Job Evaluations Do's & Don'ts

Your Evaluation: A Conference or A Consequence?

At some time or another, all employees are formally evaluated by their supervisors. Often these evaluations are not grounded in an accurate reflection of the job function. It is therefore most helpful to begin an evaluation process with a meaningful job description that accurately describes the current job function and the responsibilities of the position. However, if an accurate Job Description does not exist, there are still many things that your local association can do to help protect your members from ending up on the wrong end of a sharp stick.
This document has two purposes:
  • To help members better prepare for an evaluation and a conference.
  • To help local associations establish a more meaningful evaluation process and instrument.

Meaningful Evaluation Process

Meaningful accurate and precise Job Descriptions –>

Provides the opportunity for a Meaningful Evaluation Process

  • Evaluations should build a written record for a successful job performance of duties outlined in the job description for that position
  • Evaluations should be a reaffirmation of the skills and strengths that an employee brings to the job.
  • Evaluations should be a positive plan for personal improvement.

Your Evaluation: Objectives

  • To ensure positive communications between the supervisor and employee about job expectations and performance.
  • To maintain and/or improve individual employee performance by jointly developing a plan of action to follow during a given period of time.
  • To provide written documentation of performance for use in transfers, promotions, and classification requests.
  • To clarify job expectations and provide a system by which each employee can communicate interests, goals, concerns and feelings and do so in a safe environment.

An Effective Evaluation Instrument Should Include:

  • Narrative description relating to job performance and employee’s contribution.
  • Specific listing of job expectations and duties.
  • Recognition of the variety and complexity of tasks required by a job.
  • Identification of machinery, tools, and equipment for which an employee has responsibility to operate, maintain and safeguard.
  • Recognition of the responsibility an employee has to interact with other employees, students, parents and community.
  • Narrative section that indicates any areas in which an employee’s performance is unsatisfactory and/or needing improvement along with specific recommendations for that improvement.
  • Time schedule for improvement plan.
  • Acknowledgement that the employee’s signature does not indicates agreement but that the evaluation has been received and discussed with the supervisor
Job descriptions clarify who is responsible for certain tasks, and help the employee understand the specific responsibilities of the position. Job descriptions are also helpful to applicants, supervisors, and personnel staff at every stage in the employment relationship. Accurate job descriptions are very meaningful in helping to provide for accurate and meaningful evaluations, wage and salary surveys, and an equitable wage and salary structure.

Basic Elements Of A Good Evaluation Policy

  • Be negotiated or be part of School Board Policy with Association input.
  • Contain a beginning and ending date for the evaluation process.
  • Provides for a minimum and maximum number of observations.
  • Contains an advance notice to employees of the length and number of observations, evaluator, evaluation instrument, followed soon after by the evaluation conference.
  • Provides that employees receive a copy of their written evaluation or any observation report at least five (5) days prior to a conference.
  • Provides for a written synopsis of any observation that may be used in an evaluation.
  • Be separate from any employer discipline conference.
  • Contain a process that develops objective standards and identifies goals.
  • Provides for a written evaluation instrument.
  • Provide the right of employees to respond to observations and evaluations in writing, and to have the response included in the record.
  • Provides for an employee improvement plan following any observation that is unsatisfactory or that needs improvement. Such improvement plan would include a minimum of:
    • areas where improvement is needed;
    • specific suggestions for improvement;
    • additional resources to be used to assist with improvement;
    • evaluator’s role in assisting employee;
    • techniques for measuring improvement;
    • scheduled time for monitoring or a follow-up observation.
  •  Provides for a minimum of a yearly evaluation conference.

Preparing For An Evaluation Conference:

  • Prior to a supervisor completing an evaluation instrument, a conference should be held with the employee and the supervisor.
  • Have an understanding of what the evaluator wants to accomplish.
  • Have an understanding of what you want to accomplish
  • Start with positive comments about your self.
  • Remain rationale, positive and confident.
  • Request more time if necessary.
  • Politely refuse to be rushed.
  • Make notes in writing.
  • Introduce your own materials, such as letters of commendation, past memos, work orders, etc. Save all praise!
  • Clarify with the evaluator specifically what will be included in the record.
  • Review your job description and any updates.
  • Review copies of any previous evaluation reports.
  • Review policy manuals, department handbooks, and other written instruments.

Job Evaluation Do’s

  • Review your job description and any updates.
  • Review copies of any previous evaluation reports.
  • Review policy manuals, department handbooks, and other written instruments.
  • Keep your own file.
  • Request another conference date if you are not ready or haven’t received all of the material that you need or have requested.
  • If you believe that disciplinary action may be involved in your evaluation, contact your Association Representative, UniServ Director, or UniServ Office.
  • Be sure to respond in writing to any inaccurate, erroneous, or incomplete information that was contained in your written evaluation. Also include any positive information that was not a part of your written evaluation.
  • Do reject any and all hearsay or gossip in writing.
  • Ask that your written response be signed by the evaluator and made a part of the original evaluation. If this request is refused or is not a provision contained in your Collective Bargaining Agreement, then mail your written response to the evaluator by Certified Mail – Receipt Return Requested.

Job Evaluation Don’ts…

  • Don’t evaluate yourself.
  • Don’t agree to or identify deficiencies.
  • Don’t get involved in confrontation.
  • Don’t accept inaccurate information, erroneous comments, or hearsay. Request that detailed information be provided in order to set the record straight.
  • Don’t assume that all positive comments will appear on the record. Request that they be included.
  • Don’t hesitate to postpone the conference if you are not ready. Request another time.
  • Don’t agree to ambiguous and/or open-ended goals or criteria that could result in post-evaluation difficulties. Insist that goals be measurable, reasonable, and positive.

Signing the Record…

It should be understood that the employee’s signature merely indicates that the employee is aware of the document and/or the evaluation conference. It should not indicate agreement. If the employee believes that the signature may denote agreement, then add a statement before signing, such as “receipt acknowledged.”