Table of Contents
Table of Contents..........................................................................................................................3
Georgia Performance Management Process................................................................................5
ePerformance System Business Process Flow ..............................................................11
Phase I: Performance Planning ..................................................................................................13
Key Components of Planning..........................................................................................13
Performance Expectations ..............................................................................................13
Elements of the Performance Plan .................................................................................14
Weighting of Sections .....................................................................................................23
The Role of the Employee and the Manager in the Planning Process............................25
Changing Positions during the Year................................................................................26
The Manager’s Manager Process ...................................................................................26
Completing the Performance Management Form (PMF) ................................................27
Phase II: Coaching and Development ........................................................................................28
Documenting Performance .............................................................................................28
Characteristics of Useful Performance Documentation...................................................30
Content of Documentation ..............................................................................................30
Coaching and Development ............................................................................................32
Providing Feedback ........................................................................................................33
Giving Positive Feedback................................................................................................34
Giving Corrective Feedback............................................................................................38
Steps to Development Planning......................................................................................47
Methods of Developing Employee Performance .............................................................50
Mid-year or Quarterly Review .........................................................................................52
Preparing for and Conducting the Mid-Year (or Quarterly) Progress Review .................52
Phase III: Performance Evaluation .............................................................................................53
Employee Self-Evaluation ...............................................................................................53
Evaluating Competencies ...............................................................................................55
Evaluating Goals and Responsibilities ............................................................................57
Evaluating/Reviewing the IDP.........................................................................................57
Calculation of Performance Ratings................................................................................58
Weighting Competencies, Goals and Responsibilities ....................................................58
Approval Process ............................................................................................................59
Conducting the Performance Evaluation Meeting With the Employee............................59
Performance Evaluation - Multiple Managers .................................................................61
Phase IV: Rewarding Performance.............................................................................................62
Questions and Answers ..............................................................................................................63
APPENDIX A ..................................................................................................................................
APPENDIX B ..................................................................................................................................
APPENDIX C ..................................................................................................................................
Georgia Performance Management Process
The Georgia Performance Management Process (PMP) is a systematic, integrated approach that:
• Drives individual and organizational performance
• Promotes and supports the Governor’s Vision for the State of Georgia as the best managed state
• Translates organizational goals to individual performance expectations
• Links an employee’s performance expectations to the mission, vision, and goals of the agency
and the State
• Articulates what an employee needs to accomplish and how to accomplish these objectives
• Provides a unified approach to the periodic review of progress towards meeting goals
• Recognizes and rewards high achievement through pay for performance
• Assists state agencies and state employees in developing or acquiring new knowledge, skills, and
• Ensures that employees contribute to organizational success as well as individual success
• Helps ensure that the State of Georgia successfully meets its commitments to the public,
customers, and employees.
Appropriately implementing this performance management process can:
• Help drive individual, team, and business performance and results
• Help identify which behaviors most impact performance and success
• Provide the opportunity for supervisors and employees to develop performance measures that
can be used to objectively evaluate work performance
• Provide consistency in performance expectations and measurement
• Help distinguish exceptional individuals that contribute to organizational success
• Provide feedback to individuals to move them toward exemplary performance
• Improve communication and enhance relationships between supervisor and employees
Background on New Process
An interagency Performance Management Initiative team was created in 2005 to determine the needs
and requirements for a new performance management system for the State. In order to examine the
issues and needs with regards to performance management, a survey of employees, managers, and HR
personnel was conducted, as were interviews with agency leadership.
The team used these findings, along with research into successful performance management systems, to
design a new performance management system that that is user-friendly, results-based, encourages
employee development, and is aligned with the vision and goals of the State and its entities.
Some of the changes, improvements, and benefits of this new system include:
• Process is easier to use and understand
o Increased involvement for both manager and employee during the entire process, from
developing the performance plan to evaluating and identifying areas for future growth
o Collaborative planning makes use of employee input, planning, and self-evaluation
• Supporting technology that is easy for managers and employees to access and use, is available for
use by multiple users, and is integrated with other HR functions
o The new system is based upon results, goals, and competencies
o Measurable criteria, which should lead to improved accuracy and fairness
o Aligns employee goals with agency goals
o Enhanced accuracy, consistency, and timeliness of reviews
o Ongoing coaching by manager, which accommodates employee input
o Enables feedback on an interim basis
• Flexibility to make changes to the plan throughout the year as responsibilities and projects change
o Allows for developmental opportunities for improved current job performance as well as future
o Managers and employees are held accountable for performance management
o Online performance log for employee and manager
Components of Performance
Performance management assesses employees’ strengths and areas for improvement that serves to
further develop employees within the organization. To do this, performance management focuses on two
main measure of success: “What” gets accomplished and “How” it gets accomplished.
“What” employees accomplish is measured against specific goals, responsibilities, and objectives. These
• Goals that are linked to the State’s and the agency’s mission, visions and goals.
• Goals that are linked to specific job responsibilities
• Special projects and activities assigned to the individual
“How” employees meet performance expectations is measured against competencies, which are those
knowledge, skills, behaviors, attributes and other characteristics needed by employees to successfully
achieve goals. These include:
• Core competencies required of all state employees and additional leadership competencies
• Additional competencies that are important to successful performance
Developmental Goals are objectives, projects, tasks, activities, training, and other opportunities that are
set every year and focus on the continued development of employees, whether for their current role or a
future role in the agency or the State.
The Manager’s Guide
This Manager’s Guide is designed to provide information to managers and supervisors about the key
policies and procedures of the Georgia Performance Management Process (PMP).
Section A provides an introduction and overview of the performance management process including the
four phases of the PMP. This section briefly describes the business process flow and the timelines
associated with different aspects of the process.
Sections B – E detail the four phases of the PMP process in approximately the same sequence that they
would take place during the year: 1) performance planning, 2) coaching and development, 3)
performance evaluation, and 4) rewarding performance.
Section F contains frequently asked questions and seeks to provide concise answers. For more
information, please contact your agency’s HR representative.
The Appendix contains sample copies of the various forms used in the Performance Management Process.
When reading this Guide, supervisors and managers should keep in mind that their agencies may have
developed additional, agency-specific policies or procedures related to the Performance Management
Process. To indicate situations where agencies are likely to have done so, a text box is used. An
example of such a text box appears below.
State law (45-20-21) requires that the State Personnel Board “provide a system for the periodic
review and rating of the quality and quantity of work performed by classified employees.” The
Performance Management Process and the forms described herein constitute a system that is
used by most agencies to meet that requirement.
The same law requires all executive agencies “to provide for the review and rating of the quality
and quantity of work performed by the employees in the unclassified service in the same
manner as employees in the classified service.” Supervisors in constitutional agencies should
check with their agency personnel officers to determine what guidelines should be followed for
Performance Management Process Overview
The State of Georgia’s performance management program consists of four main phases:
Performance Planning: The purpose of performance planning is for the manager and the employee to
collaborate and develop a performance plan for the employee for the upcoming year. This consists of
setting goals that drive individual performance and are aligned with the state and the agency’s mission,
vision, and goals, identifying competencies needed for success, and identifying job responsibilities that
are needed for success. The performance planning process also includes an individual development plan
Coaching and Development: Coaching and development are processes that help develop and
communicate with an employee in order to enhance competencies, skills, and knowledge and improve
performance. Coaching also provides an opportunity to check process towards goals. Development seeks
to engage the employee in activities that will enhance and/or improve performance.
