Performance Evaluation For A Snow Plow Operator

Today I had my quarterly performance evaluation.  It went fine.  I want to improve my competence in writing treatment plans incorporating  language specific to Psychosocial Rehabilitation,  a new emphasis in our State Human Services Department. I continue  to work on it.

Our current Republican  governor thought it a great idea to have all  State employees evaluate themselves every three months and set quarterly goals. Well, that can probably work for me and many  other State employees.  I wonder,  though, how the snow plow operators set quarterly goals?  I suppose in the off season they are mowing ditches and filling pot holes. How do you quantify improvements on snow removal? What a nuisance for them, though!

What goals would you suggest snow plow operators strive toward?  Tell about your work evaluations.

32 thoughts on “Performance Evaluation For A Snow Plow Operator”

  1. mowing ditches has always been a pet peeve

    the difference between the mowed area and the area right next to it seem to make my point for me. why bother? if snow plow drivers are hired to do stuff instead of driving plows or mowing there is certainly lots of stuff to do. i remember a guy i was in a breakfast group with whose job was to anticipate what stuff could be done proactively to make his high end commercial properties best possible scenarios shine
    what if plow drivers were tasked with trying to go good stuff for the state? install solar wind geothermal things put bee hives in the ditches to improve the bee population and create north dakota honey
    fix the caulking around windows in all state buildings put tar in the cracks in the road refinish the floors paint all the bridge parts that need scraping and painting. how about giving the top snow plow drivers the note pads to make lists for all the new up and coming snow plow drivers to have stuff to do in the coming years. job security, national infrastructure maintenance money saving … awards in every possible direction. cost savings, fixing environmental concerns being socially conscientious. and of course looking after the worlds largest cow

    Liked by 2 people

  2. wouldn’t it be cool to have a list of stuff that really got attention paid to it?
    paint the door, fix the steps and hand rails clean the light fixtures. i can’t be the only person who sees this stuff. what if you got a reward for finding the most stuff to do?
    minnesota is issuing a lot of tickets for talking on the phone in the car. maybe the $100 fine could go into a fix the state fund with tasks directed by snow plow drivers. maybe snow plow drivers could be taught play therapy, i hear there’s a need…they could have the kids drive tonka snow plows and paint the little bridges and towns in the play villages

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know this for a fact, but I would expect that most if not all the snow plow drivers are county employees, not state, and not subject to the governor’s cockamamie notions of management. I also would expect that most snow plow drivers have other jobs not with the county during those months when there’s no snow- like farming. Any full time state-employed drivers would already have a full set of summer duties.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. More power to you, Renee, if you can withstand quarterly evaluations. I have to say that I’d have to start drinking on the job if I had to have an evaluation every quarter. I can just barely stand having an evaluation once a year. And after working for the same person for 30+ years, it seems a little insane, hat once a year we still have to sit down and fill out the forms and talk about How I do my job.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t usually feel sorry for my boss, because she chose the job she has and she clearly likes it if she still doing it. But two years ago we made a big management change that everyone in the company would get their review in August. And it was quite a headache to get everything moved around, Especially for those of us who had our evaluations normally scheduled in the fall. I do remember at the time thinking what an incredible pain for all the managers including my boss to now have to do every single evaluation at the same time.


        1. And the work environment tension tends to build in that situation–everybody tenses up at the same time, your boss included. There are some people who never review well.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. Direct supervisors have to read the evaluations. It is a nuisance to come up with a quarterly goal. It makes a lot of work for everyone.


      3. So, your boss evaluates you? Since he or she has great impact on the way you do your job, it is only logical that you should also evaluate your boss . . . at the same time, possibly, or maybe at some other time. There is absolutely no reason all evaluations should be all be directed from top to bottom.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I agree, Steve. A good boss must in constant communication with their co-workers, and it’s a two way street. Bringing up problems at the annual evaluation that haven’t been dealt with at the time they occurred is counterproductive.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. The last time I worked for a salary, I was a manager of a staff of about a half dozen. I had the power to hire and fire, the give performance reviews and make recommendations for raises. I also gave job assignments and generally kept my staff busy, on track, and protected as much as possible from the caprices of upper management.

    Once a year I would have to compile a review of my performance to management, itemizing my accomplishments and skewing it all to make it seem like something special. Management would then award a bonus—usually about $5000—based on my performance.

