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My July 2011 article detailing a Divorce Pay policy http://www.compensationcafe.com/2011/07/divorce-pay-a-modest-proposal-for-a-new-policy.html was inspired by exactly such a case, Chuck. I buried that policy in a draft proposed management manual for a global design/build architechural firm, to test their review process. The Employment Manager called me to inquire about the policy as she reviewed the draft, asking if it could be made retroactive.

In an earlier life, I reviewed all MBO evaluations, sending private notes offering remedial steps to those who bungled their appraisal documentation but forwarding occasional compliments on excellent process up the chain of command. It really focused attention on that vital element of supervisory responsiblity.

The instances of issues like this are too numerous too count. They extend from the individual and directed comments listed above to full plan documentation issues. This is often made worse by the larger percentage of compensation professionals who have not read the legal documents supporting their incentive plans, commission structures, equity compensation plans and performance review instructions.

I have done "hand polls" at live events on this topic for more than a decade. In only one instance did more than 10% of the population at a presentation agree that they had read all active plan documentation cover to cover.

Chuck - The problem with the performance review system you describe is the problem with the performance review system you describe! Forget for a moment that this kind of cyclical bureaucracy serves no real purpose other than some kind of outdated CYA exercise. Forget also that what you are suggesting is exactly the kind of transactional BS that keeps HR from adding real value.

Editing review material is the worst kind of HR activity on a number of levels. It reinforces the HR 'police' stigma, and invites all sorts of confrontational and passive aggressive behavior. It's a huge time suck, with no real returns for the effort, and it can lead to management transparency when it comes to who is responsible for what.

And don't lay that 'liability/compliance' excuse on this issue. The likelihood of some agency review is somewhere between slim and none.

Is anybody reading this stuff? Insofar as HR is concerned, I hope not.

Dude, don't even get me started on this. I run into most commonly with JDs where one job is supposed to be "bigger" than the other but they read the same. I send back to be updated but it's such an epidemic I just kicked off a company-wide project to address it. We'll see how that goes.

Couldn't agree more. The issue is that in the performance based organisation, there is an increasingly tight wiring between PD/PM rating and pay outcome. We work to "distribution guidelines" (curves that work as a whipping board) in-advertantly making the entire focus - usually in a ridiculously tight time frame - being on the final rating; not the performance feedback and review. Too often the rating is submitted to consistency checks and reviews and will probably pass through, with the actual review to be written later on - that's the reality in large performance driven organisations and it costs them dearly (attrition, non engagement and disengagement, disillusionment, low morale, and lip service to actually managing for performance....and development!).

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