Performance Evaluation: An individual’s performance is formally assessed against the agreed upon
goals, competencies, and responsibilities. The manager reviews what has been accomplished and how it
has been accomplished. Performance is evaluated at least two times during the year, a mid-year review
and the annual review. Agencies and management may desire to have more frequent formal feedback
and may opt to conduct additional quarterly reviews.
Rewarding Performance: Performance rewards can be monetary, including raises and bonuses, or non-
monetary such as an opportunity to take classes, work on a special project to develop in a new area.
A diagram of the PMP process is on the next page.
Performance Management Process Linkages
Coaching & • Performance log
• Updated goals
• Agree on goals
Development • M id-year or
Do the job,
Do the job,
• Link to state and Planning
Planning achieve the goals,
Describe achieve the goals, • Development plan
Describe and get the results
• Agree on “successful” and get the results
responsibilities , “successful”
tasks & projects performance
Performance • Key tasks or
• M onetary
Rew arding Evaluation activities
• Non-M onetary Performance
Performance Assessment based
Assessment based • M ajor
Acknowledge Success on agreed upon
on agreed upon • Development
Provide Opportunities Expectations.
Remember: Performance Management is a process not an event
ePerformance Management System
The performance management process is supported by the PeopleSoft (PS) ePerformance
Management System. The ePerformance Management System is a Web based self-service
performance evaluation application for managers, employees, and human resources (HR)
administrators. It is a tool that will be used for planning, collaborating, communication,
assessment and monitoring evaluations.
The typical forms used in the Georgia Performance Management Process are contained
in the Appendices. Electronic forms are available through the SPA Website:
Business Process Flow
The Agency HR Administrators are responsible for initiating the performance review process and creating
the Performance Documents in the system. After the documents are completed, the system is available
to managers and employees for establishing the evaluation criteria, the performance evaluation, entry of
feedback and the necessary approvals.
The creation of the documents initiates the planning process by creating job profiles and making them
available for agency use.
Understanding the Process Flow
There are 9 steps in the process flow. They are:
1. Initiation of the Process – HR Administrators
2. Planning Phase – Manager
3. Planning Phase – Employee
4. Complete Evaluation – Manager & Employee
5. Consolidate Feedback – Manager
6. Manager’s Approval – Manager
7. HR Administrator’s Approval – HR Manager’s Manager
8. Conduct Review with Employee – Manager
9. Acknowledge and Finalize Review
An illustration of the Business Process Flow is shown on the following page.
ePerformance System Business Process Flow
HR Admin. Initiate Evaluation
by Process –
Employee Criteria – Planning
Phase and Agreement
Complete Evaluation Criteria
Manager Approval Required
Manager Complete Complete Manager’s
and Employee Self- Evaluation of Employee’s
Employee Evaluation Performance
Manager Feedback into
Manager’s Obtain Manager’s
Manager Manager Approval
HR Admin Obtain HR’s
Manager and Conduct Review
Employee with Employee
Manager Acknowledge and
and Finalize Review
Performance Management Process Timeline
Performance management is a year-round process, not a one-time event. Below is a broad time line
illustrating various activities associated with the Georgia Performance Management Process. Each
agency will provide specific due dates for activities. All activities will be completed via the e-Performance
Supervisor collaborates with the employee to identify goals, responsibilities,
competencies and targets for upcoming year, assesses employee capabilities, and
June prepares draft performance plan.
Manager’s Manager evaluates plan and necessary adjustments are made.
Supervisor and employee discuss and agree on performance measures and
monitoring and evaluation methods.
Ongoing coaching occurs. Supervisors are observing performance, providing
feedback, and documenting performance.
to Interim performance review is conducted and documented.
Ongoing coaching continues. Supervisors are observing performance, providing
feedback, and documenting performance.
to Formal performance evaluation is prepared and assessed by the Manager’s
June Manager and by HR. PMF is then completed and discussed with the employee.
Changing the Plan during the Year
The employee’s Individual Performance Plan is meant to be a living document, not just a piece of paper
filed away and forgotten about until next year’s performance planning session. Any time a significant
change occurs in an employee’s responsibilities, expectations, or term and conditions of employment, the
supervisor and the employee should meet to discuss the changes and modify the Performance Plan
Note: It is not necessary to change the Performance Plan every time a minor task is added, deleted, or
If a change is made to the Plan during the year, the supervisor should be sure to get the employee’s
feedback and approval.
Phase I: Performance Planning
The purpose of performance planning is for the manager and the employee to collaborate and develop a
performance plan for the employee for the upcoming year. This consists of setting goals and performance
expectations that drive performance and align individual objectives with the State and the agency’s
mission, vision, and goals; and identifying key job responsibilities – this is “what” will be accomplished in
the upcoming year. It also contains competencies which are attributes and behaviors that need to be
demonstrated in order to achieve results – this is the “how” things get accomplished. The performance
planning process also includes an individual development plan (IDP) which is used to help develop an
employee in the current position or to broaden skills sets to develop for a future position.
While many factors play a part in successful employee performance, planning, as well as good
supervisor-employee communication, is critical to success.
Planning is a key part of the Georgia Performance Management Process
For each fiscal year, the first part of the performance management process begins with the preparation of
the employee’s individual performance plan. The performance management plan is a collaboration
process between the supervisor and employee.
Key Components of Planning
• The Individual Performance Plan
• Identify goals
• Align with State and Agency Goals
• Identify Competencies
• Agree on Responsibilities, Tasks & Projects
• Create an Individual Development Plan (IDP)
The employee will be evaluated on competencies, goals, and responsibilities. All of these comprise the
performance expectations for the job.
The Individual Performance Plan
The development of the performance plan should be a collaborative effort between the employee
and the manager.
An individual performance plan details the goals, responsibilities, and competencies upon which the
employee will be evaluated during the review period. It describes performance expectations for the
incumbent in a particular position and should be tailored to fit the employee in the position. The
performance plan is derived from several sources:
• Cascading down the strategic objectives of the State and the agency into specific goals for the
• Responsibilities critical for success in the job or position
• Competencies that are needed by the employee to successfully achieve objectives
An employee will be evaluated on these three areas at the end of the year. In addition to these
performance expectations, all employees should have an individual development plan that has
developmental goals, projects, and activities aimed to further develop the employee, whether in the
current position or training for a new position.
Who Gets an Individual Performance Plan?
All executive agencies are required to evaluate the work of both classified and unclassified employees
under state law 45-20-21. Executive agencies are agencies managed by an appointed commissioner.
If the Performance Management Process has been adopted for use, it must be applied to both classified
and unclassified employees. This is in accordance with OCGA 45-20-1 (b); it is the policy of the state that
agencies treat all employees equitably, whether included in the classified or unclassified service.
Constitutional agencies are required to evaluate only classified employees. Supervisors in constitutional
agencies should check with their personnel office to determine what, if any, evaluation process is to be
used for unclassified employees.
An individual performance plan must be prepared for an employee no later than 45 days from the date
that that employee is hired, transferred, promoted, or demoted.
Annually, at the beginning of each new performance year, supervisors meet with each of their employees
to plan performance for the upcoming period.
Elements of the Performance Plan
The performance plan has four sections that cumulatively address what gets accomplished, how it gets
accomplished, and the developmental goals for the employee. These four sections are:
1) Statewide Core Competencies
2) Individual Goals and Competencies
3) Job Responsibilities
4) Individual Developmental Plan
The first three sections on the performance management form are rated in the annual formal performance
evaluation. All employees are required to be evaluated on the statewide core competencies section. It is
up to the agency and/or manager’s discretion on whether to evaluate employees on individual goals and
competencies and/or job responsibilities. In other words, if an employee’s work is mostly goal based, then
they do not have to be evaluated on job responsibilities. The determination of whether to use one or both
of these sections will depend, in part, on the agency’s perspective as well as the nature of the job.
