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NJ DCF Logo with reverse copy

 

New Jersey Department of Children and Families Policy Manual

 

Manual:

DCF

DCF Wide

Effective Date:

Volume:

III

Administrative Policies

Chapter:

A

Human Resources

5-22-2008

Subchapter:

1

Human Resources

Issuance:

012-2007

Employee Performance Evaluation Program

 

 

I.              PURPOSE

 

The purpose of this policy is:

 

To provide an opportunity for the supervisor and employee to discuss the major goals of the work unit and major goals of the employee.

 

To identify and document an employee’s job responsibilities/job expectations, job performance, job satisfaction and plans for the employee’s future development and performance.

 

To realize the importance of feedback, with communication between the employee and the supervisor being a key element in defining, assessing and enhancing employee performance and operational outcomes and results.

 

To include ongoing training and mentoring as integral components of the employee performance evaluation program.

 

II.                            SCOPE

 

This policy applies Department-wide.

 

III.                           LEGAL AUTHORITY

 

N.J.S.A. 11A:6-28

N.J.A.C. 4A:6-5.1 et seq.

 

IV.                          DEFINITIONS

 

The following terms when used in this Policy have the meanings indicated:

 

Performance Assessment Review” (PAR) means a three-level rating assessment tool designed to identify performance standards and give structure  in evaluating the work performance of Department employees who are in managerial titles and titles not covered by a union.  This includes employee groups/titles with designations of L, M, V, W, X, Y, and Z.

 

“Performance Evaluation System” (PES) means a pass/fail rating assessment tool designed to identify performance standards and give structure in evaluating the work performance of Department employees in job titles covered by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE).

 

Ratee” means the employee who is the subject of the performance evaluation.

 

“Rater” means the immediate supervisor of the ratee who is responsible for assigning the ratee’s work.

 

“Reviewer” means the rater’s supervisor or manager who is responsible for ensuring appropriate administration of the employee performance evaluation process.

 

“Rating Cycle” means the yearly rating period for all Department employees under both the PES and PAR programs. The rating cycle for the PES program and the PAR program for non-M and non-X employees is July 1 to June 30.

 

V.                           GENERAL POLICY

 

The Department of Children and Families (DCF) is committed to providing an efficient and effective employee performance evaluation program using the PES and PAR assessment models. These models are designed to give supervisors and managers structure in evaluating the performance of subordinates and to emphasize employee growth and development.

 

The PES model consists of a two (2) tier rating system as follows:

 

·                                             Satisfactory

·                                             Unsatisfactory

 

The PAR model consists of a three (3) level rating system as follows:

 

·                                             3 – Exceptional

·                                             2 – Commendable

·                                             1 – Unsatisfactory

 

The PES and PAR models require face-to-face meetings and conversations between the rater and ratee, which in turn, facilitate mutual understanding of the job responsibilities and performance standards. Additionally, the rater is required to meet with the ratee to provide feedback on a frequent basis in order to ensure that the job objectives of the ratee, and subsequently those of the unit, are being met.

 

The PES and PAR processes are documented and recorded on the Departments official PES and PAR forms. (See Attachments 1 to 7.)

 

The PES model uses two (2) forms:

 

·                                             Employee Form (September 1 to August 31 rating cycle)

·                                             Supervisor Form (September 1 to August 31 rating cycle)

 

The PAR model uses five forms:

 

For non-M and non-X Employees who are not covered by a Union:

 

·                                             Employee Form (September 1 to August 31 rating cycle)

·                                             Supervisor Form (September 1 to August 31 rating cycle)

 

For M and X Employees:

 

·                                             Employee Form (July 1 to June 30 rating cycle)

·                                             Supervisor Form (July 1 to June 30 rating cycle)

·                                             Manager Form (July 1 to June 30 rating cycle)

 

In addition to accurately completing the PES and PAR forms, it is critical to remember that this process requires communication between rater and ratee and that communication is a two-way exchange.  The PES and PAR programs are designed to increase communications in order to reduce misunderstandings that may arise when the rater evaluates the performance of the ratee.

