Spot a Poorly Fitting Job

I recommend this quick read: 5 Signs it’s Time to Quit Your Job

Not a bad list. The quick version is to worry over

  1. a no-win environment
  2. no desire to think about work
  3. feeling unsafe to express yourself
  4. frequent Sunday night blues
  5. no more laughing at work

As Sallie Krawcheck mentions, your signs could be different. 

As a manager, you might want to keep these warning signs in mind when running one-on-ones with your employees.  You could ask questions to try and uncover burn-out or dissatisfaction early. For example, you might ask

  1. What is standing in the way of greater success for you?
  2. What are you passionate about? Does your passion find a voice at work?
  3. Do you feel safe taking risks and speaking out at work? We may not always agree, but I always want dialog to be open.
  4. What parts of your job do you look forward to?
  5. When was the last time work was particularly fun or rewarding for you?

As a manager, I hope I can talk about these things with my directs.

No worries. Just talk.  I want my directs to be happy. Life’s too short to hate your job.

Shrink Annual Performance Reviews

Adobe has abolished annual performance reviews in favor of more frequent, lighter-weight check-ins.  My company has annual reviews but since I became a manager it has been my goal to make those reviews a non-event. That is, I try to have weekly check-ins (one-on-ones) that bite off performance review a week at a time.  Read the article for Adobe’s take.

My own challenges:

  • It can be easy to be too zoomed in during weekly check-ups. So I’ve been adding monthly and quarterly triggers for higher level discussions.
  • In an agile development environment it can be hard to set long range goals.  Each developer is more or less committed to doing whatever comes next off of the backlog. Creating metrics that give concrete feedback while valuing all the important work being done is an enormous challenge. I’ve found that when you do hit on a good metric people are relieved to see the evidence of their good work being recognized.

Thank you to this week’s Mad Sad Glad from Manager Tools for the link.

You may not be able to abolish performance reviews, but if you’re a manager you can shrink them.