Section 1: Statewide Core Competencies
Competencies are the knowledge, skills, abilities, attributes and other characteristics that contribute to
successful job performance.
Competencies are very important as they are how things get done. An individual must possess certain
levels of various competencies in order to effectively achieve goals and objectives that are necessary for
job performance and organizational performance.
Behavioral competencies are observable and measurable behaviors, knowledge, skills, abilities, and
other characteristics that contribute to individual success in the organization (e.g., teamwork and
The state has a behavioral competency framework consisting of 18 competencies in three categories of
behavioral competencies: statewide core competencies which are required by all state employees,
leadership competencies which are required by all people managers and other leaders, and 11 additional
Key Characteristics of Behavioral Competencies in Performance Management
• Observable and measurable
• Relate to the core purpose and values of an organization
• Focus on the person in the position
• Contribute to improved employee performance
• Contribute to individual success within an organization
• Can apply to all (or most) jobs in an organization or be specific to a job family, career level, or position
• Are not part of the job description
How behavioral competencies contribute to successful performance management:
• Provide consistency in performance expectations and measurement
• Help identify which behaviors most impact performance and success
• Used in individual development plans to target gaps and identify development opportunities
• Help distinguish exceptional individuals that contribute to organizational success
• Provide feedback to individuals to move them toward exemplary performance
• Drive organizational performance
Statewide Core and Leadership Competencies
Section 1 of the performance plan focuses on competencies that are required of all state employees and
Statewide Core Competencies required of all State Employees:
• Customer Service
• Teamwork and Cooperation
• Results Orientation
• Judgment and Decision Making
Statewide Leadership Competencies required of all people managers and other leaders:
• Talent Management
• Transformers of Government
These core competencies are mandatory and are pre-populated in the performance plan.
Assessing People on Competencies
While all employees are responsible for these core competencies, a person should be evaluated on the
competency based upon the level of proficiency of the competency needed in the job. For example,
“judgment and decision making” would look different for a division director and an administrative
assistant. People should be evaluated at the level required for their current position.
To assist in that process, a definition of each competency is listed along with sample behavioral indicators
of what a competency may look like for different levels of performance (as unsatisfactory performer,
successful performer, and exceptional performer). More information is available in Section D:
Performance Evaluation. The definitions along with the behavioral indicators are located in Appendix B.
Statewide Competency Definitions
Core competencies that are required of all State employees:
• Customer Service: Understands that all employees have customers, internal and external, that they
provide services and information that honors all of the State’s commitments to customers by providing
helpful, courteous, accessible, responsive, and knowledgeable service.
• Teamwork and Cooperation: Cooperates with others to accomplish common goals; works with
employees within and across his/her department to achieve shared goals; treats others with dignity
and respect and maintains a friendly demeanor; values the contributions of others.
• Results Orientation: Consistently delivers required business results; sets and achieves achievable,
yet aggressive goals; consistently complies with quality standards and meets deadlines; maintains
focus on Agency and State goals.
• Accountability: Accepts full responsibility for self and contribution as a team member; displays
honesty and truthfulness; confronts problems quickly; displays a strong commitment to organizational
success and inspires others to commit to goals; demonstrates a commitment to delivering on his/her
public duty and presenting oneself as a credible representative of the Agency and State to maintain
the public’s trust.
• Judgment and Decision Making: Analyzes problems by evaluating available information and
resources; develops effective, viable solutions to problems which can help drive the effectiveness of
the department and/or State of Georgia.
Leadership competencies required of all people managers and other leaders
• Talent Management: Clearly establishes and communicates goals and accountabilities; monitors
and evaluates performance; provides effective feedback and coaching; identifies development needs
and helps employees address them to achieve optimal performance and gain valuable skills that will
translate into strong performance in future roles.
• Transformers of Government: Develops innovative approaches to address problems and drive
continuous improvement in State programs and processes; drives effective and smooth change
initiatives across the State by communicating, confirming understanding, and actively working with
stakeholders to overcome resistance.
There are 11 additional behavioral competencies upon which an employee can be evaluated. These
competencies can be added to an employee’s performance plan in the individual goals and competencies
section if necessary.
The 18 behavioral competencies:
Statewide Core and Leadership Competencies
Core Competencies Leadership Competencies
Customer Service Accountability Talent Management
Teamwork and Cooperation Judgment and Transformers of Government
Additional Behavioral Competencies
Communication Flexibility Project Management
Conflict Management Initiative Teaching Others
Creativity and Innovation Negotiation and Influence Team Leadership
Cultural Awareness Professional Development
Section 2: Individual Goals and Competencies
This section taps into the “what” (individual goals) and “how” (additional competencies) things get
accomplished. It includes two components:
1. Individual Goals
2. Additional Competencies
In the Goals section we will discuss:
• Defining goals
• Writing goals
• Aligning cascading goals
• Developing individual goals
Introduction to Goals
A goal is a measurable outcome or result that needs to be achieved. For individuals goals should be tied
to individual and organizational success.
Goals are the heart of a good performance plan and should be written so you can identify:
• The result of the behavior being measured
• The measurement criteria
• The level of performance being described
All goals need to be written at the “successful performer” level. Be sure not to write performance
expectations at the “exceptional performer” level.
Sources of Goals:
Aligned Goals/Cascaded Goals: These are goals that are aligned with the vision, mission, and
goals of the State and the agency. The goals are “cascaded” throughout the organization and
translated to be relevant to each level of the organization.
• Individual Goals. Individual goals that come from responsibilities specific to the position. These are
goals for a specific individual that are not part of the official job description; sources can include
special projects or activities that are assigned to the individual.
• Job Responsibilities. Goals can be written based upon specific job responsibilities that are the most
important to the requirements of the position and the individual. These will be discussed in Section 3:
Types of Goals
The State recognizes that some jobs have goals that change year to year (e.g., Director of Education),
while other jobs (e.g., Nurse, Administrative Assistant) may not.
Therefore, Executive and Manager level jobs will have goals that change year-to-year (Result-Oriented
goals) Technical/Support level jobs may have goals that do not change from year to year (Task-Oriented
HR should confirm which type of goals a specific job should have.
• Focuses on a specific action that is to take place during the performance period
• Is specific in terms of what needs to be accomplished by when and how much
• Best used for managers and professional individual contributors
Example (for Buyer):
Reduce surplus paper inventory within engineering department by 10% through more
accurate needs assessments and closely monitoring paper orders before the end of the
• Provides direction on a critical aspect of one’s job that occurs on an on-going basis
• Defines specific behaviors and the expected result
• Best used for entry-level professionals and paraprofessionals
Example (for Custodian):
Performs cleaning, trash removal, and carpet and floor maintenance to ensure a clean, safe,
and aesthetically pleasant environment
Aligned goals and individual goals are results-oriented goals. Task-oriented goals are associated with
performance expectations derived from job responsibilities; however, goals from job responsibilities can
also be results-based depending upon how they are developed and written.
Aligned Goals/Cascaded Goals: These are goals that are aligned with the vision, mission, and
goals of the state and the agency. The goals are “cascaded” throughout the enterprise and translated
to be relevant to each level of the organization.
o For example, the state’s goals are cascaded down to the agency’s goals which are then
cascaded down to specific division goals, then to work team goals, and finally to the
o A description of the linkage between individual and agency goals should be made clear
on the performance evaluation.
o The end result should be an observable and measurable goal for the employee that ties
to the agency’s goal(s).
