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Engaging in your performance appraisal

An overview of the Employee Role in Performance Appraisals training

The August 25 session of the Employee Role in Performance Appraisals training brought UCOP staff from various parts of the organization together. Everyone had the opportunity to ask candid questions about the appraisal process and receive pragmatic responses.

Staff at this training ranged from seven weeks of tenure at OP to several years. But they all had questions, which is natural, especially since the process has changed a bit this year. If you haven’t already attended a session, consider signing up for an upcoming training on the UC Learning Center. It’s your chance to ask those pressing questions and learn from other OP staff.

“I found the class helpful as it provided and discussed an outline of steps to take and questions to ask yourself when preparing your evaluation,” said Debbie Husary, programmer analyst III in the HRB-Information Systems & Support department.

Keep in mind that the appraisal process exists not only to assess your performance, but also to improve it. You benefit from the process by having the chance to:

  • Identify ways to improve your performance
  • Clarify job responsibilities and identify necessary resources
  • Set professional goals
  • Plan your professional development and get support from your manager
  • Build a partnership with your supervisor
  • Manage up

The training materials include a preparation worksheet, methodology to measure your work, a documenting worksheet, sample performance log, and guidance on how to write an effective impact statement and sample accomplishments.

Here are a few of the tips you’ll take away from the class:

  • Document your work accomplishments frequently. Even if you just take five minutes at the end of each week to jot down what you did, it’s a lot easier than going back a year and relying on your memory. This way you’re less likely to miss something important.
  • Ask your supervisor for feedback. Many supervisors at UCOP are working supervisors, that is, they have duties beyond supervising employees. This can make it tough to carve out time to give regular feedback. Consistently soliciting feedback will help you and your supervisor get the most out of your working dynamic.
  • Seek out informal feedback. Your peers or other colleagues can help you reach an objective self-assessment. Ask them for one accomplishment and one growth opportunity and see how their responses match up with your self-assessment. You’ll help substantiate your rating of your performance, so you won’t have to feel like you’re “tooting your own horn.”

“The appraisal process is critical to employee engagement,” said Tacy Trowbridge, Learning and Development coordinator in Human Resources, who leads the training sessions.

What influences employee engagement? According to Gallup research of more than 50,000 employees, some of the most important factors include:

  • Knowing what is expected of you at work
  • Having the materials and equipment necessary to do your job
  • Having the opportunity to do your best everyday
  • Having a supervisor/manager who cares about you as a person
  • Knowing your opinions and ideas count

Your appraisal conversation is the perfect time to talk about what affects your level of employee engagement. “We all know that issues in the workplace should be handled tactfully and this class can most assuredly assist in articulating any concerns,” said Lela Husbands-Palmer, customer service representative, Retirement Administration Service Center (RASC).

Be sure to use your time during the appraisal conversation to lay the groundwork for a successful year at work.

To explore online resources that can help you prepare for this year’s performance appraisal, check out HR’s Performance Appraisal website.

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