How To Set Performance Factor Expectations: Quick Guide for Supervisors and Employees

What are Performance Factors?
  • Expectations, agreed to beforehand, that help define desired performance
  • Comprehensive yet flexible list established Countywide to reflect the skills and behaviors that tend to be important requirements for job success
  • General categories include:
    • Individual Contribution
    • Professionalism
    • Problem Solving and Judgment
    • Interpersonal Skills
    • Job Specific Contribution
    • Managing Employee Performance (for those who have direct reports)
    • Discretionary/Other Factor (to be added by Supervisor, if necessary to include an important area of performance not covered by the other categories)
  • More specific sub-factors and descriptions are available for use in identifying and illustrating relevant expectations
How are Performance Factors Used to Set Expectations?
  • Performance Factors are discussed by the supervisor and his or her employee during Performance Planning at the beginning of the performance planning cycle
  • They are tailored to reflect the context and realities for that employee, job and performance period
  • Information reviewed to provide this context includes: job classification specifications, prior Performance Plans, prior Performance Evaluations and department and work unit goals and standards
  • As a result of this discussion, the employee and supervisor will have a shared understanding of which Performance Factors are most relevant, what these factors mean, and specific standards and/or examples that define what excellent performance looks like
  • Supervisors and work units may have already established expectations and standards for certain job functions
  • These certainly can and should be carried forward into the discussion and documentation of Performance Factors expectations
  • Examples of specific expectations could include:
    • For Individual Contribution/Commitment To Service:  "Important to respond to internal customer requests for assistance within at most 8 working hours from receipt of request."
    • For Individual Contribution/Quality:  "Minimum target - 95% of documents submitted are accepted without revision."
    • For Professionalism/Cooperation:  "When current workload is completed, assist other employees in the work unit in accomplishing their assignments."
Preparation for Review and Evaluation – How Rating Levels Will Apply to Performance Factors
  • The Performance Planning discussion is a good place to talk about the rating levels that will be used in evaluating the employee’s performance relative to the Performance Factors
  • For example, is it clear to both the supervisor and employee how performance that “Exceeds Expectations” differs from that rated as “Competent and Effective” or what level of performance is necessary to achieve a rating of “Exceptional?"