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Evaluating Staff Employees

From Appalachian State University Policy Manual

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Policy 602.24

1 Introduction

2 Scope

3 Definitions

3.1 Performance Expectations

Performance expectations are the measures or the criteria which the supervisor uses to appraise the performance of the employee.

3.2 Method of Evaluation

Method of evaluation is defined as the method the supervisor will use to monitor the performance of the employee.

4 Policy and Procedure Statements

4.1 Performance Management System

4.1.1 The Performance Management System utilized by the University provides supervisors and employees an evaluation process that promotes communication between the supervisor and the employee. The system also allows employees to participate in all steps of the evaluation process.

4.2 Evaluation Process

4.2.1 The evaluation process begins with the supervisor and the employee determining the primary job factors. Refer to Human Resource Services, Policy 12.

4.3 Primary Job Factors

4.3.1 Determination of Primary Job Factors

4.3.1.1 At the beginning of the work cycle, the employee and the supervisor should determine what the Primary Job Factors are for the employee's position. The job description can be used as a basis for the job factors. Primary job factors are defined as recurring/repetitive duties required of the job. The number of primary job factors will depend on the level and complexity of each job. In determining which factors are primary, consideration should be given to the following:

  1. Percentage of time devoted to the function
  2. Consequence of error in carrying out the function
  3. Relative difficulty of the function compared to other parts of the job
  4. Impact on unit objectives when a function is carried out successfully

4.3.2 Tasks

4.3.2.1 For each primary job factor there may be one or more tasks to be performed. When primary job factors are further identified by task statements, the performance expectations should be identified for each task.

4.3.3 Identifying Tasks

4.3.3.1 When identifying tasks, the following guidelines should be used:

  1. Make each task a separate statement
  2. Ensure each task is specific and measurable.
  3. List tasks which are reasonable and can be performed successfully
  4. Use principle tasks which are consistent with goals and objectives of the unit
  5. Begin each statement with an actionverb such as checks, cleans, completes, designs, manages, types, etc. Avoid value terms such as "has responsibility for", "assists", "handles", and "works with."

4.3.3.2 Periodically special projects or assignments that are identified as part of the job need to be evaluated separately. In these instances use the same criteria in determining performance expectations as with other factors or tasks.

4.4 Performance Expectations

4.4.1 The performance expectations should indicate how well the employee must perform each primary job factor task, project or assignment in order to be considered a satisfactory "good" performer. The supervisor and the employee should have a mutual understanding of the performance expected at the "good performance" level.

4.4.2 When developing performance expectations, the supervisor should consider the following:

  1. What is the task (action)
  2. What should be the result
  3. How to measure the acceptable level of effectiveness. The level of effectiveness is measured by performance indicators such as quantity, quality, timeliness, cost effectiveness, and adherence to policy and procedures.

4.4.3 Behavioral aspects must also be measured and performance expectations should be specific, reasonable and attainable.

4.5 Method of Evaluation

Method of Evaluation is the method the supervisor will use to monitor the performance of the employee. Common monitoring methods are:

  1. Observation - observe the employee performing a task
  2. Sampling - Collect samples of written work, reports, typing
  3. Actual Completed Assignment/projects - take into account the results of an assignment or project; quality, deadlines, etc.

4.5.1 Development/Improvement Plan

4.5.1.1 At the beginning of the work cycle, the supervisor should determine if there is a need for training to improve performance in the employee's current job. In planning for improvement the supervisor should consider the following criteria:

  1. Determine if performance weakness results from lack of knowledge, skills, or abilities.
  2. Determine if any obstacles or circumstances outside the control of the employee exist. Examples: Unclear expectations or insufficient resources.
  3. Determine if further training education is needed to maintain or improve performance. The training and education may be formal courses, workshops or self study. Increased coaching and modeling may also be utilized in the development plan.

4.5.2 Coaching and Modeling

4.5.2.1 Coaching and modeling are other processes used by supervisors to assist employees in meeting performance expectations throughout the cycle. Coaching involves the supervisor providing positive reinforcement for satisfactory performance, and assistance when employees need help in solving problems or performing difficult tasks. Coaching also includes frequent feedback on the employee performance progress.

4.5.2.2 Modeling is another ongoing process that supervisors should use to assist employees. Modeling includes demonstrating proper performance techniques and appropriate behavior habits which employees may imitate to improve their performance.