 

VI.                          RESPONSIBILITIES  

 

A.           The Ratee

 

1.            The ratee is responsible for actively participating in the performance evaluation process.

 

2.            Both the ratee and rater work together through open and honest feedback in developing job expectations/responsibilities reviewing the interim and final assessments along with the development plan.

 

 

B.           The Rater

1.            The rater is responsible for conducting the performance evaluation and giving open and honest feedback to the ratee about his or her performance throughout the rating cycle.

 

2.            The rater is responsible for scheduling formal meetings with the ratee to develop the job expectations/responsibilities and to conduct the interim and final evaluations. The rater is also expected to have frequent, informal “feedback sessions” to better ensure the success of the ratee’s performance.  The rater uses the following principles as a guide for constructive feedback:

 

a.            Focus on specific behaviors and not the individual;

 

b.            Use “I” statements rather than “You” statements, making it clear what the rater expects;

 

c.         Provide suggestions for improving performance;

 

d.         Provide guidance in advance of the performance event; and

 

e.         Listen to feedback from the ratee, acknowledging his or her point of view to reduce the emotion or tension which at times, may be due to difficult situations.

 

C.           The Reviewer

 

1.            The reviewer is responsible for ensuring appropriate administration of the employee performance evaluation process. Reviewers are also responsible for setting the goals and expectations for the organization, unit or division.

 

2.            The reviewer is strongly encouraged to take an active role in all parts of the employee performance evaluation process, including presiding over performance management meetings and any conflict resolution meetings.

 

3.            The reviewer should encourage the rater to meet with the reviewer prior to conducting interim or final evaluation meetings with their ratee's, and should be comfortable with the ratings assigned based upon the performance of the ratee as it relates to the unit and organizational results achieved.

 

4.            The major role of the reviewer is to check for consistency in the employee performance evaluation process.

 

 

VII.                 PES PROCEDURE

 

A.           Major Goals of the Unit/Work Group

 

1.         The rater works with appropriate managerial and supervisory staff to develop goals for the unit/work group. The rater refers to the Department’s statutory and regulatory authorities; and the agency’s goals, objectives, and mission statement for guidance.

 

B.     Initial Meeting

 

1.         The rater schedules and conducts the initial meeting with the ratee at the beginning of the rating cycle.  During the meeting, the rater reviews with the ratee the Major Goals of the Unit/Work Group and works with the ratee to establish the Major Goals of the Ratee, his or her Major Job Responsibilities, and  the Essential Criteria for each job responsibility listed. The rater also reviews the Performance Measures and discusses the requirements for meeting the Standards for Satisfactory Achievement.

 

a.               The Major Goals of the Ratee are integrated with the major goals of the unit and jointly developed with input from both the rater and the ratee.

 

b.               The Major Job Responsibilities are the principal duties, tasks and assignments to accomplish the ratee’s goals. These duties, tasks, and assignments include the most critical and/or time consuming job responsibilities. These responsibilities should reflect the major duties assigned to the ratee. The Major Job Responsibilities should not reflect a “laundry list” of all the ratee’s job activities but rather should focus on his or her key job components.

 

c.               The Essential Criteria describes the measures used to determine if the ratee has completed the job responsibility at a satisfactory level. The criteria should be measureable based on quantity, quality, timeliness, or cost. In addition, the criteria should be specific, attainable, reasonable, and tied or linked to the goals of the ratee and the organization.

 

d.               The Performance Measures are the standardized universal measures included in the PES program.  Each PES contains the same seven Performance Measures (Communication, Customer Service, Job Knowledge/Skills, Problem Solving, Teamwork, Organizational Citizenship, and Workplace Safety).

 

e.               The Standards for Satisfactory Achievement are pre-defined illustrations for each Performance Measure reflecting the actions or behaviors necessary for satisfactory performance.