The purpose of cascading goals is to link individual performance expectations to the success of the
organization. For some jobs, a direct linkage will be clear, for others, it may not be as obviously clear.
Optimal Number of Goals
It is recommended that there are no more than five performance expectations (goals, additional
competencies, or job responsibilities) for an employee; this is across both this section and Section 3: Job
Responsibilities. For example, if you are using both the Individual Goals and Competencies section and
the Job Responsibilities section, you could have 4 in one section and 1 in the other section; the sum total
goals should be no more than five.
Managers need to identify up to five goals for each employee. Goals are measurable outcomes that
identify results and outcomes expected from the employee, including how they will be evaluated.
Georgia has developed the ABC’s of Writing Performance Goals to assist in writing goals. Listed below is
an explanation of the model.
A. A result or specific outcome.
Goals should focus on “what is performed” and is a result or a specific outcome. Competencies,
character traits, personality tests, or other non work-related judgments should not be used in
developing and evaluating goals.
B. Written in clear language.
The plan should be written in the active voice and free of jargon, subjective terms, and confusing
sentence constructions. The employee, the supervisor, the manager’s manager and the agency’s
administrative staff must be able to understand what is expected from the employee and how the
employee’s work will be evaluated.
C. Uses one or more of the following measurement criteria: Quantity, Quality, Timeliness, or
Goals must have at least one measurement criterion. Of the four measurement criteria, Quality is
arguably the most important. It is a good idea to have at least one quality expectation included
under each goal or performance expectation. The criteria are defined as:
Quantity Specifies how much work must be completed. Quantity measures
are often written as a range of performance, e.g., 20-30 brake jobs
performed each month.
Quality Describes how well or how thoroughly work is performed. It is used
to measure accuracy, appearance of a result, usefulness, or
effectiveness. Quality often requires some type of judgment. This
judgment must be based upon pre-determined criteria.
Timeliness Specifies how quickly work is produced. Timeliness measures can
be written as a range, as time per unit, or linked to project or work
Cost Assesses performance in terms of the amount of money saved,
earned, collected, or expended in accomplishing tasks.
In the ePerformance system this section is free form and thus a manager can customize to adapt to the
goals and to the manager’s style.
NOTE: Goals and all other performance expectations should be written at the “successful performer”
level. Be sure not to write expectations at the exceptional performer level.
Developing Cascading Goals (Aligned Goals)
Note. Appendix C provides an example of the process of developed cascaded/aligned goals for a
position. This worksheet may be a useful reference for managers.
Step one: Identify aligned goal(s)
1. Review the State’s strategic objectives, mission, vision, and goals, including wildly important
goals (WIGS). When reviewing, look to see if there are some natural linkages to the employee’s
2. Review your agency’s strategic objectives, mission, vision, and goals, including wildly important
goals (WIGS). When reviewing, look to see if there are some natural linkages to the employee’s
3. Complete this process with the division’s goals and objectives. If a direct linkage is found, then
you may be able to develop goals for the employee based upon the division’s and/or the agency’s
goals and objectives. For some jobs there is a more direct link to one goal while others may link
to multiple goals and objectives.
4. For some agencies and positions, you may need to look at the work team or unit’s goals and
objectives. If it is difficult to link to the division goals, break it down further.
By identifying how this job supports the achievement of an agency’s, division’s, or unit’s goal, you will
have an easier time identifying performance goals. At this point, it is important to list all the possibilities.
Step Two: Identify Desired Job Results
A typical job has many assigned tasks and duties. Some are more important than others. When
performance plans are written based upon a task or activity list, we often find ourselves with vague and
hard to measure expectations. Focusing on desired results instead of specific tasks makes measurable
expectations clearer and more meaningful.
List five to seven desired results and the customers for these results. Don’t forget any internal customers.
Then, circle one to three results that are critical to the completion of the goal.
Step Three: Measure success
Success can be measured by how things got accomplished and when they were accomplished (refer to
the ABC’s of writing goals). The example in Appendix C provides examples of measures.
Step Four: Monitor Progress
Identify a feedback or reporting process that will provide you with the information you need to evaluate
the employee’s performance. For each method that you identify, you will determine who should be
responsible for compiling, reporting, analyzing, etc.
Identify potential methods to monitor progress and results. For each method proposed, assign
responsibilities for yourself and your employee.
Use the ABC’s of Writing Goals to assist in the process.
These are individual measures of success that are specific to an employee. These are assignments,
projects, and responsibilities that are outside of the person’s job description. These are generally
developed on a case-by-case basis by the supervisor and the employee. Listed below are some
examples of Individual goals:
• Complete five monthly reports with a 5% error rate.
• Complete 10 brake jobs per month.
When used effectively, individual goals can be an excellent way to manage and achieve work unit
Additional behavioral competencies
In addition to the required competencies discussed in Section One, the state has identified 11 additional
behavior competencies that help drive success. Some jobs and positions may need to be evaluated on
additional competencies depending upon the nature of the job. These can be determined by different
levels in the organization, by the HR director, and by the manager. Only add additional behavior
competencies if it is absolutely essential to the success of the employee in the position.
Remember that there should be no more that 5 goals and additional competencies from both sections 2
When reviewing these competencies, apply them to specific jobs. You may also identify different
competencies where you feel an employee needs to develop. The best place to add these would be in the
individual development plan.
The 11 Additional Behavioral Competencies:
• Communication: Respectfully listens to others to gain a full understanding of issues; comprehends
written material; presents information in a clear and concise manner orally and in writing to ensure
others understand his/her ideas; appropriately adapts his/her message, style, and tone to
accommodate a variety of audiences
• Conflict Management: Addresses conflicts by focusing on the issues at hand to develop effective
solutions when disputes or disagreements occur; helps others resolve conflicts by providing impartial
mediation when needed
• Creativity and Innovation: Applies creative problem-solving skills to his/her work to develop
solutions to problems; recognizes and demonstrates the value in taking “smart” risks and learning
from mistakes; develops multiple alternatives and understands the feasibility of each; effectively
shares and implements his/her ideas
• Cultural Awareness: Demonstrates an open-minded approach to understanding people regardless
of their gender, age, race, national origin, religion, ethnicity, disability status, or other characteristics;
treats all people fairly and consistently; effectively works with people from diverse backgrounds by
treating them with dignity and respect
• Flexibility: Adapts to change and different ways of doing things quickly and positively; does not shy
away from addressing setbacks or ambiguity; deals effectively with a variety of people and situations;
appropriately adapts one’s thinking or approach as the situation changes
• Initiative: Proactively identifies ways to contribute to the State’s goals and missions; achieves results
without needing reminders from others; identifies and takes action to address problems and
• Negotiation and Influence: Effectively represents his/her position on issues to gain support and buy-
in from others; generates multiple alternatives to a problem to meet the needs of other stakeholders;
works to achieve win-win outcomes that others can accept; appropriately utilizes settlement
strategies, such as compromise
• Professional Development: Demonstrates a commitment to professional development by
proactively seeking opportunities to learn new capabilities, skills, and knowledge; acquires the skills
needed to continually enhance his/her contribution to the State and to his/her respective profession
• Project Management: Effectively manages multiple projects by appropriately focusing attention on
the critical few priorities; effectively creates and executes against project timelines based
on priorities, resource availability, and other project requirements (i.e., budget); effectively evaluates
planned approaches, determines feasibility, and makes adjustments when needed
• Teaching Others: Enhances the capabilities of the organization by openly and effectively sharing
his/her subject matter expertise with others; supports a continuous learning environment by
preserving and compiling intellectual capital which can be used by others within his/her work group,
department and State entities, as appropriate
• Team Leadership: Effectively manages and guides group efforts; tracks team progress, adequately
anticipates roadblocks, and changes course as needed to achieve team goals; provides appropriate
feedback concerning group and individual performance, including areas for improvement
Section 3: Job Responsibilities
Job responsibilities are automatically populated into the performance management document; these are
based on the state job description. The purpose of this is to help the manager identify those areas that
are most important to the employee’s success in the position. Job responsibilities can, and should, be
deleted from the performance plan as needed.
