SEPAP GUIDELINES THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS - PAN AMERICAN STAFF EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PROGRAM COMPILED BY THE OFFICE OF HUMAN RESOURCES

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1 THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS - PAN AMERICAN SEPAP STAFF EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PROGRAM GUIDELINES COMPILED BY THE OFFICE OF HUMAN RESOURCES Rev. 5/15/2008 Comments or Suggestions:

2 PREFACE Our performance as individuals is evaluated daily both on and off the job by friends, supervisors and co-workers. The purpose of The University of Texas - Pan American Staff Employee Performance Appraisal Program (SEPAP) is to develop each employee's potential and job performance to the fullest and to evaluate that job performance as a part of an ongoing personnel development process in support of the University's mission. The performance appraisal process is much more than filling out an appraisal form once each year. It includes a clear definition of the employee's duties and responsibilities, the establishment of performance standards, and a reasonable understanding of expectations and goals. To be meaningful and worthwhile, the employee's performance must be measured against predetermined performance standards. A performance standard is something that is established by university policy and is identified by the conditions that exist when a Job is performed satisfactorily. Performance appraisals are a way to communicate and document what all good supervisors do anyway provide employees with positive reinforcement for areas of effective performance and constructive criticism in areas of job performance that do not meet performance standards and need improvement. The performance appraisal process is an effective management tool that enhances employee performance and job satisfaction when applied correctly. The growth and development of each employee on your staff is essential to the overall performance of your team and will enhance your effectiveness as a leader and manager. These guidelines are intended to assist you in developing and attaining your management goals. Before attempting to complete any employee rating or evaluation, please read the information contained in these guidelines thoroughly and refer to them as needed for each appraisal. The Office of Human Resources will provide supervisor training on the performance appraisal process during the year. University departments may request additional training at any time. Rev. 5/15/2008 ii

3 THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN SEPAP GUIDELINES TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE INTRODUCTION 1 Definition of the Performance Appraisal 1 Purpose of the Performance Appraisal 1 Uses of the Performance Appraisal 1 APPLICABILITY 2 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL 2 FREQUENCY OF THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL 2 Probationary Employees 2 Regular Staff Employees 2 PHASES OF THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PROGRAM 2 THE PREPARATION PHASE: THE BASIS FOR THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL 2 Job Description and Essential Job Functions 2 Performance Standards 3 Goal Setting 3 THE MONITORING PHASE: OBSERVATION AND DOCUMENTATION 3 Record Keeping 4 Performance Counseling 4 THE FORMAL APPRAISAL PHASE: THE APPRAISAL INTERVIEW 4 Confidentiality 4 Definitions of the Performance Ratings 5 Performance Factors 5 Summary Appraisal Sheet (The Overall Rating) 5 Improvement Plans 5 Employee Comments and Acknowledgment 6 Appraiser Comments and Signature 6 Filing the Completed Performance Appraisal Form 6 Rev. 5/15/2008 iii

4 THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN SEPAP GUIDELINES TABLE OF CONTENTS PAGE AVOIDING COMMON PITFALLS 6 The ''Halo'' Effect or ''Carry Over'' Effect 7 The Consistent Leniency or Harshness Tendency 7 Prejudice 7 THE APPRAISAL INTERVIEW 7 Preparing for the Performance Appraisal Interview 7 Opening the Interview 7 Discussing the Employee's Self Evaluation 8 Tips for Conducting the Interview 8 Discussing the Negative Factors 9 Plans for Improvement 9 Concluding the Interview 9 APPENDICES: The University of Texas-Pan American Performance Appraisal Form Policy: Staff Employee Performance Appraisal Program (SEPAP) Rev. 5/15/2008 iv