 

2.      At the conclusion of the initial meeting, the ratee and rater sign the PES form in the appropriate space provided to confirm that a face-to-face meeting has occurred to discuss the PES components listed in section VIII.B.1. above. The ratee has the opportunity to note agreement or disagreement with the components discussed and may include any relevant comments, components discussed and may include any relevant comments, concerns, or reasons for the agreement or disagreement.

 

3.      The rater forwards the completed PES form to the reviewer for review and signature.

 

4.     The rater provides the ratee with the original signed version of the PES form.  The rater forwards a copy of the signed PES to the Office of Human Resources no later than four weeks from the beginning of the rating cycle.

 

C.  Interim Evaluation Meeting

 

1.    The rater schedules a meeting with the ratee six months after the initial meeting to discuss and evaluate the ratee’s performance for the first six months of the rating cycle.

 

2.    First, the rater evaluates the ratee’s performance for each Major Job Responsibility using the Essential Criteria to measures the ratee’s performance level. The rater places a check in the “pass” or “fail” column on the PES form based on the ratee’s performance.

 

3.    Next, the rater evaluates the ratee’s performance for each Performance Measures component using the Standards for Satisfactory Achievement to determine the ratee’s performance level. The rater places a check in the “pass” or “fail” column on the PES form based on the ratee’s performance.

 

4.  The rater identifies and discusses any major events previously recorded in Significant Events section. This section should capture noteworthy events as they occur, with both the rater and ratee initialing the description of the event and making appropriate comments. Significant events can be either positive or negative events.

 

a.      The rater makes the final decision whether an event is considered “significant.”  However, this does not preclude a ratee from mentioning particular events to the rater for consideration.

 

b.      This is an excellent tool to improve communication and provide ongoing feedback.

 

5.    After reviewing the ratee’s performance, the rater prepares a narrative statement to support and justify the evaluation.  This statement is recorded on the PES form in the Justification for Interim Evaluation section.  The rater indicates whether he or she agrees or disagrees with the justification by placing a check in the appropriate box and initialing the entry.

 

The justification statement should:

 

a.      Recognize and document specific strengths contributing to the goals of the ratee, the unit, and the organization; and

 

b.      Identify both positive and negative performance outcomes.

 

6.     After completing the justification, the rater and ratee mutually establish a development plan for the ratee. The development plan is recorded on the PES form in the Specific Areas Identified for Development section. The rater indicates whether he or she agrees or disagrees with the development plan by placing a check in the appropriate box and initialing the entry.

 

The development plan should:

 

a. Identify skills and competencies requiring improvement or growth;

 

b. List the specific outcomes required for successful achievement;

 

c. Identify and prioritize the actions needed by the rater and ratee to accomplish the outcomes; and

 

d. Identify any training or staff development resources for completing the outcomes.

 

7.            At the conclusion of the interim evaluation meeting, the ratee and rater sign and date the PES form in the appropriate space provided to confirm that a face-to-face meeting has occurred to discuss the rating, any significant events, the justification, and the development plan. The ratee has the opportunity to note agreement or disagreement with the components discussed and may include any relevant comments, concerns, or reasons for the agreement or disagreement.

 

8.            The rater forwards the completed interim evaluation to the reviewer for review and signature.

 

9.            The rater provides the ratee with the original signed version of the interim evaluation. The rater forwards a copy of the signed evaluation to the Office of Human Resources no later than four weeks from the end of the rating cycle.

 

D.     Final Evaluation Meeting

 

1.            The rater schedules a meeting with the ratee at the end of the rating cycle to discuss and evaluate the ratee’s performance for the final evaluation for the year.

 

2.            The rater conducts and documents the Final Evaluation using the same steps that were taken during the Interim Evaluation, except all entries are recorded in the appropriate sections of the PES form labeled as “Final.”

 

E.     Calculating the Interim and Final Scores

 

1.            The Ratee must pass 70% of all Major Job Responsibility and Performance Measures in order to achieve a Satisfactory rating.

 

2.            To calculate the interim or final rating, divide the total number of passing Major Job Responsibilities (MJR) and Performance Measures (PM) by the total number of Major Job Responsibilities and Performance Measures listed on the form.

