Performance Management Throughout the Year
Effective performance management is a continuous, positive collaboration between you and your employees all year round. Be proactive in managing your employees and their individual and collective goals by using the following guidelines:
Meet with your employees regularly, formally and informally, so that you can provide timely feedback about the employee’s performance. Regularly scheduled team check-in or stand-up meetings offer the opportunity for you and your employees to connect on day-to-day items, report out on ongoing projects or processes, and share out information regarding new or upcoming issues or events. In addition to group check-ins, you should be holding regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with each of your direct reports to provide individualized performance management and coaching, including developing and documenting your employee’s immediate and long-term plans and goals. During these one-on-one meetings, be sure to discuss any additional support or training your employee may need to accomplish those goals and further their professional development.
Encourage a two-way dialogue with your employees. A clearly communicated open-door policy is good. Actively initiating conversations with your staff is even better. Foster an environment where employees feel safe to discuss work challenges and mistakes freely. You cannot help if you do not know a problem exists and your employees may not communicate openly if they fear there will be repercussions for their honesty and openness.
Do not let performance issues linger. Addressing them immediately is the best way to prevent challenges from snowballing into problems then into formal corrective action. Focus on being an effective coach so that you spend less time — or maybe no time at all — correcting performance.
If an individual’s goals change, such as a change in duties or the need for additional training or development, be sure to document the changes and give the employee a copy of the revised goals. Throughout the year, keep notes on your employees’ achievements and performance. This information will come in handy when it is time again for annual performance reviews, to ensure that there are no “surprises” during the annual review.
We encourage all managers to consult UW HR’s detailed Performance Management Supervisor Guide, for further guidance and resources on performance management. If, after following these steps and addressing and documenting performance issues, you have an employee who is not meeting expectations of the position, consult with Executive Office Shared Environment for further guidance.
Formal performance reviews should be completed on at least an annual basis. Semiannual or quarterly reviews may be implemented so long as you are consistently following the same review structure and schedule for all of your direct reports.
For new classified staff positions, a performance evaluation should be completed in advance of the end of the six-month probationary period and then continue on at least an annual basis thereafter. Although Professional Staff employees do not have a probationary period, new Pro Staff employees should have a formal performance evaluation completed at the six-month mark and then continue on at least an annual basis thereafter.
The annual review is intended to provide an assessment of the employee’s performance over the past year as well as set plans and goals for the upcoming year. It is also necessary for the purposes of informing merit increases. The timing of the annual review is set by the Executive Office HR team. During spring quarter, a communication will go out to all supervisors asking that all annual performance evaluations be completed by a certain deadline, 2023 Annual Evaluation Timeline. All performance review documentation (e.g. email to employee summarizing meeting, evaluation forms, etc.) should be forwarded to Kelly Johnson, Associate Director for HR Employee Relations, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by that deadline.
The format for the annual review should follow the recommendations on the UW HR Performance Management and UW HR Labor Relations/Union websites. Consult the Manager’s Guide to Performance Management and use the following forms and guides.
Peer evaluations for Professional Staff can also be used to gain feedback on employee performance, especially in the areas of collaborative teamwork, customer service, or client relations. These are areas that you may not directly observe in your capacity as supervisor. If you decide to use peer feedback as part of the annual review process, be sure to implement the practice consistently across all employees who report to you.
Within the availability of your unit’s resources, we encourage all managers to promote professional development and career enhancement for all employees. Investing in the development of your employees is key to retaining talented personnel and boosting employee engagement and performance. Professional development can take many forms based on the goals of the employee, the needs of the unit, and the resources available.
UW’s Professional and Organization Development (POD) offers courses, certificate programs, leadership training, webinars, and one-on-one coaching for employees. Encourage your employees to explore the options available via the UW POD homepage. External training, certification programs, workshops and conferences are also opportunities for your employees to keep up to date on the trends, technologies, skills, policies, and other characteristics of their field. Encourage your employees to be proactive in researching opportunities and be sure to consult with the Executive Office HR team to discuss available funding before approving any requests.
Cross training among your team members is an excellent way to promote professional growth for your employees while also addressing business continuity. For critical functions or processes within your unit, be sure that multiple individuals are cross trained (and stay current with the training) to ensure readiness in the event of a gap or disruption.
Recognition of meritorious work can boost employee engagement. Recognition can be awarded individually or collectively, formally or informally, publicly or privately. Communicate with your employees on how they like to be recognized.
The UW has a formal recognition program based on years of service. Notifications of upcoming service anniversaries are sent directly to the Manager listed in Workday along with instructions for the employee’s selection of the service recognition gift. Please consult the UW Service Recognition webpage for additional information.
If you would like to develop your own recognition plan for your unit, please consult with the Executive Office HR team on appropriate criteria, budgets, and allowable funding and activities.