Chapter Two:  Personnel
Procedure Title: Performance Reviews – Classified
Based On: Board Policy 3
Procedure Number: 2.11
Date Adopted/Revised: April 29, 2001; November 21, 2006; May 15, 2007

South Arkansas Community College supports performance evaluation as a continual process of quality improvement. While day-to-day evaluation is usually informal, Arkansas law requires that the performance of all classified employees be evaluated formally at least once a year, in accordance with the Arkansas Performance Evaluation Plan.
  1. The Arkansas Performance Evaluation Plan is a standards-based system. Performance standards describe how a job is to be performed and are developed to represent fully satisfactory job performance. A supervisor may ask for assistance in developing job standards, and should review the standards for each employee annually, in addition to revising them each time job duties change. The direct supervisor is responsible for establishing and updating performance standards and has the authority to determine the standards for a job.

  2. The Office of Personnel Management has established guidelines for the administration of the Arkansas Performance Evaluation Plan. The College provides additional guidelines. The guidelines include the following requirements:

    1. Evaluations must be completed annually. If interim evaluations are conducted, the interim evaluations must be considered in the annual evaluation.

    2. Standards for the rating period must be set by the supervisor, and where possible with the input of the employee, at the beginning of each rating cycle or not later than thirty (30) days after the start of new duties.

    3. The standards must be developed from a list of critical job tasks.

    4. The standards must be communicated clearly to and understood by the employee.

      1. A written copy of the standards must be given to the employee.
      2. If a rating supervisor is transferred to another unit or terminates employment, he/she must complete performance evaluations for those employees whose most recent evaluation was completed more than ninety (90) calendar days prior to the supervisor’s termination date.
      3. If, at any time during the evaluation period, the supervisor determines that an employee’s performance has fallen below an acceptable standard, the supervisor must document the below-acceptable performance and counsel the employee.
      4. If an employee’s general performance falls below the acceptable standard, the employee must be placed on probation and counseled.
      5. The completed performance evaluation must be reviewed and approved by the next highest official to the rating supervisor.
      6. Employees must be allowed to make a formal request for reconsideration of their performance evaluation.

    5. The completed standards must be reviewed by the next highest official to the rating supervisor.

  3. A formal performance evaluation will be made on the basis of performance over the preceding twelve months.

    1. The direct supervisor will compile the observations of performance during that period and will rate actual performance in comparison to the expected performance standards.

    2. The rating uses four (4) performance categories: unsatisfactory, satisfactory, above average and exceeds standards. The supervisor will review and explain ratings in a performance evaluation conference.

    3. The employee may use the conference as a time to discuss their performance achievements as well as problems they have encountered during the rating period. The employee should be prepared to make suggestions about ways they might correct or improve their performance.

  4. The performance evaluation marks the end of a rating cycle. Within a few days, the supervisor will either reaffirm or rewrite performance standards for the next rating period, which will begin a new performance evaluation cycle. The supervisor may ask for the employee’s assistance in establishing the standards. To prepare for that process, the employee may wish to take the following steps:

    1. Think through what duties are performed on the job. List the tasks that are important to the position. List only those tasks that you are currently required to do, not those that may have been done in the past.

    2. Discuss the list of tasks with your supervisor and compare it with the list your supervisor may have compiled. Discuss the job. This is also a good time to discuss problems encountered frequently and to make suggestions about how those problems might be solved.

    3. Once the employee and the supervisor have developed performance standards, they will be reviewed by the supervisor’s supervisor and the employee will receive a copy. Keep the standards in mind during the year and make notes about any performance problems and accomplishments. Notes can be used at the next performance evaluation conference to help discuss performance during that rating period.

  5. If the employee disagrees with a supervisor’s evaluation of his/her performance, the employee may appeal the performance rating, in accordance with the following procedures:

    1. Ask the supervisor to reconsider the evaluation. This request for reconsideration must be made in writing* within ten (10) calendar days of the evaluation interview, and must state the reasons they think that the rating is inaccurate.

    2. The supervisor will review the reasons for disagreeing with the rating and respond in writing within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the request.

    3. If an agreement cannot be reached, the employee may submit a written request for review, within five (5) calendar days, to the supervisor’s immediate supervisor.

    4. That official will review the request for reconsideration and the supervisor’s response, and may ask either or both to provide additional documentation or explanation. Within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the request for review, the supervisor’s immediate supervisor will respond in writing, proposing a resolution of the disagreement.

    5. If the employee disagrees with the recommendations of the supervisor’s supervisor, they may submit a written request for review, within five (5) calendar days, to the area Vice President. The Vice President will review the written record and may ask for specific additional information or documentation. Within ten (10) calendar days of receiving the request for review, the area Vice President will recommend a resolution, in writing, to the employee and the supervisor.

    6. If the employee is not satisfied with the recommendation of the area Vice President they may submit a request for review, along with documentation, to the President. The decision of the President is final and binding.

    7. When the procedures specify time periods, such as ten (10) calendar days, within which a step in the procedures must take place, official College holidays do not count in calculating those time periods.

    8. If assistance is needed with any of the written parts of the appeals process, the Personnel Department can help.

  6. If, at any time during the evaluation period, a supervisor determines that an employee’s performance has, in general,

    1. The supervisor must document the below-acceptable performance, inform the employee that he/she has been placed on probation, and counseled them about ways to improve.

    2. The length of the probation for unacceptable performance is to be not less than thirty (30) nor more than sixty (60) days. During the probationary period, the supervisor will counsel the employee about progress or lack of progress.

      1. If the employee has met the standards of performance (completely satisfactory), the supervisor will remove them from probationary status.
      2. If the employee fails to meet the standards for the position, the supervisor may extend the probationary period and give additional counseling or may terminate employment.
      3. If the employee’s performance drops below satisfactory during an evaluation year and the employee improves before the time of their evaluation, the unsatisfactory evaluation will not go into the employee file.
      4. If the annual evaluation score is unsatisfactory, the evaluation will become part of the employee’s permanent file.

    3. At the end of the probationary period, the supervisor will conduct a formal evaluation.

  7. The performance evaluation plan is designed to help the employee understand what is expected in the job, give the employee information about what they need to do to improve their performance, determine their eligibility for career advancement.

    1. The employee will begin each evaluation cycle with a written copy of performance standards. The standards should tell exactly what the employee has to do and how well it must be done to receive a fully satisfactory performance rating. This advance notice will help the employee throughout the rating period, to meet the supervisor’s expectations.

    2. The employee and the supervisor should talk with each other, throughout the rating period, about performance, so there will be no surprises in the evaluation conference. The communication process that performance evaluation requires provides an opportunity to work out misunderstandings and disagreements as they occur.