Monday, December 3, 2007

Corporate Semantics

I took precious time out of my busy day (I'm giggling right now) to complete my company's "Employee Preferences Survey". Part of the survey provided a series of work environment descriptions of two different jobs and asked me to decide my preferences between them (assuming everything thing else about the jobs were the same). However, the differences between the two were often pinned to my semantic judgments of lexical items. I cut-and-pasted a few of the actual questions below.

Seldom vs. Sometimes
Job 1: Company seldom recognizes employees' individual performance and work contributions
Job 2: Company sometimes recognizes employees' individual performance and work contributions

Sometimes vs. Frequently
Job 1: Company sometimes recognizes employees' individual performance and work contributions
Job 2:Company frequently recognizes employees' individual performance and work contributions

Another part of the survey asked me to rate on a scale of 1-100 how likely I would be to leave my current job for a new one of the given description. In the description below, taking (a) and (g) together leads to the conclusion that my current pay must be WAYYYYYYYYYYYY below "market rate". Is this what my current employer believes? Is it time for me to ask for a raise, or am I to draw the inference that this hypothetical job will be offer me (an only me) substantial compensation? More importantly, how do I answer the question?

a) Company typically pays well below "market rate"
b) Direct manager is one of the worst in quality
c) Always working on challenging and "leading-edge" work in your field
d) Company frequently recognizes employees' individual performance
e) Depending on your performance, bonus can add up to 20% to your pay
f) About 10% out-of-town business travel
g) Base pay 30% more than current
h) Coworkers are above average in quality

OMG!!! It actually asked me to rate my agreement level with THIS:

I am “emotionally attached” to (company name).

Dude! WTF? Is someone out there actually “emotionally attached” to their company? If yes, would they be willing to admit this on a survey? (I am willing to stipulate that some professors may in fact be “emotionally attached” to their university employers, especially if they teach at the same school they graduated from. I could see professors Harvard and Stanford being a tad “emotionally attached” to their employer – but we all know that professors at Harvard and Stanford don’t count; they’re not normal people like the rest of us, hehe).

Finally, double how's are tough:

How satisfied are you with how the performance management system reviews your accomplishments?

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