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Frequently Asked Questions for M&P Employees and their Supervisors

1. How does the FOCUS performance management process benefit employees?

The FOCUS performance management process is a mechanism by which employees can understand what is expected of them in their jobs and how their performance relates to the success of the unit and the University. It provides for regular communication between managers and employees to assess job performance and to help the employee develop skills that are critical to effective performance in the current or future job.

2. Why does Yale need a performance management process?

Every organization needs to achieve certain goals to be successful. With a performance management process, Yale can monitor progress toward achieving its goals and pinpoint the work and activities that were most important in achieving or not achieving them. This knowledge can be used by the organization to redefine goals or to set new ones, and to keep building on the successes achieved.

3. What is the role of the supervisor in the FOCUS performance management process?

Managers must set clearly defined, measurable, realistic and time-framed goals with input from their employees. On a regular basis, managers must provide an objective evaluation of the work of each employee that fairly assesses the employee's success in demonstrating skills and achieving goals. When an employee fails to meet expectations, the manager must explain why, provide coaching and help the employee create a plan of training and development to help the employee be effective in his/her job.

4. Why is Yale requiring overall performance ratings of M&P staff beginning in FY08?

Giving an across the board percentage to all employees at pay raise time, or basing pay increases on tenure, is a vanishing practice. Today, most organizations have adopted formal performance management processes and are linking salary adjustments directly to an individual’s success in accomplishing established goals (for individuals, departments, divisions and the entire organization) on which they are rated at the end of an evaluation period. Pay for performance, or requiring ratings of employees, enables Yale to reward high-level performance and motivate employees to meet individual and organizational goals.

5. Will an overall performance rating be tied to merit?

Yes. Beginning in FY08, the overall performance rating an M&P receives was tied to a merit increase and a pay for performance philosophy.

6.Who will have access to the FOCUS form/employee record?

Only the employees, their managers, and University officials with a business need, e.g. HR Generalists, will have access to the FOCUS form/employee record.

7. What do I do if I disagree with my supervisor’s rating of me?

If you do not agree with your manager’s rating, you have several options. You can fill out the comments section of the FOCUS form. You can have a constructive dialogue with your direct manager to discuss the disagreement -- often the disagreement ends once a more clearly articulated discussion between a manager and employee takes place. If a discussion with your manager does not end the disagreement and you feel you need to, then speak with your manager’s manager and/or your HR Generalist.

8. Is there a difference between performance goals and development plans?

Yes, there is a difference. Performance goals are the results you wish to achieve within your current position and development plans target how you want to grow and develop professionally... The University’s Human Resources Organizational Effectiveness department has created an Individual Development Plan process and tools to help employees and managers assure that every employee has a plan in place to encourage their growth and development.

9. What prompted the change in forms and rating structure?

Several key changes have been made in the rating scales and language explaining the meaning of ratings. These are based on best practice and on feedback from users and key stakeholders. The process is reviewed annually and feedback received is drawn upon to make appropriate changes and improvements.

10. Do my manager and I evaluate the same goals?

Yes. Before filling out your self-assessment, review your performance objectives for the year with your manager.

11. Are there any examples for filling out the self-assessment?

Yes. You can find some examples on the FOCUS website: www.yale.edu/hronline/yaleperformancemanagement/forms.html

12. Where can I find the forms?

The forms are online at: http://yale.edu/hronline/yaleperformancemanagement