Performance Evaluation

The Performance Evaluation Program is designed to assist managers and employees in improving both individual and organizational performance. The Provost's Office evaluates and reviews faculty. The core faculty evaluation process can be found within the Core Faculty Handbook and the core faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement. Adjunct faculty’s review process is described in the adjunct faculty Collective Bargaining Agreement between Lesley University and Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509.

The Performance Evaluation Program for administrative employees, including administrative faculty, is more than an evaluation of past performance –it is goal setting for the future, and identification of personal and professional development needs for the employee. The four desired outcomes of Performance Evaluation:

  • Accountability
  • Creating Solutions
  • Communications
  • Recognition

Benefits of Performance Planning:

  • Develops the skills and abilities consistent with the goals of the University
  • Improves performance productivity, "working smart"
  • Maximizes equity in evaluation, recognition, and compensation
  • Improves communication and understanding between management and employee
  • Develops employee for future advancement
  • Provides managers with a model to develop, improve and recognize excellence

Performance Evaluation and Development Planning

Supervisors are expected to manage performance by having ongoing conversations during the year with staff. The conversations should provide timely, balanced, and constructive feedback. Supervisors are strongly encouraged to focus on inspiring, mentoring, developing, coaching to achieve higher levels of performance for all staff.

FY18 Update

The Performance Evaluation Program will be redesigned to be a Performance Feedback System in FY19 to assist managers and employees in improving both individual and organizational performance. The goal of the new performance feedback system is to support Lesley’s High Performance culture by encouraging more frequent feedback between the manager or supervisor and the employee.  This approach is more focused on discussing progress and impediments to achieving goals, and improving work depending on the circumstances as well as discussing and identifying opportunities for personal development and growth.  Over the next year, we will develop a process and template that supports defining, assessing and coaching staff around these conversations and developmental goals.  We anticipate full implementation beginning in FY ’19.

Read more about the FY18 Interim process.

FY17 Performance Planning Cycle

Phase I

  • Review Job Descriptions

    Managers should annually review job descriptions and update the job descriptions to reflect the current essential functions and responsibilities. In the event there is a substantial change in the primary functions of a job description, the updated job description and a description of the new functions should be submitted to Human Resources for evaluation and classification review.

  • Establishing Performance Goals and Objectives

    Each and every staff member at Lesley University plays a critical role in achieving the University priorities and goals.  Performance planning helps staff to stay focused on the overall goals of the University, aligning the work to divisions, departments and their individual goals to the University's mission.
    Achieving high performance means helping staff to develop and encouraging them to meet the overall operational needs and goals of the division, department and University.

    Setting goals are planned actions that support reaching the end results that the job is expected to achieve. Supervisors are encouraged to involve their staff in discussing, planning and setting goals in conjunction with the overall needs of the department and/or division by:

    • Identifying specific, time bound, results oriented goals - measurable goals
    • Keeping goals visible
    • Using goals as a tool for coaching staff to achieve desired results
    • Using the goals to anticipate and plan for the coming year

    Employees and managers are expected to meet to establish outcomes for the year and set a minimum of five goals and objectives that link to the employee's job and align to division, department, school and University goals and objectives. Using the current job description and the essential functions of the job, goals and objectives define "what" an employee is expected to accomplish. Managers and employees should aim to define S.M.A.R.T. goals and objectives.

    • Specific: What needs to be accomplished?  When determining goals and objectives they should be as clear (not vague) as possible, for example – an essential function on a job description may describe reports that need to be created. When creating the objective and/or goal you would state specifically the purpose and/or type of report.
       
    • Measurable: How will you determine if the desired outcome has been realized?  The goal or objective is set with a measurement (quantity, quality, cost, time) to determine if it is completed to an established standard. For example using the report example above, the report would be measured based on whether it was completed in a timely manner by a certain deadline or due date and/or by the quality of the data, accuracy, error rating and/or completeness.
       
    • Achievable/Attainable: Is the goal within the power of the individual to complete? The goal or objective is something within the person’s control to accomplished; using the report example, s/he has the resources/technology/software/tools, the skill level and the data or information to compile the report.
       
    • Result Oriented: How do the outcomes produce results? There is a clear result or outcome that will come out of the efforts when the goal and/or objectives are met or completed.
       
    • Time bound/Timely: When will you reach the desired outcome? The goal and/or objective have a timeframe that defines when the goals/objectives are achieved. The report has a due date by which it will be accomplished.
  • Creating Development Goal/Development Plan

    Managers and employees should work together to create development plans as part of the annual performance management process. The development plan may focus on skills aimed at job mastery or what is required to master the skills of the job. Job mastery skills are necessary to successfully perform one's job. Development plans commonly include classes or workshops, but can also include elements such as cross-training and special project participation to support and achieve department/division goals.

