Working during COVID-19

Preparing for 2021 performance evaluations

Annual performance evaluations should be completed by August 31, 2021, or according to regular unit schedules.

As we continue to navigate so many changes due to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important to continue having regular conversations about performance. This helps individuals and organizations remain productive, connected, and moving forward through this challenging time. These conversations also offer meaningful opportunity to highlight staff contributions and express gratitude.

While many units may have customized evaluation forms, generally applicable guidance and template forms for conducting performance evaluations can be found under “Additional resources” on the Employee work performance web page.

Special considerations for annual performance evaluations during COVID-19:

  • The cumulative impact of COVID-19 is not limited to our professional lives. Making room in these conversations to understand what staff are experiencing is especially important.
  • The autonomy and isolation of remote work and the ever-changing impacts from COVID has made clarity around expectations even more important. Where needed, use the evaluation process to provide additional help prioritizing work and competing demands going forward.
  • Evaluation of performance against goals set last year should consider whether they were impacted by COVID-19. Conversations with caregivers, in particular, should take into account the maximum flexibility the University has offered to support their work-life challenges.
  • Take the opportunity to recognize adaptability, flexibility, creativity, innovation, and change management as competencies that employees may have strengthened during the pandemic.
  • Honor and acknowledge employee contributions related to your unit’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, and consider incorporating diversity, equity and inclusion into the goal setting process for the next review period.
  • Goal setting for the coming months should take into account the plan to return to in-person learning and working, while recognizing that childcare and K-12 school restrictions may continue to impact work-life for some employees as fall quarter 2021 gets underway.
  • For employees working remotely, consider including a discussion specifically exploring what has worked well in the remote environment as well as challenges that have arisen. This discussion can help inform decisions regarding future requests for hybrid or remote arrangements.
  • Consider what platform you will use for these discussions (e.g. phone or UW Zoom), along with how signatures will be transmitted.
  • Policy, tools, and courses are available in a supervisory checklist for supporting remote work as part of the UWHR Working during COVID-19 website.

Thoughtful evaluations help employees identify opportunities for professional growth and reinforce the importance of their contributions to the University. Knowing that one’s efforts matter to the organization can greatly impact employee satisfaction and commitment. Managers can refer to POD’s Employee Experience Toolkit for pointers and conversation guides to help build rapport, deepen relationships, and better understand their employees’ unique perspectives and day-to-day experience at work.

In addition, POD provides a wide array professional development resources that can be used as a reward for strong performance or serve as a building block to enhance employee performance. Some of our favorites to consider with performance reviews and annual goal setting include:

The innovative ways supervisors and staff are sharing and accomplishing work is something extraordinary to recognize. These discussions are an opportunity to look beyond what we are facing today, and forward to what is next.

For questions about performance evaluations or discussions, please contact your HR consultant.