Identify job responsibilities that are most important for success in a specific position. Even though
employees may share a common job description, their most important responsibilities may differ from
Responsibilities need to be translated into goals.
Goals can be written based upon specific job responsibilities that are the most important to the
requirements of the position and the individual.
o Responsibilities are not goals. In general terms, they identify activities or tasks that, if
done correctly, lead to successful completion of the responsibility.
o When converting responsibilities to goals, the manager should identify the end result or
behavior that should result, using the ABC’s of Writing Performance Goals.
Weighting of Sections
There are three sections on the performance management form on which employees can be evaluated:
1) Statewide Core Competencies, 2) Individual Goals and Competencies, and 3) Job Responsibilities.
Each of the sections is given a weight that assesses the relative importance of each section as it relates
to overall performance. Guidelines for assigning weights may be agency specific or manager specific.
The total weighting for the sections should total 100%.
The weighting should be done based upon the importance of the section. For example, an employee has
two goals that are the most critical for the position. The manager may thus want to give the most weight
to the Individual Goals and Competencies section, and less for the other two sections.
The weighting needs to be determined up front and communicated to the employee so that there are no
surprises at the end of the review period.
The weightings should total 100%.
• Section 1: Statewide Core Competencies: the minimum weight given to this section is 25%. A
manager may not give it less weight than 25% but can give it a higher weight.
• Section 2: Individual Goals and Competencies: A manager may give this a rating from 0% to 75% of
the performance evaluation (the default is 50%).
• Section 3: Job Responsibilities: A manager may give this a rating of 0% to 75% of the performance
evaluation (the default is 25%).
• Section 4: Individual Development Plan: Not weighted.
The weights should total 100%.
Example 1: An employee’s main priorities for the job are reflected in 3 sections. Thus the weighting could
Section 1: Core Competencies 25%
Section 2: Individual Goals and Competencies 60%
Section 3: Job Responsibilities 15%
Example 2: An employee’s main priorities for the job are reflected in 2 sections. Thus the rating could
Section 1: Core Competencies: 30%
Section 2: Individual Goals and Competencies 70%
Section 3: Job Responsibilities not rated
The rated sections of the performance plan will all use the same 5-point rating scale when performance is
evaluated at the end of the review period. These are: Statewide core competencies, individual goals and
competencies, and job responsibilities.
While the rating scale is not used until there is a formal review, the employee needs to know up
front what his/her performance expectations are in order to be a successful performer as well as
strive to be an exceptional performer.
At the end of the review period, the manager will evaluate the employee’s performance on all
competencies, goals, and job responsibilities. All of these performance expectations will be evaluated
using the same scale. This 5-point scale has been adopted in order to help better distinguish levels of
performance among employees.
Exceptional Employee exceeded all performance expectations. Employee was
Performer an exceptional contributor to the success of his/her department and
the State of Georgia. He/she demonstrated role model behaviors.
Successful Employee met all and exceeded most (more than 50%) of the
Performer-Plus established performance expectations.
Successful Performer Employee met all performance expectations and may have
exceeded some (less than 50%). Employee was a solid contributor
to the success of his/her department and the State of Georgia.
Successful Employee met most (more than 50%), but failed to meet some (less
Performer-minus than 50%) performance expectations. Employee needs to further
improve in one or more areas of expected job results or behavioral
Unsatisfactory Employee did not meet all or most (more than 50%) of the
Performer established performance expectations. Employee needs significant
improvement in critical areas of expected job results or behavioral
Not Rated New hire or transfer within five months of end of performance period
Section 4: Individual Development Plan
An individual development plan (IDP) is an action plan created by the employee and the manager to
identify goals, activities, projects, classes, assignments, and other activities that further contribute to the
development of the employee.
All employees should have a development plan even though it is not rated are the end of the review
period. It is critical that the State of Georgia continues to develop and retain an excellent workforce.
Individual Development Plans can focus on a couple of areas
• Development in current role
o This can apply to employees who are new in the job and need developmental activities to
help them become a fully successful performer (activities to help with the learning curve
for a new job)
o Employees who are deficient in their current role (not functioning at the level they need to
be in order to be fully successful in their job) and need additional developmental activities
to help improve performance and move them towards better performance
• Expand skill set and knowledge areas
o Employees who are fully successful in their current position who could benefit from some
special assignments and activities to expand their skill set and move them towards
exceptional performance in their current job
• Prepare for future roles
o Developmental activities and goals that will develop an employee for future career
opportunities in the agency or the state. This can include training in new areas, stretch
The Role of the Employee and the Manager in the Planning Process
Performance planning is a collaborative effort between the manager and the employee. All performance
expectations should be clear up front. There should be no surprises at the end of the review period.
The manager initiates the process by identifying goals and performance expectations that he or she feels
are the most important drivers for success in the upcoming review period. The employee would then
identify expectations and development objectives and activities that he or she would like to work on. The
employee sends those to his or her manager for review.
The manager develops proposed goals and performance expectations for the upcoming year, using the
goals of the agency/division, responsibilities for the job, and input from the employee. The manager also
identifies areas and objectives that he or she feels should be in the employee’s IDP. Once complete, the
manager and the employee can meet to discuss and collaborate on the plan. After this meeting, the
manager makes any changes, prints the PMF, and gives it to his/her manager for review. Depending
upon your specific agency guidelines, the manager’s manager may need to approve the plan prior to the
plan moving forward.
After the performance plan has been reviewed by the manager’s manager, but before the final meeting
with the employee for the planning discussion, the supervisor should give a copy of the draft of the
performance plan to the employee and ask him or her to:
• Review the competencies, goals, and job responsibilities, along with all associated performance
• Write down any comments or questions about any part of the performance plan.
• Identify any known barriers to meeting established performance expectations or any information or
assistance that will be needed from others in order to meet expectations.
The manager and employee then have their formal performance planning meeting. If agreement is
reached at this meeting, then acceptance of the plan can be acknowledged.
During the planning meeting, the manager should:
• Thoroughly discuss the performance expectations that go with each section of the performance plan.
• Identify and explain the actions and behaviors necessary to meet the expectations. The employee
needs to know what successful performance looks like. The manager should also give examples of
actions and behaviors that could lead to a rating of exceptional performer.
• Make sure the employee understands how performance will be measured.
• Review the method of tracking, monitoring, or observing that will be used for each performance
expectation. This lets the employee know what is expected and enables the supervisor to evaluate
performance based on these expectations.
• Discuss the activities, target dates, and how progress will be measured for the Individual
The manager is ultimately responsible for structuring a performance plan that will achieve individual and
organizational objectives. All people managers are evaluated on the competency Talent Management;
part of required success in this area is to effectively and appropriately manage performance.
The Performance Management Process (PMP) calls for managers to meet with each of their employees
to plan performance for the upcoming period within 45 days of hire, then annually at the beginning of
each new performance year. Managers are required to conduct at least one formal performance planning
meeting with each of their subordinates every 12 months. Although not recommended, some supervisors
combine the performance evaluation for the past year with a discussion of the plan for the coming year.
