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G E N E R A L      S E C R E T A R I A T

ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM NO. 92
SUBJECT:
GUIDELINES ON CONDUCTING PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS

 

 

I.  BACKGROUND

 

       Article 36 of the General Standards, entitled "Work Performance Evaluation," states:

 

       Staff members' work performance shall be evaluated periodically.  Accordingly, the Secretary General shall issue regulations for an evaluation system pursuant to the provisions of Article 120 of the Charter, which provide for:

 

                 a.       Evaluation of the staff at least once a year;

 

b.       The manner of conducting the evaluation process and its stages;

 

                 c.       The guarantees for the staff subject to evaluation;

 

                 d.       The consequences of the evaluation process.

 

       Pursuant to the mandate set out in that Article, the Department of Human Resource Services, in collaboration with other areas of the Secretariat, has developed the Guidelines on Conducting Performance Evaluations attached as Annex  A.

 

       Staff Rule 105.9 states that the procedures established for conducting evaluations shall be published by way of Personnel Circular.

 

II.  THE DECISION

 

       The Secretary General has approved the Guidelines on Conducting Performance Evaluations attached as Annex A, and has ordered the Department of Human Resource Services to publish those Guidelines and distribute them to all staff members within thirty days of the issuance of this Administrative Memorandum.

 

III.  ENTRY INTO FORCE

 

       This Administrative Memorandum shall enter into force on the date it is signed.

 

 

 

 

James R. Harding

Assistant Secretary for Management

 

Original:  English  
April    18 , 2000  

 

   

 


Date:  April  18, 2000  

        To:      All Staff Members  

   From:      Nelson Laporte, Director, Department of Human Resource Services  

Subject:      Final Evaluation Meetings  

This cover memo contains information pertinent to the Final Evaluation meeting. All supervisors and staff are asked to read this information carefully before holding the Final Evaluation meetings and before submitting the necessary documentation to the Department of Human Resource Services.  

You will note that for this year only, the final Evaluation meetings for the Performance Evaluation process are to be conducted throughout the GS/OAS during the remainder of the month of April and the first two weeks of May.  Completed Performance Evaluation forms must be submitted to the Department of Human Resource Services by May 15, without exception.   

Attached you will also find comprehensive guidelines pertaining to the philosophy and the manner in which the evaluation process is to be conducted. Please read these guidelines carefully to ensure that you understand how the process works in its entirety.  If you have any questions, contact the Center for Training and Development at extensions 3371 or 3285, or e-mail pdownes@oas.org, or plong@oas.org.  

The performance evaluation form has been amended and has only 2 ratings, �Needs Improvement� and �Meets Expectations�. For a detailed explanation regarding the change from the original form, please refer to page 8 of the attached guidelines

("F.  Outstanding Performance Awards".)  

Staff who have performed in an outstanding manner will be identified through an additional step in the evaluation process. In order to recognize these staff members, supervisors must submit written documentation to the Department of Human Resource Services which demonstrates that the staff member has in fact performed in an outstanding manner throughout the performance cycle. The following criteria are to be used to determine outstanding performance.  All criteria must be fulfilled. 

1.      The staff member must have completed the work contemplated by all  applicable  pre-determined goals in a timely manner, preferably ahead of schedule, and normally without requests for extensions to complete such tasks. The work must have been very well done and must have been completed without the need for extensive revisions, corrections,  or amendments, and  with limited direction on the part of the supervisor.  

2.      The staff member should have shown initiative by undertaking additional projects or work,  or  by taking on goals or tasks in addition to the pre-approved  goals for the performance cycle. These additional goals or tasks must also have been completed or be well underway to completion, must have had a significant impact on or contributed to the improved functioning of the unit/department to which the staff member belongs or to another GS/OAS area or project or have contributed to the attainment of OAS goals as a whole.  

3.      The staff member must have demonstrated exceptional communication skills, good decision making and problem solving processes, and exemplary team spirit. This display of attributes must have been evident throughout the performance cycle.  

A Staff Incentive Awards Committee, comprised of one Member appointed by the Staff Committee, the Training and Human Resource Development Officer of  the Department of Human Resource Services, who will chair the Committee, and one more Member to be appointed by the Secretary General, upon recommendation by the Director of Human Resource Services will review and examine relevant documentation pertaining to outstanding performers and will make recommendations to the Secretary General respecting awards for outstanding performance.  

