Performance Management for HR Practitioners: Week 6

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Presentation delivered as part of web-based course titled "Performance Management for HR Practitioners" in partnership with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. For more information, please contact andrew [at] govloop [dot] dom.

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  • Welcome - Andy
  • Learning Points:At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:• Explain the importance of each phase in relation to the overall performance management process• Identify the supervisor/manager responsibilities in each phase• Explain the practitioner’s role in each phase
  • Agenda - Andy
  • KateThank you for joining today’s webinar. Before we jump into the training, I would like to work through an exercise.Give instructions. Ask the participants to draw tree on the index cards you provided. Set a time limit of 45 seconds. Explain that the drawing can be realistic or abstract and that the critical requirement is that the drawing be completed within the 45-second time limit.Conclude the activity. At the end of 45 seconds announce the end of the activity.
  • KateNow that you have drawn your tree, I want you to take a look at it. Did you include roots with your tree? It is likely that most of you did not include the root system in your rendering of a tree. Present the following learning point in your own words: All of your trees likely have trunks and branches and leaves. But most of them do not have roots. So what is holding up the trees without the root system? How do your trees get water and nutrition? Do you agree that the root system is an important part of tree? There are several things that we habitually ignore simply because these important support elements are not visible. For example with this training, there are several people behind the scenes who contributed to the development and coordination of the training. Without them this training would not be happening, and like the drawing of the tree, they are the roots that are not visible.As an HR practitioner you tend to be more behind the scenes, so it is important that you make a conscious effort to ensure you are visible to your managers and their employees. Your role as an HR practitioner is to be available and act as a resource to these individuals, which is easier to accomplish when you are highly visible to managers and employees.
  • KateIn the last few weeks you have reviewed the different aspects of the performance management process. You have worked through the planning, monitoring and developing phases, along with a piece of the rating and rewarding phase. Today we are going to focus on the rating and rewarding phase. More specifically, I will go over the rating of record and Megan will then finish up with a review of performance-based actions, such as performance improvement plans. Learning Points:The performance management process contains three phases:1. Planning2. Monitoring and developing3. Rating and rewarding
  • KateIn the next few slides I will be reviewing the essentials for rating of records, particularly from your point of view as a human resources practitioner. An employee must be under a performance plan for a minimum of 60 days before they can be assigned a rating of record. Further, a rating a record can only be assigned after the period of performance has been completed. For example, if your period of performance runs from October 1 through September 30, then supervisors must wait until after September 30 to assign performance ratings to their employees. However, a rating of record should still be given to the employee as soon as practical after the end of the appraisal period. There are cases in which an appraisal period may be extended. One such example of this would be if an employee has been hired within less than 60 days of the end of the appraisal period. In this situation the appraisal period would need to be extended so the employee has at least 60 days of employment under their belt. Learning Points:Performance appraisal programs shall contain at least a 60-day minimum period of performance that must be completed before a performance rating may be prepared. A rating of record should be given to the employee as soon as practical after the end of the appraisal period.
  • KateWhile supervisors and managers are determine the rating of record for a given employee, they will have a number of documents and information to weigh and consider in their determination. Specifically, there are three main pieces of information. The first is their own documentation of observed performance. Over the last year they should have maintained a file of observations about the employee’s performance. The second piece of information is the employee’s self-assessment and supporting facts. The employee should present supporting evidence for his or her idea of the rating he or she deserves. And lastly the supervisor needs to consider the customer. How did the recipient or beneficiary of the work performed respond to it?As a quick tip, encourage the managers and employees to documents employee accomplishments and performance throughout the year. This way they have a more accurate and thorough documentation of performance and do not have to worry about trying to remember a year’s worth of performance in a single day or week.Learning Points:While supervisors/managers are determining the rating of record for a given employee, they have a number of pieces of information to weigh:• Their own documentation of observed performance. Over the last year they should have maintained a file of observations about the employee’s performance.• The employee’s self-assessment and supporting facts. The employee should present supporting evidence for his or her idea of the rating he or she deserves.• The customer. How did the recipient or beneficiary of the work performed respond to it?
