I love my wife dearly, but there are a couple of areas that she really could sharpen up on, areas that would improve her performance and deepen her satisfaction with her home life.
I have instigated an annual review process
And I have spent a considerable amount of time writing her performance appraisal.
I have done it by the book:
- Sought 360 feedback
- Collected clear specific evidence
- Highlighted strengths (first)
- Identified weaknesses development opportunities.
It reads like this:
Annual Performance Appraisal
Manager: James Lawther
Employee: Christine Lawther
Key Skills and Competences
Action Focus: Below Standard
- Strength – Ability to create fabulous meals when my mother is visiting. N.B. this could be further developed by creating fabulous meals when my mother isn’t visiting.
- Development Opportunity – Attention to detail, I have to repeatedly empty the dish washer. This is not a task I am accountable for and is in your job description (wife).
- Development Opportunity – Completing and finishing, often start ironing then get distracted by fighting children so do not complete the task in hand. Need to develop multi-tasking ability.
Influencing Ability: Good
- Strength – Able to convince me of the business case of investing in meals for two at expensive restaurants.
- Development Opportunity – Inability to get the children to school on time without having to resort to shouting (this is a particular problem with 10 year-old daughter).
Communication Skills: Below Standard
- Strength – Direct and clear feedback to me about my personal failings, specifically in relation to time keeping and nocturnal habits (need to be careful this doesn’t become an overplayed strength).
- Development Opportunity – We often get lost whilst driving through large cities as unable to clearly and concisely articulate which direction we should take whilst looking at a map. Last year’s investment in satellite navigation doesn’t seem to have improved performance.
Overall Rating: Below Standard
The appraisal did not go as well as I had hoped
My wife was sullen and withdrawn during the conversation. She seemed preoccupied by the rating I had given her and we didn’t get into a rich development conversation about the feedback. Even though I practiced my best active listening techniques.
The conversation was distinctly frosty until we discussed her annual merit increase.
Then things warmed up significantly
It seemed sensible to link her pay to performance, after all, that creates a more motivational environment and a desire to succeed.
As her performance this year was below standard (as evidenced above) I had little choice but to hold the house keeping allowance at last year’s levels. It would have sent completely the wrong message if I had increased it.
When we discussed this my wife became quite defensive, suggesting that some of the issues were outside of her control and then she had the temerity to suggest that I was equally accountable for overall household performance.
I won’t bother with an appraisal next year
It was just wasted effort and I wasn’t thanked for my input once. The developmental feedback fell on deaf ears. Instead I think it would be wiser simply to have a regular catch up in the evenings and talk about the children.
All of which begs the question:
If you wouldn’t do performance appraisals at home…
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