5 THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS - PAN AMERICAN SEPAP GUIDELINES INTRODUCTION Definition of the Performance Appraisal A performance appraisal is a periodic evaluation of an employee's performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. The performance appraisal process is a difficult but very important task, and like most things, the more it is practiced the easier it becomes. A properly performed employee appraisal should produce greater employee job satisfaction, better communication and employee relations, and most importantly, improved job performance. A word of warning; a poorly performed appraisal can produce the opposite results. The purpose of SEPAP training workshops and this manual is to assist in making performance appraisals a positive and beneficial experience for both the appraiser and the person being appraised. Purpose of the Performance Appraisal The primary purpose or objective of the Staff Employee Performance Appraisal Program (SEPAP) is growth and development. This is accomplished by helping the employee do a better job in his or her position and by developing employee skills and abilities necessary to meet the future needs of the department and the University. Uses of the Performance Appraisal Employee development occurs with an effective performance appraisal because it can: a. Aid in developing mutually established goals. b. Provide the employee an opportunity to discuss how well they are meeting Job expectations and performance standards. c. Stimulate and assist employees in improving Job performance. d. Improve supervisor and employee relations through better communication. e. Provide a periodic and systematic basis for coaching or counseling conferences between managers and subordinates. f. Provide a written record of each employees' growth and professional development in terms of job skills, experience and training. g. Highlight and thus diminish favoritism in treatment of employees. h. Provide documentation of job performance to support promotions, transfers, retention and salary decisions. i. Determine whether a probationary employee should be retained or released. Before reading on, a word of caution is in order. The Staff Employee Performance Appraisal Program is not the appropriate vehicle to use to directly communicate information on salary matters. Discussions regarding salary should occur at another time and place. A manager or super-visor's efforts to achieve employee excellence will be negatively affected should actions or discussions regarding salary be combined with the performance appraisal. APPLICABILITY The SEPAP policy and these guidelines apply to all regular staff employees and faculty supervisors of regular staff employees of the University. A ''regular staff employee'' is any non-faculty employee who is hired to work at least 20 hours per work week or 50% full-time equivalent (FTE) and for at least 4 months. A performance appraisal is required each year for all regular staff employees up to and including the level of vice president. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 1 of 9

6 RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL The individual responsible for conducting the performance appraisal is the manager or super-visor who has first hand knowledge of the employee's daily performance of duties and the manner in which the employee carries out his or her responsibilities all through the year. The appraiser is also the individual who has the authority to either discipline the employee or whose recommendation for discipline carries significant weight. This is usually the employee's immediate supervisor. As used in these guidelines, the person responsible for conducting the appraisal is refer-red to as the ''appraiser'' The person being appraised, on the other hand, is referred to as the ''employee'' FREQUENCY OF THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL Probationary Employees The performance of probationary employees must be appraised as of the employee's 90th day of employment and the 150th day of employment. An appraisal may also be conducted as of the 30th day of employment and at other intervals if the probationary employee is not performing up to standards. The purpose of performance appraisals for probationary employees is to determine whether to retain or release the employee. A probationary employee may not be dismissed without at least one performance appraisal except in extreme cases where the circumstances clearly warrant immediate dismissal. It is recommended that a two week notice be given to a probationary employee who is being terminated. Termination of an employee after the 180 day probationary period requires adherence to the procedures set forth in the Discipline and Dismissal of Employees policy located in the Handbook of Operating Procedures (HOP). Regular Staff Employee The performance appraisal of regular staff employees must be conducted annually within 30 days of the employee's employment anniversary date (original date of hire). The Office of Human Resources will send a reminder to the designated appraiser 30 days prior to the employee's employment anniversary date. However, it is the designated appraiser's responsibility to see that the appraisals are conducted on a timely basis. The completed appraisal should be reviewed by the next higher level of authority within 10 days after completion of the appraisal interview. Employees transferred to a new position may receive an appraisal before their annual evaluation date, but this does not replace the required annual appraisal. PHASES OF THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PROGRAM Completing and discussing the performance appraisal form with the employee during the appraisal interview is but one part of the performance appraisal system. In fact, it is the part that takes place at the end of the evaluation process and is a summary of the last 12 months of observations and evaluations of the employee's job performance. You will notice that this point is constantly emphasized throughout the SEPAP Guidelines because it is that important and crucial to an effective appraisal program. Three very important phases are discussed in the sections that follow: The Preparation Phase, The Monitoring Phase, and the Formal Appraisal Phase. Each phase builds upon the previous phase and must be given full consideration for the appraisal program to be an effective management tool. THE PREPARATION PHASE: THE BASIS FOR THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL The first phase is the preparation phase and is the foundation for the performance appraisal process. Three very important elements of the preparation phase are: position description, performance standards, and performance goals. While these three elements address the immediate responsibilities and essential job functions or duties of the specific position, the appraiser should also consider the employee's impact on advancing department objectives and support of the mission of the University. Section D Essential Job Functions and Established Standards Worksheet is included in the Performance Appraisal Form to use in documenting the requirements of the preparation phase. Job Description and Essential Job Functions During initial appointment to a position, each employee of the University should be given an overall Job description and a list describing the essential Job functions or duties of their position by their appraiser, using the worksheet included in the Performance Appraisal Form. The job description is a general statement of duties performed in the department, and should be written at the top of the worksheet. An essential job function is a specific duty or task performed by the employee in the course of employment and should be placed at the top in each numbered block where indicated. The worksheet should be reviewed regularly by the appraiser and employee after initial completion and adjusted when a job function changes. Significant changes in the type of duties or responsibilities of a position should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources. Detailed input from the employee is essential in developing the job description statement and each essential job function to establish validity. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 2 of 9