  • KateWhen supervisors and managers are conducting an end-of-year meeting, as with any other meeting, they should prepare an agenda or checklist beforehand. Prior to even entering the meeting they should: review the employee’s self-assessment, create an agenda for the meeting, prepare questions that aim to clarify their understanding of the employee’s accomplishments, and plan their response to any questions about recommended ratings.Learning Points:When supervisors/managers are conducting an end-of-year meeting, as with any other meeting, they should prepare an agenda or checklist beforehand. Prior to even entering the meeting they should:• Review the employee’s self-assessment.• Create an agenda for the meeting.• Prepare questions that aim to clarify their understanding of the employee’s accomplishments.• Plan their response to any questions about recommended ratings.
  • KateAfter the supervisor or manager has prepared for the end-of-year review with an employee, it is time to conduct the meeting. During the meeting, the following topics need to be discussed: the employee’s self-assessment, employee job elements and standards, and accomplishments and how they link to organizational goals.There should also be discussion of areas of the employee’s performance that have shown improvement, and those that need further improvement.Supervisors and managers should ask clarifying questions to get a better idea of what the employee has done; however, they need to try to let the employee do most of the talking.If adequate feedback has been provided throughout the year, there should be no surprises for either party.Learning Points:• After the supervisor/manager has prepared for the end-of-year review with an employee, it is time to conduct the meeting. During the meeting, the following topics need to be discussed:o The employee’s self-assessmento Employee job elements and standardso Accomplishments and how they link to organizational goals• There should also be discussion of areas of the employee’s performance that have shown improvement, and those that need further improvement.• Supervisors/managers should ask clarifying questions to get a better idea of what the employee has done; however, they need to try to let the employee do most of the talking.• If adequate feedback has been provided throughout the year, there should be no surprises for either party.
  • KateRatings levels are specific to each component within DoD so the number of levels and the rating itself will be expressed differently across the individual components. And shown here are four variations of rating levels. The first includes the two levels of pass or fail. The second includes three levels of Unacceptable, Fully Acceptable, and Exceptional. The third includes four levels of Unacceptable, Minimally Successful, Fully Successful, and Exceptional. And the fourth bullet shown here again has four levels, but instead includes a highly successful rating, instead of a fully successful rating.Learning Points:Ratings levels are specific to each component within DoD so the number of levels and the rating itself will be expressed differently across the individual components.
  • KateEmployees who reach a given rating are eligible for various types of recognition. The recognition is not guaranteed and may vary in nature. Types of possible recognition include: time-off awards, on-the-spot awards, bonus awards with summary rating, details, certificates of appreciation, pat on the back, public acknowledgement, a career development discussion with a promotion possibility in conjunction with their individual development plan, or a supervisor or manager recommendation for a quality step increase (QSI) for a top-rated employee, which is an automatic increase in step, regardless of where the employee is in the rating period.The awards and rewards may vary based on the component and DoD agency program.Learning Points:Employees who reach a given rating are eligible for various types of recognition. The recognition is not guaranteed and may vary in nature. Types of possible recognition include:• Time-off awards• On-the-spot awards• Bonus awards with summary rating• Details• Certificates of appreciation• Pat on the back• Public acknowledgement• Career development discussion (promotion possibility in conjunction with the IDP)• Supervisor/manager can recommend a quality step increase (QSI) for a top-rated employee. This is an automatic increase in step, regardless of where the employee is in the rating period.• Awards and rewards may vary based on the component and DoDagency program.
