Proposed Plan Changes Performance Evaluation Process

Posted: December 14, 1999 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Emily Yaghmour

In addition to collapsing the current system’s 23 salary grades into 9 pay bands, the new compensation plan proposed for Virginia’s classified employees affects the performance evaluation process. The current system of five categories–exceptional, exceeds expectation, meets expectation, fair but needs improvement, and does not meet expectation–will be replaced by three categories: extraordinary contributor, contributor, and below contributor.

The extraordinary contributor category will be reserved for employees who consistently perform at an exceptional level, whose performance results in extraordinary benefit to the university. Supervisors must have documentation to support an employee’s placement in this category, and people outside the department must evaluate the record and support the rating. The vast majority of university employees will receive a contributor rating. Employees who are performing at an unsatisfactory level will receive the rating of below contributor; however, supervisors will be required to issue alert notices of below contribution to employees when they first observe poor performance so that employees have the opportunity to improve their performance during the rating period.

Although the commission’s technical advisory committee and the employee advisory committee had pushed for the right of supervisors to award employees variable salary increases based on their performance, this is not likely to be approved, says Dave Ripley of the human resources office at the University of Virginia. Some employees and even some legislators may feel that this places too much discretion in the hands of supervisors, he says.

However, even if a supervisor does not have the ability to link salary increases to performance in the performance review process, he or she may raise salaries throughout the year by granting in-range adjustments to reward employees for assuming additional duties or receiving job-related training. These pay increases also may be granted to retain valuable employees or to provide salary adjustments to ensure that newly hired employees do not earn more than current employees in the same positions. The proposal allows the salary of an employee in a given pay band to be adjusted by as much as 15 percent in a single year. However, agency budgets will constrain supervisors from providing these adjustments too liberally, Ripley points out.

The proposed compensation plan also calls for employees to perform a self-assessment and to provide upward feedback on their supervisors that will be used for developmental purposes. The supervisors’ superiors will review the employee upward feedback. This information will be used by the supervisor’s boss to develop a plan so that the supervisor may obtain additional training, Ripley says.

The proposal is expected to be finalized sometime this week. It will then be submitted to the governor and the General Assembly for consideration during the 2000 session. This is the third and final article in a series of Daily Gazette articles about the proposed compensation plan.

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