Tillerson Delivers Performance Management Tip, and EER Drafters Everywhere Cheer

Posted: 12:55 am ET


According to ABC News, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently told U.S. diplomats in Brussels that the U.S. State Department has yet to achieve foreign policy “wins” since he took over nearly a year ago. “While we don’t have any wins on the board yet, I can tell you we’re in a much better position to advance America’s interests around the world than we were 10 months ago,” Tillerson said.

And EER writers everywhere cheered!

No more wasted paper or wasted printer toner come Spring when employee evaluation reports are due. This may be the shortest EER accomplishment employees ever have to write if they take their cue from a secretary of state whose tenure the New Yorker says “may well be regarded as the most consequential in postwar American history.”

DS-5055 has a box for description of accomplishments: “Rated employees must describe their most significant accomplishments during the rating period. Employees should provide a factual description of outcomes achieved and how these outcomes advanced Mission or Department goals. Employees do not self-appraise their own performance.”  Well, never mind that, it can be short and sweet like:

“As the Secretary has said, not having any accomplishments over 10 months is perfectly acceptable. My work has put the Department in a much better position to advance America’s work around the world.”

You’re welcome!


FS Efficiency Report 1958: Short and Sweet, Plus This FSO’s Wife “Manages a Pleasant Home”

Posted: 2:56 am ET
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The following is an extract from a 1958 efficiency report. The work statement is short, the rating scheme is 1-6, and the comments and recommendations … well, you can see a sampling below:

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PART VI – Comprehensive Comments and Recommendations

Selection boards consistently report the narrative section of the efficiency report to be by far the most important part of the report. In justice to the rated officer, the rating officer must strive to develop the narrative section in such a manner that a picture of the whole officer will emerge, a picture that will enable selection board members to make accurate competitive evaluations with other officers of the class. Statements of praise or criticism should reflect sincere, considered and fair judgments. Cite specific examples to justify your observations. Point up particular strengths and limitations. Any relatively high or low markings in Parts I, II, or III should be justified by concrete illustrations in this section.

Discuss each of the topics below which are pertinent to the officer, typing as a key word or phrase before each section the word or phrase appearing in CAPS.

A. PERSONAL. This officer’s ability for research, summarization and his capacity for hard work are reflected in his political reporting. He works well with others, however, he is a perfectionist in assessing his own work and tends to apply this personal standard to others.

B. PERFORMANCE. Using the wide background knowledge and his professional skill as an educator, [snip] reports are reliable and distinctive.

D. PHYSICAL. He has adjusted to India’s climatic conditions and has shown ability to work under pressure. His general health is excellent.

F. COURAGE. Not observed.

F. REPRESENTATION. This officer is an excellent speaker and uses facts, logic and humor to hold his listeners. He has made good and lasting contacts in this area.

H. FAMILY. The wife of this officer is an agreeable and well-adjusted person. She is popular in the American community as well as other groups with whom she comes in contact. She manages a pleasant home.

Q. REACTION. Performance has not been discussed with this officer.


Burn Bag: An Exercise on ‘Just Wondering’ About Enduring Accomplishments in Saigon and Kabul EERs

Via Burn Bag:


“I wonder if the EERs* written at Embassy Saigon in 1973 contained as many self-congratulatory declarations of enduring accomplishment as those penned at Embassy Kabul in 2015.”

[protected-iframe id=”2728018605606a2e204bac746b181f1e-31973045-31356973″ info=”//giphy.com/embed/lELRD773cY7Sg?html5=true” width=”480″ height=”258″ frameborder=”0″]

(image via giphy.com)

EER — Employee Evaluation Report
Correction: previous burn bag referenced Kabul in 1975. Author meant 2015.