  • KateAs an HR practitioner during the rating and rewarding phase, you are responsible for: (1) Providing guidance on preparing for the end-of-year meeting, (2) Assisting supervisors/managers with identifying rewards, (3) Examining and evaluating evidence and documentation with the supervisors and managers to determine a rating recommendation, (4) Providing guidance to supervisors and managers on delivering the rating recommendation and the potential pushback, and (5) Providing guidance to supervisors and managers on recommendation for denial of Within-Grade Increases.I am now going to turn the presentation over to Megan, who will discuss performance-based actions and performance improvement plans. Learning Points:During the rating and rewarding phase, you are responsible for:• Providing guidance on preparing for the end-of-year meeting.• Assisting supervisors/managers with identifying rewards.• With the supervisors/managers, examining and evaluating evidence and documentation to determine a rating recommendation.• Providing guidance for supervisors/managers on delivering the rating recommendation and the potential pushback. • Providing guidance to supervisors/managers on recommendation for denial of Within-Grade Increases.
  • MeganLearning Points:Performance-based actions are taken by supervisors/managers against an employee demonstrating marginal or unacceptable levels of performance. Usually, HR Practitioners are involved in the guidance of the supervisor/manager.Less formal performance-based actions include:• Counseling• Coaching• RetrainingMore formal performance-based actions include:• PIPs• Denial of WGI• Adverse actions
  • MeganLearning Points:• Performance-based actions are taken by a supervisor/manager whenever the performance of one of his or her employees dips into the marginal or unacceptable levels.• Marginal levels of performance allow for less formal actions to be taken by the supervisor.• Unacceptable levels of performance require the supervisor/manager to take formal actions.• “Unacceptable levels of performance” are defined as performance by an employee that fails to meet established performance standards in one or more critical elements of the employee’s position.
  • MeganLearning Points:• Most new employees have to go through a probationary or trial period after they are hired.• Probationary periods typically last for the first year of employment.• The probationary period acts as the final and most important step in the hiring process. It allows the supervisor/manager to fully evaluate the employee’s performance.• An employee in a probationary period can be removed without serving the entire period.• An employee terminated during a probationary period has potentially limited appeal rights, depending on his or her status as an employee.
  • MeganLearning Points:• The PIP provides an opportunity to formally let an employee know that his or her performance is lacking in certain areas, and to create a plan to improve that performance.• A PIP can be given anytime that the supervisor/manager notices the employee’s performance falling below the required level. It does not matter where in the performance management process the employee is.
  • MeganLearning Points:Supervisors/managers will come to you for guidance when they are beginning to write their PIPs. It is your job to help them gather all of the pertinent information.• Identify any previous attempts at correcting the employee’s performance.• Encourage supervisors/managers to refer back to documented incidents that support their claims.• Direct supervisors/managers as to appropriate time frames for improving performance.You need to get accurate and complete information about the situation from the supervisor/manager so that you can offer useful and relevant advice.• Ask direct questions about the nature of the poor performance and the feedback given.• Base any offered advice on the totality of the circumstances.• Suggest formal actions only after informal actions have been attempted.
  • MeganLearning Points:A PIP is sent out as a written communication between the supervisor/manager and the employee.All PIPs must contain the following information:• Notice of the critical element that is not being met• Support for the decision that the critical element is not being met• Documentation of previous attempts to improve performance• A finite time line in which the employee must improve his or her performance• A reminder of what it will take to successfully complete the critical element• Suggested ways in which the deficiencies can be corrected• Time allotted for improvement in performance• Any specific assistance that will be provided by the supervisor• Consequences if the employee fails to improve his or her performance
  • MeganLearning Points:• It is up to the supervisor/manager to determine the period of opportunity provided for in the PIP. You should encourage the supervisor/manager to give the employee enough time to actually improve performance.• Typically, periods of opportunity last from 60 to 120 days, depending on the complexity of the element that needs improvement.• Additionally, once the employee improves his or her performance, he or she must maintain that level of performance for 1 year following the beginning of the PIP.
