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Human Resources

Staff Performance Evaluation and Planning FAQ's

Select a Question:

What period is covered by an evaluation? - Top

Evaluations are for a calendar year (January 1- December 31) unless it is a probationary employee evaluation, in which case it would be from the hire date to December 31.



As a probationary employee, will I be evaluated? - Top

Evaluations on probationary employees is encouraged.



When are evaluations due into Human Resources? - Top

The evaluation process should be completed by March 31st each year.



What do I do if I don't agree with the evaluation given to me by my supervisor? - Top

We encourage you to discuss the situation with the supervisor who is delivering your evaluation. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, you may contact your supervisor's supervisor up through the Appointing Authority. You may also write any comments which will become part of your performance evaluation.



Do evaluations figure into my raise? - Top

Yes. Raises are merit based. A score of 3.0 or above on the evaluation is required in order for you to be eligible for a merit increase.



If I have questions about the evaluation process, who do I ask? - Top

If you cannot find the answers to your questions on this web site, please call Human Resources at 766-2258 or 766-3521.



Who should receive copies of the performance review? - Top

You, your supervisor, your supervisor's supervisor and the Appointing Authority will have access to the performance review.



How is the completed evaluation used? - Top

The performance evaluation is a tool used to communicate with the employee how well he/she is doing, how well goals have been achieved and what needs improvement. Development goals are derived from the written evaluation. The overall rating is used to help determine merit pay.



When does the process begin for a new employee? - Top

As soon as a new employee is hired, the supervisor should set goals for the probationary period, and develop expectations for performance. During the probationary period, the supervisor provides an ongoing review of the employee's performance, and sets goals for the next review period. The next review period goes through the remainder of the calendar year to bring the new employee into the same review period as continuing employees.



What if a new job duty is given to the employee during the year, which was not assigned when the performance review was completed? - Top

The PDQ (Position Description Questionnaire) and the planning section of the performance review form should be reviewed and updated throughout the year. Changes in duties must be documented in the PDQ, and expectations for successful performance should be documented on the performance review so that both the supervisor and employee are aware of these revisions.



If the immediate supervisor leaves the job during the year, who will rate the employees performance at the end of the year? - Top

The performance review is conducted by the supervisor who is there at the time the evaluation is due. If an employee's supervisor changes, the employee is normally reviewed based on the goals and expectations stated in the last written performance review. The new supervisor meets with the employee to discuss and document any changes. The former supervisor is encouraged to document employee performance prior to leaving the position. The employee is encouraged to provide the new supervisor with a self-assessment since this will assist the supervisor in providing a meaningful review for the employee.



What if an employee is promoted during the year? - Top

Whenever there is a change in job duties (i.e., promotion, transfer, etc.) the planning sections of a new performance review are completed to document the goals, job competencies, andexpectations for the new position. It is recommended that a formal (written) progress review be completed for work done up to the point an employee is promoted or leaves.



If an employee changes jobs in the University, how does that affect the performance review? What if it is the same title but a different department?  - Top

When an employee changes jobs, the new supervisor begins planning goals/duties for the remaining review period (i.e. until the end of the calendar year). Supervisors are encouraged to provide performance reviews for employees who move to a different job or different department so that information can be used by the new supervisor in preparing the review for the entire year. If this is not done, the employee would be rated for the period of time worked for the new supervisor.



Can performance expectations differ for two employees who have the same job duties? - Top

Yes. Expectations are developed for individuals by the supervisor and the employee. Employees with the same job titles may have different goals and priorities, so the goals or duties chosen for their evaluations may be different.



Can an employee receive an overall rating of unsatisfactory during the annual review if he/she did not know about it during the year? - Top

It is recommended that the unsatisfactory overall rating not be assigned unless the supervisor has discussed with the employee the areas of performance that do not meet the expectations. If throughout the year it becomes apparent that performance has dropped to such a level as to require attention, then the supervisor should discuss the problem with the employee before the written review. Interim or periodic reviews may be helpful in clarifying expectations in areas that need improvement.



What does the acknowledgment of the employee mean on the performance review? - Top

When the employee acknowledges the performance review, the employee is attesting to the fact that he/she has participated in the review. The employee's acknowledgment does not indicate agreement with the content. Space is provided in the employee comment section for the employee to add further explanation or to describe points of disagreement.  



