The flexibility, teamwork, and adaptability staff are demonstrating during this time are keeping teaching, operations, research, and administrative priorities moving forward across the UW. Evaluation conversations offer meaningful opportunity to highlight staff contributions and express gratitude. As we continue the transition to new ways of working, it’s important to have regular conversations about performance that help individuals and organizations remain productive as we move forward in these changing times. Employees may be experiencing challenges with returning to in-person work and adopting hybrid work arrangements, and supervisors may need to continue assessing effectiveness and developing new methods to support their staff in accomplishing their work. Take time to consider how these changes will shape conversations, feedback, and goal setting.
The goal of performance evaluations is to assure clear and mutual understanding of general performance expectations. Formal performance evaluations for all classified and professional staff must be performed at least annually, and all evaluations should be reviewed by the second level of supervision. Vice Chancellors are responsible for ensuring that current performance evaluations are documented and on file for all staff within their organization. Guidance and forms for conducting performance evaluations for both classified and professional staff can be found below and the process involves both the supervisor and the employee. [Note: Performance evaluations are to be kept in the department's personnel files for no more than three years.]
Considerations for annual performance evaluations during this last year:
Staff are likely to need additional clarity and support during these times of flux, so this is a timely opportunity to explore those needs.
Evaluation of performance against goals set last year should consider how they have been impacted by COVID-19 and the transition to in-person/hybrid work.
Goal setting for the coming months should consider changing circumstances in order to set employees and departments up for success.
Given the shift in work environments, remote work discussions and strategies are tied more closely to work plans.
Consider what platform you’ll use for these discussions (e.g. in-person, phone, Teams or UW Zoom).
The continued impact of COVID-19 is not limited to our professional lives. Making room in these conversations to understand what staff are experiencing is especially important.
Thoughtful evaluations help employees identify opportunities for professional growth and reinforce the importance of their contributions to the University. Knowing one’s contributions matter to UW can greatly impact employee satisfaction and commitment. POD provides a wide array of professional development resources that can be used to reward or enhance performance. Here are some of our favorites:
The innovative ways supervisors and staff are sharing and accomplishing work is something extraordinary to recognize. These discussions are an opportunity to look beyond what we are facing today, and forward to what is next. For questions about performance evaluations or discussions, please feel free to reach out to UWTHR.
Supervisors should review the guidelines for effective performance management. Below are some tools and general guidelines for classified and professional staff performance reviews.
Employees and supervisors should communicate regularly about job performance, including the employee's progress toward achieving unit goals and objectives, recognition of individual accomplishments and opportunities for growth. In addition to regular performance feedback, the Professional Staff Program requires supervisors to conduct formal performance evaluations at least annually, though employees may request evaluation more frequently.
Individual units have maximum flexibility in designing a performance review program that best meets the needs of their staff. Below are two sample formats and a feedback solicitation form that can assist you in planning and conducting performance reviews for your professional staff employees.