As you prepare for the upcoming performance evaluation discussions and related ASA supervisor assessments, CIRES HR would like to share tips and related guidance to support this work. This communication provides advice on evaluating performance in the context of the ongoing pandemic and yet another challenging year with the Marshall Fire and other world events. In addition, we offer suggestions for a more inclusive and effective approach to performance evaluations and related discussions.

Useful tips for preparing and conducting effective final evaluation meetings:

  • Review the employee’s performance for the entire performance cycle, not just the last few months. Recognize that goals may have shifted in light of world events in 2021- 2022:
    • It was a another challenging year personally as well as professionally
    • Consider how the employee demonstrated resilience and an ability to lean into challenges and shifts in responsibilities
  • Consider how the employee’s accomplishments contributed to department goals and the CIRES mission. Focus on how they stepped up and helped out:
    • Ability of the employee to pivot and be agile to changing work demands
    • How the employee advanced the CIRES mission and campus values, including excellence, innovation, collaboration, mutual respect and an inclusive approach to all that we do, with continued commitment to supporting the greater good of the community through science.
    • How the employee demonstrated leadership and good judgement
  • Review any notes you have kept throughout the year regarding the employee’s performance.
  • Speak with departments or individuals that the employee works closely with to capture feedback on the employee’s performance (360 degree reviews). When doing so, be transparent with the employee that you’re seeking out external feedback.
  • Schedule the evaluation meeting in advance and be sure that your meeting is free of interruptions and distractions by securing a quiet space.
  • Acknowledge that this year there were unanticipated challenges and take those challenges into account when considering final ratings.
  • Consider including the employee’s narrative summary in completing your assessment of their performance.

Please give this process the time it requires and remind yourself of the benefits of supervisors and employees having conversations together. These evaluation conversations are meant to better prepare employees to develop as professionals and to be able to address the work ahead.

Additional resources in preparation for reviews:

  • Effective Performance Conversations, provides sample questions to ask during employee performance reviews as a key to implementing more effective conversations. These recommended questions help support and engage diversity and inclusion by creating an environment that honors diverse perspectives, experiences, and skills that are often important contributions to performance evaluations. This fosters a safe, welcoming platform for discussions, creating a sense of belonging and feeling valued.
  • The second resource, Reducing Bias in Performance Reviews, provides definitions of common biases that impact performance reviews, and further questions to enable supervisors to identify ways to mitigate them. CIRES HR has shared this information previously during our annual supervisor and ASA trainings. Not only is it important to learn about the various biases we have as humans, we must question and better understand our biases. Additionally, we must intentionally put mitigation practices in place to reduce the negative and unfair impacts of bias.

CIRES HR understands it has been a challenging year for all of our employees. Our goal in providing this information is to better support the work of our supervisors while at the same time creating an inclusive and equitable performance review experience for all CIRES employees.

If you have any questions, please contact