 

Example:

 

Total # of passing (MJR and PM) = 9   = 0.75 = 75% > Satisfactory

Total # (MJR and PM) measured    12

 

Total # of passing (MJR and PM) = 8   = 0.57 = 57% > Unsatisfactory

Total (MJR and PM) measured    14

 

3.            A ratee who receives a failing score for the Final Evaluation does not receive a merit increment.

 

VIII.                 PAR PROCEDURE

 

A.       Major Goals of the Unit/Work Group

 

1.   The rater works with appropriate managerial and supervisory staff to develop goals for the unit/work group. The rater refers to the Department’s statutory and regulatory authorities; and the agency’s goals, objectives, and mission statement for guidance.

 

B.       Initial Meeting

 

1.   The rater schedules and conducts the initial meeting with the ratee at the beginning of the rating cycle.  During the meeting, the rater reviews with the ratee the Major Goals of the Unit/Work Group and works with the ratee to establish the Major Goals of the Rater, his or her Major Job Responsibilities, and the Essential Criteria for each job responsibility. The rater also reviews the Job Achievement Factors and the Job Related Factors and discusses the standards of performance.

 

a.      The Major Goals of the Ratee are integrated with the major goals of the unit and are jointly developed with input from both the rater and the ratee.

 

b.      The Major Job Responsibilities are the principal duties, tasks and assignments to accomplish the ratee’s goals. These duties, tasks, and assignments include the most critical and/or time consuming job responsibilities. These responsibilities should reflect the major duties assigned to the ratee.  The Major Job Responsibilities should not reflect a “laundry list” of all the ratee’s job activities but rather should focus on his or her key job components.

 

c.      The Essential Criteria describes the measures used to determine if the ratee has completed the job responsibility at a satisfactory level.  The criteria should be measurable based on quantity, quality, timeliness, or cost. In addition, the criteria should be specific, attainable, reasonable, and tied or linked to the goals of the ratee and the organization.

 

d.         The Job Achievement Factors describe what the ratee has accomplished in terms of output and productions and are directly related to the ratee’s job expectations. Each PAR contains the same four Job Achievement Factors (Goal Achievement, Quality of Work, Quantity of Work, and Timeliness).

 

e.      The Job Related Factors are global factors that support overall job performance by describing the competencies and knowledge necessary to accomplish the job.  All PAR forms contain the seven standard Job Related Factors (Communication-Oral, Communication-Written, Conscientiousness, Customer Service, Job Knowledge/Skills, Problem Solving, and Teamwork 1). The supervisory PAR form contains the same seven Job Related Factors plus two additional factors (Managers Human Resources and Managing/Valuing Diversity).  The managerial PAR forms contain the same Job Related Factors as the supervisory form plus one additional factor (External Awareness).

 

2.      At the conclusion of the initial meeting, the ratee and rater sign the PAR form in the appropriate space provided to confirm that a face-to-face meeting has occurred to discuss the PAR components listed in section VIII.B.1. above. The ratee has the opportunity to note agreement or disagreement with the components discussed and may include any relevant comments, concerns, or reasons for the agreement or disagreement.

 

3.      The rater forwards the completed PAR form to the reviewer for review and signature.

 

4.      The rater provides the ratee with the original signed version of the PAR form. The rater forwards a copy of the signed PAR to the Office of Human Resources no later than four weeks from the beginning of the rating cycle.

 

C.        Interim Evaluation Meeting

 

1.      The rater schedules a meeting with the ratee six months after the initial meeting to discuss and evaluate the ratee’s performance for the first six months of the rating cycle.

 

2.      First, the rater evaluates the ratee’s performance for each Major Job Responsibility using the Essential Criteria and Job Achievement Factors to measure the ratee’s performance level. The rater reviews the criteria for a score of “1,” “2,” or “3.”  The rater selects the appropriate number based on the ratee’s performance and enters that number based on the ratee’s performance and enters that number in the interim column on the PAR form.

