Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don't Believe Your Own Press

Today I had my yearly performance review at my place of employment (8 years with this particular company).

After God saved me and regenerated me (about 6 years ago), the process began of changing my self-focused worldview to a biblical worldview. Up until that time, I kept my work life separate from my home life. I later realized that God does not draw lines in the Bible between how you act in the corporate world and how you act in your personal life or at church. There is one standard and it applies to all of life. Humility does not remain in the back seat of your car as you approach the door of your workplace in the morning. Honesty is not to be checked at the door when you punch the time card for your shift that day. Kindness does not take a 30-minute break for lunch as you do.

Keeping the above ideas in mind, that brings me to the process of the yearly performance review. At my company, this is where the raise for the year is decided. Our company decides the percentage of your yearly raise (between 1% and 5%) based on your performance review. The performance review is completed around your anniversary date with the company, and the information for that review is gathered from interaction with your direct supervisor, peer reviews filled out by your coworkers about your performance, and a self-appraisal peformance review that you fill out about your own job performance prior to your yearly review. All of these opinions are taken into account, given a number value, and compiled into a final report that generates a final performance rating number, with which your yearly raise amount is decided.

God has allowed me to work at a company that is still in a position, in our current economy, to give out yearly raises. And I am grateful for that.

When seeking to follow a biblical worldview, there can be some tension within yourself when preparing your self-evaluation for the yearly review.

The world system would say: "Nobody tells the complete truth on these things. Everyone exaggerates a bit. You have to do that to survive in the corporate world."

The Bible says: "Thou shall not bear false witness..." (lie). Exodus 20:16

The world system would say: "If you don't say it about yourself nobody else will."

The Bible says: "....do not set your mind on high things but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion." Romans 12:16 "One's pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor." Proverbs 29:23

The world system would say: "If they hurt you, it's okay to hurt them. If they're nice to you, you should be nice to them."

The Bible says: "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others as better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of a cross."

I have many of these verses posted at my desk at work to remind me of what the Bible says when I am tempted to believe what the world around me says.

For seven years, I had the same supervisor. This year I have a new boss, and she is not only my direct supervisor, she is the executive director of the company (the boss of the whole place, if you will). Having a new boss is a little like having a new job. It has taken me an entire year to understand the expectations of my new supervisor (what is important to her was not important to my other supervisor and vise versa). But what has not changed is that what was important to my God last year is still important to Him this year. Ultimately, I report to Him.

As I prepare for my self-appraisal performance review each year, I use it as a time to examine myself. I weigh myself against the standards of the Bible and see how I am doing.

This year, I knew that I was struggling in the area of punctuality. I marked myself with a low score for that area. It is something that I have confessed to God and my husband, and we've been praying about it in our family. I know that when I show up late, I am lying with my actions. I agreed to start work at a specific time yet I am not honoring my agreement. I also know that the main reason I am not showing up on time is selfishness. I refuse to deny myself one more thing (an extra 15 minutes of sleep, checking an e-mail, getting something ready for supper, eating something for breakfast, grabbing a book so I have it with me for break time,) before I walk out the door. God has been convicting me of my sin in this area. I'm also aware that my boss doesn't really know what time I show up, so I knew I'd be informing her of this with my self-appraisal form.

Before heading into the review, I prayed that God would allow me to take correction. I've been studying the book of Proverbs lately, and I'm struck by the idea that "God disciplines those He loves."

As I sat in my supervisor's office today, we discussed my yearly performance review. It went well, and I received a generous raise. As usual, if I received any marks that reflected less than a perfect score, it was in the area of "corporate mentality" usually manifesting itself under the headings of Problem-Solving and Productivity. We discussed my comments under the Punctuality category, and I assured my boss I am working to correct it. Yet, under the category of Punctuality on my final performance review I received a perfect score, complete with comments such as: "Katrina's attendance is excellent and she is punctual."

I did find this comment intriguing under the category of Personal Accountability. "Katrina invariably contributes to the general good and avoids consequences that might hurt others. A high degree of ethical, moral, and professional behavior is exhibited in her everyday personal conduct. Her promises are always kept and her commitments are always honored. Her performance upholds the organization's core values by presenting herself in a professional, positive manner."

If I did not fear God, as His Word instructs me to do, none of this could be said of me. No amount of instruction and explanation of the company's core values could have changed my heart (and influenced my behavior).

The Bible says, "........for the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

I titled this post "Don't Believe Your Own Press", and that's a good thing to remember when filling out and sitting in on yearly reviews, as demonstrated with the comments under my punctuality performance on my review. I would encourage you to use yearly reviews (or other evaluation practices) as a tool to examine yourself and ask yourself, "How can I best glorify God in the workplace and am I doing that?"

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Katrina! Good job shows following God's standards we can shine for Him

    ReplyDelete

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