College Policy Number/Title:
Howard Community College (HCC) uses a four-level performance appraisal system to evaluate staff performance.
The major goals of the four-level performance appraisal system are to:
- Improve individual and institutional performance by providing appropriate and ongoing feedback to employees;
- Enhance the institution's performance planning process by establishing accountability for results at the individual level;
- Provide the data needed to make and support human resources decisions, e.g., compensation increases, promotion, and disciplinary actions; and
- Maximize employee job satisfaction and performance by creating a positive work environment built on trust, support, and open communication between employees and supervisors.
Staff members at HCC develop an annual plan based on their unit core work, job description, strategic initiatives (if applicable), college service, and professional development goals. It is the joint responsibility of employees and their supervisors to address the five performance elements upon which individual performance will be assessed. The employee and supervisor will agree on an annual plan prior to July 31 of each fiscal year. Recognizing that circumstances sometimes require modifications and adjustments, the system provides opportunities to alter the plan as needed.
Schedule of Evaluations
Evaluation of staff will occur on a regular basis to ensure that the needs of the organization and the employee are met, to foster individual employee development, and to motivate employees to reach their full potential.
A formal mid-year progress review is required if requested by employee or supervisor or if there is potential for a Level 1 (did not meet expectations) or 2 (met some expectations) performance rating. Mid-year progress reviews, if initiated, must be completed by January 15. A performance appraisal schedule will be published each year by human resources.
Performance Outcome Levels
Level 4 – Significantly Exceeded Expectations
A Level 4 evaluation recognizes employees whose total performance significantly exceeded the expectations of the employee’s annual plan beyond normal expectations and that improved the operations of the college or the area. This level requires documentation specifying the accomplishments that distinguish the employee for this level. There are four major criteria that would generally distinguish Level 4 performance from other levels: (1) documented accomplishments should be shown to have an impact on the unit or the institution; (2) the employee showed initiative beyond normal expectations; (3) the employee sought out new and enhanced ways of doing the job that improved operations of the area; and (4) the employee was willing to take on and successfully accomplish extra responsibilities of the area or the college. Some or all of these four criteria should be present for a Level 4 rating. It is anticipated that an individual who achieves the Level 4 evaluation exceeds expectations, not only of their annual plan, but also their performance is deemed exceptional. A contract for the subsequent year will normally be awarded when this rating is achieved unless the individual is in a probationary status and providing the budget allows for continuing the position. Level 4 ratings may be recommended by the supervisor, but are only awarded when endorsed by the area vice president or president and the president’s team.
Level 3 - Consistently Met Expectations
A Level 3 evaluation recognizes employees whose total performance consistently met expectations, as defined in the employee’s annual plan. Level 3 performance may also include some of the criteria for Level 4 performance, but would not reach the level of “significantly exceeded expectations.” Performance at Level 3 will normally result in a contract for the subsequent year unless the individual is in a probationary status and providing the budget allows for continuing the position.
Level 2 - Met Some Expectations
A Level 2 evaluation indicates that the employee is not satisfactorily meeting performance expectations as defined by the employee’s annual plan. Level 2 performance may result in a contract for the subsequent year unless the individual has received two consecutive Level 2 evaluations, is in a probationary status, or if there are performance issues of a serious nature, providing the budget allows for continuing the position. Supervisors should make every effort to provide a mid-year evaluation for employees whose performance may be at this level.
Level 1 – Did Not Meet Expectations
A Level 1 evaluation indicates that the employee did not meet expectations for the job as defined in the employee’s annual plan and has serious problems in overall performance. Assignment of this level requires documentation specifying the issues or conditions resulting in this rating, interventions made, and actions taken. Level 1 performance would normally not result in a contract being offered. A mid-year appraisal would normally be required in the case of a Level 1 appraisal unless performance deteriorated significantly after the time of the mid-year appraisal. Supervisors should make every effort to provide a mid-year evaluation for employees whose performance may be at this level.
Approvals and Acknowledgments
Upon approval by the area vice president or president, the evaluation outcome will provide the basis for issuance of a contract for the subsequent fiscal year. The process allows for an employee to attach a response, if desired, for submission to the president or area vice president. It is at the discretion of the vice president or president whether the employee's response is added to the permanent file. Performance evaluations will be placed in employees’ permanent files.
Notification of Contract Non-Renewal
Employees Under Contract
A first-time Level 2 rating may result in a one-year contract if performance is close to “meets expectations” and the supervisor has reasonable expectations for improvement; this level may result in probationary status depending on the nature of the performance issues. A second consecutive Level 2 rating would result in a one-year probationary status or may result in no contract being offered.
A first-time Level 1 rating may result in no contract or any employment being offered. Occasionally, a probationary arrangement may be offered if there is ample reason to expect significant improvement in performance. A second consecutive Level 1 rating will result in a non-renewal of contract and termination of the employee’s employment with the college.
Probation is a trial period of employment for the employee and the college. During this period the employment relationship is at-will (see Policy 63.03 and Procedure 63.03.02). An at-will employment relationship is one in which the employee or the college may end employment at any time for any reason or no reason with or without notice and without the right of appeal.
Employees in probationary status are not tenured and therefore do not receive contracts. Supervisors will provide performance evaluation of the probationary employee’s work during the probationary period. At the end of the probationary period, the employee may or may not be offered a contract with the college depending on the employee’s performance and other considerations.
Appeal of Performance Level
Employees may appeal their performance levels by attaching a completed performance appraisal appeals form to the appraisal. If an employee wishes to file an appeal, the employee must file the appeal, along with a copy of the appraisal, to the office of human resources within 10 working days of the employee’s receipt of the performance appraisal. The office of human resources will then forward the appeal to the president or area vice president. The president or area vice president will consider the information provided by the employee and will make a decision about the appeal. The decision will be communicated to human resources and to the employee, and any appropriate action will be taken.
This appeal process will replace the process in the Appeals Procedure, 63.13.02, for all performance appraisal-related appeals.
See the college’s “Compensation” policy 63.04 for related information.
Effective Date: 05/09/14