Performance Management System
PART 1 - PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT EVALUATION
*IMPORTANT NOTICE TO SUPERVISORS: Before beginning the process,
read instructions thoroughly. All questions should be directed
to the Human Resources Office.
I. GENERAL INFORMATION:
A. Forms Packet: All of the forms necessary to complete
the evaluation process are available from the Human Resources
web site. Human Resources will send the developmental plan for
the current cycle if it was submitted. You will need the
1. Performance Management Evaluation
2. External Rating Form
3. Performance Management Internal Worksheet
4. Development Plan/External Raters Form (for next
5. Time Line Chart (identifies critical dates in the
B. Timing: Very close attention should be paid to the
Time Line Chart. It is essential that the process be completed
in exact sequence and in the time allotted.
C. Resources: Training designed to answer most questions
will be conducted prior to the implementation of this process
each year. If you have any questions as you work through this
process, consult the Human Resources Office for guidance. (Each
year the process itself will be reevaluated, so feel free to
provide feedback to us on the instrument and the process. It
can only make both better).
D. Commitment: There is a direct correlation between the
value of the process and the amount of effort put into it. This
process requires the commitment of both administrator and
supervisor to be meaningful. A great deal of thought has been
given to streamlining the process without compromising the
necessary ingredients of a good performance management system.
At first blush it may not appear that way, but please make the
effort and trust the process. The results will be worth the
E. Confidentiality: Performance evaluations are treated
as part of the administrator's personnel file and will not be
disclosed to third parties without written permission of the
administrator, except by order of a court of competent
II. The PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT FORM (for immediate supervisor):
A. Instructions for the Immediate Supervisor:
1. Section A (Official Data): This section is to be
completed by the supervisor. Take time to review the data in
Section A. If any information has changed from the previous
year, please indicate by using italicized or bold face type.
When the completed form comes back to the Human Resources Office
for filing at the end of the process, the changes will be
updated on our database as well.
2. Section B (Position Summary): This section is to
be completed by the supervisor prior to the interview.
Completion of this section is essential for a number of reasons.
Administrative positions sometimes evolve and take some
unexpected twists and turns. A brief summary capturing the
essence of the position as it existed for the cycle being
evaluated will create an internal record of the context in which
the evaluated performance occurred. Position descriptions are
not updated annually as a matter of course, so if major changes
are noted in this section of the performance management system
from year to year, it should trigger the supervisor's awareness
that a job description review might be advisable for the
3. Section C (Performance Management Factors):
a. Factors: There are eight (8) performance
management factors identified. They are defined by example.
Our desire was to allow the factors to breathe to permit maximum
flexibility. Obviously, few positions will be able to relate
directly to every example. Do not let lack of applicability of
particular examples skew your rating for that factor. Rate the
factor based only on examples which will directly apply or other
relevant, non-delineated considerations you may feel appropriate
to that factor.
b. Performance Ratings: These appear
immediately to the right of each factor. There are five (5)
options. These ratings were selected because of our familiarity
with them. They are the ratings that were used in the former
Classified Performance Management system. The most important
thing to consider in determining which performance rating to
select is that they relate directly to the supervisor's
expectations for the position.
A note of caution, however. If your expectations are high
and the person performs at that level for the current cycle,
they have "met expectations". The point is, your expectations
must drive your ratings. Your logic will be faulty if you
equate high expectations to "exceptional or exceeds
expectations". Unreasonably high expectations will lead to
evaluations which do not permit administrators possibilities to
achieve beyond the level of "meets expectations". This should
be a tip off to the supervisor that expectations need to be
adjusted downward. Saying your expectations are very high, and
if anyone meets them they are exceptional is inconsistent with
the philosophy of the process and will skew scores. By the same
token, if all your subordinates are scoring "exceptional"
because they are all performing well beyond your wildest
expectations, this should be a tip off that your expectations
need to be a little wilder. An exceptional performer is just
that. Webster defines "exceptional" as rare, extraordinary,
c. Performance Factor 8 (Results): This factor
bears special attention and emphasis. The factor is different
than the other seven in the context that it requires major
performance objectives to be listed and their status of
completion to be noted before a rating for the factor is
assigned. The delineation begs the question, what have been the
administrator's major assignments for the current cycle and how
well has he or she produced.
d. Weight of Performance Factors: Each of the
first seven factors are weighted at ten (10) percent. The last
factor, "results", is weighted at thirty (30) percent. The
rationale for that distribution is the critical importance
placed on output or productivity in any organization.
4. Section D (Overall Performance Level): Select the
level which best describes the overall performance of this
5. Section E (Narrative Summary): Many supervisors
find it too constraining when instruments have been reduced to
check marks. Being able to say something personal or more
descriptive about the administrator's overall performance is
usually preferred. The summary should be consistent with the
tone of the ratings, capturing the essence of the performance in
a few short sentences.
