Changes to performance review rating system

Heather Sidman

WDRS has received much feedback from employees and managers that the current performance review rating system offers too many choices, causing unnecessary frustration and confusion with the review process. For instance, in a high performing organization such as Fermilab, a rating of “Commendable,” which is intended to be a positive rating, creates a demotivating experience for many employees who feel deserving of a higher rating.

Beginning this year, the number of rating choices will decrease from six to four. Having fewer rating choices will eliminate the lower rating that falls below the perceived average, which was intended to be a positive, solid rating.  The new rating system categories are:

  • Building Performance is intended for employees new to Fermilab or new to a position and who are coming up to speed on job duties. It is also intended for employees who are performing inconsistently. This level of performance recognizes the achievement of some but not all goals and inconsistent satisfactory performance.
  • Effective Performance is expected to be the most widely used rating, recognizing consistently achieve goals, expected performance levels and achieving valuable accomplishments in several critical areas of the job.
  • Leading Performance recognizes an employee who consistently exceeds goals and expected performance level, and having a significant impact to the lab/s mission. These employees are viewed as role models who demonstrate high level capabilities and proactively take on higher levels of responsibilities.
  • Unacceptable Performance will be designated in cases of performance deficiencies requiring formal intervention.

In addition to these changes to the performance review ratings, the merit increase matrix that is used to determine salary increases will be updated to include the new ratings. This change is expected to add flexibility for managers during the merit increase process.

The performance review timeline will remain the same:

  • November — Goal Setting
  • June — Self-Evaluation
  • July — Manager Evaluation
  • September through October — Issue Performance Review

The goal of these updates to the performance review process is to improve both manager and employee performance review experiences so that everyone can better focus on career development, goals and achievements. Stay tuned for meetings hosted by your HR Partners about the performance review process, expected in April and May. Questions? Contact your HR partner.

Heather Sidman is a human resources manager in WDRS.