 

3.      Next, the rater evaluates the ratee’s performance for each Job Related Factor using the criteria listed for a score of “1,” “2,” or “3.”  The rater selects the appropriate number based on the ratee’s performance and enters that number in the interim column of the PAR form.

 

4.      The rater completes the Computation and Conversion to Overall Rating by transferring the Job Achievement subtotal and the Job Related subtotal to this section of the PAR form. These two subtotals are added together and entered under the Grand Total Points section of the form. The rater compares the Grand Total Points to the conversion table and assigns the appropriate overall rating. See VIII.E.2.

 

5.      The rater identifies and discusses any major events previously recorded on the Fact Sheet of Significant Performance Events. This section should capture significant facts and/or events as they occur, with both the rater and ratee initialing the description of the event and making appropriate comments.  Significant events can be either positive or negative events.

 

a.       The rater makes the final decision whether an event is considered “significant.”  However, this does not preclude a ratee from mentioning particular events to the rater for consideration.

 

b.       This is an excellent tool to improve communication and provide ongoing feedback.

 

6.      After reviewing the ratee’s performance, the rater prepares a narrative statement to support and justify the evaluation. This statement is recorded in the section of the PAR form labeled Justification for Interim Evaluation.

 

The justification statement should:

 

a.       Recognize and document specific strengths contributing to the goals of the ratee, the unit, and organization; and

 

b.       Identify both positive and negative performance outcomes.

 

7.      After completing the justification, the rater and ratee mutually establish a development plan for the ratee.  The development plan is recorded on the PAR form in the Specific Areas Identified for Development section.  The rater indicates whether he or she agrees with the development plan by placing a check in the appropriate box and initialing the entry.

 

The development plan should:

 

a.       Identify skills and competencies requiring improvement or growth;

 

b.       List the specific outcomes required for successful achievement;

 

c.        Identify and prioritize the actions needed by the ratee to accomplish the outcomes – see Specific Actions to be Taken by Ratee; and

 

d.       Identify any training or staff development resources for completing the outcomes.

 

8.    At the conclusion of the interim evaluation meeting, the ratee and rater sign and date the PAR form in the appropriate space provided to confirm that a face-to-face meeting has occurred to discuss the rating, any significant events, the justification, and the development plan. The ratee has the opportunity to note agreement or disagreement with the components discussed and may include any relevant comments, concerns, or reasons for the agreement or disagreement.

 

9.    The rater forwards the completed interim evaluation to the reviewer for review and signature.

 

10.    The rater provides the ratee with the original signed version of the interim evaluation. The rater forwards a copy of the signed PAR to the Office of Human Resources no later than four weeks from the end of the rating cycle.

 

D.        Final Evaluation Meeting

 

1.      The rater schedules a meeting with the ratee at the end of the rating cycle to discuss and evaluate the ratee’s performance for the final evaluation for the year.

 

2.      The rater conducts and documents the Final Evaluation using the same steps that were taken during the Interim Evaluation, except all entries are recorded in the appropriate sections of the PAR form labeled “Final.”

 

E.                    Interim and Final Overall Rating

 

1.    The interim rating reflects the ratee’s performance during the first six months of the rating cycle.  The final rating reflects the ratee’s performance for the entire twelve month rating cycle.

 

2.      The rater uses the following conversion table to establish the Overall Rating:

 

EMPLOYEE

 

 

1 – Unsatisfactory

 

    2 – Commendable

3 - Exceptional

 

10 – 15 Points

 

   16 – 24 Points

  25 – 30 Points

 

SUPERVISOR

 

 

 

1 – Unsatisfactory

 

2 – Commendable

3 - Exceptional

 

12 – 18 Points

 

19 – 29 Points

30 – 36 Points

 

MANAGER

 

 

1 – Unsatisfactory

 

2 – Commendable

3 - Exceptional

 

13 – 19 Points

 

20 – 32 Points

33 – 39 Points

 

 

IX.                  An Unsatisfactory Rating

 

A.       When a Ratee receives an unsatisfactory, the rater holds conferences with the Ratee at least once every three (3) months, or such shorter period of time as determined by the rater, to set forth the deficiencies and improvement goals needed to achieve a satisfactory level of performance.