7 After the list of tasks, duties and/or responsibilities (job functions) of a position is established, the relative importance of each task or Job function should be communicated to the employee. One effective way to define the relative importance of the job functions is to rank order them using the A, B, C, D, process. After the list of essential Job function is compiled, the employee and the appraiser should assign an ''A'' to the tasks which are most important, a ''B'' to those which are secondary in importance and so on. The relative importance of each job function can be further broken down. For example, among those tasks applied as ''A'' a number may be assigned such as ''A ranking. The Job function listed as ''A-V would be the most important of all the job functions. The involvement of the employee in setting the priorities is essential and will help improve the overall' ' Performance Standards Establishing performance standards is the second element of the preparation phase. A performance standard is a statement of the conditions that exist when a job or task is performed satisfactorily. A performance standard should be identified with each specific Job function or responsibility as listed on the worksheet. Performance standards describe the results you want the employee to obtain with respect to each job function. Setting performance standards requires the involvement of the employee. When the employee participates in setting the standard for each task, there should be no question as to what is expected in performing the task, including the quantity and quality of the work expected. a. Specific and measurable. b. Realistic and attainable. c. Written in complete and concise terms. d. Flexible and responsive to change. e. Jointly developed through discussion between appraiser and employee. f. Consistent with the organization's overall objectives and policies. g. Reviewed for progress at specific times before the work is completed. Ideally, performance standards will be so clear that the employee can appraise himself or herself. Particular attention should also be given to each of the Performance Factors on the Performance Appraisal Form as the performance standards are being developed. The appraiser and employee should discuss the importance of the Performance Factors and how they relate to each task or job function listed on the worksheet. Goal Setting A third element of the preparation phase is to set a predetermined ultimate goal or objective for each job function or area of responsibility that needs improvement. Initial goals and performance standards are the same when an employee begins a new position, because the ultimate goal is to perform the established standard for each specific job function. As the employee performs each job function, his performance either meets the standard or does not. Subsequently, when substandard performance is observed, goals must be established to focus the employee's performance back on meeting the established standard. Supervisors and employees routinely set goals throughout the course of their Jobs and the performance appraisal process is no different. Goals should be developed for each area of performance below standards and documented on the worksheet and the Summary Appraisal Sheet under improvement plans. The employee should actively participate in the formulation of the goals for improvement. THE MONITORING PHASE: OBSERVATION AND DOCUMENTATION Observing or monitoring an employee's job performance is an essential function of the management process. An effective manager observes employee performance and maintains good written documentation of what was observed, good or bad. In addition, the manager must make timely adjustments to the observed performance behavior when it is below established standards. Good documentation and performance counseling is an integral part of the performance appraisal process. There is a danger that the employee may feel threatened unless the appraiser is open and helpful when documenting employee performance. Good communication is required in all phases of the appraisal program, but especially during the monitoring phase. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 3 of 9

