Performance Management: Frequently Asked Questions

 

What does STEP stand for does every employee need to complete the performance appraisal process? STEP stands for Staff Talent Evaluation Process Performance Appraisals are required for all Career and Contract employees; TOPS Temporary employees are not included in this process. For or clarification please contact your HR Business Partner
What time period does STEP cover?

The STEP Performance cycle is from March 31 through April 1.

Visit the STEP Learning Resources Page for more information on the Process including timelines, guidebooks, and additional resrpices

How should employees who are on leave during the review process handle reviews? HR works with managers to ensure all employees receive feedback. Those on leave will receive feedback during the appropriate feedback cycle upon returning from leave.
Will my evaluation be completed by just 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.
How do I set goals? 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.
I’m a new employee. What’s the process for me? Any employee who starts before Jan 1 in a performance year needs to complete that year's performance evaluation. Your forms will automatically be available through UCPath. Your manager should establish goals, performance standards and expectations for you immediately. 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. This can be recorded in your eperformance forms.
Is there a process for me to provide feedback about my manager’s performance? STEP offers employees an opportunity to provide feedback to their manager on the feedback section in STEP Document. The question provides an opportunity for you to give feedback to your manager/supervisor on how they are supporting you. If you have items that you wish to discuss and are not comfortable discussing with your manager/supervisor, please contact your HR Business Partner
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). Please contact your HR Business Partner if you have any questions.
What is the rating system and how does it work?

In STEP there is 1 overall rating given to employees at the end of the Performance cycle. This one rating includes performance on all goals and competencies. This manager submits this rating by April 15, two weeks after the final check-in. This rating is then approved by senior management. The manager only shares the rating after HR has communicated that second level is complete. The whole cycle is finalized by May 31.

Exceeds Expectations
Very high level of contribution; Consistently performed above and beyond all defined expectations.
Solid Performance
Consistently demonstrates core job knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively perform job functions. May occasionally exceed expected performance; Consistently achieves all goals within control, in planned timelines; Shares ideas, information, skills, and knowledge; listens and is responsive to manager and others; maintains a positive attitude.

Solid Performance
Consistently demonstrates core job knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively perform job functions. May occasionally exceed expected performance; Consistently achieves all goals within control, in planned timelines; Shares ideas, information, skills, and knowledge; listens and is responsive to manager and others; maintains a positive attitude.

Development Needed/New and Learning
Performance expectations partially met; Moderate level of contribution; Some critical goals completed; Achievement below expectations; Improvement needed in the position; New in position, developing appropriately; Performance was good given time in the position

Needs Attention
Does not consistently demonstrate core job knowledge and competencies required to perform job functions effectively; Fails to consistently achieve expected goals, within control, in planned timelines; Does not consistently demonstrate interest in or ability to collaborate and share information with others to deliver results; Additional training or commitment is required.

What resources are available during the performance appraisal process? You can find a variety of resources on the Performance Appraisal Learning Resources page. This includes user guides (employee guidebook / manager guidebook), timelines, video and additional resources. For additional questions or if you have issues accessing your document please contact your HR Business Partner or email STEP@ucop.edu
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 and on demand learning opportunities at no cost to employees
What if I was promoted this year, do I still complete the performance appraisal? Please contact your HR Business Partner
What if I transferred from another Campus? Please contact your HR Business Partner
Who gets to choose the competencies that will be evaluated?

In STEP, choosing competencies is an interactive, collaborative process between an employee and their manager. Employees determine between 2-3 competencies. One or these competencies can be determined by the department or by the organization at large. To begin, the employee and manager discussing possible competencies during the "Define Criteria" stage (same time as goal setting). The manager and employee then meet together to finalize the compentencies, along with the goals. Competencies, like goals, can be changed at any check-in.

For more information you can view the UC Core Competencies (pdf).

Can I change my goals and/or competencies after they have been approved by my manager? Competencies and goals can be modified at any check in. STEP designed to be interactive, collaborative process between an employee and their manager. Changing of goals and competencies should done collaboratively with the manager and the employee. The manager has final approval over any changes.
How much time will the quarterly check in take? Quarterly check in should take about an hour consistent with a typical manager/supervisor, employee one-on-one meeting, typically between 45-60 minutes.
How much is enough to write in a check in?

The STEP were designed to be simple and promote meaningful conversation between an employee and their manager. The employee should be thorough in their comments as the checkin is their opportunity to share accomplishments, concerns, and ask for help. There is no prescription as to how much to an employee needs to write in preparation for a check in meeting. However, we recommend that you update your goals and competencies in a brief, bullet-point format and more narrative on the feedback questions as needed. This is your opportunity to share your accomplishments, ask for help and provide some upward feedback to your manager/supervisor on how they can further support you. Please note, you will be able to see your past comments from all check-ins. You only includes updates. 

For more information you can view the Employee Check In Guidelines (pdf), or Manager Check In Guidelines (pdf).

How are goals evaluated in a quarterly check in? What if they aren't finished? Goals are not evaluated during the quarterly check ins. The purpose of the checkin is to discuss current progress, what is working and what you need support with. A check in is a status update and a feedback discussion. There is only one overall performance rating that occurs at the end of the performance year.
Will we need to solicit multi-rater feedback for each check in? Multiraters are optional and designed to be used at the end of the evaluation process. Managers and employees are encouraged to discuss and select multiraters (Participants) who have worked closely with the employee during the performance year and can provide additional feedback on the employee's performance. The manager then completes this section in performance only after the final check-in is complete (Finalize Criteria). Please watch this video as needed. Please note that multiraters can only be selected from within UCOP.
What do I do if my final check in/Manager evaluation is very different from the quarterly discussions I have been having with my manager? What can I do if I disagree with my Manager's appraisal of my performance? STEP is a continuous process with quarterly opportunities for feedback so there should be no surprises at the final check in. You should have this discussion with your manager to better understand any gaps. If after that discussion, you still feel their are discrepancies, please discuss with your HR Business Partner.
What is the difference between Finalize Criteria check in and the End-of year evaluation? Finalize Criteria is essentially the same as a check in except that it is the final check in, providing employees the last opportunity to add comments to their goals, competencies and to respond to the four feedback questions. Additionally, it is during Finalize Criteria that employees will record any required training that they have completed. Managers will still be expected to write their own final comments and to engage in a conversation during a scheduled one-on-one meeting. Employees may also select nominees to respond to the multi-rater feedback questions if their Department/Division is participating in this optional process. Managers must approve the Finalize Criteria stage after the discussion and then submit the multi-rater nominations if applicable. There is no official “end-of-year” evaluation. However, the combination of Finalize Criteria, the Manager Evaluation and final conversation where the manager shares the approved overall rating and the employee acknowledges the form, is what we refer to as the end-of-year process. The Manager Evaluation is simply the point in which the manager aggregates any multi-rater feedback and assigns an overall rating based on the entire year performance as recorded in each check in. Once the manager assigns the rating, they submit to the next level manager who will work with UCOP HR to engage in the department/division ratings review process (sometimes referred to as calibration) before approving the document. The Executive Director of UCOP HR will notify managers via email when the ratings review process is complete and to schedule the final meeting with their employees. The final meeting consists of the managers sharing the overall rating and reviewing and reviewing any multi-rater feedback if applicable. The employee may add any closing comments before the final acknowledgement which then archives the document for historical purposes.
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. The performance management process provides 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. 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
Who can help me if I have more questions? You may contact your supervisor, HR Business Partner, or contact the STEP support, or check the Human Resources Performance Appraisal Resource website.