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Employees are actually slipping, a positive sign

State employees are slipping.

As we reported Thursday, a 2008 review of state employee performance ratings showed that they were inflated, with 81 percent scoring above average. Well, in 2009, ratings were down slightly, with only 79 percent scoring above average.

The ratings are not tied to raises — which tend to be awarded by the legislature on an across-the-board basis. Managers have few perks to reward high performing employees, so the often-subjective performance reviews tend to be overwhelmingly positive, officials have concluded.

So given the fact that the state has an inflation problem, declining employee performance is actually a good thing.

"The last two years' ratings have been less positively skewed than has been the case for the prior 19 years," the Office of State Personnel reported in 2009.


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Rating Slippage: So What.

Since the performance ratings are subjective whims and not assessed against any real performance standards, they are totally meaningless.

One should expect that most ratings should be "good" or "high" unless you are randomly hiring people regardless of qualifications. The state employs many, many people who work hard trying to do their jobs right.

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