October 2014

Getting the Most Out of Your Performance Review

With everything that has been going on it is probably hard to believe that it is performance evaluation time once again. (Reminder: Classified Staff Employee evaluations are due to HR & Payroll October 24.) However, before we know it, each of us will be sitting down to have a conversation with our supervisor, or those we supervise. In a time of a great deal of change, and admittedly a lot of stress, the performance evaluation conversation can be daunting. However, we don’t believe it has to be. Here are few tips to keep in mind that we believe help encourage a productive and beneficial feedback conversation:

  1. Be engaged. As the employee, we may go into the performance evaluation simply waiting for the feedback and feeling as if we have little control over the discussion. This may lead us to “check out”— the meeting has very little conversation, and we participate very little. One helpful tool that can encourage us to take part in the conversation is the Employee Self-Assessment. By taking a moment to reflect back on our past accomplishments, challenges, and future developmental goals, we arrive at our performance evaluation conversation invested and ready to have a discussion.
  2. Be open to constructive feedback. While the performance evaluation conversation should take time to acknowledge and explore the successes of the past year, a fair and balanced evaluation also provides feedback on the areas where we may have fallen short on reaching or meeting an expectation. It can be our tendency to “tune out” this feedback, but this feedback is important and often contains an opportunity for our individual and professional growth.
  3. Be future-focused. A large portion of the performance evaluation process has us looking “in the rearview mirror,” so to speak. But, while a lot of helpful information may be gained by looking at the past, it is critical that we utilize the evaluation conversation as a time to look forward as well. Employees and their supervisors should talk about the employee’s professional development goals and the goals/vision for the future of the school, college, or department in which he/she works. Specifically, discuss what tools or resources are available to support your developmental plans and how your position and professional growth is part of the growth of the area in which you work.

We recognize performance evaluations can feel like one more thing to do, but remember there is value in this process. Keeping the conversation about where we are currently in our performance and where we are trying to go is helpful as we build our careers. Additionally, these conversations help support the open communication that serves to build strong work relationships and increase our engagement in the university.

For additional information or any of the forms related to the performance evaluation process, please check out the HR & Payroll website.

Your Employee Relations Team