 

1.                A record of each conference is recorded and a copy is given to the ratee within two weeks of the conference.

 

B.           When a merit increment has not been earned due to an unsatisfactory rating, and the performance of the ratee improves to the point that warrants granting of the normal merit increment, such increment may become effective on any pay period following 90 days after the final evaluation.

 

C.           When a normal merit increment has been denied, the performance ratings concerned with the issue of restoration of the increment, as provided in IX.B.2. shall not be grievable.

 

A.   A ratee, who believes that the content of a PES or PAR form does not properly assess his or her work or contain appropriate performance expectations, may request a meeting at the level of management above the rater.  This meeting provides the ratee with the opportunity to make his or her concerns known.

 

B.   A PES ratee, or the ratee’s designed Union Representative (CWA, AFSCME, IFPTE), may appeal and unsatisfactory rating to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the applicable union contract

.

C.   A PAR ratee may appeal performance standards, or a final PAR rating of unsatisfactory or commendable, through non-contractual grievance procedures.

 

X.                    Appeals

 

A.           A ratee, who believes that the content of a PES or PAR form does not properly assess his or her work or contain appropriate performance expectations, may request a meeting at the level of management above the rater. This meeting provides the ratee with the opportunity to make his or her concerns known.

 

B.           A PES ratee, or the ratee’s designated Union Representative (CWA, AFSCME, IFPTE), may appeal an unsatisfactory rating to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of the applicable union contract.

 

C.           A PAR ratee may appeal performance standards, or a final PAR rating of unsatisfactory or commendable, through non-contractual grievance procedures.

 

XI.                   Additional Factors Regarding Score

 

A.        PES and PAR ratings are used as a factor in layoffs in accordance with Title 11A:1-1 et seq.

 

B.        PES ratings are used as a factor in promotions. A ratee receiving a satisfactory final rating is awarded one (1) promotional point and a ratee receiving an unsatisfactory final rating receives “0” points.

 

C.        PAR ratings are also used in promotions. A ratee receiving a commendable final rating is awarded one (1) promotional point and a ratee receiving an exceptional final rating is awarded three (3) points.

 

D.        In a case where the applicant population for a promotional announcement involves a combination of PES (CWA, AFSCME and IFPTE) and PAR (unclassified or another Employee Relations Group) applicants, all applicants are awarded 1 or 0 points.  Any applicant who received three (3) points under the PAR system will, in such a case, have those points converted to one (1) point for the promotional scoring purposes.

 

E.        Whenever a rater (supervisor) who completes a performance rating, or acts as a reviewer for a subordinate, subsequently competes in the same promotional examination as the ratee, the PES or PAR ratings are not used for any applicants in that unit scope.

 

F.         See Attachments 8 and 9 for a listing of frequently asked PES and PAR questions.

 

XII.                  Reasons for Early/New PES and PAR Evaluations

 

A.        When there is a change either in job assignment, job title, or supervisor during the evaluation period, the old PES or PAR is closed out.

 

1.            The ratee’s performance during the portion of the rating period under the old performance plan shall be rated and closed out.

 

2.            A signed copy of the closed out PES or PAR is forwarded to the Office of Human Resources within four weeks from the effective date of the change.

 

B.        A new PES or PAR plan is established for a change in job assignment, job title, or supervisor.

 

1.            A signed copy of the new PES and PAR plan is forwarded to the Office of Human Resources within four weeks from the effective date of the change.

 

C.        The final rating is prorated based on all the ratings received during the rating cycle.

 

XIII.     DISCRIMINATION POLICY

 

As with other employment decisions, the PES and PAR process is subject to the criteria established under the New Jersey State Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace.

 

 

 

 

 

_______________________

Kimberly S. Ricketts

Commissioner

____________________________

Date