Performance apprisal hand book

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Performance apprisal hand book

  1. 1. U.S. Department of the InteriorPerformance AppraisalHandbook(370 DM 430)A Guide for Managers/Supervisors and Employees
  2. 2. Performance Appraisal Handbook Table of Contents Timeline for the Performance Appraisal Process ...................................................................3 Introduction.............................................................................................................................4 Section 1- PLANNING .........................................................................................................5 Developing Employee Performance Appraisal Plans (EPAP) .........................................5 Elements ...........................................................................................................................5 Standards (Benchmark Performance Standards) ..............................................................6 Employee Participation.....................................................................................................9 Documenting Elements and Standards .............................................................................9 Section 2 – MONITORING ...............................................................................................10 Feedback during the Performance Year .........................................................................10 Progress Reviews............................................................................................................10 Section 3 – DEVELOPING EMPLOYEES ......................................................................12 Formal Development ......................................................................................................12 Informal Development....................................................................................................13 Section 4 – RATING ...........................................................................................................14 Eligibility ........................................................................................................................14 Interim Appraisals ..........................................................................................................14 Rating Critical Elements.................................................................................................14 Rating of Record.............................................................................................................15 Discussion with Employee .............................................................................................15 Reconsideration Process .................................................................................................16 Section 5 – ACTIONS BASED ON PERFORMANCE ...................................................18 Rewarding Performance .................................................................................................18 Links to Other Personnel Actions...................................................................................18 Dealing with Poor Performance .....................................................................................19 APPENDIX 1 – GPRA Examples for Individual Bureaus/Offices APPENDIX 2 – Developing Performance Standards APPENDIX 3 – A Supervisor’s Guide on How to get the Most of out of Performance Appraisals APPENDIX 4 – An Employee Guide on How to get the Most out of Performance Appraisals APPENDIX 5 – Supervisor’s Guide to Developing Individual Development Plans • Sample Individual Development Plan APPENDIX 6 – Checklists for Dealing with Poor Performance APPENDIX 7 – Frequently Asked Questions APPENDIX 8 – EPAP • Sample Completed EPAP10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 2Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  3. 3. Performance Appraisal Handbook Timeline for the Performance Appraisal System 5-Level Performance System October 1 toOr as otherwise approved by the DOI Office Appraisal Period – The appraisal periodof Human Resources September 30 coincides with the fiscal year, October 1 to September 30.Or 30 days after the end of the Performance October 1 to 31 Complete the performance appraisal forAppraisal Period prior fiscal year that ended on September 30. October 1 toOr 60 calendars from beginning of appraisal Maximum time to finalize performance November 30cycle standards – Timeframe in which performance standards are finalized and approved. The maximum time a rating official has to put an employee under elements and standards, i.e., establish an Employee Performance Appraisal Plan (EPAP). 90 Calendar Minimum Appraisal Period – The length of Days time, 90 calendar days, that the employee must be performing under an approved EPAP in a given position in order to be eligible for an interim or annual rating. March throughOr approximately midway through May Progress Review – Discussion with thePerformance Appraisal period employee at least once during the appraisal period to review the employee’s progress and communicate performance as compared to the established standards; to make any recommended revisions to critical elements/performance standards; and to consider/identify any developmental needs or performance improvement required. As Required Interim Appraisal – Required when an employee has worked under standards in the position for 90 days and if one or more of the following occurs: Employee changes position (i.e., reassignment, promotion, change to lower grade, transfer), completes a temporary assignment of 120 days or more (i.e., detail, temporary promotion, etc.), the rating official leaves a supervisory position, or to document a level of competence determination for within- grade increase purposes when the employee’s most recent rating of record is not consistent with the level of competence determination.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 3Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  4. 4. Performance Appraisal Handbook INTRODUCTION This handbook is designed for Department of the Interior rating officials and employees toManaging employee performance is an integral assist with the management of employeepart of the work that all managers and rating performance that is aligned with and supportsofficials perform throughout the year. It is as organizational goals. It is divided into fiveimportant as managing financial resources and areas coinciding with OPM’s definition, withprogram outcomes because employee the final section expanded to include takingperformance, or the lack thereof, has a profound other actions based on performance includingeffect on both the financial and program dealing with poor performance.components of any organization.The Department of the Interior’s performancemanagement policy is designed to documentthe expectations of individual andorganizational performance, provide ameaningful process by which employees canbe rewarded for noteworthy contributions tothe organization, and provide a mechanism toimprove individual/organizationalperformance as necessary.To accomplish these objectives, managersneed to identify organizational goals to beaccomplished, communicate individual andorganizational goals to employees that supportthe overall strategic mission and GovernmentPerformance and Results Act (GPRA) goals ofthe Department, monitor and evaluateemployee performance, and use performanceas a basis for appropriate personnel actions,including rewarding noteworthy performanceand taking action to improve less thansuccessful performance.The Office of Personnel Management definesperformance management as the systematicprocess of:• planning work and setting expectations• continually monitoring performance• developing the capacity to perform• periodically rating performance in a summaryfashion; and• rewarding good performance10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 4Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  5. 5. Performance Appraisal Handbook describe a group’s performance. However, a SECTION 1 - PLANNING supervisor or manager can and should be held accountable for seeing that results measured at theIn an effective organization, work is planned in group or team level are achieved. Critical elementsadvance. This includes setting performance assessing group performance may be appropriate toexpectations and goals for individuals in order to include in the EPAP of a supervisor, manager, or teamchannel efforts toward achieving organizational leader who can reasonablyobjectives. Involving Performance elements tell employees what be expected to command theemployees in the planning they have to do and standards tell them how production and resourcesprocess is essential to their well they have to do it. necessary to achieve theunderstanding of the goals of results (i.e., held individuallythe organization, what needs to be done, why it needs accountable).to be done, and expectations for accomplishing goals. Supervisors and managers may use severalDEVELOPING EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE documents and/or sources to assist them inAPPRAISAL PLANS (EPAP) The regulatory determining the appropriate critical elements for theirrequirements for planning an employee’s performance employees. These include but are not limited to:include establishing the elements and standards in • Goals and objectives as outlined in thetheir EPAP (EPAP). An EPAP outlines the specific Department’s