GUIDELINES ON CONDUCTING PERFORMANCE EVALUATIONS  

I.                   INTRODUCTION  

A.        Overview  

          The effective performance of the General Secretariat's  staff members is key to its ability to achieve its objectives.  The Performance Evaluation Process is grounded in the principles that all staff members have the right to know what is expected of them and are entitled to a periodic review of their performance; the level of achievement of work-based performance goals is the only thing measured in performance review; and, the successful attainment of performance objectives is in large measure a shared responsibility between the worker and the supervisor.  

The Performance Evaluation Process is designed to be participatory in nature and to provide ongoing feedback. It focuses on how well the individual's most important performance goals are achieved, and ensures that the individual has the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve them.  The staff member has the opportunity to participate in the development of his or her performance goals and to discuss them with the supervisor. An essential aspect of the Process is ongoing, frank and constructive meetings concerning work performance based on jointly developed performance requirements and measures.  

B.        Objectives  

Specifically, the Performance Evaluation Process is intended to:  

1.      Define work requirements and standards of performance for the job and assure that every staff member is aware of and understands his/her responsibilities and the criteria for appropriate performance of his/her prescribed goals;  

2.      Encourage the personal and professional growth and development of staff members;  

3.      Motivate staff members to use initiative, develop creativity and a sense of "taking charge";  

4.      Establish and maintain communication between the supervisor and staff member;  

5.      Provide staff members with timely information about the quality of their performance;  

6.      Provide reliable, objective performance data for use in personnel decisions and identifying training programs;  

C.        Authority  

The Performance Evaluation Process is established in accordance with Article 36 of the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat of the Organization of American States and Rule 105.9(b) of the Staff Rules.  

D.        Scope  

1.  The Performance Evaluation Process applies to all staff members including   career staff, position of trust holders and staff on long and short-term contracts of six months or more.  Those with less than six months' service will be evaluated upon the termination of their contract, if this is not renewed.  If the contract is renewed, they will be reviewed within the regular cycle.  A different process is in place to evaluate new staff members before the end of their probationary period.  

2.  The establishment of the annual Performance Evaluation Process described     herein should not be construed in any way as restricting the authority of the General Secretariat to conduct ad hoc evaluations of work performance where appropriate.  

II.  THE PROCESS  

A.        Schedule  

The normal schedule for the Performance Evaluation Process is April 1 to March 31 of the following year.  In order to promote communication between supervisor and staff member, there will be a minimum of three periodic meetings (described in greater detail in Section B below) during the evaluation period in accordance with the following schedule:  

1.         The Goal Setting Meeting between the staff member and supervisor should take place in April of each year to discuss and set out in writing the principal work requirements and acceptable standards of performance.  

2.         At least one Review Meeting will be held during the evaluation period not less than three months after the date of the goal setting meeting to review the staff member's progress.  

3.  The Evaluation Meeting, to discuss performance and finalize the form segments referred to in paragraph C below, will be held before March 31, so that the Department of Human Resource Services can receive the final written evaluation in early April of each year.  

B.       Frequency of Reviews  

All staff members should note that review and evaluation of their performance is an ongoing process and is not limited to the above schedule. Review and evaluation meetings may be undertaken at any time during the review period and as many times as is considered necessary by the supervisor and/or the staff member concerned.  It is not the intention in these guidelines to limit the number and frequency of meetings to the schedule outlined above.  

C.        The Forms  

The form is divided into four (4) segments; the Assessment of General Skills segment, the Individual Planning and Evaluation segment, the Recommendations for Career Development and Training segment and the Review Segment.  

1.   The Assessment of  General Skills Segment � This segment contains a listing of 6 basic competencies. These 6 competencies describe the basic skills utilized by all staff members in performing their daily work activities. These 6 headings should  not  be changed and should be utilized during the goal setting meeting to determine training and learning needs and areas for improvement. During the review meeting these 6 competencies should again be examined to determine how the employee is progressing. During the  evaluation meeting the supervisor again determines how well the employee has performed in relation to the 6 basic competencies. During any of the 3 compulsory meetings the supervisor may make comments about or may include additional information concerning any of these 6 basic areas as they apply to the work goals of the individual.  