8 Record Keeping Research has shown that most people are unable to recall even a small portion of their experiences, observations, and thoughts even a few hours after they have occurred. The appraisal program requires the appraiser to summarize the work of an employee for up to a year. Without counseling documentation and accurate records of performance the appraisal of an employee's work will be extremely difficult at best. Appraisers should maintain an individual ''performance file'' for each employee in their work unit. The file should contain documentation on observed job performance, good and bad during the year, from the time of the last formal appraisal interview to the next. Documentation of specific performance above or below established standards is extremely helpful in supporting the appraiser's assignment of an achievement level or rating for each of the performance factors. The following rules are absolute minimum requirements in maintaining an employee's performance file. a. Keep a separate file on each employee. b. Do not keep the file secret from the employee. Let the employee examine his or her own file upon request. c. Before placing documentation of an incident in the file, always discuss it with the employee. d. While the employee should be fully aware of the contents of his or her performance file, the file should be completely confidential. No one should see the file except the employee, the supervisor, and others who have direct line authority over the employee. Performance Counseling The second element of the monitoring phase is performance counseling. In order for the appraiser to develop the employee's potential to the fullest, it is most important that the employee be trained to meet and exceed established performance standards. The appraiser must inform the employee of the necessary corrective action when the employee is performing below expectations and reinforce good performance when the employee is doing a good job. This process is ongoing and most effective when delivered immediately after the behavior is observed; it should not occur only at the time of the formal appraisal. The appraiser and the employee should meet as necessary to discuss ways to improve or make changes in direction or responsibility. Remember, anytime the appraiser and employee talk about job performance, good or bad, documentation should be placed in the employee's performance file for the next formal appraisal interview. THE FORMAL APPRAISAL PHASE: THE APPRAISAL INTERVIEW The use of the Performance Appraisal Form and its completion during the formal appraisal interview will be discussed in the following section. Again, it should be emphasized that the formal appraisal interview in no way replaces the daily work discussions or informal appraisals that should occur between appraiser and employee. The appraisal form and the formal appraisal interview are used in combination to summarize the overall effectiveness of an employee's work over a definite period of time, normally one year. The appraisal form is a valuable tool when used to open a dialogue and communicate with the employee. Confidentiality The Performance Appraisal Form contains confidential information when completed and should be treated with due respect for the individual's night to privacy. When Section A: Employee Performance Factors, Section B: Supervisor Performance Factors and Section C: Section Summary Appraisal Sheet are sent through campus mail, the envelope should be addressed to a specific recipient and not the department in general. The forms should be sent in a separate envelope that is clearly marked Personal and Confidential. Only individuals with line authority over the employee are authorized to review the completed form. Personnel staff are also authorized to review completed forms as necessary. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 4 of 9

