P4P: Supervisors' Important Role in Annual Review

By Staff

By now, most employees have completed their online self-assessments as part of the annual performance review process, shifting the focus to supervisors to review what employees have written about themselves, and draft a brief evaluation and rating.

Thoughtful conversations with employees about performance can be a great opportunity to let them know how much they’re valued, share your vision for the future of the team, and create pathways for employees to pursue professional goals.

Tips for Talking to Employees

1 – Don’t dread it, see it as an opportunity
Talking to your employees about performance is a great opportunity to tell your staff how much you value their contributions in the workplace. It’s also a chance to offer support to employees who have clear professional goals. The large majority of UC Davis employees fully achieve expectations and these conversations provide an outlet to verbally recognize strong performance.

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2 – Be prepared
Show your employees how much you care by being prepared. Putting your best effort into performance appraisals will deliver benefits to you, your team and your employees. Take time to review what employees have written about themselves, add your own perspective, and identify specific examples in advance of your conversation to highlight when you meet face-to-face.

3 – Give praise and credit where it’s due
Don’t miss an opportunity to praise strong performers. Credit performance, specific achievements, professional attributes and more. If you’re not the type to speak your appreciation out loud on a regular basis, then take this time to tell your staff how much you value and appreciate them.

4 – Coach and cultivate
Even star performers have opportunities for growth. A good supervisor looks for chances to coach and cultivate, and doesn’t shy away from dealing with issues. It’s a good occasion to identify performance issues and build plans to get an employee back on track. While poor performance or inappropriate behaviors should be dealt with immediately, the annual review process can reinforce corrective measures and restate expectations.

5 – Get on the same page
During a performance review, a supervisor should strive to listen, to be heard and to reach a mutual understanding of one another’s views. Take time to discuss goals and set expectations for checking in throughout the next year.

Supervisors Next Steps

This year, rating categories have been updated and redefined to more clearly reflect the high quality of work performed by UC Davis employees. The new definitions provide clearer distinctions between ratings and include specific criteria related to goals, achievements, job functions, skills and behavior.

For more detailed information about the reengineered ratings, go here.

1 – Draft Evaluation and Initial Rating
Supervisors review employees’ online self-assessment and draft a brief written appraisal with an initial rating. Keep in mind that supervisors should provide ratings unencumbered by dollars. Ratings should fall naturally where they are. Final merit decisions will be made at the dean and vice chancellor level to allow the greatest flexibility.

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2 – Calibration Meetings
Supervisors meet in teams with peers to calibrate ratings of high performers, including employees with Fully Achieves Expectations ratings who might be on the fence with the next-level-up rating. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss and determine what differentiates top performers in your organization, creating added consistency across ratings while providing supervisors with a shared language with which to discuss performance with employees.  Once calibration meetings are completed, supervisors should finalize the draft appraisal and rating in the online system.

3 – Discuss with Employees
Supervisors schedule and conduct meetings face-to-face with employees to discuss the draft appraisal. Following that, the supervisor finalizes the evaluation and routes it for approval. Keep in mind that merit decisions are made later and will be discussed separately.