Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lake Wobegon at the VA

A report yesterday on revealed that every one of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ 470 senior executives has been rated “outstanding” or “fully successful” at least once in the last four years, and most of them got one of these top two ratings in multiple years.

Last year, almost 80% of the VA’s senior execs were rated “outstanding” or “fully successful.” About two-thirds of them got bonuses.

In the last four years, none of the senior VA honchos received either of the lowest two performance ratings, not one of them, not once.

It's a miracle. Seems every one of them is above average....

This report says as much about a big organization like the VA as it says about the egregious failure of darn near everyone everywhere to implement a performance evaluation system that actually evaluates widely varying performance, instead of simply forcing supervisors to complete the hated chore of doing a once-a-year gloss of their subordinates' work performance that disguises the identify of all the poor performers.

This report also is another stupefying example of top executives being allowed to claim that "bonuses are vital to hiring and retention" without having to prove it. Of course, that claim can't be proved, because it's not true. 

No bonus plan has ever been shown to materially improve discriminating selection of "the best candidates" or "retention of the high performers." You know, it's the old "every Little Leaguer gets a trophy" mindset....

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