9 Definitions of the Performance Ratings The Rating Key used on the Performance Appraisal Form establishes the following five ratings to "measure"'' an individual's performance. 1. CONSISTENTLY BELOW EXPECTATIONS: Performance is at a level below established standards with the result that overall contribution is marginal and substandard. Performance requires a high degree of supervision. 2. BELOW EXPECTATIONS: Meets some of the established standards and expectations but definite areas exist where achievement is substandard. Performance requires somewhat more than normal degree of direction and supervision. 3. MEETS EXPECTATIONS: Meets established standards in a satisfactory and adequate manner. Performance requires normal degree of supervision. 4. EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS: Accomplishments are above expected levels of essential performance requirements. 5. CONSISTENTLY EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS: Job performance easily exceeds job requirements; performance approaches best possible attainment. In addition to the five rating choices, a sixth choice is given for those performance factors which are not observed by the appraiser or which are non-applicable. These rating definitions should be foremost in the minds of the employee and appraiser during the preparation phase as the job functions and performance standards are enveloped and negotiated. The employee should have a clear understanding of what it takes to attain each of the ratings listed. Ratings of 1 (CONSISTENTLY BELOW EXPECTATIONS) or 5 (CONSISTENTLY EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS), must be supported with documented examples or reasons. This is why documentation of the employee's job performance, good or bad, is essential. Records of performance counseling are also useful in supporting the ratings in these areas. Performance Factors As discussed earlier in these guidelines, a clear understanding of the Section A: Employee Performance Factors is essential in the development of performance standards. The rating assigned to each factor will be a summary reflecting the achievement level of performance standards set for all tasks in the appraisal year. Documentation of specific job performance above or below standards is helpful in supporting the appraiser's assignment of an achievement level rating for each of the factors. Section A: Employee Performance Factors 1 through 10 apply to all employees. If the person being appraised is a supervisor, then Section B: Supervisor Performance Factors 1 through 4 will need to be completed in addition to Section A: Employee Performance Factors factors Summary Appraisal Sheet (The Overall Rating) What is required in this section is the appraiser's overall perception of the employee's total performance during the entire appraisal period. The rating should bear some correlation to the collective ratings of the performance factors. However, since the performance factors themselves do not necessarily carry the same relative importance in one job description as they do in another, it may not always be appropriate simply to sum up the ratings and find the average to reach an overall rating. For example, as compared to performance factor #8, ''RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE'', performance factor #1, ''QUALITY OF WORK'' may be far more important in a job description that requires a polished product such as the finishing carpenter who must work with precision and finesse. On the other hand, performance factor #8, RELATIONSHIPS WITH PEOPLE would probably be more important or of equal importance with performance factor #1, ''QUALITY OF WORK'' to a customer service representative who works with the public every day. Improvement Plans Each appraisal interview should include a plan to improve the employee's job performance, even those written for termination of an employee. The improvement plan should be developed together by the appraiser and the employee. The answer to the question, ''What can the employee do to improve his or her performance on the job?'' should be recorded here. If the space provided is not sufficient, an additional sheet may be attached to the appraisal form. The response in this area should be closely related to those factors in which the employee's performance behavior is deficient and needs to be improved. For example, if the employee needs improvement in the area of attendance and punctuality, it would be appropriate to state what effort the employee should put forth to improve, i.e. take a different route to work, start for work earlier to avoid traffic, etc. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 5 of 9

10 This space is also provided to enable the appraiser to record how he or she plans to assist the employee to improve his or her performance on the job. For example, in a situation where the employee's work is affected by a bottleneck in an area which is beyond the employee's control, the appraiser may state what corrective actions will be taken to help the employee. Specifying training or educational programs in which the employee can participate is also appropriate in this space. The appraiser should set a date at some point in the future, i.e., two weeks, a month, two months, etc., to meet with the employee and check on his or her progress towards meeting the improvement plan or goal for improved performance. Without follow-up, the plan is meaningless.. Employee Comments and Acknowledgment Give the employee an opportunity to make comments concerning the performance appraisal, either in agreement or disagreement. Advise the employee he/she is required to sign the form, and that the signature does not imply agreement with the performance appraisal or rating, only that the appraisal took place. If the employee refuses to sign the form, recruit a witness to certify that the appraisal was conducted and note the refusal on the form. Appraiser Comments and Signature In the course of the appraisal interview, additional significant items may come up which are not recorded elsewhere in the performance appraisal form. Record these items in the space provided. Send the completed form to the next level of management for review and signature. Filing the Completed Performance Appraisal Form Keep original Performance Appraisal Form in the department personnel file. Send a copy of the Section A: Employee Performance Factors, Section B: Supervisor Performance Factors and Section C: Summary Appraisal Sheet to Human Resources. When mailing the complete performance appraisal form, the envelope should be sealed and clearly marked ''Personal and Confidential''. AVOIDING COMMON PITFALLS The following discussion may help the appraiser avoid pitfalls that often affect the validity of the appraisal program. The best solution to any of these problems is for the appraiser to rate each employee fairly and honestly on their Job performance. Certainly, performance appraisals are helpful in determining eligibility for merit increases, but the appraisal is not intended to guarantee that a high evaluation will automatically result in a merit raise. Below are two reasons. a. A high rating may occur early in the year, but the individual may be performing poorly when b. Some departments may have a high percentage of employees performing in an above average manner. Yet fiscally, it may be impossible to grant all those employees merit raises. An appraiser wishing to submit an employee for a merit increase when the employee has been performing at the ''MEETS EXPECTATIONS'' level during the year, should complete a supplemental performance appraisal to support the recommendation. Conducting an additional performance appraisal for merit recommendations helps insure the employee receives a fair and honest annual appraisal of his/her job performance, not an inflated rating for the purpose of awarding a merit increase. The ''Halo'' Effect or ''Carry Over'' Effect The ''Halo'' effect is a tendency to rate a person either too high or too low based on personal attributes of the individual. For instance, a "nice" person may be rated high because he/she is pleasant to work with even though his/her job performance may be marginal. Another example may be the way a person dresses or speaks. A sharp dresser who is articulate may be likewise rated high in spite of marginal performance. This effect may carry over from one factor to another. For example, because of high performance in attendance and punctuality, a person may be rated high on quality of work even though job performance in that area may be less than satisfactory. To avoid this problem, the appraiser should focus on the employee's job performance and not on the individual. Likewise, the appraiser should rate each performance factor separately to insure that a high or low rating of one performance factor does not influence the rating of other performance factors. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 6 of 9

