Thursday, June 09, 2005

Performance Evaluations

Performance evaluation advice
It is time for that annual spanking of employees at our university. Yes, it is performance evaluation season. There is nothing that can be more damaging to morale or hurt productivity more, in my opinion, than a poorly conducted evaluation. The most appropriate advice I can give to supervisors who have evaluation responsibility is, don't do evil:

Do not lie
This is obvious. Be accurate and fair. Inaccurate information costs a manager respect! Have backbone and be the kind of manager employees respect. Tell the truth. Even if the truth is negative, how can an employee improve if he/she is not given an opportunity to know the honest and fair truth?
Do not blindside the employee
There should be no surprises in an evaluation. Anything that is marked down as a negative in an evaluation, that was not discussed with an employee well prior to evaluation, should not be presented as a negative. Instead this should be presented to the employee as a goal over the next evaluation period. Negatives always have to have a clear history of previous discussion. Never blindside employees if you want their loyalty.
Provide guidance
Give the employee a path to improve and set clear goals. Every person has things he or she is good at, and we all have weaknesses. It is your job as a supervisor to provide your employees with a path to improvement and to set measurable goals so the employee knows if he/she has improved. How can an employee improve if he/she is not given direction on how to improve and is given a way of telling if he/she has achieved the desireable performance level?
Follow the process
Don't just do what you are told in HR. As a manager you have to know the collective bargaining agreement (CBA). For CSUEU employees, evaluations are covered in article ten. You need to know it and follow it. If HR will not give you a copy ask a union rep. Employees, you too need to know article ten of the CBA.
Do your job, get help if you need it!
Poorly done evaluations cannot be tolerated! It costs productivity, morale and wastes the taxpayers money. Poor evaluations can also lead to needless grievances. If you are an employee and receive a poor evaluation I believe you should contact your union rep ASAP! If you are a manager and want to do your job well, attend HR training (but don't trust them to tell you the whole story,) read the appropriate CBAs for the employees you supervise and for God's sake, don't be evil.


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