strategic planelements and standards that the employee is expected • Specific performance goals established for ato accomplish during the rating cycle. Performance given program area as outlined in theelements and standards should be measurable, Department’s annual performance planunderstandable, verifiable, equitable, and achievable. • Bureau/Office specific program goals and objectivesIn addition, EPAPs should be flexible so that they can • Functional area/organizational goals andbe adjusted for changing program objectives and work objectivesrequirements. When used effectively, these plans can • Other internal management policy/directionbe beneficial working documents that are discussed • Laws and/or regulatory requirementsoften, and not merely paperwork that is filed in a • Customer/stakeholder feedbackdrawer and seen only when ratings of record are • Employee inputrequired. • Employee position descriptionsELEMENTS The Department’s policy outlines that Mandatory Elements: Department policy requires theemployees may have a minimum of one and no more following mandatory elements be included:than five elements in their appraisal plans, all ofwhich will be considered critical. Through these • All supervisors/managers— EPAPs for allelements, employees are held accountable as supervisors and managers shall include theindividuals for work assignments and responsibilities following critical element (one of the maximum ofof their position. A critical element is an assignment 5 elements):or responsibility of such importance thatunsatisfactory performance in that element alone Supervisory/Managerial Element: Performancewould result in a determination that the employee’s of supervisory/managerial duties will be carriedoverall performance is unsatisfactory. As defined by out in accordance with regulatory requirementslaw, failure on one or more critical elements can result and other Bureau/Office policies governing thein the employee’s reassignment, removal, or reduction following areas:in grade. Consequently, critical elements must Diversity/EEO obligations;describe work assignments and responsibilities that Internal management controls;are significantly influenced by an employee’s work Merit Systems Principles;effort and within the employee’s control. For most Safety and Occupational Healthemployees this means that critical elements cannot obligations;10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 5Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  6. 6. Performance Appraisal Handbook Effective performance management; and • COST-EFFECTIVENESS addresses dollar Effective management of ethics, conduct & savings or cost control. These should address discipline issues. cost-effectiveness on specific resource levels (See Benchmark Standards below for description (money, personnel, or time) that can generally be of standards for supervisors at the various documented and measured. Cost-effectiveness performance levels.) measures may include such aspects of performance as maintaining or reducing unit costs, reducing the time it takes to produce or • All employees—EPAPs must have at least provide a product or service, or reducing waste. one performance element that is linked to the strategic mission and Government To develop specific measures, the rating official must Performance Results Act (GPRA) goals of the determine which of the above general measure(s) are Department, Bureau/Office, and/or work unit. important for a given element, and then determine Rating officials should determine which how to measure it. appropriate GPRA/mission strategic goal(s), end outcome goal(s), end outcome When specific standards are developed in addition to, performance measure(s), strategies, or strategy or in lieu of, the benchmark standards listed below, performance measure(s) can best be utilized to regulation requires description at the Fully Successful develop the critical element(s) and standards level, at a minimum. However, rating officials are in each employee’s performance appraisal strongly encouraged to develop standards at additional plan. This element(s) should be clearly levels so employees clearly understand their labeled on the EPAP. (See Appendix 1 for performance expectations at various levels. some specific Bureau/Office examples.) In addition, if the benchmark standards below are notSTANDARDS The performance standards are used, standards developed by the rating official shouldexpressions of the performance threshold(s), require levels of performance that are essentiallyrequirement(s), or expectation(s) that must be met for equivalent to that described by the benchmarkeach element at a particular level of performance. standard at each level. See Appendix 2 to assist youThey must be focused on results and include credible in developing your own standards.measures such as: The following benchmark standards are provided for• QUALITY, addresses how well the employee or your use in describing expected performance at the work unit is expected to perform the work and/or various levels of the plan. These benchmark standards the accuracy or effectiveness of the final product. can be applied to every position, but should be It refers to accuracy, appearance, usefulness, or augmented with specific standards that describe the effectiveness. Measures can include error rates (such as the number or percentage of errors results expected at the various levels of performance allowable per unit of work) and customer for each element. satisfaction rates (determined through a customer survey/feedback). While each and every criterion described in the standards will not have to be met by the employee in• QUANTITY addresses how much work the absolute terms to assign a particular rating level, the employee or work unit is expected to produce. rating official MUST ensure the employee Measures are expressed as a number of products understands the overall level of performance they are or services expected, or as a general result to expected to meet in order to be assigned a given rating achieve. level.• TIMELINESS addresses how quickly, when, or by what date the employee or work unit is expected The standards are separated into Non-Supervisory and to produce the work. Supervisory. Benchmark Employee Performance Standards10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 6Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  7. 7. Performance Appraisal Handbook produces a high quantity of work, often ahead ofExceptional: established schedules with less than normal supervision.Employee demonstrates particularly excellentperformance that is of such high quality that The employee writes and speaks clearly on difficultorganizational goals have been achieved that would subjects to a wide range of audiences and worksnot have been otherwise. The employee demonstrates effectively with others to accomplish organizationalmastery of technical skills and a thorough objectives.understanding of the mission of the organization andhas a fundamental impact on the completion of Fully Successful:program objectives. The employee demonstrates good, sound performanceThe employee exerts a major positive influence on that meets organizational goals. All critical activitiesmanagement practices, operating procedures and/or are generally completed in a timely manner andprogram implementation, which contributes supervisor is kept informed of work issues, alterationssubstantially to organizational growth and recognition. and status. The employee effectively applies technicalThe employee plans for the unexpected and uses skills and organizational knowledge to get the jobalternate ways of reaching goals. Difficult done. The employee successfully carries out regularassignments are handled intelligently and effectively. duties while also handling any difficult specialThe employee has produced an exceptional quantity of assignments. The employee plans and performs workwork, often ahead of established schedules and with according to organizational priorities and schedules.little supervision. The employee communicates clearly and effectively.The employee’s oral and written communications are Minimally Successful:exceptionally clear and effective. He/she improvescooperation among participants in the workplace and The employee’s performance shows seriousprevents misunderstandings. Complicated or deficiencies that requires correction. The employee’scontroversial subjects are presented or explained work frequently needs revision or adjustments to meeteffectively to a variety of audiences so that desired a minimally successful level. All assignments areoutcomes are achieved. completed, but often require assistance from supervisor and/or peers. Organizational goals andSuperior: objectives are met only as a result of close supervision. On one or more occasions, importantEmployee demonstrates unusually good performance work requires unusually close supervision to meetthat exceeds expectations in critical areas and exhibits organizational goals or needs so much revision thata sustained support of organizational goals. The deadlines were missed or imperiled.employee shows a comprehensive understanding ofthe objectives of the job and the procedures for Employee shows a lack of awareness of policymeeting them. implications or assignments; inappropriate or incomplete use of programs or services;Effective planning by the employee improves the circumvention of established procedures, resulting inquality of management practices, operating unnecessary expenditure of time or money; reluctanceprocedures, task assignments and/or program to accept responsibility; disorganization in carryingactivities. The employee develops and/or implements out assignments; incomplete understanding of one orworkable and cost-effective approaches to meeting more important areas of the field of work; unreliableorganizational goals. methods for completing assignments; lack of clarity inThe employee demonstrates an ability to get the job writing and speaking; and/or failure to promote teamdone well in more than one way while handling spirit.difficult and unpredicted problems. The employee10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 7Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  8. 