KEY TERMS

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KEY TERMS

  1. 1. Understanding the Performance Management, Competency Assessment, and Career Development Plan An effective human resources system integrates performance management, competency assessment, and career development planning to ensure that the organization has a competent workforce to meet its goals and objectives. A performance management process linked to strategic goals and objectives focuses the work on accomplishing results, and a sound competency assessment process ensures that employees have and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required to make the organization successful. Career development planning provides a systematic way to build critical competencies and develop individuals. Employee performance and competency levels should be assessed according to a cycle set by the organization. The recommended cycle is once per year, with an interim evaluation to occur at the six- month mark. Since the Competency Assessment is used to set pay in the Career-Banding system, it may be conducted at other intervals as dictated by organizational business need. Performance Management measures individual goals set by managers for their work units and employees. Competencies are sets of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors an employee needs to successfully meet these goals. They are assessed based on standards and measures established by the organization For example, a manager may set a certain Performance Management standard for an Administrative Support Associate that program-related questions be answered within one hour. The employee, while responding accurately, is consistently late with the answers. Therefore, her Performance Management rating for that particular job function might be “Below Good.” Meanwhile, the organization may require that the position achieve or maintain a journey-level “Verbal Communication” competency. The demonstrated competency is observed in that the employee routinely responds to program-related questions independently. The employee also initiates contacts to obtain needed program information. Therefore, the employee might be considered at the journey level for “Verbal Communication” in spite of their poor performance rating. KEY TERMS Career Development Planning: The process used to identify knowledge, skills, and behaviors that need to be developed so that employees (1) have the competencies they need to meet the organization’s goals and objectives and (2) are given an opportunity to develop competencies that will allow them to be successful in the future. Coaching: Ongoing conversations between a supervisor and employee that focus on achieving goals and improving performance. Good coaching provides ongoing feedback to the employee with regard to their performance in relation to established goals and results expectations. Competencies: Sets of knowledge, skills, and behaviors an employee needs to successfully do their job. Competencies must be (1) demonstrated on the job; (2) measured according to standards set by the organization; and (3) required of the job based on the organization’s needs. North Carolina State Government’s Career-Banding system has two main kinds of competencies: 1. BEHAVIORAL competencies are those that are more behavior-based and not as closely tied to particular learned skills. They are just as important to the job, but are not generally as easily measured or leveled at three levels – rather, they are rated according to the same scale as performance. -1-
  2. 2. 2. FUNCTIONAL competencies are tied to demonstrated knowledge, skills, and abilities that can be observed and measured. Functional competencies have distinct Contributing, Journey, and Advanced levels established for roles within a banded classification. These two main kinds of competencies may also fall under one or both of these categories: 1. CORE competencies are those set by Agencies and Universities as critical to all jobs within the organization. 2. KEY competencies are the essential, “most important” competencies required of an individual job. Jobs may require many competencies, but only the “key” competencies are assessed. Expectations: Actions that are to be taken in order to produce results that achieve a goal. Final Review: This occurs at the end of the work planning cycle. Results are assessed in relation to the goals and expectations set at the beginning of the cycle, and final Performance and Competency ratings are determined. Goals: Job specific assignments linked to larger organizational goals and objectives. Goals have specific results expectations and time frames for delivery. Managers should also specify how goals progress will be tracked and monitored. Initial Work Planning Discussion: Process that aligns team and individual goals and expectations to overall organizational objectives. Interim Review: This occurs at the midpoint of the work planning cycle. Progress towards goals and expectations set at the beginning of the cycle are assessed and discussed, and any necessary corrective actions are established. Performance Improvement Planning: An improvement plan is required whenever an employee’s performance falls below the “Good” level (i.e. Unsatisfactory or Below Good). Most often, this issue arises during a mid-cycle interim review. However, throughout the cycle, a supervisor should conduct coaching discussions with employees whenever performance does not meet the desired level. An improvement plan could be used for coaching purposes as well. Additionally, if an issue arises at the final appraisal, an improvement plan could be developed for the next cycle. Progress notes: Recording accomplishments as they happen to ensure that all accomplishments are captured and incorporated into the performance review. PROCESS I. Initial Work Planning Discussion At the beginning of the work cycle, meet with the employee to establish goals and expectations for performance and competencies. Performance Management Work Plan Goals and Expectations Review organizational goals and objectives and determine how employee’s work links to them. List each goal and write results expectations in the order of most to least important. Discuss ways performance will be tracked and measured. Indicate the methods used to collect performance information for each goal. Discuss goals with employee and clarify expectations and tracking methods. Answer questions and provide examples as needed. -2-