  • MeganLearning Points:• An agency may restrict the employee’s representative if there is a conflict of interest, unreasonable costs, or priority work assignments that preclude the individual from serving as the representative. • The head of the agency approves the proposal (unless he or she is the proposer). An employee in a higher position than the person who proposed the action must concur with the decision.• To reach the decision whether to reduce-in-grade or remove an employee, the agency considers the employee’s answer and the answer from his representative. • The decision is based only on instances of unacceptable performance during the one-year period ending on the date of the advance notice of proposed action.
  • MeganLearning Points:• Employees must submit a request 15 days from receiving the initial determination.• Employees must have a reasonable amount of official time to review materials and prepare a response to the determination. A reasonable amount of official time depends on how complex the job is.• An employee has the right to representation.• The agency must provide the employee with a prompt written final decision.
  • Megan[Read scenario from slide.]It can be a tough situation when an employee performs well while on a PIP, but performs poorly once they are off the PIP. This is called “Rollercoaster Performance”. If an employee’s performance improves at the end of a PIP, but then fails again in the same critical element(s) within 1 year from the start of the PIP, the supervisor can demote or remove the employee without going through another PIP. If they were to fail in a different critical element, then the supervisor would have to create another PIP. The employee has the primary responsibility for improving his or her performance. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to tell the employee what the expectations are for his or performance (on and off a PIP) and what the consequences will be if these expectations are not met. The supervisor needs to document their efforts to communicate these expectations and consequences, as well as the employee’s performance ratings on and off the PIP. Learning Points:HR Practitioners have a unique set of responsibilities within the performance management process. While you are not responsible for implementing performance management, it is your job to act as a resource for those around you.HR Practitioners act on behalf of the agency to:• Protect the agency’s interests.• Ensure that actions taken are consistent with statute, regulation, and case precedent.• Understand the authorities for performance management.While working with the supervisors/managers, remember that you are there as a facilitator to the management. You are there to assist the supervisor/manager, not to do their work for them. Some examples of this support include:• Delivering and interpreting performance management policy to the supervisors/managers• Helping supervisors/managers address issues that may come up during the performance management process• Providing counsel and support to supervisors/managers• Sharing good practices such as documentation with supervisors/managers• Advising supervisors/managers on proper actionsOne part of protecting the agency’s interests involves using all of the resources at your disposal. You need to interact with other HR Practitioners. Likewise, you can lean on your peers for assistance. You may be asked to share and find more information with:• Inquiry and Unemployment Compensation (ICUC)• Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)• Alternative Dispute Resolution services (ADR)• Employee Relations (ER)• Employee Assistance Program (EAP)• Labor Relations (LR)• Higherlevel management• Office of staffing• Personnel records system
  • Megan or KateWeeklyMonthlyQuarterlyAt mid-year and end-of-yearOtherFor those who choose “other”, please provide your response in the chat box so I can share these responses with everyone.
  • Megan or KateYesNo
  • Megan or KatePreparing for the meetingGathering the necessary materials (e.g., employee self-assessment and managerial notes)Determining ratings of recordCoordinating the meeting soon after the period of performanceConducting the meetingOtherAgain, for those who choose “other”, please provide your response in the chat box so I can share these responses with everyone.
  • Megan and KateNow let’s get into the Q&A. You can submit Your Questions Via the Chat Box, if you have not already.Think about our previous poll questions: Did they make you think of any critical skills you have or gaps you need to develop? What other questions do you have related to the information you learned today?
  • MeganLearning Points:• Supervisors/managers may not be aware of the actions they can take when dealing with an underperforming employee.• HR Practitioners need to identify the performance-based actions that supervisors/managers may take.• The need for documentation is extremely high whenever performance-based actions are taken.