8. Performance Appraisal HandbookUnsatisfactory: relationships. The employee almost always handles difficult situations with subordinates withThe employee’s performance is unsatisfactory. The professionalism and effectiveness. The employeequality and quantity of the employee’s work are not shows good judgment in dealing with others andadequate for the position. Work products do not meet considering their views. The employee has a strongthe minimum requirements expected. sense of mission and seeks out responsibility. The employee demonstrates a commitment to fairThe employee demonstrates little or no contribution to treatment, equal opportunity and the affirmative actionorganizational goals; failure to meet work objectives; objectives of the organization, and has a positiveinattention to organizational priorities and impact on achievement of goals in this area. Inadministrative requirements; poor work habits addition, the employee promotes a safe workingresulting in missed deadlines and/or incomplete work environment and solutions to problems encountered inproducts; strained work relationships; failure to meeting other management obligations includingrespond to client needs; and/or lack of response to internal management controls, merit systemssupervisor’s corrective efforts. obligations, managing performance, and management of ethics, conduct and discipline issues.Benchmark Supervisory Performance Standards Fully Successful:Exceptional: Supervisory: The employee is a capable leader whoSupervisory: The employee demonstrates excellent works successfully with others and listens toleadership skills and with only rare exceptions suggestions. The employee generally handles difficultdevelops effective working relationships with others. situations with subordinates with professionalism andThe employee immediately handles difficult situations effectiveness. The employee also works well as awith subordinates with professionalism and team member, supporting the group’s efforts andeffectiveness, and demonstrates foresight in correcting showing an ability to handle a variety of interpersonalsituations that may cause future problems before they situations. The employee’s work with others showsarise. The employee encourages independence and an understanding of the importance of fair treatmentrisk-taking among subordinates, yet takes and equal opportunity and meets all managementresponsibility for their actions. The employee is open commitments related to providing a safe workingto and solicits the views of others, and promotes environment, merit systems obligations, performancecooperation among peers and subordinates, while management, and internal controls, and managementguiding, motivating and stimulating positive of ethics, conduct and discipline issues.responses. Minimally Successful:The employee demonstrates a strong commitment tofair treatment, equal opportunity and the affirmative Supervisory: The employee’s supervisoryaction objectives of the organization, and has a performance shows serious deficiencies that requiresignificant positive impact on achievement of goals in correction. The employee sometimes fails to motivatethis area. In addition, the employee demonstrates subordinates and promote team spirit; provide clearinnovation and specific positive achievements in assignments and performance requirements ormeeting other management obligations such as safety, sufficient instructions to subordinates; provideinternal management controls, merit systems sufficient explanation of organizational goals toprinciples, performance management, and subordinates; satisfy customer needs and/or meetmanagement of ethics, conduct and discipline issues. customer service objectives; and/or meet production or mission goals in a timely and quality manner. TheSuperior: employee’s work with others fails to show aSupervisory: The employee demonstrates good consistent understanding of the importance of fairleadership skills and establishes sound working treatment and equal opportunity. The employee does10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 8Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  9. 9. Performance Appraisal Handbooknot meet all management obligations related tointernal controls, merit system obligations,performance management, and/or management ofethics, conduct and discipline issues. DOCUMENTING ELEMENTS AND STANDARDS The critical elements and associated descriptions of expected performance described at the “fully successful” level, at a minimum, must be documented on the EPAP (See Appendix 8) and signed by the rating official and the employee.Unsatisfactory: Reviewing officials may be required to review/approve the EPAP as determined by theirSupervisory: The employee’s supervisory Bureau/Office.performance is unsatisfactory. The employee usuallyfails to motivate subordinates and promote team spirit; EPAPs should be developed and put in place withinoften provides unclear assignments and performance 60 days of the beginning of the appraisal period, therequirements or insufficient instructions to employee’s entrance on duty, the assignment of ansubordinates; frequently fails to provide sufficient employee to a detail or temporary promotionexplanation of organizational goals to subordinates; scheduled to exceed 120 days, the assignment of angenerally fails to satisfy customer needs and/or meet employee to a new position, or their assignment to acustomer service objectives; and/or frequently fails to new or different supervisory position. Rating officialsmeet production or mission goals in a timely and who move out of their position more than 90 daysquality manner. The employee’s work with others before the end of the rating period should finalizeconsistently fails to show an understanding of the progress reviews and where standards had been inimportance of fair treatment and equal opportunity. place for the minimum of 90 days, prepare an interimEmployee frequently fails to meet other management appraisal for the incoming rating official. If anobligations related to internal controls, merit systems employee moves to a supervisory position in the newobligations, performance management, and/or organization, a review of the previous EPAPs shouldmanagement of ethics, conduct and discipline issues. be accomplished and if accepted, both the new rating official and the employee sign and date the EPAP. IfEMPLOYEE PARTICIPATION the new rating official makes changes to the plan, aSupervisors/managers should encourage employees to new plan must be put in place, allowing the employeeparticipate in establishing the EPAP for their position. a minimum of 90 days under the new plan before aBy participating, employees get a clearer rating may be assigned.understanding of what is required and what role theirposition plays in the activity of the organization. Thefinal decision regarding critical elements and In order for the employee tostandards always rests with the management official, receive a rating of recordhowever. during the rating year, elements and standards mustEmployee participation may be accomplished as be in place a minimum of 90follows: days before the end of the(1) Employee and rating official jointly developing rating period.the EPAP;(2) Employee providing the rating official with a draftplan;(3) Rating official providing the employee with adraft plan, or(4) Employee writing one of the criticalelements that he/she performs in his/herposition.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 9Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  10. 