With this method, the meeting should be structured to first provide feedback on past performance, and
then follow with a discussion of the employee's performance plan for the coming year.
Changing Positions during the Year
Clearly, creation of a performance plan is necessary when a person is newly hired into a state job.
However, a new performance plan is also required whenever an employee is promoted or changes from
one position to another. Although each employee has his or her own performance plan, performance
plans do not move with the employee. Even if the employee changes from one position to another in the
same job/class and work unit without any major changes in responsibilities, a new performance plan
should be created to reflect the change in status. In this case, the new plan could be a copy of the old
plan with the updated information included.
When an employee is being promoted or transferred to a new position, the supervisor should make every
effort to complete a performance evaluation on the employee before he or she leaves. The evaluation
should be based on the employee's work while under the existing performance plan.
The Manager’s Manager Process
Once the performance plan is complete and before making the proposed responsibilities and goals final
with the employee, the supervisor prints and submits the draft plan to the Manager’s Manager for review.
There are two main reasons for the review of the performance plan.
First, the Manager’s Manager can ensure that the responsibilities and goals proposed for the employee
are in alignment with the overall goals of the work unit.
Second, the Manager’s Manager can ensure that the performance plan requirements are comparable for
employees in similar positions within the larger organizational structure. It is entirely appropriate for
changes to be made in the performance plan at this point, before the supervisor meets with the employee
to discuss the performance plan.
The Manager’s Manager has two roles. First, he or she coaches and provides information and guidance
to the supervisor to help the supervisor successfully perform his or her supervisory duties. Second, the
Manager’s Manager evaluates the performance plan to ensure that it meets state and agency guidelines.
The Manager’s Manager may be the supervisor's immediate supervisor or any other manager designated
by the agency or organizational unit to review the performance plan.
Completing the Performance Management Form (PMF)
Supervisors are responsible for completing the form by their agency’s deadlines. Listed below is a brief
description of the information contained in each section.
Usually printed on the form before the supervisor receives it. If not, the
supervisor can obtain this information from the personnel office.
Scale is identified from highest (5 – exceptional performer) to lowest (1 –
Rating Scale unsuccessful performer) to evaluate the employee on all performance
1. Statewide Core
and Leadership There are five core competencies: 1) Customer Service, 2) Teamwork
and Cooperation, 3) Results Orientation, 4) Accountability, and 5)
REQUIRED Judgment and Decision Making. The rating earned by the employee
will then be entered into the adjacent column.
There are two types of leadership competencies: 1) Talent
Management, and 2) Transformers of Government. The rating earned
by the employee will then be entered into the adjacent column.
These are pre-populated in the performance plan.
2. Individual Goals and Supervisor must populate this section.
Write goals linked to alignment of goals or to specific individual goals.
If necessary, identify additional behavioral competencies upon which to
evaluate the employee.
3. Job Responsibilities This section is pre-populated in the ePerformance System. The
purpose of the pre-population is to assist the manager in identifying the
most important responsibilities required for the job. Job responsibilities can
be deleted from the plan.
4. Individual Development Supervisor must populate this section based on information discussed
Plan and agreed upon during the performance-planning meeting.
Employee Approval Employee approval is required, as per agency guidelines.
Manager/ HR Approval Supervisor/Manager, Department Head, and Human Resources approvals
Phase II: Coaching and Development
Performance management is not just a once-a-year evaluation and planning session but a year-round
process in which the manager observes and documents performance and provides coaching and
development to the employee.
Observing performance and giving feedback are the first two elements of coaching and development.
Documenting what you observed and what actions you took is the third element. Supervisors should
document performance throughout the performance period. A separate file must be kept for each
employee because employees must have access to their personal productivity file upon demand. Secret
files or files that are not available to the employee are illegal. No employee, of course, is allowed to see
another employee’s file.
Methods of documentation include:
Keeping a record of performance. When an employee performs in a manner particularly
noteworthy (good or bad), the supervisor should record the incident in the ePerformance system.
The ePerformance system may also be used to note general observations on performance or any
changes to the Performance Plan the supervisor and employee establish. These notes are very
useful when the time comes to evaluate the employee at the end of the performance period. The
employee can maintain a separate performance log.
Preparing and maintaining individual file folders for each employee supervised. In substance,
there is no difference between the ePerformance system (above) and the productivity file. To record
performance observations, the supervisor simply writes a note and places it in the appropriate file. In
addition, the employee can write notes or comments regarding special achievements or other
performance-related occurrences for the supervisor to put in the file. Employee input is very valuable
to the supervisor in preparing the year-end evaluation.
Email files. Email is simple and quick to use for recording day-to-day performance. The supervisor
establishes an electronic file for each employee and types in the appropriate entries during the year.
Automatic time and date stamping make this an attractive and efficient manner of documenting
performance. A copy of the entry can be easily sent to the employee. Caution must be used,
however, when transmitting information to employees. It would not be wise to commit privileged or
confidential personnel information to email. Such exchanges as discipline or corrective feedback
should take place in a face-to-face forum. The summary of the discussion or the action plan can be
sent via email, but the discussion itself should remain confidential.
Tips for documenting performance. To give the most complete picture possible, notes to the file or
ePerformance system should include the date of the incident, the employee’s name and position, a
short description of the task and what was remarkable about it. It is also helpful to include a line or
two about the significance of the employee’s performance with regard to the unit’s mission.
The method used to record the supervisor’s observation is up to the supervisor as long as the appropriate
confidentiality is observed.
• Whenever the supervisor observes a noteworthy incident of employee performance (good or bad),
the supervisor should share his or her observation with the employee at the time.
• Observations can be shared with the employee either verbally or in writing.
Three Areas of Performance Documentation
There are three areas of performance documentation:
1. An employee’s work results and behaviors using the performance expectations that were
developed during the planning phase.
2. Any significant discussions related to an employee’s performance. This may include discussions
about positive performance and corrective feedback sessions.
3. Development plans initiated during the performance period.
An employee’s file should contain notes generated by the supervisor or by the employee only, not by third
Generated by the supervisor
• The employee’s strengths or areas for improvement in performing the job
• The employee’s self-development initiatives and activities
• Progress made by an employee in coaching or development sessions
• The employee’s cooperative efforts with others
• The employee’s failure to complete tasks
• New ideas the employee suggests or implements to make the workflow more efficient
• Verbal or written complaints you have verified
• Compliments you have received about an employee. (Remember, third party reports, positive or
negative, must be verified by documentation.)
• Self-evaluation given to you by the employee about his or her performance
• Records of adherence to and violations of terms and conditions of employment
Generated by the employee
• Observations concerning the work or the working conditions
• Ideas and suggestions for improving performance
• Self-improvement initiatives
• Responses to the supervisor’s documentation
• Progress in special assignments, delegations, or development plans
Factors to Consider When Observing Performance
Consider the entire context/setting.
• First, does the employee have everything necessary to complete the task: equipment, materials
and training as well as the necessary authority?
• Be aware of who is involved. If others are involved, what part do they play in your employee’s
performance? How could they influence the results?
• Compare the results that you observe with what you expect of the employee. Is the performance
above or below those expectations?
• Consider the complexity of the task. Is it easy, routine, new to the employee, or difficult? Does
the complexity of the task affect your expectation of the employee?
• Are there environmental factors (too loud, too cold, etc.) or other work site problems that may
impact the employee’s performance?
• Consider the level of stress involved. Are there time constraints? Is the organization, the
employee, or any other individual at risk?
Consider the results.