2.   The Individual Planning and Evaluation Segment � This form contains 3 columns. The first column is to be utilized during the goal setting meeting for writing the annual work goals of the staff member. The second column is utilized during the review meeting to determine the progress made during the period under review. Column three is to be utilized during the evaluation meeting at the end of the review period for comments pertaining to the individual�s performance in the completion of the goals.  

3.        The Recommendations for Career Development and Training Segment is to be utilized  to document training and learning needs as discussed with the staff member and recommended by the supervisor.  

4.        The Review Segment is essentially the sign off section and should be used by the staff member for any comments he or she may have on how the performance evaluation process worked for him or her, and for the signatures of the staff member, the  rating official or supervisor and the reviewing official or the supervisor�s supervisor. The staff member signs the form in the appropriate box to indicate whether he/she agrees with the results of the performance evaluation. Should the staff member disagree with the results he/she must sign the form nonetheless. This disagreement with the results of the performance evaluation process will be addressed by the reviewing official (See Section III, Administrative  Structure and Responsibilities, subsection B2. below).  Ongoing communication with the supervisor minimizes the possibility for disagreement between the supervisor and staff member at the review meeting.  

D.        The Meetings  

1.       The Goal Setting Meeting:  

a.     At this initial meeting the supervisor and staff member discuss draft performance goals and measures of performance. They should agree on exactly how these are to be carried out during the performance year. Once they have reached agreement, both parties complete the final version and place their initials at the bottom of Column 1 of the �Individual Performance Planning and Evaluation� segment. Specific guidelines on the setting of performance goals are included in Appendix I.  

b.     The �Recommendations for Career Development and Training� segment must also be completed. The identification of training and development needs at the start of the performance evaluation cycle is a vital part of the performance evaluation process.  Continuous and ongoing learning and training are important to the growth and success of the individual and of the Secretariat. In this environment of constant change, worldwide, skills must be upgraded and staff must continue to be exposed to new techniques and new technologies. Consequently, staff must be open and ready to undertake the learning and training recommended through the performance evaluation activity.  An initial analysis of the staff member�s skills as per the �Assessment of General Skills� segment should be useful in identifying training and development needs. These forms are then submitted to the Department of Human Resource Services for the employee�s personnel records and for input into a training plan for the Secretariat.  

2.     The Review Meeting  

a.  While the results of this meeting need not be forwarded to the Department of Human Resource Services, it is strongly suggested that the supervisor and staff member document all meetings for future reference to avoid misunderstandings about work expectations.  Notwithstanding the above, any information respecting training and/or development needs should be communicated to the Center for Training and Development at any time during the review cycle.  

b.  During this compulsory meeting the supervisor meets with the  staff member to discuss results achieved and completes Column 2 of the �Individual Performance Planning and Evaluation� segment.  Should there be circumstances that prevent the employee from achieving the goals set earlier, these should be discussed and a decision to modify goals to suit new or changing circumstances may be needed.  The staff member is encouraged to prepare adequately for this meeting by bringing along documentation pertaining to examples of performance. The supervisor should offer support, acknowledge work well done, and make suggestions for improvement as appropriate.  

c.   Directors of offices in member states, and others who report to a supervisor at headquarters should communicate by telephone, by e-mail or memo about their progress. The supervisor should review the information provided and should in turn provide written comments on the performance.  The supervisor may, with the knowledge of the staff member concerned, consult government officials along with other officials, either in headquarters or in the field, who are in a position to provide information that could be useful in determining the level of performance of these staff members.  

d.  These performance dialogues should be conducted in a spirit of collaboration and supportiveness.  