10. Performance Appraisal Handbook be sugar-coated, but present accurate, SECTION 2 - MONITORING factual, and complete feedback; it is more effective when it reinforces whatEffective and timely feedback during the performance the employee did well and then identifiesappraisal period addressing employee performance on what the employee needs to do in theelements and standards is an essential component of a future to further improve his/hersuccessful performance management program. performance.Employees need to know in a timely manner how wellthey are performing. They need to be told what they Part of the monitoring process includes conducting atare doing well and if there are areas needing least one formal progress review during each appraisalimprovement. period at approximately mid-way through the rating cycle. The completion of this Designing effective feedback into aFeedback can come from many performance management program will progress review should be noteddifferent sources: observation by improve individual and team performance on the employee’s performancemanagers and rating officials, and will make your organization more appraisal plan and signed and effective. With effective feedback dated by both the rating officialmeasurement systems, feedback processes, employees can see theirfrom peers, and input from and the employee. While only progress and that motivates them tocustomers, just to name a few. It reach their performance goals one progress review is required,will be up to rating officials to successfully. rating officials are encouraged todetermine how best to gather the frequently discuss performanceinformation, and from which sources, to with subordinate employees during the appraisalensure an effective rating of the employees period. This is particularly critical in the case of anunder their supervision. employee who is not performing at the “fully successful” level. In this case, it may be necessary to provide additional written criteria on performanceWhen providing feedback, the following concepts expectations and/or set up regular feedback sessionsshould be kept in mind: with the employee. It is important to contact your• Feedback works best when it relates to a specific servicing human resources office for advice and goal, such as those established in the assistance before taking any action. employee’s performance appraisal plan. Basing feedback on the employee’s performance against his or her elements and standards is key to providing tangible, objective, and powerful Some issues that may be discussed in a performance feedback. Telling employees that they are doing review: well because they exceeded their goal by 10 For both employees & supervisors percent is more effective than simply saying, “Youre doing a good job.” • Communication• Employees should receive information about • Training Needs (formal, on-the-job, etc.) how they are doing in as timely a fashion as • Sufficiency of skills and knowledge level for possible. If they need to improve their successful performance performance, the sooner they find out about it, • Status of work (challenging, fulfilling) the sooner they can correct the problem. If • Delegation of assignments employees have reached or exceeded a goal, • Getting/giving regular feedback the sooner they receive positive feedback, the For supervisors more rewarding it is to them.• Feedback should be given in a manner • What could I do to help make your job easier that will best help improve performance. or help you in any way? Since people respond better to • Is your staff responding to assignments information presented in a positive way, appropriately and in a timely fashion? express feedback in a positive manner. This is not to say that information should10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 10Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  11. 11. Performance Appraisal HandbookRating officials should document employeeperformance, both good and when improvement isneeded, throughout the year. Doing this will allow therating official to provide specific examples to theemployee during progress reviews, during the ratingof record, or at other times throughout the year.See Appendix 3 for additional supervisory guidanceon Performance Reviews.See Appendix 4 for additional employee guidance onPerformance Reviews. Rating officials should contact their servicing Human Resources Office or Employee Relations Specialist for assistance as soon as problems with an employee’s performance develop. Also see Section 5 for more information on dealing with poor performance.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 11Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  12. 12. Performance Appraisal Handbook This could include a review of past applications for SECTION 3 –DEVELOPING employment and past training records. EMPLOYEES The employee reviews the standards for workThe process of performance management provides an performance to determine core competencies necessaryexcellent opportunity to identify developmental needs. for the job and past performance evaluations forDuring planning and monitoring of work, deficiencies indications of areas needing improvement and identifiesin performance become Providing employees with training and core skills specific to that need.evident and can be developmental opportunities encourages goodaddressed. Areas for performance, strengthens job-related skills and The employee assessesimproving good competencies, and helps employees keep up personal career goals andperformance also stand with changes in the workplace, such as the determines both short and longout, and action can be introduction of new technology. term steps toward achievingtaken to help successful the goals.employees improve even further. The employee identifies specific opportunities forDeveloping employees is more than just training developmental experiences and researches possibleemployees. Developing employees covers all efforts sources for development. The employee may seek outto foster learning, which happens on the job every career counseling from a variety of sources includingday. When organizations focus on developing their peers, current and past supervisors, and the humanemployees capacity to perform rather than just resources staff.training them, employees will be able to adapt to avariety of situations, which is vital for the survival, The supervisor is available for clarifying andwell-being, and goal achievement of individuals as counseling.well as organizations. 2. Discussions and Collaboration. In order to obtainEmployee development can be either formal or mutual commitment between the supervisor and theinformal. Formal development may include: employee, open discussion and collaboration is necessary. • traditional training in structured courses, classrooms, and formal development The employee and supervisor mutually agree to programs; discuss the results of the self-assessment and draft • self-study courses, including those using IDP prepared by the employee. The discussion computer technology, such as distance includes both perspectives of organizational needs, job learning over the Internet, CD-ROM courses, requirements, the employee’s strengths and and Intranet courses provided to employees developmental needs, financial limitations, timing and addressing agency-specific skills and learning opportunities that the supervisor will actively competencies. support.One effective means of identifying formal training for The supervisor coaches the employee by giving openan employee is establishing an Individual and constructive feedback, identifying challengingDevelopment Plan (IDP), as follows: assignments, discussing career paths in the organization and reasonable timeframes for meetingThe Individual Development Plan 1-2-3 Process the objectives of the IDP.1. Self-Assessment. The employee reviews prior job The supervisor and employee sign a completed IDPexperience, training, education and other based on mutual agreement or final decisions of thedevelopmental experiences to provide concrete supervisor.information regarding current strengths and skills.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 12Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  13. 13. Performance Appraisal Handbook3. Implementation and Follow-up. The employee of improved individual and organizationalensures that any necessary procurement or training performance.request forms are prepared and monitors work that isassigned to best accomplish the IDP’s developmental As part of a “performance improvement period,”experiences. The employee reports on completion of training and/or development may also become aitems in the IDP. The supervisor and the employee critical component of demonstrating assistance tomeet periodically throughout the year to review and employees who are not meeting performanceupdate the IDP. requirements.Bureaus/Offices may require the use of an IDP at their Rating officials should contact their servicingdiscretion. Check with your Human Resources Office Human Resources Office or Employee Relationsfor the IDP or other appropriate form to be used by Specialist for assistance as soon as problems withyour Bureau/Office for documenting employee an employee’s performance develop. Also seedevelopment needs. Section 5 for more information on dealing with poor performance.While managers have a large influence over formaltraining, they have even greater impact on creating a For additional information about the IDP, seeclimate for informal employee development, which Appendix 5.can take a wide variety of forms: • Feedback is a natural part of the monitoring process of performance management, but specific and timely feedback to employees about their performance against established expectations also provides the foundation for discussing developmental needs. • Job rotations and special assignments can stretch and challenge employees and broaden their understanding of the organization. • Coaching and counseling provides individualized advice and instruction. • Mentoring helps employees clarify career goals, understand the organization, analyze strengths and developmental needs, build support networks, and deal with roadblocks. • Using the manager as an informal teacher acknowledges that managers consciously teach employees through their own model, habits, and system of values. • Learning teams can form to meet regularly to focus on improving performance. • Self-development includes a broad collection of techniques and approaches, demonstrations at other organizations.Although these informal developmental strategies costvery little, they have potentially big payoffs in terms10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 13Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  14. 