• Does the employee achieve the desired results as defined by the expectations? What were the
consequences? Did failure to achieve a desired expectation cause another individual or
department not to do their job? Is it more important to get it done or to get it done right?
• Did the employee achieve superior results or display uncommon ability or talent in the
performance of the task? Would this talent be of significant use to clients or to the department if it
were developed further? Did the employee express unusual satisfaction in the performance or in
Your personal bias may affect your perceptions. Therefore,
• Strive to know yourself,
• Separate actual performance from an employee’s traits and characteristics, and,
• Treat all employees equitably.
Avoid guessing. Gather the facts, find out why the performance turned out as it did and view the entire
action from different perspectives. Your credibility and trust can be at risk when your actions are based
Be sure to compare the actual performance to the expectations. Furthermore, remind or ask yourself, “Is
it reasonable to expect the employee to know what is expected? Was he or she told of the expectation?”
It is critical that the employee knows what the expectations are.
Characteristics of Useful Performance Documentation
• Provides specific examples. Describe exactly what happened and how the performance did not
meet, met, or exceeded the expectation.
• Contains both good and poor examples of work performance. As supervisors, we tend to write the
negative things, but forget the positive.
• Avoids adjective qualifiers and drawing conclusions. This means don't write "Joe did a good job." or
"Joe did a poor job." Instead, describe what Joe did and relate it to the expectations that you and Joe
agreed on at the beginning of the performance period. Remember: Avoid “fuzzy” language.
• Reflects only job-related performance. In a majority of situations, what employees do on their own
time doesn't need to be documented in your files. Keep files only for job-related documentation.
• Reflects direct observations and conversations. Hearsay should not be documented. Once
validated, however, compliments or complaints from third parties can be included.
• Is consistent and complete. How much documentation you keep on employees should be the same
for all employees. If you keep documentation only on the employee you're trying to terminate, it will
look like you targeted that person.
• Is accurate. You may receive information from sources other than your direct observation. It is
important to verify the reliability of this information. The more negative the information is, the more it
should be corroborated. The validity of the information should be checked when you receive it and
brought to the employee’s attention during routine coaching sessions. Remember – no surprises.
Content of Documentation
Facts are the major components of useful documentation. Facts can be verified and are unarguable.
Some examples of factual statements are:
• Four documents were due on April 5, 2008 at 4 PM. Three documents were finished on time.
• A customer complaint was received on January 12, 2008.
• The logbook shows that Ben Miller spent three hours on patient in-take forms on three occasions:
August 5, November 3, and December 12 of 2007.
Remember that these are your observations. If someone reports factual material to you that should be
part of your documentation:
• On April 8, 2008, Fred James reported to me that on April 7, 2008 Mike Merriman said to him: “If you
don’t get off my back I’m going to wind up hurting somebody.”
Don’t record anything as fact unless you observed it yourself.
Dates are an important form of fact. If an event is not placed in time, there is always a degree of
uncertainty as to whether or not it happened. In any subsequent investigation of serious charges, dates
will be essential in recalling to witnesses what event is being questioned. The date that the
documentation was written is also important.
Names of the parties involved are, of course, essential. Be sure that they are complete. People often
share first names or last names. It helps to record the full name of anyone involved whether the person is
the subject of the documentation or a witness.
The incident should be described in full using behavioral, work-related terms. The description should
relate how the incident took place with all events in proper order.
Opinions, yours or those of others, have no place in the documentation of an incident. An opinion is a
form of conclusion and is properly a part of the results of investigation. Only after you have satisfied
yourself that you have all of the facts recorded should your opinion be expressed. Usually, opinions and
conclusions are recorded on the PMF at the end of the performance period.
Distribution of feedback documentation should be a part of the process. Coaching feedback is not
disciplinary and should be confidential only to prevent embarrassment. Giving the employee a copy of
any original documentation and a summary of the subsequent conversation (feedback) goes a long way
toward demonstrating your efforts to be fair.
NOTE: The Performance Management Form (PMF) is a reporting instrument. It is used to transmit
a summary of the original documentation as well as any conclusions by the supervisor or
reviewing manager to all parties concerned. It serves as documentation that the employee’s
performance was properly observed, evaluated and rewarded.
Documentation written at the time of performance or specific incident remains separate from this
form and should be preserved as it is even after the summaries are concluded and sent forward.
In the event that the employee’s performance or involvement in an incident is questioned or
investigated for any reason, the original documentation may be needed.
Coaching and Development
The Need for Coaching
Coaching is used for two general purposes:
• To help employees correct deficiencies
• To encourage continued good performance
When an employee is trying hard but still cannot meet expectations, it is obvious that help is needed.
Coaching is the most common remedy and the one most readily available. The coach can be you or
someone whom you assign such as a knowledgeable and experienced veteran employee who has the
patience and communication skills to teach someone else.
It is always good management practice to acknowledge a good, solid job of meeting expectations.
Encouragement of good performance is an underused element of coaching but it can be very effective in
keeping that performance good and solid. The need for encouragement is as great, if not greater, than
the need for correcting deficiencies. When used with skill and sincerity it can prevent deficiencies from
occurring. The organization’s need to encourage good performance never ends.
Some situations in which coaching might be needed are:
• Improving skills with office equipment such as FAX, copier or computer
• Familiarizing a new employee with the forms used in the office
• Letting the receptionist know that her customer skills are appreciated
Coaching is nearly always based upon the need to improve efficiency in a specific task or the need to
encourage continued good performance.
Coaching Activities and Behaviors
Here are some behaviors associated with performance coaching. What others can you add?
• Giving instructions.
• Demonstrating a procedure.
• Observing an employee perform a task and giving feedback.
Giving and Receiving Feedback
Think about a time when you received performance-related feedback from your current supervisor, or
from a supervisor whom you had in a previous position. Take a few moments to recall as many details
about the communication as you can.
1. In the situation that you recalled, do you remember being surprised by the feedback that you received
from your supervisor? Why or why not?
2. What is the value of regular feedback?
3. Which do you think is given more often, positive or negative feedback? Explain.
4. What do you think is the optimum time frame for giving feedback? Why?
Providing feedback to an employee is an important skill. Whether it is positive feedback designed to
commend the employee for doing particularly well or corrective feedback designed to improve
performance, it should be specific, individualized and delivered by the supervisor in person. Below are
the two communication models for feedback.
1. Positive Feedback Model
• Describe the behavior or result.
• Describe why the behavior or result is important.
• Pause to allow the employee to realize what is being said.
• Encourage continued good performance.
2. Corrective Feedback Model
• Describe what the employee is doing or not doing that is unacceptable.
• Describe the effects of the behavior or result.
• Ask for the employee’s input then listen and probe.
• Describe and restate the expectation.
• Ask the employee for a solution to the problem and for commitment.
• Be sure to follow up to determine if the solution worked.
Positive Feedback Model
1. Describe behavior/result
2. Describe why the behavior
4. Encourage repeat
Giving Positive Feedback
Being paid on time is certainly a welcome sign of appreciation for the work that we do. But hearing that
we have done a good job is, according to many experts, even more important than the pay to keeping
morale at a high level. Unfortunately, giving positive feedback to employees is not as urgent an issue for
many supervisors as reminding them of their deficiencies. Supervisors today need to learn to do both.
The following pages present some guidelines and a suggested script for giving positive feedback to
Guidelines for Giving Positive Feedback
1. Recognize good performance when it happens.
When you catch someone “doing it right,” let him or her know. Mention the positive performance
immediately to the employee.