3.    The Evaluation Meeting  

a.    The supervisor and staff member should have available for the meeting any materials used in the previous meetings and all specific information regarding the staff member's performance which can be used as a basis for conclusions. This information can take the form of examples, records, quantities produced and any other data which will assist in providing objectivity to the process.  

b.    To be of greatest benefit, conversations between the supervisor and the staff member about the work being done should continue throughout the evaluation period. Thus, the final evaluation should reflect the exchanges which have taken place during the evaluation period, providing an opportunity for a frank and open discussion to ensure that no misunderstanding remains. The supervisor should ensure that the staff member is made fully aware of the substance of the evaluation and how and why he has been so rated. In assessing staff growth and development, the supervisor and staff member should discuss the latter's potential to develop both within the current assignment and elsewhere in the organization as well as long-term career aspirations and possible courses of action. Training needs and ways in which to meet them should be identified as well as the effectiveness of any training which has already been taken.  

c.    The final evaluation meeting should take place before March 31.  At this   meeting, the rating official (supervisor) discusses the evaluation with the staff member and completes Column 3 of the "Individual Performance Planning and Evaluation� segment. The supervisor and the staff member should prepare adequately for this meeting. Both parties should have records and documentation on hand to support the discussion. At this meeting the supervisor determines how successfully the staff member has completed the goals and assigns an individual rating for each goal as well as an overall rating - a rating of  �1" -  "meets expectations" or "2"- "does not meet expectations".  At this meeting the supervisor and the staff member should also initiate the discussion of goals for the upcoming performance year.  The supervisor and the staff member sign the form at the end of the meeting. The form is then passed to the reviewing official for signature.  

d.  Although concrete examples are only necessary in a rating of �2�, supervisors are encouraged to provide written comments of work well done to support the rating given. These examples might include instances where the individual took the initiative to carry out a function which enhanced the progress of a specific activity or task.  Additional sheets of paper may be used to document these comments. A review of the completed evaluation forms will be conducted by the Department of Human Resource Services to ensure that they are accurately completed in accordance with these guidelines. Evaluations from the offices away from headquarters will be reviewed by the Assistant Secretary General�s office. At this final meeting the supervisor and staff member should initiate the discussion on goals for the upcoming performance year.  

4.   Special Circumstances Relating to Scheduling Meetings  

The following rules apply in special circumstances such as transfers, promotions, details, or special assignments:  

a.  A supervisor who leaves for another post or leaves the General Secretariat within three months of the final evaluation due date must, before leaving, complete an evaluation of all the staff members he or she supervises based on the work accomplished up to that time.  

b.    If a staff member is changing jobs, the present supervisor must do an evaluation before the change takes place, if three months have passed since the last consultation.  Upon reporting to the new position, the staff member and supervisor will establish the goals and performance standards for meeting work requirements for the new job. They should hold at least one progress meeting before the final evaluation. Both supervisors should forward their evaluations to the Department of Human Resource Services. For purposes of the within-grade salary increase, the ratings reflecting performance in the position where the staff member has spent the majority of time during the evaluation period will have the most weight.  

c.      New supervisors, upon appointment, will meet with their staff members to discuss and if necessary, revise previously set performance goals and standards of performance.  

d.      An evaluation must be made of staff members during the last month of the probationary period in long-term appointments. The special performance evaluation form for the purpose of documenting the end of a probationary period should be used in accordance with Staff Rule104.10.  

E.         Ratings  

There are but two possible performance ratings for purposes of assessing and documenting performance through the performance evaluation forms.  These are "meets expectations", (1) and "does not meet expectations" (2).    

1.  A rating of (1) means that the staff member consistently and competently performs to the required level and has accomplished his or her goals in a fully satisfactory manner.  In any given organization 80 to 85 percent of staff members normally fall into this category.   

2.  A rating of (2) means that the staff member demonstrates consistently poor work achievement even with close supervision.  It shows a lack of application where tasks are frequently not completed in a timely manner, or not completed well or not at all.  A staff member who falls into this category must be given fair warning of the deficiencies in their work, as well as time to improve.  Two consecutive level 2 ratings will result in termination from service in accordance with the Staff Rules and conditions of service.  On average, no more than 5 percent of staff members in any given organization would be expected to fall into this category.  

