Each year in April, much attention and focus for FSOs goes to the performance evaluation process to document achievements toward objectives and how we all walked on water. This is the dreaded Annual Evaluation Form of the AEF season. The process isn't just a simple evaluation and rating from your supervisor. Rather, it's a time-consuming endeavor of drafting self-assessments (or more often than not, drafting your own evaluation), soliciting and incorporating the perfect 360 input, and then multiple reviews by the assessment committee to finally get that perfect write-up of your work for the year. Be sure to clearly demonstrate all the Foreign Service Matrix Skills and crosswalk that to include the Agency's core values!
And the fun doesn't end there! After negotiating and crafting the AEF, next comes the Employee/Personal Statement, often referred to as the "suicide box". This is the opportunity to mention every other accomplishment (avoiding sounding too arrogant) you did, or bring some personality and humility to the evaluation, or tell a good creative story to attach to your evaluation.
This then gets sent to DC where evaluation boards are formed to review and rank-order all the officers and the line is drawn for who gets promoted.
This annual ritual occurs every April and lasts for 2-3 weeks each year as everyone attempts to documents their work in the best light. In the end, almost everyone will end up sounding like they are completely saving the world and the boards somehow work to parse fact from fiction. The system is commonly understood to need improvement but when it comes to actually figuring out how to do it better, it's usually a loss for words. Trying to evaluate the work equally of Officers across the world, with completely different roles and responsibilities is a pretty difficult endeavor. It's then back to the daily grind and setting objectives for the next year to come.
Hoping for the best and it's all finished with for this year. Results come out later around September. Official policy on the evaluation process located at ADS 462. But for now, taking a break after 2 1/2 months to see family and take a long belated (honeymoon?) to the Maldives.
|Wonder how many snow leopards are out there?|