  3. 3. Key Behavioral Competencies Determine the Behavioral Competencies that are most needed by the organization. Once essential Behavioral Competencies are agreed upon and set for an individual position, they are considered “Key” and are entered into this column. Key Behavioral Competencies are set at the beginning of the cycle, and will stay the same from year to year for most positions. List Key Behavioral Competencies in order of importance to the work unit or organization. Core Agencies and Universities may set certain Behavioral Competencies as “Core” to the organization’s mission. This should be indicated by checking the box as appropriate. Expectations Once Key Behavioral Competencies are determined, set expectations for the assessment cycle, i.e., what is expected to occur if this Behavioral Competency is adequately demonstrated? Determine how the demonstrated competencies will be observed or tracked. Discuss competency expectations with employee. Answer questions and provide examples as needed. Functional Competency Assessment Key Functional Competencies Agencies and Universities are responsible for determining which Functional Competencies (from statewide Banded Class Specifications) are applicable to certain groups of positions with similar requirements, and for tailoring level descriptions to best fit the organization. Managers may further adapt these to fit their individual work units, with assistance from the Agency/University Human Resources office. Once essential Functional Competencies are agreed upon and set for an individual position, they are considered “Key” and are entered into this column. Key Competencies are set at the beginning of the cycle, and will stay the same from year to year for most positions. List Key Competencies in order of importance to the work unit or organization. While all are considered to be required of the job, those with a higher level of importance may carry more “weight” in assessing the overall competency level in the final evaluation (see Overall Competency Level section below) and in determining pay. Core Agencies and Universities may set certain Functional Competencies as “Core” to the organization’s mission. This should be indicated by checking the box as appropriate. Expectations Once Key Functional Competencies are determined, set expectations for the assessment cycle. Refer to the level descriptions adopted by the Agency/University for each Key Functional Competency, and determine what is needed by the work unit and the organization. Set the competency level at which the employee should be expected to function to best meet the needs and limitations of the organization. Determine how these competencies should be demonstrated by the employee and how those demonstrated competencies will be observed or tracked. Discuss competency expectations with employee. Answer questions and provide examples as needed. Career Development Activities At the beginning of the assessment cycle, it may be determined that the employee does not currently possess the knowledge, skills, or abilities necessary to meet the expectations set by the manager. The manager and employee may plan “Career Development Activities” to help the employee meet these expectations. Development Activities may include classes, formal training sessions, on-the-job training, mentoring, coaching, etc. Note both the employee’s and the supervisor’s responsibilities in completing the Development Activities. Other Development Activities that are not necessarily tied to the Key Competencies (i.e. training for future career opportunities) may be detailed in this section as well. Focus on developing no more than one or two Functional Competencies over the course of one or two years. Once all of the above are discussed and documented, Initial Work Planning Discussion comments may be entered on the last page of the form. The supervisor and employee should initial and date each -3-
  4. 4. page of the form (under Initial Work Planning Discussion Initials) and appropriate signatures should be obtained on the first page. II. INTERIM REVIEW At an interim point during the work cycle, meet with the employee to discuss progress toward goals, review performance, and discuss competencies to check progress. Document any concerns. Performance Management Work Plan Review performance information collected to date for each goal. If performance is below the “meets” level (i.e. results expectations are not being met) at any point during the cycle, develop an improvement plan (NOTE: this is a separate form/document) and establish a timeline to check for improvement. Provide a copy of the improvement plan to the employee. An example of the improvement plan is attached. If the goal is generally on track at the time of the interim review, check the box. Document key points from discussion in “Comments” (Interim Review) section, particularly if there are any concerns. Also review each Key Behavioral Competency and determine if demonstrated competencies are on track with Expectations established at the beginning of the cycle. Document key points from discussion in “Comments” section, particularly if there are any concerns. Functional Competency Assessment Review each Key Functional Competency and determine if demonstrated competencies