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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

Aug. 13, 2009

Supervisors take note: Training session lays out new P&S performance management program

by Anne Krapfl

The responsibility of managing employee performance has become a lot more than a hurried thumbs-up or thumbs-down once a year. The new performance management program for professional and scientific employees, which took effect July 1, sets up guidelines and procedures supervisors need to use. Human resource services (HRS) is hosting a 90-minute session seven times during August and September to explain the new program and field questions about it. Attendance is not mandatory, but very much recommended for all faculty and staff who supervise P&S employees.

The program and its accompanying policy "require supervisors to be more diligent about performance evaluations and communicating with their employees," said associate vice president for human resource services Carla Espinoza.

"Knowing how others see your work is not an intuitive process. When employees know how they contribute to the whole, that knowledge influences performance."

She said supervisors' own evaluations will include a component on how well they evaluate their employees.

Each training session will include:

  • A review of the new policy
  • A summary of various document templates in a tool kit
  • Role-playing by HRS staff: examples of constructive -- and not -- conversations between supervisor and employee
  • Time for Q&A

Espinoza said the documents to be reviewed are on the revamped HRS web site, but that there's added value to attending a session.

"During the role-playing, we'll see things that can happen during a conversation about performance, how people react and how they could react differently," she said. "Budgets, policies and programs don't talk back to you, and managing people is a big part of managing, period."

The sessions will be held in 3150 Beardshear at these dates and times:

  • Aug. 17, 8:30-10 a.m.
  • Aug. 21, 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 2, 10:30 a.m.-noon
  • Sept. 11, 3-4:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 17, 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sept. 21, 1-2:30 p.m.
  • Sept. 28, 8:30-10 a.m.

Register for a session through AccessPlus. Log in and click on the "employee" tab, then "HRS Training" in the left column, then "Courses." Scroll down to "P&S performance management training."

"In some parts of campus, performance management -- even the conversation about performance -- will be a culture shift," Espinoza said. "Overall, we've had a dismal response to our request for performance evaluations in the past." She said the rate of return on performance evaluation forms (confirming an evaluation occurred) for P&S staff rose from 38 percent 10 years ago to 47 percent last year, but still falls short of a majority.


"Budgets, policies and programs don't talk back to you, and managing people is a big part of managing, period."

Carla Espinoza