Unfair Evaluation

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about bad evaluations.

I am a physician at a certain institute, just recently hired 6 months ago. My coworkers have unfairly attacked my skills and abilities and wrote wrongfully bad evaluations against me. What can I do in this situation? I feel I have been slowly being pushed out of the institute for no good reason.

Signed, The Doctor’s Not In

Dear The Doctor’s Not In:

What can you do? From this distance, we can’t know; however, here are some things for you to consider: Compile a list the complaints. Spell them out and review what might have prompted them. What do the evaluations say is wrong: incompetence in general or in specific skills, lacking appropriate interpersonal communication with coworkers superiors, and/ or patients, and annoying physical grooming, or personality traits of arrogance or narcissism, etc.?

Look in the mirror. Do you see any of the bad things that others see? But don’t obsess about this. Accept it as you might if you were on a sports team and the coach called you aside and said your teammates had complaints about you. Sometimes we must make changes when things go wrong.

Confer with the superior who conveyed the evaluations. Don’t approach them defensively. Rather ask for suggestions about what you might do to turn these negatives to positives. There is no shame in asking for advice. If you reason some complaints are without merit, you will need to decide if it would be wise to submit a written rebuttal. In case of a disciplinary write up, it might be good to compose a written defense of your action or inaction to be entered into your files, but since you say the evaluations are meant to push you out, that might do little good.

You might need to thicken you skin and brush some of the complaints off your shoulders. But toughness likely won’t reduce all of the stress you feel. Think team. It is not unusual for new hires to feel unwelcome. It is like walking in on an ongoing conversation among friends. Getting in to an on-going conversation without seeming pushy takes skill and patience.

Do you behave as a team member; learning what is expected in your role and passing, catching, and playing by the established rules? Do you make coworkers work easier or more difficult? In every work group there are three dimensions: · In-out feelings of belonging or not belonging, · Up-down feelings who has power/influence and · Feelings of distance; liking and disliking.If you feel you are being pushed out, that is stressful and can’t help but hurt your self-esteem.

If you sense your status is not respected, that too is hurting your sense of self-worth. If you lack support and sense a cool or hostile work environment, you need to find support from some few within the workplace or outside. Unfortunately, medical workplaces have a reputation of being hard-nosed about rating their employees. Only a few have an egalitarian team culture. It might be that you are learning that this work setting is so lacking in coaching and team spirit that the best you can do is to learn what not to do, and then move on. The practice of performance evaluation has both positive and negative potential.

Evaluations can be understood as a collaborative effort to improve the quality of goods and services or they can be a form of control that coerces subordinates to work in fear. Yours has you working in fear. Whether you can so engage your superior and coworkers to work collaboratively with you may be problematic. But if you try to enlist your boss and coworkers in a collaborative effort to be a respected member of your work group, what have you got to lose?

The above suggestions are a proactive approach to “bad evaluations” and I hope they will prompt you to reflect what they mean and with whom you might confer to transform negatives to positives. Going to work day after day feeling as you do now is not the way work should be. You are in a caring-giving, highly-skilled profession. Work for you should be exciting and something that you love. I want for you to feel you belong, to see you have influence and to like those with whom you work. Your place of work should have interdependent-mindedness and benefit from that. Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden