May 20, 2014

Self Assessments

Advice From IAPE

An open letter to IAPE-represented employees at Dow Jones & Company

What Your Manager Doesn't Know Might Hurt You: Self-Assessments Are Always Optional

It is performance evaluation time again for Dow Jones employees - and, as always seems to be the case, department managers are "asking" employees to complete their self-assessment forms.

Unfortunately, it also seems that many managers are not reminding their employees that self-assessments are (and always have been) entirely optional. In fairness to those managers, they might not be aware of that bit of information - even though IAPE and Dow Jones have agreed since 2002, the year this Company began using self-assessments during annual reviews, that no employee will be required to deliver a self-evaluation prior to receiving a performance review.

The long-held position of your Union on the subject of self-assessment is simple:

Evaluating the performance of employees is considered a management function.

This is your annual opportunity to find out what your boss thinks of your work, not just a chance for your manager to rubber-stamp your opinion.

All too often, a manager overlooks a subordinate's perceived positive attributes, instead focusing on the negative examples provided in a self-assessment by an honest employee.

Take our advice: if asked to evaluate your own performance from the past year, deliver an email to your manager this week with a very simple statement: "Since self-reviews are recognized as optional for IAPE-represented employees, I respectfully choose not to offer my own assessment of my performance, but look forward to your evaluation of my contributions to the Company." If that doesn't seem like your style, submit a list of only your accomplishments to your manager.

If you ever find yourself in an evaluation-turned-disciplinary meeting, know this: Article XXI of the IAPE contract explains "The Company and the Union agree that performance evaluations under this Article shall not be considered disciplinary actions." As an IAPE-represented employee, you have the right to immediately ask for Union representation in any disciplinary meeting.

If you have any questions, or if you get any negative feedback from your refusal to provide your own, please contact IAPE president Bob Kozma, grievance committee chairman Rob Johnson, or executive director Tim Martell.

The following is the complete text from Article XXI of the IAPE/DJ Collective Bargaining Agreement:


If an Employee receives a written performance evaluation, he or she has the right to review the evaluation and to affix his or her written response to the evaluation. Nothing in this provision shall require the Company to give performance evaluations. The Company and the Union agree that performance evaluations under this Article shall not be considered disciplinary actions.