order, restraining order, or other injunctive relief, to help ensure the health, safety, or welfare of the victim or his or her child.”  The few times I had to come in late or leave early was due to last minute changes in childcare arrangements and/or my baby’s health, and these instances would likely have not occurred if the schedule arrangement that had been arranged with me prior to my return from maternity leave had  been upheld.

Although I do have a number of concerns regarding my annual review, I have had a number of good experiences working for — over the past eight years, and I have gained a lot of insight into how a company like —— operates, and I’ve also learned a lot more about autism and healthcare than I would have had I worked outside the industry. All of this is valuable to me, and I appreciate the opportunity that — has given me to gain this knowledge and insight.  I was able to open my mind and learn a lot with supervisors like T—- and I—, and I have met and worked with a ton of great people over the years.  I hope to continue on with —– and grow within the company in the
near future, and I am open to suggestions on how to improve, and, as I always have been, I am open to taking on new and additional responsibilities – because I know I can, and I know I will be successful.

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