    But it was all kabuki. I was just doing my job. I was already getting paid more than my staff members in exchange for the extra responsibility. There really wasn’t anything I could do that I didn’t already do unless I deliberately held back.

    After a couple of years of that, I went to management and told them if the intent of the bonus system was incentive, it was ineffectual because there wasn’t anything I could see to do that I wasn’t already doing. I told them that if they really wanted to use their money to create incentive, they should take my average bonus, split it into twelve chunks of $500 a month and create an employee of the month program. That was the level where recognition could make a difference.

    Management accepted my decline of the bonus but refused to institute a recognition program for employees. That was probably also the beginning of the end of my role as manager in the company. As with many companies, there was hierarchy—a caste system—where certain benefits were reserved for the higher castes and extending benefits and acknowledged appreciation to what management considered “the commoners” was not something they would allow.

    One of the things I remember from my performance review at that time was that I was accused of fraternizing too much with my staff. In other words, they didn’t see me holding myself above them in an obvious way.
    My staff were all professional people. They all had duties to fulfill. All of those duties were essential components of the whole. Nobody was redundant or I would have let them go. It’s true that I had the task of keeping them coordinated, but why should I have placed myself above them?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Keeping your staff “protected as much as possible from the caprices of upper management” can be difficult in a large corporation. I can’t even imagine what that’s like in DT’s administration or any large bureaucracy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. For one thing, you have to be prepared to step in between management and your staff to claim responsibility for problems when they arise. My supervisor was a pleasant guy but you could never trust him to defend you before management, even when he had agreed with you in private.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is the number one thing that I really appreciate about my boss. I have absolutely no fear that she wouldn’t have my back if I needed it. 30 years of experience here.

          Liked by 2 people

  6. Renee, you hit me right where I live. Every year when we go through the evaluation trauma, there are goals that I have to come up with. Luckily the last two or three years most of the gosls have been assigned because everybody needs to do the same thing, some training or other. Boy I hate the goals. I have enough to do with my regular job without extra stuff because there’s a piece of paper that says we should have extra stuff.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    My last job review would have happened about 18 years ago. I do not miss that process. One of the advantages of being self-employed is that process goes by the wayside along with the boss. Overall, though, my job reviews were usually pretty good. A negative about self-employment is that if you are doing something that is counterproductive, there is no avenue to communicate that, aside from simply losing business. You just have to hope that your relationships with customers and co-workers are effective enough that they will tell you before they quit you.

    Snow plow drivers? I suppose in this day and age it would be photos of the results of your plowing posted on social media or a Yelp review.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ah, I remember perf. eval – only ones worth anything were when I worked for the tiny consulting firm, where they were verbal, probably once a year if that. Or on the spot when something either needed to be addressed (please get here on time) or much appreciated.

    This kind of bureaucratic busywork is one of the things that drove me from teaching. I think these evaluations were probably designed for/by workers who don’t communicate well – who aren’t able to give effective feedback on a daily basis when needed.


  9. HI-
    I can speak to some of this.
    Who the plow operators depends on the jurisdiction. Our township hires Olmsted county to do our road work. Some of the guys do farm on the side, but this is also a full time job. Randy, the plow truck guy for our area, does a really great job and he’s promised me he won’t be able to retire for 5-7 years yet. Craig, our former grader guy, he retired last summer. If Randy takes a day off and someone else fills in during a snow fall, I get calls that the road wasn’t done right. It’s sort of a tribute to Randy what a good job he does; and he says he has kind of spoiled the residents and it bothers him when the sub doesn’t do as good of a job.
    And if they’re not actively plowing snow, they’re fixing roads.

    I know other townships have staff that does this same process; plow snow when needed, fix roads, mow ditches (Hi tim!) and there are the state employees working for MnDot that plow the state highways.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. The plow drivers that plow the night route in front of my house will sometimes set the plow blade down on top of the curb and scalp everything growing on the boulevard. It’s quite a mess in the spring. At night they can’t seem to tell where the curb is.

    A good goal for s snowplow driver would be to know where the street ends and the boulevard begins. In rural areas I would think it’s even more critical to know where the road ends and the ditch begins.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Sometimes I will get complaints in the spring about the amount of gravel thrown into the ditch (or lawn). Well, I’m Sorry, but it just happens.

      I’ve seen the county trucks uses lasers sometimes to project ahead of the plow and will indicate where the wing will plow.

      Liked by 1 person

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