  • Identifying Personal Competencies (Behaviors for Success)

    In addition to establishing goals and objectives (which focus on end results) other aspects of performance should be considered. Understanding the approaches and behaviors that employees can use to perform the job is often as important to success as end results.

    Many approaches, however, are not easy to measure. For this reason, managers and employees should discuss these aspects of performance, personal competencies, in specific, observable, job-related, behavioral terms.

    For example, if success in meeting the objective such as "updating an on-line graduate application program" requires strong interpersonal skills, the employee should know that s/he will have to build solid relationships, collaborate, and incorporate ideas and promote ideas recommended by colleagues.

    In addition to strong interpersonal and communications skills, other examples of competencies include:

    • Adaptability
    • Analytical Skills
    • Attendance
    • Customer Focus and Quality Of Service
    • Decision Making
    • Delegation
    • Dependability and Reliability
    • Financial Management and Reporting
    • Goal Setting, Planning and Organizing
    • Initiative
    • Leadership
    • Organizing
    • Productivity and Quality Of Work
    • Staff Development
    • Team Effort

FY17 Phase II

  • Progress Review
    • Observation and Feedback
    • Monitoring, Assisting and Coaching

    This Phase is the mid-year review and assessment of the employee's performance. Managers and supervisors are required to conduct a formal mid-year review with employees.  Performance assessment summarizes the employee's contributions at the mid-point of the appraisal period (usually six months). The mid-year review is a time that provides a manager the opportunity to inform the employee of her/his progress in achieving the goals.

    Managers should check in regularly with employees to discuss the status of objectives and to provide feedback based on observations of an employee's performance. It is equally important to provide feedback on areas of success as well as on those requiring improvement.

  • Effective Coaching

    Coaching is a method of providing feedback. It helps shape performance and increases the likelihood that the employee's results will meet expectations. Coaching generally focuses on one or two aspects of performance, rather than the total review that takes place in a formal performance appraisal.

  • Key Elements of Coaching:
    • Coach when you want to focus attention on any specific aspect of the employee's performance.
    • Observe the employee's work and solicit feedback from others, if appropriate.
    • When performance is successful, take the time to understand why.
    • Advise the employee ahead of time on issues to be discussed.
    • Involve the employee in identifying successes and solutions.
    • Discuss alternative solutions.
    • Agree on action to be taken.
    • Schedule follow-up meeting(s) to measure results.
    • Recognize successes and improvements.
    • Document key elements of coaching session.
  • Some Questions to Consider When Coaching:
    • Do both the employee and manager have a common understanding of what "success" looks like?
    • Do both the employee and manager recognize and agree on when performance needs to be improved?
    • What elements contribute to the employee's success (adequate time or resources, support from management or other employees, the employee's talent and interest in the project)?
    • In what ways can the manager and employee support continued positive results and/or turn around difficult situations?

FY17 Phase III

  • Annual Review

    This Phase is the annual review and assessment of the employee's performance. Performance assessment summarizes the employee's contributions over the entire fiscal year.

    Much of the hard work of appraising performance should be carried out before the assessment meeting. Prior to the meeting managers can encourage employee involvement by asking the employee to:

    • Prepare a self-evaluation and/or
    • List accomplishments and identify areas for improvement and/or
    • Provide names of key clients who can give feedback on the employee's performance
    • Propose work-related and professional objectives for the next review period

    Managers should review the employee's:

    • Objectives for the appraisal period - level of accomplishment and progress
    • Professional development over the review period
    • Input provided by key clients and colleagues
  • Manager's preparation for the Annual Review
    • The Phase III Annual Performance Review should present a balanced summary of the individual's performance over the entire previous fiscal year. As the individual's supervisor, it is expected that you will have ongoing discussions with the individual about her/his performance as issues and achievements occur during the year. Ongoing discussions help to ensure that the individual is not surprised by the content of the Evaluation.
       
    • Managers should take the time to review any notes made during the year about the individual's performance, including areas needing improvement as well as areas where the individual excelled in her/his work. Consider notes of commendation provided by others during the year (customers, vendors, co-workers and others).
       
    • A thoughtful analysis of the individual's performance can act as a training tool and a motivator. The Phase III Annual Performance Review meeting with the individual provides a formal, structured format where the two of you can discuss different aspects of the position, the results of the performance that you have observed over the year, and progress noted in the individual's professional development. It also introduces an opportunity to recognize and reinforce good performance, and to coach the individual toward future success in her/his position.
  • Prepare for the meeting with the individual

    There are two Performance Review forms, one for staff grades 7 through 24 and the other for profession staff/supervisors/managers grades 25 through 33 to use.  Managers and supervisors would use the Performance Review form that correlated to the employee’s job grade.