  • Performance Management for HR Practitioners: Week 6

    1. 1. Performance Management for HR Practitioners Week 6: The PerformanceManagement Process – Part 3 Instructors: Kate McGrath & Megan Arens S
    2. 2. Lesson ObjectiveS At the end of this lesson, you will be able to: S Explain the importance of each phase in relation to the overall performance management process S Identify the supervisor/manager responsibilities in each phase S Explain the practitioner’s role in each phase
    3. 3. Week 6 AgendaS Logistics, Last Week, Intros S Reconsideration of Denial - p. 143S Rating of Record - Guide, pp. 112- S Continuing Evaluation – p. 144 113 S Case Study or “HR PractitionerS End of Year Meeting - pp. 114-115 Perspective / Story”S Ratings Levels - Guide, p. 116 S Interactive Chat: Have youS Recognition - Guide, p. 117 coached a manager / supervisorS HR Practitioner’s Role - p. 118 through an end of year meeting?S Performance-Based Actions - Guide, pp. 133-134 S Q&AS Probationary Period - Guide, p. 135 S Summary - p. 148S Performance Improvement S Week 6 Assignments Period - Guide, pp. 136-140 S Next Steps
    4. 4. LogisticsS Be interactive!S If you have any technical difficulties, use the chat window S Direct it to “Bryce Bender” (not “all participants”)S We are recording each session S After the session, you will be able to find a link to the archived version of the webinar on the Week 5 page of the course group on GovLoopS Don’t forget your reading, discussion and partner reflection!
    5. 5. Introductions: Your Host Steve Ressler GovLoop, Founder and President
    6. 6. Introductions: Your Instructor Kate McGrath Megan Arens Human Resources Human Resources Consultant, Consultant,U.S. Office of Personnel U.S. Office of Personnel Management Management
    7. 7. Welcome!
    8. 8. The Performance Management Process Coaching and Coaching and Feedback Feedback Coaching and Feedback
    9. 9. Rating of RecordS A written rating of record must be given to each employee who has been under a performance plan for at least 60 daysS Records are generally provided to employee as soon as practical at the end of the appraisal periodS The appraisal period may be extended in certain Rating and situations Rewarding
    10. 10. Considerations for the Rating of RecordS A number of factors should contribute to the rating of record: S Documentation of observed performance S The employee’s self-assessment and supporting facts S Response of the recipient or beneficiary of the work performed Rating and Rewarding
    11. 11. Preparing for an End-of-Year MeetingS Review the employee’s self-assessmentS Create an agenda for the meetingS Prepare questions that aim to clarify understanding of the employee’s accomplishments Rating and Rewarding
    12. 12. Conducting an End-of-Year MeetingS Discuss the following topics: S The employee’s self-assessment S Employee job elements and standards S Accomplishments and how they link to organizational goals S Get clarification on any outstanding questions Rating and Rewarding
    13. 13. Ratings LevelsS Rating levels are specific to the individual component and DoD agencies and are dependent on the performance system in placeS Levels may vary, such as: S Pass/Fail S Unacceptable/Fully Acceptable/Exceptional S Unacceptable/Minimally Successful/Fully Successful/Exceptional S Unacceptable/Minimally Successful/Highly Successful/Exceptional Rating and Rewarding
    14. 14. Types of RecognitionS Based on your employee’s rating, the recognition could varyS Recognition can range from verbal congratulations to monetary awardsS Recognition is used to reinforce employee success and should be employed accordinglyS May vary based on individual program Rating and Rewarding
    15. 15. HR Practitioner’s RoleS Assist supervisors/managers in their preparation for end- of-year meetingsS Aid in identifying proper rewards for employee performanceS Provide guidance to supervisors/managers on recommendations of denial of WGI Rating and Rewarding
    16. 16. What Are Performance-Based Actions?S Less Formal S Coaching S Counseling S RetainingS More Formal S Performance Improvement Period S Denial or Delay of Within-Grade Increase S Adverse Actions Rating and Rewarding
    17. 17. When Is It Appropriate To Take Action?S Marginal performance levels allow for less formal actions to be usedS Unacceptable levels of behavior require formal actions to be usedS Unacceptable performance is the failure to successfully complete a critical element Rating and Rewarding