14. Performance Appraisal Handbook The weight given to interim ratings in deriving annual SECTION 4 - RATING ratings of record shall be proportional to their share of the appraisal period.Within the context of formal performanceappraisal requirements, rating means RATING CRITICAL ELEMENTS Rating officialsevaluating employee performance against the should compile performance data from variouselements and standards in an employees sources as a part of the rating process. It is often aperformance appraisal plan and assigning a good idea to ask employees to keep track of their ownrating of record. The rating of record is based progress using data identified during the planningon work performed during the entire 12-month phase so they can provide a complete account of theirappraisal period, including temporary accomplishments during progress reviews and theassignments over 120 days. final rating. As discussed above, rating officials, as they deem appropriate, should also talk to customersTo be eligible for a rating of record an employee must: and peers, review documentation, and incorporate• Be a permanent full-/part-time employee; and other feedback if available to ensure a complete• Be under established standards for a minimum of picture of the employee’s performance. 90 days; OR The rating assigned reflects the level of the• Be a temporary employee who has worked more employee’s performance as compared to the standards than 120 days during the annual appraisal period; and established. If an employee does not have an• Be under established standards for at least the opportunity to perform a critical element during the last 90 days. rating period, no rating will be assigned and the words “Not Rated” should be written on the EPAP for thatINTERIM APPRAISALS Interim appraisals are element.written ratings prepared when an employee hasworked under performance standards in the position When assigning a rating for each element, the rating official should consider the following:for 90 days and if one or more of the following 1. Read carefully each performance standard leveloccurs: beginning with the Fully Successful one. It is to be considered the base level standard.• The employee changes position (i.e., 2. Determine the level that best describes the reassignment, promotion, change to lower grade, employee’s performance on the element. Each and transfer); every criterion in the standard does not have to be• The employee completes a temporary assignment met by the employee in absolute terms to assign a of more than120 days (i.e., detail, temporary particular rating level. The sum of the employee’s promotion, etc.); performance of the element must, in the rater’s• The rating official leaves the supervisory position judgment, meet the assigned level’s criteria. more than 90 days before the end of the rating cycle;• To document a level of competence determination for within-grade increase purposes when the employee’s most recent rating of record is not consistent with the level of competence determination. A rating for this purpose becomes the rating of record.A copy of the interim appraisal will be provided to thenew rating official and to the employee. Any interimappraisals should be considered by the new ratingofficial in assigning an official annual rating of record.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 14Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  15. 15. Performance Appraisal HandbookEach performance element should be assigned one ofthe following ratings based on the employee’s The rating official should be prepared to have aperformance for the appraisal period and documented thorough performance rating discussion. Inon the preparation for the discussion, the rating official Plan: should ensure the following: • All necessary approvals of the rating of recordRating Level Points Assigned have been completed. • Employee performance on each critical elementExceptional 5 points during the rating period has been reviewed and noted, including tasks that were completed wellSuperior 4 points and any areas needing improvement. SpecificFully Successful 3 points examples should be noted when possible.Minimally Successful 2 points • A private location and adequate time has beenUnsatisfactory 0 point put aside to meet with the employee, including time for employee input (As a general rule, 30RATING OF RECORD Within 30 days following minutes to one hour per employee).completion of the appraisal period (including any • Future expectations and goals of the organizationextensions, if applicable), the rating official shall have been considered.review the performance of each employee based onpreviously communicated elements and standards and During the meeting, the rating official should do theprepare the annual rating of record. following: • Be professional, calm and focused onRating officials shall not assign employee ratings performance issues.under an arbitrary distribution system (such as a bell • Begin with positive feedback on tasks thecurve). This is contrary to the intent of the appraisal employee has done well regardless of what thesystem and would interfere with assigning ratings final rating is.based on actual performance. • Go through each element and discuss items of note, both positive and negative as appropriate and assign a rating.A narrative summary must be written for each critical • Provide specific examples when possible.element assigned a rating of Exceptional, Minimally • Describe any changes in performance requiredSuccessful, or Unsatisfactory. This narrative should and ensure the employee understands.contain examples of the employees performance that • Allow for employee questions and inputsubstantiate and explain how the employees throughout.performance falls within the levels assigned. The • Summarize the performance and assign the ratingnarrative summaries are recorded on the EPAP. A of record.narrative summary is encouraged, but not required, for • Have the employee sign and date the “Employee”ratings of Superior and Fully Successful. block on the EPAP. • Sign and date the “Rating Official” block on theAll ratings of record of Exceptional, Minimally EPAP.Successful, and Unsatisfactory must be reviewed andapproved by the reviewing official prior to discussion Rating Officials should keep a copy of the completedwith the employee. A review of the summary rating is EPAP for their files, provide a copy of the completednot required for ratings of Superior and Fully and signed form to the employee, and send theSuccessful, unless established by internal original to the servicing Human Resources OfficeBureau/Office guidance. See Appendix 8 for a sample within 60 days of the end of the rating period to becompleted EPAP. filed in the Employee Performance Folder (EPF).DISCUSSION WITH EMPLOYEE The rating EMPLOYEE SUPPLEMENTAL COMMENTSofficial will discuss the completed EPAP with the An employee may submit written comments to theemployee after all required approvals are obtained. overall rating of record, the element ratings and/or the10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 15Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  16. 16. Performance Appraisal Handbooknarrative comments if they desire. This may occur if An employee must discuss their dissatisfaction withan employee wishes to provide specific information the rating official before requesting a formalon noteworthy accomplishments that the rating reconsideration unless the employee requests inofficial did not include, or if they have other writing to move directly to the formal stage and this iscomments that they wish to include as part of the allowed by the Bureau/Office reconsideration process.performance appraisal plan. NOTE: THIS This informal discussion should take place within 7PROCESS MAY BE UTILIZED ONLY WHEN calendar days of the employee’s receipt of theTHE EMPLOYEE IS NOT CONTESTING THE Employee Performance Appraisal Form, and theRATING HE/SHE RECEIVED ON A GIVEN rating official’s decision must be communicated to theELEMENT, WHICH, IF CHANGED, WOULD employee, either verbally or in writing, within 7AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THE OVERALL calendar days of the informal reconsiderationRATING OF RECORD. discussion.These comments must be submitted to the rating If agreement cannot be reached informally, theofficial within 30 days of the date the employee employee may request a formal reconsideration of thereceives/signs the rating of record on the EPAP. The rating through their servicing Human Resourcesrating official should forward these comments to their Office.Servicing Human Resources Office to be filed withthe completed EPAP in the EPF. These written Requesting a Formal Reconsideration - To requestcomments will not change the rating of record as a formal reconsideration, the employee should send adetermined by the rating official. written request to their servicing Human Resources Office within 7 calendar days of receipt of decision ofRECONSIDERATION PROCESS When an the informal meeting. This request should include theemployee has a concern about the rating given on a following:particular element, which, if changed, will affect theoutcome of the rating of record, he/she may request a • Employee organization and duty station;reconsideration of this rating through their • Copy of the annual appraisal for which aBureau/Office reconsideration process. reconsideration is being requested; • Specific area(s) or details of the annual appraisalEach Bureau/Office may determine the process that for which the reconsideration is being requested;will be utilized when an employee requests • The identity of the employee’s