F.         Outstanding Performance Awards  

1.      It is anticipated that no more that 10 percent of staff members will be considered to have outstanding performance. Outstanding performance, that is, performance that consistently exceeds expectations will require complementary supporting documentation and information to that contained in the performance evaluation forms.  Although initially, outstanding performance was to be assessed through the regular Performance Evaluation forms, a significant number of staff members pointed out that this was an important contributing factor to the failure of the performance review process that was put in place in 1984.  As a result of having integrated outstanding performance into the regular process, over 90 % of staff members were rated as having performed well above the normal rating which is "meets requirements".  As stated above,  normal distribution of ratings in any given organization is such that approximately 80-85 % of staff generally meet all the requirements that are expected of them and occasionally exceed them.  Approximately five (5%) may not meet requirements and no more that 10 % of all staff members should be considered to have consistently exceeded expectations in any given review period.  In order to receive an outstanding performance rating, a staff member must have demonstrated that he/she consistently functions well above expectations by producing superior quality results ahead of established deadlines.  He or she must have demonstrated repeatedly performance that exceeds the requirements that have been agreed.  Such high levels of achievement merit special consideration and should be the subject of an additional process.    

If a supervisor believes a staff member has performed in an outstanding manner, the supervisor should contact the Staff Incentive Awards Committee for guidance on submitting the necessary paper work.  

2.   As provided for by Staff Rule 105.10, "Staff Incentive Awards," a system has been developed, making use of the Staff Incentive Awards Committee, to make recommendations to the Secretary General regarding staff who are to be recognized for outstanding performance.   

G.        Staff Member�s Comments  

The evaluation form includes space for the staff member�s comments. This gives the staff member the opportunity to review, and comment on, any observations made about his/her performance before the document is forwarded to the reviewing official, the Department of Human Resource Services and ultimately, the Performance Evaluation Review Committee.  

H.        The Appeals Process  

1.   Until a more specialized process for resolving disputes over performance reviews is incorporated into the Staff Rules, the procedures set out in Chapter XII of the Staff Rules shall apply to disputes over evaluations.  Nonetheless, staff members are encouraged to try to resolve those disputes first by taking the matter to the supervisor of the official that rated them.   That supervisor is also referred to in these guidelines as the "reviewing official".   

2.   If the staff member first requests review of the dispute by the reviewing official in accordance with the procedural requirements stated below, the fifteen day period for filing a Hearing Request under Staff Rule 112.1(a) shall be extended for thirty additional days.  To be eligible for the thirty day extension, the aggrieved staff member must present the review request in writing to the reviewing official within fifteen days of having received a written copy of the staff member's performance evaluation.  The staff member must ask the reviewing official  to initial a copy of the request so that there will be written proof that the request was timely received.   If the reviewing official is unable to resolve the dispute to the staff member's satisfaction within the thirty-day extension period, the staff member may then request a hearing under Staff Rule 112.1, and must submit with the hearing request the initialed copy of the review request.  

3.   In lieu of Reconsideration under Staff Rule 112.2, an aggrieved staff member who has requested a Hearing and otherwise complied with the requirements of Staff Rule 112.1 may request review of the dispute by the Performance Evaluation Review Committee (PERC), which is more fully described  in Part III of these Guidelines.  The recommendation of the PERC, if approved by the Secretary General, will have the same legal significance as a  final decision of the Secretary General in the Reconsideration Process in the event the staff member elects to pursue the matter before the OAS Administrative Tribunal.   A staff member who wishes review by the PERC, in lieu of Reconsideration, must request that review within the same fifteen-day time period established for requesting Reconsideration under Staff Rule 112.2.  

I.         Administrative Measures  

1.   Supervisors who fail to complete the performance evaluation for their staff as required  and within the specified time limits will not receive a within-grade salary increase until the next cycle  Supervisors at the last step of their grade who fail to complete the performance evaluation in a timely fashion shall be subject to other administrative sanctions including but not limited to a less than satisfactory rating.  

2.   If an evaluation cannot be completed because the staff member or the supervisor is absent for any reason, other than a verifiable emergency, the Director must send a written explanation for the delay to the Department of Human Resource Services at least fifteen days before the deadline.  

3.   In the case of staff members, failure to comply with the Performance evaluation process will also result in the withholding of within-grade salary increase as well as  a written admonition and ultimately a �does not meet expectations� rating. Disciplinary measures will be taken in accordance with Staff rule 111.1.  