6. Section F (Endorsements and Rebuttal):
a. Endorsements: The supervisor and reviewer
must sign this section prior to the Performance
Management/Development Plan Interview. Parties going into the
interview should be open minded, and it is not inconceivable
that a supervisor might be compelled by an administrator's
comments to change a rating. If an administrator refuses to
sign the form because he or she disagrees with the rating, the
supervisor should merely annotate the date and time that the
interview was conducted and indicate that the administrator
refused to sign. The signature of the administrator is only
intended to indicate that the administrator saw the ratings and
was afforded an opportunity to discuss them with the supervisor.
b. Rebuttal: An administrator who has a good
faith belief that the performance management evaluation grossly
mis-characterizes his or her performance for the cycle may file
a rebuttal. Rebuttals must be filed with the Human Resources
Office within 10 working days of the date of the Performance
Management/Development Plan Interview. Rebuttals will be
stapled to the personnel file copy of the evaluation and shall
become a part of the evaluation for that cycle.
PART 2 - DEVELOPMENT PLAN INTERVIEW
*IMPORTANT NOTICE TO SUPERVISORS AND ADMINISTRATORS: The most
critical part of the performance management process is a face-
to-face dialogue which results in mutual understanding of
performance expectations and a shared commitment to engage in
specific activities designed to address individual needs and
facilitate professional growth. As with completing the
performance management instrument itself, there is a direct
correlation between the amount of time invested in meaningful
dialogue and the value of the process. Bear in mind, however,
that standards of performance are set by the supervisor, not the
administrator - and while agreement on ratings is beneficial, it
is not always possible.
I. THE PROCESS:
A. Forms(2): 1)The form entitled "Performance Management
Internal Worksheet" contains 3 basic sections: a self-
appraisal, an area where the administrator can identify issues
to be discussed, and an area where the supervisor can identify
issues to be discussed.
2) The form entitled "Developmental Plan for Cycle " which
contains 2 basic sections: a development plan for the upcoming
year and an area where the administrator and the supervisor can
identify individuals who will be asked to be external raters
during the coming performance cycle.
B. Capsule Summary of How the Forms are to be Completed:
Completion of the "Performance Management Internal Worksheet"
form should be done as follows: at least two (2) working days
prior to the interview, the supervisor should complete the
section covering specific issues he or she would like to discuss
with the administrator and deliver the instrument to the
administrator. Prior to the interview, the administrator should
complete the self-appraisal and identify the issues that he or
she would like to discuss. At the interview itself, the initial
dialogue should relate to significant differences between the
supervisor's ratings and the administrator's self ratings. A
summary of the external rating scores should also be made
available at that time to gain additional insight. The summary
should merely be a copy of an External Rating Form with numbers
on each rating level indicating where the external plots fell by
factor. After the additional issues listed are covered,
attention should be turned to the second form "Developmental
Plan for Cycle: ", where the development plan should be
completed collaboratively, and the results of the process to
determine who the coming cycle's external raters will be should
be listed in the spaces provided.
II. THE SELF-APPRAISAL SECTION: The purpose of this section is
to create a starting point for the performance management
At the interview, large differences in ratings assigned by the
supervisor when compared with the self-rating should provide
ample food for discussion. The supervisor and the employee
should go into the interview process with firm, but not fixed
ideas. A firm idea is an idea based on observation and objective
understanding. Fixed ideas are unchangeable. Information
sharing might predispose the supervisor to change a rating if
warranted. This is acceptable. Changes, however, should be the
exception, not the rule. The reviewer should be notified of any
III. SPECIFIC ISSUES THE ADMINISTRATOR OR THE SUPERVISOR WISH TO
COVER: These last two sections are intended to add structure to
the dialogue by providing relevant subject matter for additional
discussion germane to performance management issues, not simply
work issues in general. The issues are developed in advance,
rather than leaving matters to spontaneous interaction during
the interview. Since the dialogue is intended to be
collaborative, issues from both perspectives should facilitate a
balance of discussion.
IV. TIPS REGARDING THE CONDUCT OF THE INTERVIEW:
A. Prepare thoroughly for each interview. If you don't,
you will short-change the process.
B. Schedule sufficient time and avoid interruptions
during the interview. Select location for privacy, comfort, and
the absence of distractions.
C. Expect disagreement to occur somewhere during the
interview. Be prepared to give specific, concrete examples to
make your points. It is unrealistic to expect total agreement.
Be calm, don't be defensive, allow opinions to be shared, and
remain courteous to each other - even in disagreement. If
things get out of hand, take a break and reconvene after things
have cooled down. Battery is a crime.
