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While the term performance management has many components which affects an employee from pre-recruitment to organization exit, CSA is tackling one of the major performance management components in 2008/09: the performance evaluation tool and the performance evaluation process.


Since 2001, employees have given feedback via City surveys that less than 50% of the respondents believe the current Performance Evaluation Plan (PEP) and the Performance Evaluation Plan Report (PEPR) is effective.  Note: the PEP is future oriented, while the PEPR evaluates performance during the past rating year.  As a result, CSA created an improvement project to focus on making the tool and related processes more effective.
Project Objective
Streamline the current PEP/R process and improve the way supervisors & employees communicate about PEP/Rs.
Project Timeline
Phase 1: research (focus groups, best practices, evaluation theory) May - October 2008
Phase 2: pilot (create prototype based on research, test it in CSA) September 2008 - February 2009
Phase 3: pilot evaluation (what worked, what didn't, fix it) February - June 2009
Phase 4: City-wide launch (invite agencies to pilot, provide training, track their learning) July - October 2009
Phase 5: maintenance (adjust based on agency feedback, institutionalize process, clear issues not directly related to project) October 2009 - continuing
Phase 6: automation (acquire or activate E-Performance capability) 2010

During September and October, 2008, 33 focus groups were held all over the City to gain input on improving the PEP and PEPR process.  38 of the City's agencies participated, and 386 employees attended, with a mixture of 43% supervisors and 57% non-supervisors.

The predominant results of the focus groups were:
  • Make the form shorter & simpler
  • Increase the number of rating tiers from three to 4 or 5
  • Eliminate redundancy
  • Create a numerical rating system
  • Emphasize the necessity of clear communications, as well as the relationship between supervisor & employee
  • Supervisors: complete PEPRs on time; discuss performance periodically to avoid surprises at annual review time
  • Additionally, data collected in the focus groups indicate that approximately 27,000 supervisor hours are spent each year completing the current PEP/R form, with an additional 12,000 hours spent delivery and processing the completed evaluations. 

In 2007, 20.5% of PEPRs were "forced" (this is a mechanism whereby any salary increases due employees are delivered on time, even without the actual report).  One possible cause may be that current PEPRs are too long (average: 12 pages, with some running into 25+).  It becomes easier to avoid doing a process that is so involved.   [NOTE: 2008 data pending.]

Based upon the feedback (and best practice research conducted between June - December, 2008), CSA has designed a prototype process and format that it is piloting in January & February, 2009 within its own agency.  Beginning in March, selected volunteer agencies will also be piloting the amended prototype, concurrent to the CSA pilot.  Based upon that input, CSA will assess the process before expanding to the rest of the City agencies and departments in mid-year.

For further information, contact Rika Mead at