III.  ADMINISTRATIVE STRUCTURE AND RESPONSIBILITIES  

            To administer the performance evaluation process, the Secretariat has established several new committees and assigned specific responsibilities to those Committees, the Department of Human Resource Services ("DHRS"), supervisors, and each staff member.  Those new committees, their responsibilities, and the role of DHRS, supervisors, and the staff members in the process are summarized below:  

 A.       Each Staff Member  

            Each staff member shall have the following functions and responsibilities in the performance evaluation process:  

1.         To review his/her job responsibilities and performance in preparation for the first meeting with the rating official (also referred to as the "supervisor") in which they will discuss and set work requirements and standards of performance; at a later stage in the evaluation period, to discuss progress or problems including any circumstances or conditions which may affect performance.  

2.      To review previously set work requirements and standards of performance, make written observations on his/her performance after having reviewed the rating official's comments, and be prepared to discuss and comment on overall performance, training, and career growth options during the final evaluation meeting.  

3.      To sign the performance evaluation form filled out by the rating official.  

4.      To include on the form, if so inclined, any comments related to his/her performance evaluation.  

5.      To undertake training and activities leading to improved performance.  

6.      To call to the attention of the rating official any duties, functions, or responsibilities regularly assumed since the last performance evaluation that should be reflected in a revised job description.  

B.        Supervisors  

1.  Immediate Supervisor  

              The immediate supervisor is also referred to as the "Rating Official" in these guidelines. The functions and responsibilities of the Rating Official in the performance evaluation process are as follows:  

a.     To meet with each staff member under his/her immediate supervision once a year to establish work requirements and standards of performance.  

b.   To provide staff with adequate opportunity to improve performance as required.  

c.     To ensure that each staff member's job description is up to date and fully reflects current functions and responsibilities (See Staff Rule 102.3).  

d.     To monitor, review, and provide information on performance to the staff member on an ongoing basis in order to determine progress or problems (and help solve them), and hold at least one formal meeting during the evaluation period to discuss these issues.  

e.     To meet with each staff member at the end of the evaluation period to discuss overall performance, fill out, sign and date the evaluation forms, and forward the forms to the next higher level of authority within the time specified.  

f.     To determine or identify training that would serve to better prepare staff members in undertaking their duties.  

2.    Supervisor's Supervisor  

The Supervisor's supervisor is also known in these guidelines as the "Reviewing Official."  The functions and responsibilities of Reviewing Officials in the performance evaluation process  are as follows:  

a.   To create support for the Performance Evaluation Process by their acceptance and just application of the system.  

b.     Upon request, to review and resolve problems between staff member and rating official arising at any point during the performance evaluation process.  

c.      To designate the rating official under special circumstances, such as when there is a vacancy in the position of the staff member's immediate supervisor.  

d.      To review, comment, as appropriate, and sign the final evaluation form.  

e.     To ensure timely completion of all evaluations under their jurisdiction and verify that forms are signed by all parties and that the staff member and rating official receive copies of the final signed evaluation forms.  

C.   The Performance Evaluation Review Committee  

       1.       Structure  

The Performance Evaluation Review Committee ("PERC") is composed of three  principal  members and three alternates.  One principal and alternate shall be appointed by the Secretary General  from a list of qualified candidates submitted by DHRS, and one principal and one alternate shall be appointed by the Secretary General from a list presented by the Staff Committee.  The third member shall be the Director of DHRS, who shall chair the Committee and who shall appoint a senior staff member in that Department to serve as the third alternate.  Members serve for the calendar year and may be re-appointed.  Those persons appointed to fill vacancies created during a calendar year shall serve for the balance of that year.  

2.       Functions and Responsibilities  

     The functions and responsibilities of PERC are as follows  

a.     To review a random cross section of year-end performance evaluations to ensure that:  

(i)           the performance goals are specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented, time-defined and linked to the area's work objectives;

(ii)           in cases of inferior or outstanding performance, the documentation provided adequately supports the rating;  

b.               To serve as an alternative mechanism for reviewing staff grievances arising out of the performance evaluation process in place of Reconsideration, if so requested by the aggrieved staff member in accordance with Section II(H) of these Guidelines.  

c.    To make recommendations to the Secretary General to change or refine the performance evaluation process.  