designatedreconsideration of a rating, and whether to use the representative (name, title, address, andreviewing official in the reconsideration process, or telephone number), if applicable;choose a reconsideration official, reconsideration • Why the employee believes the rating is in error, with supporting facts and documents;committee, or other designee to review the • The action the employee requests of thereconsideration request. Bureaus/Offices have reconsideration official or the reconsiderationdiscretion to change the process and/or timeframes committee; andoutlined below, but must ensure the process includes • A copy of the written decision of the informalan informal and formal stage and that timeframes are reconsideration by the rating official, a statementreasonable. In addition, the authority to make a final confirming that the informal process was followed,decision on a request for reconsideration must remain or a written request to move directly to the formalwithin a given Bureau/Office. Each Bureau/Office stage.must formally notify all employees of itsreconsideration process. The Servicing Human Resources Office will review the formal request for reconsideration to determine ifInformal Reconsideration Procedure - When it is appropriate for acceptance under thesepossible, the employee and rating official should procedures. If it is not accepted, the request will beinformally attempt to resolve any disagreement about returned to the employee with an explanation of thethe performance appraisal and/or rating. reason(s) for non-acceptance. If accepted, the request10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 16Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  17. 17. Performance Appraisal Handbookfor reconsideration is referred within 14 calendar days official, the reviewing official, and staffof receipt to the reconsideration official, experts as necessary and appropriate;reconsideration committee, or other designee (3) Increasing the summary rating or an elementestablished by the Bureau/Office. rating; removing or modifying narrative comments, or leaving the summary rating,The formal reconsideration process shall be carried element ratings, or narrative commentsout by a person or person(s) as determined by the unchanged; andBureau/Office, who have not been involved in the (4) Issuing a final written decision within 20reconsideration request and, when practical, who do calendar days of receipt of the request fornot occupy a position subordinate to any official who reconsideration that includes documentation ofrecommended, advised, or made a decision in the basis for the decision. This documentconnection with the appraisal involved. The servicing must be given to the employee and filed in theHuman Resources Office shall advise the Employee Performance File (EPF).reconsideration official or committee members oftheir responsibilities during this formal process. The decision rendered by the reconsideration official or reconsideration committee (or other designee asAn employee may be represented during the formal determined by the Bureau/Office) is final andreconsideration process. The Bureau/Office may becomes the official rating of record.disallow the employees choice of representative forreason of conflict of interest or position or Timeframes outlined above (or in the establishedunreasonable cost to the Government. Bureau/Office reconsideration process) may be extended on a case-by-case basis upon mutual consentThe authority of the reconsideration official or of the parties and with concurrence of the servicingreconsideration committee is limited to an impartial Human Resources Office.reconsideration of the employees dissatisfaction withthe rating given on a particular element that he/she Employees covered by a Collective Bargainingbelieves may adversely affect the annual rating of Agreement that includes a reconsideration procedurerecord. The employee may not dispute (1) the number will be governed by that procedure as the exclusiveor type of performance elements identified for their method to request reconsideration.position, or (2) the substance or contents ofperformance standards, including the objective criteriaagainst which performance will be measured.The reconsideration official or reconsiderationcommittee shall be provided all the resourcesnecessary to complete the impartial reconsiderationand render the Bureau/Office decision.The reconsideration official or reconsiderationcommittee is responsible for the following actions inconsidering an employee’s formal reconsiderationrequest: (1) Reviewing any evidence or information submitted by the employee, rating official, and/or reviewing official; (2) Consulting with the employee, the employee’s representative (if applicable), the rating10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 17Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  18. 18. Performance Appraisal Handbook Award, non-monetary award, or other SECTION 5 - ACTIONS BASED ON appropriate equivalent recognition. PERFORMANCE • Fully Successful (Level 3): Eligible forA basic principle of effective management is that all awards such as monetary, non-monetary,behavior is controlled by its consequences. Those Time-off, or other appropriate equivalentconsequences can and should be both formal and recognition, given for reasons other thaninformal and both positive and negative. Positive sustained performance tied to the rating ofconsequences include rewards and recognition, record.promotions, within-grade-increases, etc. Negativeconsequences may include counseling, reassigning, • Minimally Successful (Level 2): Ineligibleremoving, or downgrading the employee. for any performance recognition.REWARDING PERFORMANCE Rewarding • Unsatisfactory (Level 1): Ineligible for anyperformance means providing incentives to, and performance recognition.recognition of, employees for their performance andacknowledging their contributions to the agencys Supervisors/Managers should contact their servicingmission. Recognition is an ongoing, natural part of Human Resources Office for further information andday-to-day experience. Good performance should be assistance regarding appropriate delegations andrecognized without waiting for nominations for formal procedures that must be followed.awards to be solicited. LINKS TO OTHER PERSONNEL ACTIONS TheAwards may come in many forms, including cash, rating of record has a bearing on various othertime off, non-monetary items, honor awards, etc. personnel actions, such as granting within-grade payMany of the actions that reward good performance — increases, promotions, determining additionallike saying “You did a good job.” — don’t require retention service credit in a reduction in force, etc.specific regulatory authority and are easy to give. The relationship of the rating of record to other personnel actions includes the following:Under Departmental policy 370 DM 430, an employeemust be rated at Level 4 (Superior) or Level 5 Within-Grade Increases: For General Schedule(Exceptional) to be eligible for an award for sustained Employees: In order to justify granting a within-gradesuperior performance. Employees rated at Level 5 increase, the employee must be performing at an(Exceptional) must be considered for an award. "acceptable level of competence." An employee whose current performance of a critical element failsSupervisors/Managers have the flexibility to recognize to meet the standards or whose overall performance isemployees using any of the following forms of less than Fully Successful is not performing at anrecognition or combination thereof (i.e., individual acceptable level of competence and the within-gradecash award and a Time-Off Award): increase must be withheld. An employees rating of record must be no lower than Level 3 (Fully • Exceptional (Level 5): Eligible for an Successful) for an employee to receive a within-grade individual cash award up to 5% of base pay; a increase. This may require a rating official to prepare Quality Step Increase; Time-Off Award; or a new rating of record before the end of the waiting other appropriate equivalent recognition. period for a within-grade increase in order to Additionally, may be eligible for a salary document that an employee previously rated at Level increase of up to 5% from the Human Capital 1 or 2 has improved performance to an acceptable Performance Fund. level of competence. Conversely, for an employee whose most recent summary rating is at Level 3 or • Superior (Level 4): Eligible for an individual higher, but whose performance has deteriorated to the cash award up to 3% of base pay; Time-Off degree that the rating official wishes to withhold a10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 18Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  19. 