D. Balance the discussion in relation to the overall
rating. An "Exceeds Expectations" Overall Rating should not
lead to a discussion consumed by negatives. It should be a
pretty positive discussion. On the other hand, if the Overall
Rating is near the bottom of the rating scale, a lot of
compliments on wardrobe and brand of aftershave or perfume
should not dominate the conversation.
E. Listen to each other - intently.
F. When dealing with problems, focus on the problem, not
G. Use open-ended, reflective, and directive questions.
H. Strive for dialogue, not control.
I. Afterwards, reflect on what happened in the interview
and why. Be willing to modify your day-to-day approach to work
if necessary. If either party is hearing things in the
conversation which shock them, there is a problem with day-to-
day communication. Performance management is a daily activity,
not an annual event. It's unfair for the administrator to be
hearing of performance problems for the first time at the annual
performance management interview. It's also unfair for the
supervisor to be hearing previously undisclosed reasons for
performance problems for the first time at the annual
performance management interview.
V. THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN: The development plan is a shared
commitment between supervisor and administrator. Personal need
and professional growth activities should relate not just to
individual development, but also to organizational development.
Objectives should be challenging but reasonable, and the
administrator should be able to expect the support indicated by
the supervisor. The parties should be willing to break out
beyond the traditional workshops, formal coursework, and
remedial training approaches to plan development when possible.
Alternatives such as cross-training in different departments or
even exchange experiences in other institutions might be
possible. Mentorship plans might have merit if a particular
senior administrator or senior colleague can be identified to
work with an administrator to achieve a particular objective.
Collegial plans may also be possible where two administrators
may be working on a particular need or growth objective
together. The level of support and the aggressiveness of the
plan need to relate to the level of need exhibited by the
administrator as well. The more collaborative the plan, the
better its chances for success.
VI. CHOOSING EXTERNAL RATERS:
A. Underlying Philosophy: The rationale behind multiple
feedback performance management is that informed observations of
performance beyond the supervisory dimension tend to increase
reliability of final ratings.
B. Intended Use of the External Inputs: The external
inputs are not intended to be a substitute for supervisory
judgement. Nor are they meant to be weighted and factored
directly into the performance ratings. They are meant to give
the supervisor insight into how the administrator's work and
work attributes are perceived by others whose jobs are connected
in some way to the administrator's. Variants of this approach
have been referred to as "360 degree feedback instruments, peer
reviews, top down and bottom up evaluations". The common theme,
however, is they all incorporate multiple input sources.
C. Selection of External Raters:
1. Number: 4-6 are recommended. Any less and the
picture will probably be incomplete; any more and the logistics
are apt to log jam and overload colleagues with unnecessary
administrative burdens. A further recommendation is to balance
the number of colleagues and customers from different locations
in the organization, in order to get the broadest possible
picture; but avoid selecting external raters or colleagues who
are too remote or too biased to create an accurate rating.
a. Colleagues: Others in the organization who
may or may not be at an exact peer level with the administrator,
who regularly interface with the administrator and his or her
b. Customers: Most administrative and faculty
positions have multiple classes of customers. Some are internal
to the College. Some are third parties to the College. Both
3. Resolving Disagreements Relating to Selection of
External Raters: Both the administrator and the supervisor
should come to the performance management/development plan
interview prepared to proffer up names and rationale behind the
external rater choices. This is a part of the process that also
works best collaboratively, but should disagreement ensue, two
recommendations come to mind. The administrator could select
two or three and the supervisor could select an equal number; or
those which can be agreed upon could be listed as definite,
while the other names might be ranked in a list. Suppose for
example, the number of external raters needed beyond those
agreed upon is 2. Names could be struck from the list in turns
until 2 names remained. The remaining names would be those
which would finish out the final list.
4. Timing and Notice to External Raters:
a. Timing: The selection of external raters
should take place prior to the coming performance cycle, not
b. The Disappearing External Rater Scenario:
It will not be uncommon for external raters to leave employ with
the College or cease to have a relationship with the College
during a performance cycle. In this case, if the departure will
not reduce the number of external raters below four (4), no
action need be taken to add a rater. If it will drop the number
below 4, a substitute external rater should be identified by the
supervisor and the administrator. That person should ideally be
someone who has had a working relationship with the
administrator for the entire performance cycle to be evaluated.
c. Notice to External Raters: The Human
Resources Office should be notified of selected external raters
for each administrator. The Human Resources Office will
maintain the record of the raters and issue them an introductory
letter explaining the process and their role at the beginning of
the cycle. The Human Resources Office will also issue the
external rating forms to the appropriate external raters at the
time form packets are issued to supervisors, near the close of
the performance cycle, and be a collection center for completed
forms. A summary sheet, indicating how many responses were
recorded at each level for each factor, will be provided to the