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K-State Today

October 30, 2017

Time for reviews

Submitted by William Johnson

For Kansas State University employees, fall is a time for preparation. We are coming to the close of our annual performance review cycle, and by November, supervisors of university support staff employees are going to need to complete the performance reviews for all their direct reports.

Employee Relations and Engagement has been asked in recent months, if the performance reviews do not lead to salary increase for performance, what is the reason behind them? Performance evaluation is a process, not an event. The review is the culmination of the process or working together to understand what is required to do a particular job, achieve goals and work together as supervisor and employee. Evaluation and development are a collective process that takes place throughout the year even though it may not be directly tied to salary increases.

A supervisor's goal should always be to assist the employee to be better than he or she was the year before and that goal is partially accomplished through performance reviews. The performance review, when done correctly, will identify the areas of accomplishment and the areas needing improvement for the employee over the course of the past year. It also is a time for the supervisor and employee to identify a new set of tasks and goals for the new calendar year and performance review. Again, this is all part of a process that takes place throughout the year in conversations, adjustments in goals, and if needed, corrections. Another goal a supervisor should have is assisting his or her direct reports to be better than they were the year before. Conducting performance reviews for each "direct report" employee will allow the supervisor to strengthen the individuals, and in doing so, become more effective.

The following are the next steps a supervisor should take to ensure that they complete the performance reviews correctly. Beginning Nov. 1-Jan. 31:

  • Prepare for final review session by pulling together and reviewing information.
  • Assign a rating to each SMART objective and competency. Also rate dependability and K-State Values. Supervisor signs and dates "end of review discussion" signature block.
  • Send review to reviewer for comment and/or signature and date in "end of review discussion" signature block.
  • Set date for end of review discussion with employee. Give advanced notice so that employee can prepare for the discussion.
  • Conduct end of review discussion with employee. Employee signs and dates "end of review discussion" signature block.
  • Completed PMP form is forwarded through HCS liaison to HCS. Once the current performance review is completed, signed and submitted, it is time to set the goals for the next year.
  • Using a new review form, supervisor and employee develop specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based, or SMART, objectives based on priorities, position description and mission.
  • Supervisor reviews core competencies and identifies critical competencies employee needs to perform responsibilities effectively to achieve objectives.
  • Supervisor and employee meet to review and finalize SMART objectives and determine/discuss how success will be measured.
  • Discuss essential requirements of dependability and K-State values.
  • Supervisor and employee sign and date PMP form "planning discussion" signature block.

Performance reviews can be tedious; however, when conducted correctly and timely, there is extraordinary benefit to the employee, supervisor, team and department.

We would like to encourage all supervisors, both university support staff and unclassified staff, to attend the performance review class presented by Employee Relations and Engagement and hosted by Learning and Development. This class gives you the tools and resources necessary to maintain an effective performance review. Employee Relations and Engagement is here to assist you, and we encourage you to contact us with your questions and concerns.

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