Employee Handbook

5.2 Performance Evaluation

Macalester College's reputation as one of the finest educational institutions in the nation exists in part because of its dedicated and excellent staff. Staff are chosen because of qualifications, abilities, and commitment to the high standard of Macalester College. To assist staff in meeting Macalester's high standards, employees should seek regular advice and feedback on their performance. This feedback can come from a variety of sources, but is most frequently provided by one's supervisor. A supervisor can provide both positive and corrective feedback to help a staff member achieve excellence in their job.

Most departments and supervisors will provide on-going opportunities for a staff member and supervisor to discuss performance. These discussions and feedback opportunities provide an excellent opportunity for a staff member to assess how they are doing and to set new objectives for the future. On-going dialogue between the supervisor and employee is as important as the annual written evaluation. Employees have the opportunity to write comments and/or provide additional information to their performance evaluations. Disputes over performance evaluations are to be addressed by working with your supervisor's supervisor and in consultation with the Employment Services Department.

An employee's first formal written performance evaluation should be schedule near completion of six months of employment for non-exempt staff, and near completion of twelve months for exempt staff. After the first evaluation, performance evaluations will be conducted annually thereafter. Some offices/departments may conduct performance evaluations on a different cycle that will be more helpful both to the department and the employee. Supervisors should notify their employees in that event. Supervisors are encouraged to give continuous feedback to their employees and may choose to give written evaluations more frequently. The Employment Services Department tracks performance evaluation completion, therefore, any change in the evaluation schedule must be reported by the supervisor to the Employment Services Department.

An important component of the performance evaluation is a current position description. Therefore, it is appropriate to ensure that current position descriptions exist at the time of the performance evaluation. Position descriptions clarify in writing for supervisor and employee what results are expected in each position. Essential job responsibilities are listed on the annual performance evaluation, and become the key reference points for the evaluation.

The following information may be helpful in completing performance evaluations: a job analysis questionnaire for the position completed by the incumbent or previous employee, a previous job announcement, position description and/or a previous performance evaluation. The staff performance evaluation form requires a listing of the main responsibilities that should be identical to those listed on a position description. Therefore, reviewing the position description at the time a performance evaluation is conducted is essential and then subsequently writing/revising the description as appropriate.