D.     Staff Incentive Awards Committee  

1.     Structure  

The Staff Incentive Awards Committee ("SIAC") is composed of one Member appointed by the Staff Committee, the Training and Human Resource Development Officer of the Department of Human Resource Services, who shall chair the Committee, and one other member at-large as may be appointed by the Secretary General as suggested by the DHRS.  This member at-large and the member appointed by the Staff Committee serve for a calendar year and may be re-appointed.  Those persons appointed to fill vacancies that arise during a calendar year shall serve for the remainder of that year.  

2.     Functions and Responsibilities  

The Functions and Responsibilities of the SIAC are as follows:  

a.    Develop a mechanism, in accordance with Staff Rule 105.10, whereby staff members are rewarded for outstanding performance.  

b.    Provide a system of awards based on outstanding job performance over a one-year evaluation period, that is substantiated by a written recommendation from the supervisor, supported by the director of the area and documented if possible by others who are in a position to judge.  

c.  Make recommendations to the Secretary General respecting awards for outstanding performance to no more than 10% of all staff members, regardless of the source of financing for their posts.  

E.     The Department of Human Resource Services ("DHRS")  

              The functions of the DHRS in the Performance Evaluation process are as follows:  

1.  To serve as Technical Secretariat of the Performance Evaluation Review   Committee, coordinate the overall operation of the evaluation Process, and recommend revisions as appropriate.  

2.   To render any necessary technical assistance and professional advice in the implementation of the Process and assist the Committee to ensure consistency and uniformity in its application.  

3.     To maintain all evaluation reports in the official files.  

4.   To analyze the results of the evaluation and extract relevant data for training purposes.  

5.    To prioritize training needs, plan and implement the staff training programs that   best respond to the needs of the Organization.  

6.      To administer the step increase and staff incentive award Process and chair the Staff Incentive Awards Committee  

7.    To take action as at Staff Rule 102.3 when a job description is said by a supervisor and/or a staff member not to reflect the staff member�s current functions and responsibilities.   

IV.  GENERAL CONDITIONS  

A.        Effective Date  

          These Guidelines shall enter into effect on the date they are published in the corresponding Personnel Circular.  

B.        Revocation or Modification  

          These Guidelines may be unilaterally modified or revoked by the Secretary General and such revocation or modification shall take effect on the date it is published in a Personnel Circular.   Nothing contained in these guidelines is intended to establish an acquired right; nor should it be construed as granting an acquired right of any kind.  

APPENDIX  I  

Performance Goals  

Goal setting is a key component of the performance evaluation process. At the start of the performance evaluation cycle each staff member is required to prepare 3 � 5 major work goals for the performance year. Goals may be a combination of short, medium or long-term activities and should be based on major tasks or projects to be accomplished within a specified time period. They should be specific and must be in accordance with the level/grade of the staff member as well as the mandates and long and short term objectives of the department.  Goals can and should be adjusted whenever deadlines, projects or the priorities of the department or unit change.  

The process of setting work goals is a challenging exercise. Very careful thought must go into preparing the tasks to be accomplished as well as the performance standards by which these tasks will be evaluated.  However, the discipline of working through the requirements for setting good performance goals leads to greater mutual understanding of the performance expectations and will also facilitate the objective review of performance. In other words, engaging in the process is often as valuable as the end result.  

Good performance goals have several qualities. They should be:  

  •       Consistent with the values/mission/mandates of the organization

  •       Challenging in that they should stimulate high standards of performance and should encourage progress

  •       Precise or clear and well-defined using positive words

  •       Measurable or related to qualitative or quantitative measures

  •       Time-related or achievable within a defined time period  

In addition, the goals must be agreed upon between the supervisor and the staff member. The aim is to provide for ownership and not imposition. In some situations staff members may need to be persuaded to accept a higher standard than they believe themselves to be capable of achieving.  

The staff member and supervisor must meet  to discuss and finalize goals for the performance period. Once this is done, the appropriate forms are completed and turned in to the Department of Human Resource Services by the Head of the department or unit.  Supervisors and staff members should also keep a copy of these goals.  

It is advisable for staff members to keep written records of work they have completed and of any letters of commendation  or other supporting documentation received during the performance cycle. It is also advisable to keep an account of successes and challenges encountered as these will be of much assistance  during the review and final evaluation meetings.  

