Performance Management: Frequently Asked Questions


Does every employee get an appraisal?

Performance Appraisals are required for all Career and Contract employees;
TOPS Temporary employees are not included in this process.  For questions regarding if appraisals are required for an employee, please contact your HR Business
Partner. 

Back to top

HOW SHOULD EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ON LEAVE DURING THE REVIEW PROCESS TIMEFRAME  HANDLE THEIR 2015-2016 REVIEWS?

(THIS YEAR FROM MARCH 9 THROUGH MAY 20)

As in prior years, employees who are on leave when the annual process is initiated will begin the process when they return to work.  Using eAppraisal system provides management a tracking device to ensure that all employees receive feedback, even those who may be on leave.

Back to top

What is the timing of the process in 2016?

In order to properly manage performance and pay increases in 2016, the process will be managed as follows:

  • This year’s performance appraisal period covers performance between July 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.
  • Self-Appraisals and Manager Appraisals should be completed between March 9 and May 20, 2016.*
  • Second-level managers review the appraisals before the manager and employee meet to discuss. 
  • Meetings between managers and employees, final comments on the appraisal and sign-offs are to be completed by May 20, 2016.
  • All ratings complete in Halogen eAppraisal May 27.

Back to top

What is the optimal outcome for performance management?

The performance management process should provide feedback on what the individual is doing well and what can be done better or differently. It is the basis for improved performance and overall professional development. The performance appraisal document is only one element of the performance management process, which begins with each manager setting specific goals and expectations for each employee to measure success in the job.

Specifically, the annual performance appraisal should include conversations about and documentation of these common elements:

  • A review of your performance over the last year against established goals for the past 12 months, as well as identification of goals for next 12 months.
  • An evaluation of performance against competencies that focus not on a rating, but on what went well, what needs improvement and what specifically can be done to improve. 
  • An identification of your performance goals, aspirations and professional development needs to support your career goals. Performance goals should include specific actions that address the goals/needs of the department as well as developmental goals that address areas for professional development.

Back to top

Will my evaluation be done just by my manager or by others?

Your manager is responsible for conducting the performance appraisal and signing off on the final evaluation. However, managers are encouraged to seek input from others that you may collaborate with or support in performing your job duties.  In addition, the second-level manager is expected to review all the appraisals prior to performance discussions being held.

Back to top

What if I’m not sure about my manager’s goals and expectations for me?

It is your manager’s responsibility to set goals and expectations for you. Even prior to that, those who manage supervisors should provide direction so there is consistency across the unit in how performance reviews are conducted and how they relate to the employee development process. Your manager should start the conversation with you to set expectations and schedules for self-appraisals and performance reviews. 

UCOP leadership believes that providing objective performance feedback to each employee is one of a manager’s most important responsibilities. If your manager has not initiated the goal-setting process, you should begin by scheduling time with your manager to discuss it. Setting and evaluating performance goals and expectations is an interactive process, so you should actively participate by looking back over the year and completing your own self-appraisal. You might also find it helpful to take the course The Employee Role in Performance Appraisals

Back to top

Is there a process for me to provide feedback about my manager’s performance?

We encourage managers to get input from their direct report’s team to better understand their leadership skills and abilities.  In addition, within the eAppraisal system there is a Multi-rater Feedback option that managers can use to get input from others on an employee’s behaviors associated with the UCOP competencies.  Should a manager decide to choose this option, she or he must discuss with the HR Business Partner prior to the beginning of the annual performance review process .

Back to top

What if supervisory assignments changed during the course of the review period? Who is responsible for conducting my evaluation?

Your current manager should conduct your evaluation with input from your previous manager (if still employed at UC). Input from past managers is relevant to the entire assessment (July 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016). However, if the change was very recent, it might be appropriate for your previous manager to conduct the evaluation. There is no right or wrong approach, but if you are unsure, have a conversation with both your previous and current managers. Your current manager should definitely be involved in setting goals for your next performance period.

Back to top

Why do we complete appraisals every year when there is not always budget for merit increases?

The performance review has purposes other than determining increases in pay. It is an opportunity to discuss and document feedback on an individual’s performance, to confirm goals and priorities, and it serves as a guideline for each employee’s own professional development. It is a good forum to open up the discussion between employee and supervisor about how an individual can be most effective in his or her current role and clarify expectations as well as prepare for future growth in the position or in the organization. 

Back to top

Will we move to a merit-based salary program?

As was announced in 2015, the performance cycle will end on March 31, 2016 for 2016 evaluations.  With this year’s performance and salary cycle, UCOP is moving to a performance-based merit pay process.   The President announced this year’s merit process in her memo to the Chancellors on February 29, 2016.  Also, as announced in November 2015, equity and promotion requests will be considered semi-annually. The key to being able to effectively implement a merit-based salary increase is truly differentiating performance and achieving an appropriate distribution of ratings.  We realize that shifting to the appropriate distribution of ratings represents a change for many supervisors and employees.  In order to support supervisors in the writing and delivery of evaluations, Local Human Resources will be providing training to supervisors and one-on-one coaching as needed.  A schedule of training will be available shortly.

Back to top

Why is it so important to give people ratings?

Senior leadership is encouraging managers to make distinctions in performance to reward employees who are performing at a higher level. If everyone gets the same rating, contributions become less meaningful. It is important to regard the rating as just that: it is a descriptive snapshot of your performance for a particular period of time. 

