So we are at that time of the year, where end of the year evaluations are being submitted to determine remuneration, salary and advancement. Typically, these evaluations are a summary of contributions for the past year and explanations of how one excelled at what they did, but also how one contributed to the betterment of their place of employment.
But let’s be honest – why do we go through this exercise?
I was at a conference recently, and one of the big repeats throughout the day, was the “myth of meritocracy”. Just hearing the term gave me permission to feel justification in past feelings, felt. We have all seen it time and again, more times than naught, work performance and abilities do not count as much in moving up the ladder. Cue – sponsors or allies.
When one has a sponsor, in upper management, who sees one’s potential and wants to champion and advance you, in my opinion, this has far more weight than one’s abilities. And the problem is that often Champions only sponsor people they feel an affinity for; they see themselves in that person. And so if management is comprised of the management team in “Mad Men”, the likelihood of finding a sponsor for many becomes far slimmer. The myth of meritocracy.
I say all of this because another issue which was raised at the conference was the idea of published metrics for companies. Forcing companies to start being accountable with metrics to show that the “Mad Men” hierarchy is not being perpetuated but changed with diversity and resulting in work places reflecting today’s society. It sounds ideal, but it is still a work in progress.
But speaking of metrics, wouldn’t it be great if during the course of evaluations, there was a magical metric to measure the unnecessary extra energy non “Mad Men”, spend during the year, trying to get the same traction as the “Mad Men”, and there was a way for this be accounted for in the evaluations? If there was a scientific way of measuring individual energy levels for the year and out of that, what was unnecessarily spent, explaining or justifying worth, even when that was evident with performance; how amazing would that be?
So many conversations constantly justifying contributions and worth; exhausting. Constantly feeling opposed. Feeling a lack of support. Tiring! However when those same positions are presented by someone “less polarizing”, then it is instant acknowledgement and applause. What if those moments of frustration and anger could be measured, acknowledged and factored? Game changer.
And yes, this is all very dramatic and untenable, but this energy waste in tangible and draining. And so, if those additional hoops were accounted for as a metric, then I think that there would be a valid reason to change the approach taken by many managers. Because if the metric of wasteful time needed to be compensated by other means – salary, promotion etc.. then this would definitely be scrutinized more and I guarantee you that a different approach would be taken. Mic drop.
And trust me, with the increased use of AI, perhaps there can be an implementation of more objective and concrete metrics, which properly apply a meritocracy approach and we can rid ourselves of the belief that it is a myth? Mind blasting!
But that’s just one Diva’s view.