2. Be specific about what was good.
Telling the employee that he or she “did a good job” is not specific enough. Ensure that the employee
understands how the expected level of performance was achieved so that repeat performance is
3. Relate performance to goals.
Explain to the employee how his or her good performance relates to the goals of the work unit and
the wider organization. Such discussions can add to the employee’s feeling of self-worth. This is
more important for new or inexperienced employees.
4. Don’t be shy about praising in public.
Giving praise in a public setting allows other employees to see that good performance is
acknowledged. Realize, however, that some individuals do not like to be praised in public and use
your best judgment.
5. Mean what you say.
Provide honest feedback for specific achievements; never give positive feedback because “it’s this
employee’s turn.” Support the employee and demonstrate that you appreciate his or her efforts.
Script Demonstration of the Positive Feedback Model
SUPERVISOR: (Knocking on the door.) Hey, Sally. Do you have a minute?
EMPLOYEE: (seated) Sure, Ralph. What do you need?
SUPERVISOR: I wanted to stop by and commend you for the fine job you did on
the cost/benefit analysis on the Fulton Project. [Step 1]
EMPLOYEE: (Interrupting) That’s OK, Ralph. A whole lot of other people gave me input on
SUPERVISOR: I know that. However, I also know it was your responsibility to bring it all
together. You did that. And you did it faster than you were expected to do it.
And you had Mary and Phil check your numbers -- and you still got it in way
before deadline. That’s a good quality job, Sally. [Step 1 -- even more
SUPERVISOR: (Pause) [Step 3]
EMPLOYEE: Thanks, Ralph.
SUPERVISOR: No, thank you, Sally. Because of your getting that project in ahead of time, the
Division Director can get a jump on the schedule. This will give the
Commissioner more flexibility in the future. Your work affected a lot of people in
a positive way. [Step 2]
SUPERVISOR: (Pause) [Step 3]
EMPLOYEE: That’s nice to hear, Ralph.
SUPERVISOR: It’s my pleasure, Sally. Results like yours make my job enjoyable. Keep it up.
And thanks again. [Step 4]
Don’t Do Their Jobs
Reasons for Failure To
Don’t Know What To Do
Supervisors must assess the reasons for an employee’s performance deficiencies. When employees
don’t know what to do or how to do it, the supervisor, as coach, teaches and provides training
opportunities. When employees won’t do their jobs, the supervisor must probe to identify problems and
help the employee see the necessity for acceptable performance.
• Corrective feedback should not be confused with disciplinary action or “adverse action” situations.
• Corrective feedback deals with performance errors, mistakes in judgment or minor rules
• Corrective feedback is an attempt to help the employee solve poor performance or behavioral
problems as quickly as possible.
• Formal disciplinary steps should be taken only after corrective feedback fails to achieve the
Primary Causes of Deficient Performance
Source: The Conference Board “Closing the Human Performance Gap“
N = 166 Companies
0 Poor or Insufficient Performance Feedback High Individual Stress Levels
No Performance standards Lack of Clear Individual Goals
Reward Not Performance Based Poor Performance Rewarded
No Career Planning Fear of Failure or Punishment
Inability to Envision Success Outcomes Lack of or Poor Company-Sponsored Training
Inability to Concentrate on Task at Hand Low Worker Self Esteem
Primary causes of deficient performance
The above chart indicates responses from 166 companies surveyed about various causes of deficient
employee performance. A full 60% responded that “poor or insufficient performance feedback” resulted in
performance that failed to meet expectations. “High individual stress levels” was the second leading
cause attributed by 40% of respondents, “no performance standards” ranked a close third by 39%, and so
Steps to Providing Corrective Feedback
1. Describe what the employee is
doing or not doing that is
2. Describe the effect(s) of the
3. Ask for the employee’s input
4. Describe/restate expectation
Giving Corrective Feedback
Giving corrective feedback to employees who are performing below expectations is an essential part of a
How, where and when that corrective feedback is given is also essential. Done correctly it can not only
solve day-to-day problems in productivity, it can help to prevent their recurrence.
On the following pages are some guidelines for giving corrective feedback and a suggested script that
demonstrates the six-step method that appears above.
Guidelines for Giving Corrective Feedback
1. Address problems ASAP.
Deal with the issues. Don’t let your silence send the wrong message.
2. Be specific about what was poor.
It is just as important to be specific about the unsatisfactory performance as it is to be specific about
the satisfactory performance. In addition, ensure that the employee understands why his or her
performance is not meeting the expectations.
Cite examples of how the employee’s performance is not meeting expectations and provide examples
of how to meet expectations.
3. Use the opportunity to improve skills.
Rather than being punitive, use the experience as an opportunity to help the employee improve his or
Give the employee an opportunity to explain. Ask the employee to describe the facts and
circumstances surrounding the situation, identify what caused the problem, and offer suggestions on
how to fix the problem.
4. Describe the effect on goals.
Describe the impact of the poor performance on the individual, the work unit or department, as
Describe the results in very specific terms and give examples.
Take the opportunity to restate the goals of the organization and the manner in which good
performance ties into the grand scheme.
Show the significance of the contributions and the benefits to others when the performance meets or
5. Aim at commitment.
Secure a commitment from the employee to do better and to work toward meeting the desired
expectations. This is the surest way to make sure that the problem stays solved.
6. Protect the employee’s self-esteem.
The focus of corrective feedback is identifying and correcting unacceptable results or behaviors. It is
not “fixing” the individual. Deal with what happened, how it happened and why it happened.
Avoid generalizations and name-calling.
Make effective use of “I” and “You” statements. In other words, do not repeatedly say to the
employee, “You did that, and you did such and such, and you did whatever else.” This continual use
of “you” tends to lead to defensive reactions on the part of the employee.
Express confidence in the individual’s ability to improve.
7. Avoid public correction.
Conduct corrective feedback in private so that the employee is not embarrassed or loses face.
Should you decide to provide corrective feedback in public, you may risk losing your credibility and
the respect of the employees.
8. Recognize that when it’s over, it’s over.
Do not keep reminding the employee of what was done poorly. Instead, focus your attention on
praising the individual’s continued performance improvements. Such an approach will help
demonstrate your confidence in the employee and can rebuild trust and support.
Script Demonstration of the Corrective Feedback Model
SUPERVISOR: (Seated, when employee comes in.) Ann, thanks for dropping by like I asked. I
have a concern that I’d like to share with you.
EMPLOYEE: (Taking a seat.) Is there anything wrong, Joe?
SUPERVISOR: Well, Ann, on three separate occasions this week, you’ve taken phone messages
for other people and have transposed the numbers. [Step 1] Consequently,
we’ve received complaints about slow service and support. [Step 2] Could you
tell me what’s happening?
EMPLOYEE: I couldn’t have taken those messages. I take pride in my work. Someone else
must have taken them.
SUPERVISOR: (Showing the employee some examples of the errors.) [Step 1]
Well, let me show you the messages. Is that your work?
SUPERVISOR: You know, Ann, in the years you’ve worked here, you’ve provided consistently
excellent work. And these three instances do concern me.
Can you tell me what’s happening? [Step 3]
EMPLOYEE: Well, earlier in the week the phones were very busy. And, in addition to that, I
had a special project that I had to get out for Diane. So I must have gotten in a
SUPERVISOR: Yes, that’s probably it. Do you remember why we placed such a high emphasis
on having accurate numbers? We discussed it this year during our planning
conference. [Step 4]
EMPLOYEE: Yes. The staff is often out of the building, and when they return, they need to call
their customers and help them solve their problems.
SUPERVISOR: Exactly. (Brief pause)