are on track with Expectations established at the beginning of the cycle. Document key points from discussion in “Comments” (Interim Review) section, particularly if there are any concerns. Once all of the above are discussed and documented, supervisor and employee should initial and date each page of the form (under Interim Review Initials) and appropriate signatures should be obtained on the first page. III. FINAL REVIEW At the end of the work cycle, meet with the employee to review goals and expectations for performance and associated competencies and assess whether these were met or exceeded. Determine final Performance rating and final Competency level. Performance Management Final Results Review performance information collected during the full work cycle and compare to goals and expectations. Assess whether each goal was met or exceeded. Record actual performance for each goal. For Behavioral Competencies, assess whether the Expectations have been met and Key Behavioral Competencies have been demonstrated. Justification for the assessment must be included. Refer to the expectations and tracking sources set at the beginning of the cycle Performance Rating For each individual goal, check as appropriate whether goal was not met, met, or exceeded. Behavioral Competency Rating Indicate whether or not expectations for Key Behavioral Competencies are considered to have been met, not met, or exceeded. Make any necessary comments in the “Comments” (Final Review) box at the end of the section. -4-
  5. 5. Final Performance Rating Review the rating (Did Not Meet, Meets, or Exceeds) for each Goal and Behavioral Competency. Establish a summary rating by translating individual goal ratings and demonstration of behavioral competencies into one of five rating categories: Outstanding = O Performance on all (or most – see below) goals and behavioral competencies exceeds expectations and is far above the defined job expectations. The employee consistently does outstanding work, regularly going significantly beyond what is expected of employees in this job. Performance exceeds expectations due to the effort and skills of the employee. Any performance goal not exceeding expectations is due to events not under the control of the employee. Employee consistently demonstrates and exceeds expectations established for all key behavioral competencies. Very Good = VG Performance on all goals and behavioral competencies meets expectations and in many cases exceeds expectations. The employee generally is doing a very good job. Performance that exceeds expectations is due to the effort and skills of the employee. Employee consistently demonstrates and meets or exceeds expectations established for all key behavioral competencies. Good = G Performance on all goals and behavioral competencies meets expectations. The employee is doing the job at the level expected for employees in this position. The good performance is due to the employee’s own effort and skills. Employee consistently demonstrates and meets expectations established for the majority of key behavioral competencies. Below Good – BG Performance on some goals and behavioral competencies meets expectations but expectations are not met for the remaining goals. The employee is performing at a minimal level and improvement is needed to fully meet expectations. Lapses in performance are due to the employee’s lack of effort or skills. Employee does not consistently demonstrate or meet expectations established for many of the key behavioral competencies. Unsatisfactory = U Performance fails to meet expectations or requires frequent, close supervision and/or revision of work. The employee is not doing the job at the expected level of employees in this position. Unsatisfactory job performance is due to the employee’s own lack of effort or skills. Employee does not demonstrate or meet expectations established for any of the key behavioral competencies. Functional Competency Assessment Final Results Assess whether the Expectations have been met for each of the Key Functional Competencies. Justification for the assessment must be included. Refer to the expectations and tracking sources set at the beginning of the cycle. Refer to any Development Activities that have been conducted during the cycle. Level Levels are determined only in the final assessment stage. Correlate “Results” to the appropriate level for each Key Functional Competency. Rate each Key Functional Competency at either the Contributing (C), Journey (J), or Advanced (A) level based on demonstrated competencies and established level descriptions. Check the appropriate boxes. Final Competency Assessment The final overall competency level is determined based on the level (Contributing, Journey, or Advanced) of the majority of individual Key Functional Competencies. For example, if there are 5 competencies being assessed and 3 of these are assessed at Journey while 2 -5-
  6. 6. are assessed at Contributing, the overall level should probably be Journey. There are exceptions to this, however. If management considers certain competencies to be more critical to the work unit and organization than others, they may carry more “weight” in the overall evaluation. Thus, if the above two Contributing competencies were considered to be more important, the overall rating might be Contributing. The overall rating should be explained and justified in the “Comments” block at the end of this section. Once all of the above are discussed and documented, Final Review comments may be entered on the last page of the form. The supervisor and employee should initial and date each page of the form (under Final Review Initials) and appropriate signatures should be obtained on the first page. Final Performance Rating and Competency Assessment levels should also be entered on the first page. -6-

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