    18. 18. Probationary PeriodS New employees must complete an initial probationary/trial period after hireS Probationary periods typically last 1 year. Trial periods can last up to 2 yearsS Probationary periods allow for an extensive evaluation of an employee’s performanceS Probationary employees can be removed prior to completing their probationary period. Rating and Rewarding
    19. 19. Performance Improvement PeriodS Is a formal notice, used when an employee’s performance is unacceptableS Is required prior to taking an adverse action under 5 CFR Chapter 43S Clarifies the performance expectations in the standard when necessary (Be specific as possible.)S Informs the employee of what he or she must do to improve Rating and Rewarding
    20. 20. Guiding the Supervisor/ManagerS Before a PIP can be created, ensure that the supervisor/manager has documented the performance deficiencies and any actions takenS Assist the supervisor/manager in determining whether the employee has actually failed in a critical elementS Help the supervisor determine appropriate remedial measures for improving the performance Rating and Rewarding
    21. 21. Included in the PIPS The critical element(s) that are not being metS Evidence that it is not being metS Narration of previous attempts to improve performanceS What is required to successfully complete the critical element(s)S Time allotted for improvementS Specific assistance to be provided by supervisorS Consequences if performance does not improve Rating and Rewarding
    22. 22. Duration of the PIPS The supervisor/manager determines how long the PIP isS PIPs typically last from 60 to 120 daysS An employee needs to maintain acceptable performance for a year after the beginning of the PIP Rating and Rewarding
    23. 23. Procedural RequirementsS An employee is entitled to: S A minimum of 30 days advanced notice S A reasonable time to answer orally and/or in writing S Representation by a lawyer or other representative S Raise a medical issue which contributes to unacceptable performance S A final written decision Rating and Rewarding
    24. 24. Reconsideration Of A Negative DeterminationS Employee is entitled to: S Submit a request to reconsider within 15 days S A reasonable amount of official time to review materials and prepare the request S Right to representation S A written final decision Rating and Rewarding
    25. 25. ScenarioOne of the supervisors comes to you complaining about anemployee of theirs, Jay. Jay has been performingunacceptably. The supervisor implemented a PIP onSeptember 6, and by the end of the 30-day PIP Jay’sperformance was up to acceptable standards. But now thatJay is off his PIP, his performance has once again droppedin the same critical element, and only five months after thebeginning of his PIP. Further this is the third time Jay hasbeen placed on a PIP, performed acceptably while on thePIP, but then performs unacceptably soon after getting offhis PIP. How should you advise the supervisor?
    26. 26. Let’s hear from you! Poll 1On average, how often do supervisors at your Agency provide their employees with performance feedback throughout the year (positive and negative)?
    27. 27. Let’s hear from you! Poll 2 Have you had the chance to coach asupervisor/manager through an end of year meeting?
    28. 28. Let’s hear from you! Poll 3 What have you found to be managers’ biggestchallenge when it comes to having the end-of-year meetings with their employees?
    29. 29. Questions? Ask the expert!Submit your questions in the chat window. S
    30. 30. Key PointsS Supervisors/managers may not be aware of the actions they can take when dealing with an underperforming employeeS HR Practitioners identify performance-based actions that supervisors/managers may takeS The need for documentation is extremely high whenever performance-based actions are taken
    31. 31. Week 6 Assignments Attend Webinar ✓ Complete Readings o “Employee Motivation: Using Incentive Plans to Improve Performance” (Blog Post) o “Motivation, Rewards and Leadership” (Blog Post) o “Monetary Bonus Incentives Make Knowledge Workers Less Effective” (Blog Post) o “Writing a Good Performance Improvement Plan” (Blog Post) Engage in Group Discussion (Thursday, April 4 at 2p ET) Submit Reflection to Class Partner by Friday COB
    32. 32. Next Steps 2 Evaluations  For You  For Your Supervisor  Now  6-8 Weeks From Now Certificate of Completion Focus Groups
    33. 33. Thank YouPlease send questions or course feedback toAndrew@GovLoop.com S

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