University Business - May 2012 - (Page 16)

HUMAN RESOURCES Employee Evaluations Recognizing and rewarding top faculty and staff performers By Carol Patton H ow mucH are your employees worth? The struggling economy has prompted many institutions to make serious changes in how staff and faculty are evaluated. while politicians claim education is the key to attracting quality jobs, millions of dollars have been slashed from higher education appropriations. every budget dollar spent must be justified more than ever. campus leaders have begun scrutinizing employee performance, and at some institutions uniform salary increases have been replaced with thorough evaluations that link pay to job performance. Historically, it wasn’t uncommon for evaluations to be so generic that people paid little attention to them. But with everyone from deans to secretaries performing multiple jobs that require critical skills, that’s no longer the case. “There’s really a movement toward the adoption of much more rigorous evaluations of faculty and staff,” says Tom Flannery, a partner at mercer, a global Hr consulting firm whose clients include colleges and universities. “They’re differentiating between high, average, and low performers and taking corresponding action, both in terms of pay and employment.” Flannery says Hr needs to: • Develop consistent standards and a uniform process for conducting evaluations. Department a can’t be easy on employees while Department B applies a stricter set of standards. “It doesn’t work out in the end because Departments a and B [need] to justify their continued existence,” says Flannery. “They have to come to an agreement about the standards they’re using.” • Require evaluations to be performed on a timely basis. Besides conducting Faculty members, even post-tenure, who receive a second unsatisfactory review can be terminated. annual evaluations, supervisors need to enforce daily behaviors that reflect the school’s mission, goals, and core values. • Establish direct relationships between employee output or performance and the department’s contributions. “we’re in a redistribution [of wealth] environment,” he says. “you’ve got to defend why you’re as valuable as you say you are.” what’s often missing is talent management. managers need to identify career ladders for staff and create succession plans, which could improve employee productivity. meanwhile, Flannery says, Hr must be absolutely clear regarding the school’s mission in terms of teaching, researching, and public service, and integrate those goals and core values into the organization’s culture. “misalignment is where organizations get into trouble,” he notes, adding that managers must be objective when evaluating employees. “If [employees] are underperforming, move them out. If they’re performing [very well], pay them more.” Three SchoolS, Three ApproAcheS an evalution process that works for one school may not work for another, due to such factors as leadership or culture. consider how the following universities changed their evaluations to encourage, identify, and reward peak performance. • University of Puget Sound (Wash.) This institution’s faculty evaluation process makes it stand apart. The school’s estimated 230 faculty prepare a 20- to 30-page reflective statement during their review period, which is every three years for assistant and associate professors, and every five years for full professors, explains academic Vice President and Dean Kris Bartanen. The statement includes an overview of their teaching philosophy, a reflection of courses they’re teaching, and a response to any patterns revealed by student evaluations. course materials, copies of student evaluations, and scholarly or creative works are also part of the evaluation packet. what’s especially interesting is that department colleagues visit each other’s classrooms, conduct performance evaluations, then discuss their appraisals with remaining department staff, offering formative feedback and a department summary letter. The information is forwarded to the school’s Faculty advancement committee (Fac)—composed of Bartanen and five tenured faculty members—for review. “Not all colleges have post-tenure review,” says Bartanen, explaining that colleagues at other schools typically express surprise that the performance of the university’s tenured faculty is routinely evaluated. although rare, she says the school’s 16 | May 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - May 2012

University Business - May 2012
Editor's Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Human Resources
Education Gateways
Big Ideas
Reaching Higher
Admissions Goes Social
Learning Disabled Students Welcome
Who Goes There?
Computing Trends, Today and Tomorrow
Money Matters
End Note

University Business - May 2012