11 The Consistent Leniency or Harshness Tendency Another pitfall to be avoided is the tendency to be too lenient or too harsh when appraising an employee's job performance. The inclination to ''go easy'' on an employee because you believe in being generous towards others will compromise the effectiveness of the performance appraisal program. Likewise, the tendency to be hard and unbending, may produce an unfair and inaccurate appraisal. To avoid this common problem, the appraiser and employee must establish performance standards and have a clear understanding of expectations. Prejudice Pre-judging an employee without observing an employee's job performance is another pitfall to avoid. Sometimes the appraiser may have strong personal feelings toward an employee which may compromise the appraiser's objectivity. These feelings may originate because of who the employee is, i.e., a close friend or an old enemy, or a relative of someone the appraiser likes or despises. The strong feelings may also come from something the employee did, i.e., spoke out against a proposal the appraiser made. The feeling could also come from a recent isolated blunder the employee may have committed. Realizing the possibility of prejudice is probably half the battle in avoiding this problem. The appraiser should concentrate on the results of the employee's overall job performance rather than the person. Use the written documentation on the employee's job performance you have compiled during the monitoring phase to base your ratings on, rather than your personal likes and dislikes. Remember, you can avoid most appraisal problems by following the three phases of the appraisal program, being fair and honest to yourself and the employee during all evaluations, and by rating the employee on his/her observed job performance. THE APPRAISAL INTERVIEW The performance appraisal interview is the conclusion of the appraisal cycle. As with every phase of the appraisal cycle, the performance appraisal interview is intended to help the employee function more effectively. While there is no pattern or formula which is applicable in every case, there are certain guidelines, which if followed, should help make the interview more effective as a management tool. Preparing for the Performance Appraisal Interview It is critically important to establish the proper environment for the appraisal interview. First, schedule a definite time for the interview far enough in advance to allow you and the employee to prepare for the meeting. You should give the employee at least one week notice in advance of the meeting. Also, give some attention to the setting and climate for the meeting. It is very important to hold the interview in a private area that will be free of distractions and interruptions and one where conversation cannot be overheard. Next, the appraiser should complete the performance form and review it with his or her supervisor in advance of the interview. Finally, prepare for the appointment so the stresses of the day are not brought into the interview. It is best to tell the employee that you will be discussing job performance, goals for the position and content of the job. Suggest that the employee prepare for the interview by completing a draft or work copy of the performance appraisal form, which should be returned to the appraiser before the interview. (A self-evaluation is an excellent way to facilitate discussion.) Opening the Interview As previously discussed, the performance appraisal interview process has several important elements: preparation time, privacy, etc. However, beginning on the right track may determine the ultimate outcome. THERE IS NO FORMULA THAT APPLIES TO ALL SITUATIONS. The person conducting the appraisal interview should consider the following tips: a. Be friendly and courteous. b. Put the employee at ease. This can be done by using a friendly greeting and a friendly statement that is of interest to the employee and requires a reply. c. Explain the purpose of the interview, and remember that the employee expects to discuss performance. d. Establish your belief at the beginning that the interview is important. e. Emphasize open and honest communication. Assure the employee the discussion will be kept confidential. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 7 of 9