What do I do if the employee refuses to acknowledge performance review? - Top

Explain to the employee that the acknowledge does not indicate their agreement but only that they have had an opportunity participate in the review. Let the employee know that they can express their concerns or disagreements in the employee comment section. If the employee still refuses acknowledge, the supervisor may override that section. (The supervisor should notify Human Resources)



What is the procedure if an employee disagrees with the performance review? - Top

If a post-probationary employee disagrees with the written performance review, the employee should discuss any concerns with the supervisor. Two options are offered if the disagreement cannot be resolved. (1) The employee may insert comments into the employee comment section. (2) The employee may ask for a review from the next level supervisor.



When an employee refuses to participate in the performance review process, is the performance review for that employee valid? - Top

Yes. The performance review is still conducted and the results are considered valid. It is recommended that the process be collaborative. However, the supervisor has the ultimate responsibility to set goals and expectations, and to evaluate employees. If the employee chooses not to participate in this part of the process, the supervisor completes the evaluation based on his or her assessment of the employee's performance over the prior year. The final performance review becomes part of the employee's employment record. Failure to comply with the requirements of the performance review policy may be considered insubordination, which would be handled in the same manner as a violation of any University policy in that it may be considered cause for disciplinary action.



My supervisor does not have time to give us all performance reviews. What do I do? - Top

Performance review is an important supervisory function. Clarifying goals and expectations will help improve communication and performance. The Performance Review Policy requires that all employees receive an annual written review. If your supervisor does not provide reviews, you should first discuss your concerns with your supervisor. If that does not resolve the issue, you may also talk to the next level supervisor; then, you may seek assistance from the Department of Human Resources.



How many times will an employee be formally evaluated within a 12-month period? - Top

For a regular, post-probationary employee, the supervisor is required to provide a written review once per year. More frequent reviews can be done at the discretion of the supervisor.



Isn't a formal evaluation pretty pointless for truly outstanding employees? - Top

Not at all. Formal evaluation of outstanding performers can be highly motivating. Failure to acknowledge this performance may actually result in reduced performance and lower morale. Since merit increases are linked to performance, it is even more important to document differences in performance to support differences in merit pay. Performance review is also an important tool to set goals for the employee for the next year. Having a clear understanding of what is expected of them assists employees in maintaining high levels of achievement.



Who should conduct the evaluation? - Top

The employee's immediate supervisor conducts the evaluation.



How can this evaluation help streamline work and make the department/ unit more efficient? - Top

It is the job of the supervisor to make the performance review an effective means of communicating within the work unit. Ideally, performance reviews will increase everyone's effectiveness by clarifying goals and expectations each year. Performance discussions are an opportunity to provide your department with the direction needed on what is to be accomplished and who has been assigned specific responsibilities. It helps establish direction, foster progress, and clarify accountability. The department/ unit is more likely to be successful when individual employee goals are linked with department/unit goals. This will also help employees stay focused and committed. Performance review can also improve communication by encouraging information sharing. It also represents a way that supervisors can demonstrate their interest in an employee's development, concerns, and potential.



Will the results of the performance review affect salary? - Top

Yes. Each employee receives an overall rating on their performance review. That rating is a reflection of how well the employee achieved their goals and performed their duties. The Overall Rating helps determine merit increases.



What happens in a year when there is no money for salary increases? Do we still do a performance review? - Top

Yes. The performance review is an essential supervisory responsibility. The process provides direction and feedback to employees so that individuals, work units, and departments are more effective. Performance review is an important communication tool to clarify expectations, maintain high performance of outstanding employees, encourage adequate employees, and improve the performance of marginal employees.



Why is everyone being evaluated on job-related performance factors? Is there a University-wide concern regarding employee behavior? - Top

There is a University-wide concern with the way in which UW employees behave.  The job-related performance factors describe behaviors that the performance evaluation committee believes every employee should perform well at all times.  The weight an individual supervisor gives to each factor is left to the discretion of the supervisor, in conjunction with department or unit expectations.



The PDQ lists essential functions and duties in order of importance. Should this order be considered when weighting objectives? Can there be some variance? - Top

Both importance and time spent may be considered when weighting a duty or objective. However, supervisors should use their discretion, which may often vary from the percentages on the PDQ.



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