Performance Management

Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2005


It's been almost a month since NADD's convention in South Dakota, we hope to get a newsletter out in the next few days but I wanted to give everyone an update on the proposed changes to the performance management system.  I was asked to be on a task force towards the end of July. This task force was asked to come up with recommendations for the standards and elements for all employees at the state & county level. For employees that were around before the past/fail system, they will recognize the similarity of the two systems.  Although DAFO along with HR will make the final determination on all aspects of the final product, the task force recommended that all employees have 5 elements and that 4 would be critical and one non-critical.


The Recommended Non Supervisory Critical Elements Are:


Execution of Duties: Critical

Civil Rights: Critical

Customer Service: Critical

Communication: Critical


& one of the following non-critical elements:


Individual Contribution to the team

Resource Management

Research and Analysis


The Recommended Supervisory Critical Elements Are:


Program management: Critical

Customer Service: Critical

Civil Rights: Critical

Supervision: Critical


& one of the following Non-critical elements:



Resource Management

Research and Management


The other part of setting up and completing an employee's evaluation is establishing standards for each element, this was very difficult as the standards must be measurable and it must be set up so employees could meet, exceed and in some cases not meet.  For example, for the communication element it was recommended that a supervisors would be required to have regular staff meetings, and to meet this standard it would have to be monthly and after any major program training and/or meeting.


The reason this is important is starting with next year (2006), employees will be evaluated on the new system and awards will based on the final evaluation to be completed in October of 2006.  We are also being told that future step increases will also be based on this new system, although this could be a few years away; therefore it is important that the evaluation is fair and can be supported by the agency.


The new system requires all evaluations have a reviewer and this reviewer is allowed to override the initial review completed by the employee's immediate supervisor.  I would have to assume that for the evaluation to be changed, the reviewer would have to do a good job of justifying and documenting the change.  As of yesterday (8/29/05) the District Director would complete the evaluation of any employee they supervise (FLM) and they would be the reviewer for the CED and all PT's in the county office including GS and CO employees.  I believe that the DD would be responsible for assuring that all county field office employees' evaluations were completed fairly not only in the county but have some sense of consistency in their district and the state.


I received the following information concerning performance management training from the HR division in DC.


All employees will receive a 1-2 hour briefing on the new system in early October by web cast.  This means they sit at their computers and listen to the briefing and can also send in questions during the briefing.


Supervisors and managers will be trained on the details of the new system in November using computer-based training through AgLearn; they will be given ongoing support as needed during the rating cycle.


Since the detailed training won't be until November, and since performance plans have to be in place by the end of October, we're asking supervisors to roll over their employee's current performance plans in October, take the training in November, then put the new plans into place by December 31.


I'm sure some of the task force's recommendations may change but the core part of the new performance plan will probably stay the change.




John Helm


NADD President