19. Performance Appraisal Handbookwithin-grade increase, the rating official must prepare position. Proper use of progress reviews during thisa new rating of record to document that performance period can do much to ensure that the employee hashas fallen to a Level 1 or 2. Supervisors/Managers fully demonstrated the qualifications and skillsshould contact their servicing human resources necessary for the supervisory or managerial position.office for further information and assistance. (SeeSection 4, “Interim Appraisals.”) Reductions-in-Force: An employees performance rating of record is used to determine the employee’sFor Federal Wage System Employees: An employee assignment rights during a Reduction-in-Force.under a regular Federal Wage System (FWS) schedule Employees are given performance credit for RIFwith a current rating of record of Fully Successful or retention by adjusting the employees service date forbetter shall be advanced to the next higher step within RIF purposes. Generally the employee receivesthe grade upon completion of the required waiting additional service credit based on the average of theperiod. FWS employees with a current performance three most recent ratings of record received during theappraisal of Minimally Successful or Unsatisfactory 4-year period prior to the issuance of the RIF notice.shall have step increases withheld until their Service credit is provided as follows:performance improves to the Fully Successful level.The rating of record should reflect appropriate Level 5 (Exceptional) Rating - 20 yearsperformance at the time the step increase is given. Level 4 (Superior) Rating - 16 years Level 3 (Fully Successful) Rating - 12 yearsPromotion: In order to be noncompetitively Level 2 (Minimally Successful) Rating - 0 yearspromoted to a higher grade in a career ladder, an Level 1 (Unsuccessful) Rating - 0 yearsemployee must have a current rating of record of FullySuccessful or better in addition to meeting other If an employee received a rating of record under otherprescribed requirements. In considering an employee than a 5-level system during the timeframe used tofor merit promotions under competitive procedures, determine the average years of service to be credited,due weight will be given to supervisory appraisals of he/she will receive service credit for RIF purposes inpast and/or present performance. accordance with 5 CFR 351.504.Probationary/Trial Periods: New employees must Performance credit is only one of many variables thatbe carefully observed during the probationary/trial must be considered in a RIF. Supervisors andperiod to determine whether they have the qualities employees should contact their servicing Humanneeded to become satisfactory career employees. Resources Office for further information.Proper use of periodic progress reviews to determineprogress during the probationary/trial period can do DEALING WITH POOR PERFORMANCE Atmuch to assure that these employees have adequately any time in the performance appraisal cycle that youdemonstrated their qualifications and fitness. find that the employee’s performance is not meetingHowever, an employee may be removed at any time performance expectations outlined at the fullyduring the probationary/trial period if his/her successful level, it is important that you takeperformance is less than “Fully Successful.” appropriate action to deal with the poor performance. This includes contacting your servicing HumanProbationary Period for Supervisors and Resources Office for advice and assistance. They areManagers: Individuals serving a supervisory or available to provide support to rating officials inmanagerial probationary period need to be observed to documenting performance, providing feedback to thedetermine whether they perform supervisory or employee, and assessing courses of action.managerial duties in a fully successful manner. Newsupervisors and managers who do not successfully There is a difference between poor performance andcomplete the probationary period are normally misconduct. Poor performance (can’t do) is failure ofreturned to a position of the same grade and pay as the employee to do the job at an acceptable level thatthat held prior to the supervisory or managerial is at least fully successful. Misconduct (won’t do) is10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 19Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  20. 20. Performance Appraisal Handbookgenerally failure to follow a workplace rule (whether examples of the employee’s work. Your humanwritten or unwritten). Examples of misconduct are: resources staff can assist you in this review.tardiness, absenteeism, unprofessional/discourteousconduct; damaging/destroying government property;falsification, etc. Also a conduct problem is when anemployee is capable of performing his/her duties at an In addition, the rating official should prepare to have aacceptable level but chooses not to. Sometimes, thorough performance rating discussion, by ensuringmisconduct can result in poor performance. the following:Sometimes performance and misconduct can be • Employee performance on the critical element(s)interrelated; however, it is important to recognize the in question has been reviewed and documented,difference between the two. Contact your servicing including specifics related to the areas of concern.Human Resources Office for advice and guidance. Examples should be noted when possible. • A private location and adequate time has been set aside to meet with the employee, including timeThere is a formal regulatory process outlined to deal for employee input.with employees who are not performing acceptably • Expectations for improved performance havethat includes the following steps: been outlined.Step 1: Communicating Expectations and Counseling an EmployeePerformance Problems After preparations have been completed, you areThe first step in the process is to meet with the ready to counsel the employee. The counselingemployee to counsel or discuss the deficiencies of session should be in a private and uninterruptedhis/her performance. Counseling is a communication environment. During the counseling session youprocess occurring between a rating official and an should do the following:employee with the intent of resulting in some positivechange in the employee’s performance. Most • Identify the critical element(s) where theperformance problems can be resolved through employee is working at an unsatisfactory leveleffective communication when done in the early stage of performance.of the process. The counseling session is an • Provide specific examples of the pooropportunity to discuss performance deficiencies and to performance and suggest ways thatclarify expectations. The focus of the counseling performance can be improved.session should be to tell the employee exactly whatmust be done to bring performance to an acceptable • Invite feedback from the employee and be alevel. good listener. • Maintain a constructive tone, along with aPreparing to Counsel the Employee calm and professional demeanor; do not argue with the employee.Prior to counseling the employee, the rating official • Plan some specific actions the employee willshould first determine if it is a performance or take to improve his or her performance, suchmisconduct problem. It is critical that the rating as taking training or working closely withofficial reviews, prior to the counseling session, the another employee for a period of time, etc. Asemployee’s standards to ensure they clearly convey appropriate, give the employee thewhat needs to be done in the job. The rating official responsibility of finding the course orneeds to ensure that standards are clear, reasonable providing ideas on how he/she can improve byand are not “backwards” or impermissibly “absolute” a specific date and reporting back to you.(See Appendix 2). You should be prepared to identify • At the end of the session, tell the employeespecifically the critical element(s) in which the your expectations and what the employee mustemployee has exhibited deficiencies and provide do to bring his or her performance to an acceptable level.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 20Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  21. 21. Performance Appraisal Handbook • Document the counseling session, schedule employee should be warned concerning the the next session, and provide the employee a consequences of continued performance below the copy of the documentation. Minimally Successful ("acceptable") level and given a reasonable time to demonstrate at least MinimallyUse the checklist at Appendix 6 to make sure all Successful performance before a reduction in grade oractions related to Step One have been completed. removal is considered. Additionally, rating officials are encouraged to make efforts to help employeesStep Two: Providing an Opportunity to Improve with Minimally Successful performance raise their performance to a Fully Successful level.When dealing with unsatisfactory performance underPart 432 of Title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, The performance elements and standards for thean employee must be provided with information performance improvement period shall be based onconcerning his/her performance and how it can be the EPAP in effect at the determination ofimproved, and then be given an opportunity to unsatisfactory performance. The notification to thedemonstrate minimally successful performance before employee of the improvement period may includean agency proposes a reduction in grade or removal clarification and greater specificity regardingbased on unsatisfactory performance. Before any performance expectations. Care should be taken toperformance-based action is proposed, the following avoid the appearance that higher performancemust be considered: standards are required during the performance improvement period than in the original EPAP. If theInitial Determination of Unsatisfactory new requirements constitute a significant change, suchPerformance as standards or performance requirements that exceed the context of the current plan or which had notFor an initial determination of unsatisfactory previously been applied or communicated to theperformance to be valid, an employee must receive a employee, it may be necessary to treat them as a newcopy of the