12 Discussing the Employee's Self Evaluation Ideally, your employee will have completed the performance appraisal form and returned it the day before the interview appointment. The self-evaluation provides the employee with an opportunity to appraise his or her job performance prior to the Interview. During the interview, it will be helpful to ask the employee to discuss, clarify or elaborate on the information given on the form. This information is especially useful if the employee's self-evaluation is dramatically different from the appraiser's evaluation. a. Give praise for work done well. b. Do not give praise for performance factors which you consider below standard. c. Base criticism on specific examples of job performance. d. Discuss a negative rating in comparison to the standard. e. Ask open-ended questions, not yes or no ones. Tips for Conducting the Interview The employee should have a clear understanding of the reasons for the rating in each of the performance factors. The appraiser should make every effort to involve the employee in the discussion of the ratings and the plans for improvement. Consider the following suggestions when conducting the interview. a. The open-end question. This type of question is used to involve the employee in the discussion. It allows the employee to elaborate as much as he or she wants to during the response. Following are some examples: "What can be done to help you improve your job performance?'' "How can I help you improve your job performance?'' "What can we do to improve your performance in this area?'' b. The ''state the -problem'' question. This type of questioning involves the employee in the problem solving process. It gives the employee the opportunity to arrive at a different solution than the appraiser or approach the problem from a different viewpoint. Following are examples: "Suppose you were... how would you handle this situation?'' "How would you do it, if you were me?'' c. The ''choice'' question. Choice questions are specific in nature and may be used to pinpoint a particular solution. They may also be used to clarify a particular point in question, such as: "Did you think about...?" ''Will you explain...?" "Have you considered...?" d. Restate the response. When the employee replies with a statement or suggestion, try to restate the employee's response. This approach will reinforce or correct your understanding of the employee's idea and greatly improve communication. Following are some examples: "What I understand you are saying is...'' "You said, you feel...'' "It would help you if I would...'' "What you would like to see happen is...'' Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 8 of 9

13 Discussing Negative Factors The goal of the performance appraisal program is to inform the employee about his or her job performance in order to solicit an improvement in performance behavior. While it is usually unpleasant to discuss negative ratings of performance, it is a disservice to the employee to refuse to do so. The following guidelines should help make the process more pleasing. a. Base any criticism on fact, backed by specific examples of job performance. b. Convey criticism in a helpful and supportive manner. Remember, your goal is to help your employee succeed and reach full potential. c. Involve the employee in the discussion of negative performance. d. Discuss the negative rating in comparison with the accepted standard. e. Focus on specific objectives for improvement to be met within a specific time. f. Avoid using "you ' when stating a problem or determining a solution, use ''I'' and ''we'' instead. Plans for Improvement The purpose of the performance appraisal program is to improve employee job performance and satisfaction. This important part of the appraisal process is the most often overlooked. A plan to improve your employee's performance must be understood and agreed upon by both the employee and the appraiser before any improvement in Job performance will occur. Additionally, a great improvement plan is meaningless without specific objectives and times scheduled for follow-up by the appraiser. Below are some additional ideas for improvement plans. a. Involve the employee in the problem solving process. b. Focus on specific objectives to be met within a specific time. c. Make follow-up appointments and keep them. Concluding the Interview The appraisal interview should be concluded when: a. You have made the points you wanted to cover clear and understood. b. The employee has thoroughly expressed his or her personal ambitions and special interests. c. The employee has reviewed his or her problems and has expressed ideas on the ratings and applicable subjects. d. The employee understands the overall rating and the steps to be taken towards performance improvement. e. A plan of action has been developed and a follow-up meeting time set to review improvement progress. Rev. 5/15/2008 Page 9 of 9

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