Case Study: An Appraisal Conversation
“This is stupid and a waste of time,” lamented Stu Johnson. “I supervise these people every day and know their working habits well. Upper management pays me to get work done, not to write out appraisals every year.”
“Ah, even ignoring the fact that regular appraisals are required by policy, your employees look forward to them,” replied Marcia Stannis, a colleague of Stu.
“Humph. If they want to know how they are doing, all they have to do is walk into my office and ask me. I’ll be glad to tell them.”
“How often does that happen?” asked Marcia.
“Maybe once every year or so,” replied Stu.
“Do you walk around the office?” asked Marcia.
“Sometimes, when I have time,” was the reply.
“How often is sometimes?”
“Every few weeks,” said Stu. “You know that we’ve been busy this past year.”
“Did you know that Julie has completed her degree?” asked Marcia.
“Or that Jeff is applying for a promotion?” Marcia continued.
“Huh? When did he do that?”
“Last month. Remember Jim, the problem employee?”
“How could I forget him? He was so lazy,” Stu recalled.
“He lost his lawsuit for wrongful dismissal.”
“That seems appropriate.”
How would you describe Stu’s management style? In your opinion, was he as knowledgeable about his employees as he thought? Why? Why do you think Jim lost his lawsuit?