    • Complete the Performance Review form rating the Performance Goals and Objectives and Performance Competencies using the RATINGS.
       
    • Have a discussion before the Performance Review meeting with your reviewing/direct manager to ensure your assessment is in alignment.
       
    • Read over the completed Performance Review to ensure that you have evaluated the performance honestly and fairly, and that any comments have been made in a clear, objective manner.
       
    • Read the individual's completed self-evaluation, noting any questions or comments you may want to discuss during the meeting, or add to your copy of the Performance Review form.
  • Conduct the Annual Performance Review with the individual
    • Conduct the meeting in a positive, open, friendly way, and provide opportunities for both you and the individual to share perspectives on the individual's work. Be sure to show your appreciation of the work performed by thanking the individual for her/his efforts over the past year.
       
    • Provide a copy of your completed Performance Review to the individual and go over it slowly and carefully. Remember, this is the first time that the individual has had a chance to read the document.
       
    • Encourage the individual to lead you through her/his self-evaluation, and listen objectively to her/his viewpoints.
       
    • Be sure that your comments present a fair and objective view of the performance. Remember, you are that individual's coach and mentor, as well as supervisor. Take the time to appreciate the strengths that this person brings to the work s/he does. Suggest specific ways that the person might be able to improve on performance.
       
    • Summarize the important points to the Performance Review for the individual.
    • Give the individual a chance to sign and write comments if s/he wishes to do so. Remember the individual is not required to sign, and if s/he chooses not to, just make a note of that below the signature line on the Annual Performance Review form and invite a co-manager or worker to come in at the end of the meeting to sign the employee's signature line while the employee is still in the room.
       
    • Return the completed forms to Human Resources in a sealed envelope marked private or confidential.
  • Performance Goals and Objectives Competency Ratings

    Rate the progress on the 5 goals with objectives created from the list of Essential Functions on Position Description and the Competencies using the ratings below.  Consider the degree to which each of the competencies contributes to the employee’s effectiveness:

    • 5 = Consistently Exceeds Expectations (CEE) Performance far and consistently surpasses expectations due to exceptionally high quality of work performed in all essential areas of responsibility, resulting in an overall quality of work that was superior; and either 1) included the completion of a major goal or project, or 2) made an exceptional or unique contribution in support of unit, department, or University objectives. This rating is achievable by any employee though given infrequently.
       
    • 4 = Frequently Exceeds Expectations (FEE) Performance frequently exceeded expectations in all essential areas of responsibility, and the quality of work overall was excellent. Annual goals were met.
       
    • 3 = Achieves Expectations (AE) Performance achieved met expectations in all essential areas of responsibility, at times possibly exceeding expectations, and the quality of work overall was very good. The most critical annual goals were met. (GOOD SOLID PERFORMANCE).
       
    • 2 = Partially Meets Expectations (PME) Performance did not achieve met expectations – performance failed to meet expectations in one or more essential areas of responsibility, and/or one or more of the most critical goals were not met. A professional development plan to improve performance must be outlined in Section V, including timelines, and monitored to measure progress.
       
    • 1 = Does Not Meet Expectations (DNM) Performance did not achieve or was consistently below met expectations in most essential areas of responsibility, and/or reasonable progress toward critical goals was not made. Significant improvement is needed in one or more important areas. In Section V, a plan to correct performance, including timelines, must be outlined and monitored to measure progress.
  • Probationary Reviews and Improvement Process

    All new staff members (and staff members who are transferred, promoted, or rehired after leaving Lesley) must complete a probationary period. The probationary period is an opportunity for both the staff member and the supervisor to assess how the employment relationship is working.  Probationary reviews must be completed within 90 days of the hire/transfer/promotion.

    For all new employees, the probationary period is 90 days. Employees may resign or be terminated without cause during their probationary period.

Managers are expected to begin Phase I of the Performance Evaluation process within 60 Days of the individual's date of hire.

FY18 Interim Process

FY18 will be a transition year, our intent is to increase feedback and continue to use the existing forms with slight revisions to record the feedback at each quarter, mid-year, and year-end session. The revised forms will no longer use a numerical rating; but rather a check box to mark for each quarter-end, mid-year and year-end performance discussion, with a three rating code to apply during the year-end performance review.  The revised expanded forms provide more space to encourage feedback and written commentary.

FY18 Interim Performance Feedback Directions Ratings and Definitions (PDF)

FY18 Interim Performance Feedback Form (grades 7-24) (PDF)

FY18 Interim Performance Feedback Form (grades 25-34) (PDF)