Back to top

What is the process for performance evaluations this year?

First, all employees should complete a self-appraisal within eAppraisal.  Managers then complete the written performance appraisal, which is then reviewed by a second-level manager to provide a more comprehensive review of each employee and help ensure consistency across the organization.  Next, the written review is delivered to the employee, followed by a one-on-one meeting between the employee and the manager.  When the appraisal is final, the employee and the manager sign off on it, and it is stored in the Halogen eAppraisal system.

  • This year’s performance appraisal period covers performance between July 1, 2015 and March 31, 2016.
  • Self-Appraisals and Manager Appraisals should be completed between March 9 and May 20, 2016.*
  • Second-level managers review the appraisals before the manager and employee meet to discuss. 
  • Meetings between managers and employees, final comments on the appraisal and sign-offs are to be completed by May 20, 2016.
  • All ratings complete in Halogen eAppraisal May 27.

Back to top

Can you give us more guidance on how to apply the rating system?

The evaluation forms provide the rating system as follows:

  • Outstanding Top Performer - Makes significant contributions (5): significant overachievement of expectations
  • Consistently Exceeds job Expectations (4): often beyond expectations
  • Fully Meets Job Expectations - Solid Performance (3): consistently fulfills expectations
  • Partially Meets Job Expectations (2): inconsistent performance with expectations only partially achieved
  • Does Not Meet Job Expectations (1): failure to achieve the majority of expectations

In terms of goals, if last year you set specific goals and they were met, that is a good, solid performance that meets expectations. However, if the employee went above and beyond, maybe was ahead of deadline on all the projects or did much more than expected, that would be an exceeds expectations performance or a 4 rating. If the employee exceeded every goal that was set, did everything early and went well beyond what the job demands, that would be an exceptional performance, someone who is flying ahead of everyone else.

Senior leadership wants to discourage anyone from equating the ranking system with grades, which is a natural tendency. This is a different scale. Think of a rating of 3 as equated with a good, solid performance.

Back to top

How can we see the rating scale in more detail or maybe with some examples?

The "Rubic for UCOP Performance Standards" has been developed to assist managers in definng the different levels of performance on the UCOP competencies.  This tool can also be used by employees to better understand expectations.

Back to top

What resources are available during the performance appraisal process?

UCOP offers several resources to support you throughout the performance appraisal process.

  • For employees: The class The Employee Role in Performance Appraisals provides tools for taking an active role in the process, communicating with your manager and tracking your performance throughout the year. Class sessions are scheduled throuhgout the year. Enroll through the UC Learning Center.
  • For managers and supervisors: There are online courses, as well as instructor-led, for managers and supervisors.  Online courses can be accessed through “UC People Management” listing in the course catalog at the UC Learning Center.  “Setting Performance Expectations,”  “Giving Feedback and “Conducting Performance Appraisals” are key courses to take during the review process.  In addition, there are instructor-led workshops in Setting Performance Expectations and Conducting Performance Appraisals, which provide tools for giving feedback and tracking performance, are scheduled throughout the year; enroll through the UC Learning Center.
  • For assistance with the Halogen eAppraisal tool, there is an employee and a manager online tutorial that will walk you through the system.  Access the tutorial through the UC Learning Center.
  • For departments: Contact your HR Business Partner to gain departmental support.

Back to top

How do I know which appraisal form to use?

All employees, including those exclusively-represented by unions, will be evaluated using the same performance review forms. There are two forms: one for employees who supervise others and one for non-supervisory employees. There is no longer a separate form for union represented employees. The appropriate form is automatically assigned in the eAppraisal application.

Back to top

I’m a new employee. What's the process for me?

Your manager should establish goals, performance standards and expectations for you immediately. The guideline for setting standards is that they be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely (SMART). You should receive ongoing and regular feedback. If you are in a six-month probationary period, your manager should do a written evaluation for you at least once during the six-month probationary period, at approximately the mid-point.

Employees hired before January 1, 2016 will be reviewed in this year’s process. Those hired after January 1, 2016 should receive informal feedback on their performance and set goals for the 2016 – 2017.Back to top

What can I do if I disagree with my Manager's appraisal of my performance?

The appraisal is the manager’s assessment of the prior year’s performance; it is a snapshot in time. You may write comments on the form or on a separate sheet to attach to the appraisal. Your signature does not indicate agreement or disagreement with the appraisal; simply that it has been provided to and discussed with you.

Back to top

If career development is part of the process but there is no training budget, what options are available?

Training budgets are established at the department level. UCOP Learning and Development also offers many in-house learning opportunities at no cost and can design, at the department’s request, specific training as needed.

Back to top

Who can help me if I have questions?

You may contact your supervisor or HR Business Partner, or check the Human Resources Performance Appraisal Resouce website. If you believe there is a problem with the way your performance review is being administered, please contact your HR Business Partner.

Back to top

HOW SHOULD EMPLOYEES WHO ARE ON LEAVE DURING THE REVIEW PROCESS TIMEFRAME     

(THIS YEAR FROM MARCH 9 THROUGH MAY 20) HANDLE THEIR 2015-2016 REVIEWS?

As in prior years, employees who are on leave when the annual process is initiated will begin the process when they return to work.  Using eAppraisal system provides management a tracking device to ensure that all employees receive feedback, even those who may be on leave.

Back to top