4.6 Interim Review

4.6.1 The supervisor is required to meet with each employee at the middle of the work cycle to discuss performance progress. This meeting is designed to allow the employee and the supervisor the opportunity to discuss progress toward meeting performance expectations, and to make adjustments or changes if needed. The meeting may be informal in nature, however it must be documented by recording the information discussed and obtaining the employee's signature. The supervisor must also sign the Interim Progress Review section on the Summary of Job Performance.

4.6.2 If the employee does not meet all the expectations (at the time of the interim review), a plan must be recorded stating the steps to be taken to help the employee meet all expectations.

4.7 Actual Performance Appraisal

4.7.1 The final component of the annual work cycle is in the formal appraisal of the employee's performance. The supervisor evaluates the actual performance of the employee based on the performance expectations that were agreed upon, and stated at the beginning of the work cycle.

4.7.2 The supervisor must meet with the employee and review each job factor, task, and the actual performance. Based on this review and any documentation gathered by the supervisor or the employee, the supervisor will rate each expectation using the University's rating scale.

4.7.3 An overall job performance rating is determined for the employee and justification is required from the supervisor by a brief narrative supporting the rating.

4.7.4 After the appraisal conference, the employee and the supervisor must sign and date the appraisal form in the appropriate spaces. The evaluation form is then reviewed and signed by the next level supervisor.

4.7.5 NOTE: The employee's signature does not necessarily imply agreement with the appraisal report. It does indicate that a performance interview was conducted.

4.8 Appalachian State University Rating Scale

4.8.1 Outstanding Performance = 0 - Performance is far above the defined job expectations. The employee consistently does OUTSTANDING work, regularly going far beyond what is expected of employees in this job. Performance that exceeds expectations is due to the effort and skills of the employee. Any performance not consistently exceeding expectations is minor or due to events not under the control of the employee.

4.8.2 Very Good Performance = VG - Performance meets the defined job expectations and in many instances, exceeds job expectations. The employee generally is doing a VERY GOOD job. Performance that exceeds expectations is due to the effort and skills of the employee.

4.8.3 Good Performance = G - Performance meets the defined job expectations. The employee generally performs according to the expectations doing a GOOD job. The employee is doing the job at the level expected for employees in this position. The good performance is due to the employee's own effort and skills.

4.8.4 Below Good Performance = BG - Performance may meet some of the job expectations but does not fully meet the remainder. The employee generally is doing the job at a minimal level, and improvement is needed to fully meet the expectations. Performance is less than a good job. Lapses in performance are due to the employee's lack of effort or skills.

4.8.5 Unsatisfactory Performance = U - Performance generally fails to meet the defined expectations or requires frequent, close supervision and/or the redoing of work. The employee is not doing the job at the level expected for employees in this position. Unsuccessful job performance is due to the employee's own lack of effort or skills.

4.9 Common Rater Errors

4.9.1 Supervisors may be unaware of rater errors when rating employees. These rater errors may cause distortion in the rating process. Common rater errors to be avoided are:

  1. Rating Inflation - the tendency to rate all employees higher than actually occurred.
  2. Personal Bias - personal bias causes supervisors to loose objectivity in their ratings.
  3. Halo Effect - occurs when supervisors allow the rating on one particular aspect of performance weigh too heavily on other areas of performance.
  4. Central Tendency - occurs when supervisors rate everyone near the mid-range.
  5. Strictness - occurs when supervisors are too tough on every employee.
  6. Leniency - occurs when supervisors rate everyone too highly.
  7. Recency - occurs when supervisors are unduly influenced by most recent behavior or performance.
  8. Stereotype - occurs when supervisors rate based upon preconceived impressions on groups of employees.

4.10 Suggestions For Supervisors

4.10.1 The information under this heading will serve to help supervisors when conducting performance management interviews, rating employees, and coaching/modeling.

4.10.2 Performance Management Conferences - The Performance Management Process requires that supervisors meet with employees at least three times each year to conduct:

  1. a work planning conference at the beginning of the work/appraisal cycle.
  2. a midyear progress review conference at or near the middle of the work/appraisal cycle.
  3. a performance appraisal conference at the end of the work/appraisal cycle.

4.10.3 Supervisors should remember the following when scheduling and conducting these and other meetings with employees:

  1. Consider the employee's workload and work schedule.
  2. Notify the employee of interview arrangements on a timely basis.
  3. Put the employee at ease.
  4. Be a careful listener.
  5. Emphasize important facts.

5 Additional References

6 Authority

7 Contact Information

8 Original Effective Date

9 Revision Dates