critical elements and performance EPAP requiring a period of 90 days before thestandards for his/her job and his/her performance must employee can be rated.be measured against those performance standards.The quality of the EPAP is, therefore, of key The amount of time necessary to give the employee aimportance for taking action based on unsatisfactory reasonable opportunity to demonstrate Minimallyperformance. Unsatisfactory performance must be Successful performance is not dictated in regulation ormeasured against the critical elements of the EPAP; departmental guidance. The reasonable time tohowever, a formal performance rating denoting improve will be determined by management and canunsatisfactory performance is not required preceding vary according to the requirements of individualan opportunity to improve period. Unsatisfactory positions and EPAPs and the amount of time andperformance is the only basis for removal or reduction effort already devoted to correcting performancein grade action under Part 432. Minimally Successful deficiencies. As a general rule, less time and effortperformance is not a basis for removal or reduction in are required in cases where rating officials havegrade, but will result in denial of a WGI. appropriately managed performance and documented their efforts to resolve performance problems. (Note:Reasonable Opportunity to Demonstrate For bargaining unit employees, the applicableMinimally Successful Performance collective bargaining agreement should be checked for additional requirements.)The employee must be notified in writing ofunsatisfactory performance, what is needed to bring Assistance to the employee in any combination ofperformance up to a Minimally Successful level and counseling, training, or changes in the level ofwhat assistance will be provided. This written supervision provided is required. Therefore, suchnotification is in the form of a Performance assistance and communications to the employeeImprovement Plan, often referred to as a “PIP.” The should be fully documented in progress reviews, on10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 21Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  22. 22. Performance Appraisal Handbookthe performance appraisal form, and/or in other If after completing steps one and two above, thedocumentation to the employee. employee’s performance does not improve to at least the minimally successful level, an agency may reassign the employee, reduce an employee in grade or remove the employee. If using Chapter 43 to deal with poor performance, performance must be evaluated after the opportunityThis documentation must demonstrate that: period, and if still unsatisfactory in one or more• The employee was informed that his/her critical elements, the employee must be provided 30 performance has been determined to be days advance written notice of the proposed action unsatisfactory in one or more critical elements (demotion or removal), specifying instances of and of specific needs for improvement. unsatisfactory performance occurring in the past year• The rating official, or other designated staff which are related to the critical elements identified in worked with the employee in an attempt to resolve the notice of unsatisfactory performance. The 30-day work-related problems, provided any necessary notice period may be extended for a period not to formal training, on-the-job training, or counseling, and met periodically with the employee to clarify exceed 30 days, or can be extended further in assignments, explain what was needed to be accordance with the provisions in 5 CFR § done, and answer questions about the EPAP. 432.105(a)(4)(i)(B).• The employee was informed of the consequences of failure to improve (e.g., removal, reassignment, The notice must provide: or reduction in grade). o A reasonable time to reply, orally and inUse the checklist at Appendix 6 to make sure all writing;actions related to Step Two have been completed. o Right to representation; o Consideration of medical conditions whenStep Three: Taking Action raised by the employee.Overview Final written decision by a higher-level official must be issued within 30 days, or upon expiration ofA rating official has the authority to take action approved extensions and must be issued on or beforeagainst an employee based on poor performance. This the effective date of the action to be taken. Theis usually accomplished in accordance with 5 CFR decision must consider any response to the proposalPart 432, Performance Based Reduction in Grade and that the employee provided, and must be based onlyRemoval Actions. However, under some on instances of unsatisfactory performance occurringcircumstances, it is more advantageous to take action during the 1-year period ending on the date of theunder 5 CFR Part 752, Adverse Actions. The specific advance notice of proposed action. It must specify thefacts of your case, along with the weight of your instances of unsatisfactory performance and provideevidence, will be determining factors in deciding the applicable appeal rights information.under which authority to take your action. Seekguidance from your servicing Human ResourcesOffice as soon as you determine that you have anemployee whose performance is less than fullysuccessful, and they will assist you in determininghow to proceed.Taking Performance-Based Actions under 5 USCChapter 43:10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 22Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  23. 23. Performance Appraisal HandbookFigure A. outlines the steps that must be followed in taking a demotion or removal action under 5 CFR Part 432.Taking Performance Actions under 5 USC Chapter 75:Under 5 USC Chapter 75, and 5 CFR Part 752, an agency may take action to suspend for more than 14 days, demoteor remove an employee for such cause as will promote the efficiency of the service, to include a performance-basedadverse action. The rating official will be required to show that informal steps such as discussions, counseling andtraining were taken to assist the employee in improving performance deficiencies, but a formal performanceimprovement opportunity period is not required. If using Chapter 75 to deal with poor performance, the followingprocedures apply: • Performance expectations must have been communicated to the employee; • Informal steps must be taken to improve performance deficiencies, including discussion with employee, counseling, training, etc.; • A 30-day advance written notice of proposed action must be issued, giving specifics of the performance deficiencies; • The employee must be provided a reasonable period of time to reply orally and in writing (not less than 7 days); and • The employee has the right to representation by an attorney or other representative.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 23Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  24. 24. Performance Appraisal HandbookA written decision must be issued at the earliest practicable date, giving the specific reasons for the action decidedupon. Only those reasons specified in the notice of proposed action and any information provided by the employeein the reply to the notice may be considered. The decision must be provided to the employee on or before theeffective date of the action. The decision must provide the employee with appeal rights information.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 24Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  25. 25. Performance Appraisal HandbookWhile a performance-based action taken under Part 752 does not require providing the employee a formalopportunity to improve performance to the minimally successful level, the arbitrator or judge will be interested inthe efforts taken by the rating official to provide assistance to help the employee improve his/her performance to theminimally successful level. Therefore, providing an opportunity to improve performance will help the agencypresent a stronger case before a third party hearing and we strongly recommend providing a performanceimprovement period regardless of what authority is used to deal with performance deficiencies.Part 752 also allows for taking adverse action based on ad hoc standards such as explicit instructions or workassignments, or professional standards established for certain occupations. If an ad hoc standard is no more stringentthan the established performance standards, it may be appropriate to take a 752 performance-based action on failureto meet that ad hoc standard.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 25Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418
  26. 26. Performance Appraisal HandbookAppeal RightsEmployees have the right to appeal a performance-based removal or demotion to the Merit Systems ProtectionBoard, and some employees covered by collective bargaining agreements may have the right to grieve the actionthrough their negotiated grievance procedure. An employee can choose between these two methods of appeal, butcannot pursue both avenues.In addition, allegations of discrimination, reprisal for whistleblowing, and other prohibited personnel practices canbe raised in an employee’s appeal of a performance-based removal or demotion. Such allegations can also be fileddirectly with the Bureau/Office Equal Opportunity Office or the Office of Special Counsel.Use the checklist at Appendix 6 to make sure all actions related to Step Three have been completed.10/4/04 #370DM430HB-1 26Replaces 11/1/95 FPM-418

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