Guidelines for Preparing Good Performance Goals  

In order to prepare good performance goals the employee should:

1.      Examine the job to be done and  identify the main tasks which will have an impact on achieving the overall purpose. 

2.      Make a listing using active verbs of what is to be done in each area. List not only what is to be done but also why it needs to be done and how it has to be done.

3.      Determine how the performance of these tasks will be measured. These  performance measures must be stated in quantitative and/or qualitative terms.  

The following questions may stimulate the individual�s thinking as he/she prepares his/her goals: 

  •        What do you do at the OAS?

  •        How do you do your work?

  •        Why do you do it that way?

  •        What tools/resources do you need to ensure that this work is well performed?

  •        How do you know when you have done good work/achieved a goal? What does it look like?

  •        Can you and your supervisor agree on the actions likely to produce good results as you carry out your work?  

Performance Measures  

Measurement is a key aspect of performance evaluation.  If  performance can�t be measured it can�t be improved. Performance measures determine the extent to which the intended result has been successfully achieved.  Performance measures should be written to answer the questions �how many�, �to what degree�,  �in what manner�. They should state what the final result should look like when a job is well done or up to standard.   

Performance measures should take into account the quality and/or quantity of output. Qualitative measures might include the level or degree of customer satisfaction, the clarity of a written document or proposal,  the completeness of information  provided, the appropriateness of a conclusion, the level of accuracy of a research report, the ethical nature of behavior. Quantitative measures are usually numeric, time-based or financial in nature and might include the frequency of an activity or the number of units to be completed or processed within a specified or predetermined deadline date.  

Guidelines for Holding Performance Evaluation Meetings  

The following guidelines should be utilized in conducting the review meeting and the evaluation meeting. Some of these guidelines are also appropriate for use in the goal setting meeting:  

DO  

  •       Contact the person yourself about the meeting

  •       Give the individual ample notice of the meeting � 1 week advance notice is recommended

  •       Notify the employee of the time, place and purpose of the meeting

  •       Emphasize the importance of the meeting

  •       Treat the meeting as an event which is as important as any other task you or the employee performs

  •       Suggest how the employee can prepare for the meeting

  •       Confirm the appointment

  •       Choose a private meeting place where you will be uninterrupted during the meeting

  •       Conduct the meeting during regular business hours

  •       Sit comfortably close to the employee

  •       Establish rapport with the employee immediately

  •       Try to make the employee feel comfortable and not threatened

  •       Arrange for work coverage for the employee if necessary

  •       Have pertinent forms and materials at hand

  •       Remind  the employee to bring appropriate materials to the meeting (supporting documents)

  •       Prepare thoroughly for the meeting

  •       Encourage the employee to talk.

  •       Use your listening skills and don�t interrupt

  •       Focus on performance and not personality

  •       End the interview on a positive note 

DON�T

  •      Have your secretary/assistant schedule the meeting

  •      Make light of the evaluation meeting

  •      Ask to meet when you are upset

  •      Send an impersonal memo to the employee

  •      Allow interruptions or phone calls during the meeting

  •      Hide behind your desk

  •      Rush things � Allow sufficient time (1-1/2 hours is recommended) for the meeting

  •      Conduct the meeting in a public place

  •      Conduct the meeting across your desk

Common Rating Errors in Evaluating Performance 

The Leniency Error: Being �easy� on favored employees or giving everyone a high rating, regardless of actual performance, in an attempt to avoid conflict or make yourself look good. 

The Central Tendency Error:  �Clumping� or clustering all employees in the middle performance category in an attempt to avoid extremes. Usually caused by a desire to not call attention to yourself         or by a misapplied sense of �democracy�. 

The Recency Error: Failing to take into account the entire rating period or focusing on a recent performance episode, negatively or positively. 

The �Halo� Effect Error: Letting one favored work trait factor influence all other areas of performance, resulting in an unduly high overall performance rating.   

The �Horns� Effect  Error: The �dark side� of the �Halo� Effect � allowing one disfavored trait  or work factor to overwhelm positive performance elements, resulting in an unfairly low overall performance rating. 

Excerpt from �Step-By-Step Guide to Better Performance Evaluations�. The American Management Association.

 

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