The University Staff Committee recently petitioned approval on adjusting goals for staff on performance reviews and recording time and effort. The action was approved by campus leadership. See it here:
The COVID-19 impact on the university began during the annual performance review period for University Staff. The University Staff appreciates the deadline extension for performance review; however, some reviews were completed and submitted prior to COVID-19. The pandemic has increased the workload and/or changed the work performed. Many staff members have taken on additional responsibilities to assist with the University’s shift to remote working and distance learning. For employees whose reviews were completed before the shift, the pandemic may result in many performance goals for the upcoming year being difficult, if not impossible, to meet. Staff members could end up in the position where they are working hard, but not toward the goals they – and their supervisors – set for the year. As a result, annual reviews and goal setting must account for the unprecedented disruption caused by COVID-19.
Furthermore, work and life circumstances for staff may have been altered dramatically. Most University Staff employees are now required to keep a log of hours worked, recording how much time is being spent on each task. For some it is burdensome, with supervisors requiring details down to the minute. For others, a simple list suffices. Many budgets are frozen, which leaves staff without the financial resources they need for their work. Others do not have access to the human resources (i.e. student workers) and physical resources (i.e. equipment) they require. Moreover, the added labor of caretaking for family members, adjusting to an alternative work schedule, setting up a home office, and the overall stress of working and living during a global pandemic could undermine the ability of staff to complete their goals set before this crisis began.
For these reasons, we would like to advise supervisors and campus units to take the following steps when considering work performance and goals for annual reviews, and in requiring documentation for time and effort during the work day.
1) All goals not completed before December 31, 2020 should transfer to next year’s (2020-21) review cycle, unless the supervisor and employee agree that the situation surrounding the pandemic has obviated the goal.
2) Supervisors should encourage employees to discuss with them any new tasks they undertook, outline any temporary increases in workload/responsibilities, and summarize how priorities shifted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic on their self-evaluations.
3) Supervisors should consider new tasks that employees undertook, temporary increases in workload/responsibilities, and how priorities shifted quickly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in their assessments of the employee’s performance.
4) Supervisors and employees should not merely add new goals onto the carryover goals from 2019-2020. Rather, employees and supervisors should work together so that employees have roughly the same amount of goals for 2020-21 as they did for 2019-2020.
5) Recording time and effort worked is useful, especially where there may be distractions in some peoples’ new work environments. However, record keeping should not need to be so detailed that every minute must be recorded. As professionals, University Staff have a commitment both to the University and to our positions in the work that needs to be accomplished.
This recommendation and proposed action is endorsed by:
-Chancellor Mike Alexander
-Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kate Burns
-Senior Vice Chancellor Business & Finance Sheryl Van Gruensven
Statement approved as to form by UW-Green Bay Human Resources