Managing Performance with Lead@UVa

Aug. 12, 2009 — The University of Virginia's new online employee performance planning and evaluation system, called Lead@UVa, will be implemented this fall to offer employees more meaningful, goal-based evaluations and increased opportunity to grow and succeed at work.

Lead@UVa replaces the Employee Work Profile and the paper process for all University staff and classified staff. It is also recommended for administrative and professional faculty.

To access Lead@UVa, click here and sign on using your U.Va. computing id and password (use the password to access your email).

Part of University Human Resources' restructuring process, Lead@UVa better integrates the elements of performance planning and evaluation, compensation and career development, said Susan Carkeek, U.Va.'s vice president and chief human resources officer.

"The Lead@UVa system's guiding principle is managing performance for success, supporting the University's commitment to an outstanding workforce. When employees succeed, the institution succeeds," Carkeek said. "The system is designed to provide employees and supervisors with opportunities for more meaningful performance discussions, supportive learning and development plans, and rewards for performance and accomplishments.

"The system also facilitates consistency and openness in how the institution defines and evaluates work."

By now, all supervisors and employees should have received an e-mail from Carkeek explaining the change and giving the deadline for employee evaluations. Schools and departments have from Oct. 26 to Dec. 18 to complete the process. (See suggested timeline below.) Managers have already begun training; training sessions for employees will be offered beginning in September.

Several units are piloting the software before the October start date, including Development and Public Affairs, senior administrators reporting to the executive vice president and chief operating officer, Parking and Transportation, the School of Nursing and University Human Resources.

Annual evaluations for 2008-09 will go into the new system. One goal required of all employees will automatically be prescribed: "The employee has met the performance expectations established in the 2008-09 evaluation cycle."

For the current cycle, employees are not required to complete a self-evaluation or to enter performance goals from last year's Employee Work Profile, but doing so gives the employee a chance to highlight the year's accomplishments.

In using Lead@UVa for 2009-10, supervisors and employees should meet before the employee uses the system to discuss goals, expectations and career development for the coming year. Employees will set at least three specific performance goals and identify three to five competencies to work on. (Goals refer to what an employee does in the job; competencies describe how a person does the job and fulfills goals.)

Everyone has the opportunity for a mid-year review that is entered on the system.

At the end of the evaluation cycle, the employee and supervisor will rate the employee's performance in regard to each goal and competency, with each of the two categories worth 50 percent.

The new system has a five-point rating scale: 5 for exceptional, 4 for highly effective, 3 for effective, 2 for inconsistent and 1 for unsatisfactory. Because the state uses only three rating numbers, the Lead@UVa ratings for classified staff will be converted to a 1, 2 or 3.

UHR provides guides for crafting sound goals and understanding competencies on the Lead@UVa Web site.

Also on the Web page is a list of the 31 competencies employees and their managers can choose from, along with their definitions.

The third part of the process involves creating a career development plan. Under this section, an employee can enter activities to enhance existing skills or develop new ones after discussion with the supervisor. Supervisors will not consider the development plan in their staff ratings.

Because the new performance management system encourages more dialogue between supervisors and employees, Human Resources has been offering management-training classes all year to give supervisors the tools to coach and communicate with their employees more effectively. More than 1,600 managers have participated.

At the Web site, employees and supervisors can find a wealth of information about how to use and make the most of Lead@UVa.

University Human Resources offers the following guidelines for scheduling 2008-09 and 2009-10 performance management for schools and departments not participating in the pilot program:

* Now through Oct. 23: Employees and supervisors should prepare for the launch of Lead@UVa by discussing goals for the coming year, reviewing critical functions and thinking about their performance from the previous year.

* Oct. 26 through Nov. 6: Employees complete their 2008-09 self-evaluation in the Lead@UVa system and enter their goals for 2009-10 in the Lead@UVa system.

* Nov. 9 through Nov. 20: Supervisors complete the 2008-09 evaluations for their employees and review employee goals for 2009-10 in the Lead@UVa system.

* Nov. 23 through Dec. 4: Evaluation reviews and consistency calibration should be done by the "reviewers" on the school or department's leadership team. At end of the calibration process, "reviewers" approve evaluations and notify supervisors.

* Dec. 7 through Dec. 17: Supervisors complete electronic signature process on 2008-09 evaluations in the Lead@UVa system by meeting with employee to discuss 2008-09 evaluations and goals for 2009-10. Employees electronically sign, acknowledging receipt of evaluation and goals.

* Dec. 18: All 2008-09 evaluations must be electronically signed and complete, and all 2009-10 goals must be approved by supervisors.

— By Anne Bromley