So I had my mid-year appraisal with the CEO last week. Sometimes I feel like preparing for these sessions is like gearing up for an exam — one has to go through a whole list of options and decide on which one best suits a particular test.
Amisi my life coach had advised me that I should really maximise on selling my three or four great points instead of sharing many. So I decided to do exactly that and cull out the major wins, which I feel I have delivered in the first year. Just to be on the safe side, I decided to keep the other points in another copy.
The session did not go as planned because I felt completely ambushed. To begin with, the CEO insisted that we must have an HR manager present — in his words he felt that this would provide a “more balanced discussion”. I really do not like these HR folks, I always feel that they exist to make employees look bad but I realised I had no option.
So the CEO started the session by asking me, “how do you feel you have been doing so far?” I confidently responded, “I feel that I am on track to deliver the agreed outcomes as shared with you at the start of the year.”
I then went ahead to give further details of what I have done so far and what I have achieved. I was, therefore, taken aback when the CEO produced his notebook, which contained many notes. He then started giving his views.
He started off by saying that he has “noted tremendous progress and improvement in my work and in my output.” He then went to list a shockingly long list of what he said are ‘incidents where I could have done better.” To be honest, I felt ambushed because some of them have nothing do to with me.
What was the most shocking for me is when he said, “you have not shared with me or with HR some of the things that employees have been saying.” I said, “I do not know what you are referring to.” He said, “I am aware that some employees have been giving immigration some rather disparaging information to government officials with a view to having my work permit rejected.”
Though I was shocked about how he knew about these schemes. I was not going to let on that I knew anything about it. I said, “with all due respect sir, I was not aware of such plans and as you know most employees do not share such information with me since they view me as being too close to your office.”
You can imagine my shock when he said, “well how come Lucy who is newer than you found the courage to come and tell me?”
This definitely was news to me and so I said, “maybe the employees trust her more than me.”
What followed next was a 45-minute lecture from both the CEO and the HR manager. They told me that I also need to focus on being the ears and eyes of the CEO.
They said that “in addition to the hard objectives that have been set out, you also must be on the lookout of the things that could disrupt the business.” I did not know what to make of all of this was I being asked to become a snitch. The HR manager then asked me to make sure that “I input the feedback and action points in the HR portal in good time.’
As fate would have it, the first person I found at my desk was Lucy who quickly asked me, How did it go?” Based on my earlier conversation, I was not sure that I could honestly tell her what transpired so I said, “it was okay, not too bad.” She made a few attempts at asking for more information but I stayed mute.
I was even glad when my phone rang — it was Shiro who quickly asked me, “Babes, have you looked at the car options.” I decided to forget about my earlier conversation and focus on looking for a car.