URMC Plans to Deploy New Performance Evaluation Tool, Process

Maybe you've heard that a new performance evaluation tool is coming down the pike? The buzz is true, according to employee advocate Tara LoCastro, who serves as URMC's director of Human Resources Engagement and Integration.

"If you recall our employee survey from back in summer 2012—the one with the bold 'YOU Matter. We're Listening.' tagline—you'll be happy to know we're making every effort to deliver on that promise," LoCastro said.

"Managers and staff alike, both by way of that survey and at periodic hospital staff retreats since, kept on asking for more meaningful tools for structuring feedback conversations around job performance," she added. "One sure way to provide it is by introducing more consistent, more robust evaluation tools—tools that spur productive discussions, set clear expectations and concrete goals, and recommend learning and development pathways for achieving them."

URMC's new tool aims to do just that. Here's what you need to know:

The tool will emphasize both the technical and behavioral aspects of each employee's job.

Perhaps the biggest shift ushered in by the new tool: You'll notice it incorporates both your job/role-specific competencies (the technical part of your work) and your commitment to living out the ICARE behaviors.

The tool should provide more relevant, actionable feedback.

At the heart of this effort is our attempt to avoid providing employees with underwhelming feedback. The new evaluation process wraps a more defined structure around annual conversations, so employees have a clearer understanding of their goals, and know what to keep right on doing, and where they can focus their energy for continuous improvement. We're also trying our best to create a tool that offers up the opportunity for employees to be part of the process, identifying their own development opportunities and special interests (rather than having those handed top-down from their supervisors). It's all about elevating and empowering our people.

The tool's being vetted—and co-created—by a cadre of URMC managers and staff.

Over the summer, HR held review and feedback sessions across the organization, gathering input directly from leaders and employees to make sure they were on track with a strong-yet-flexible prototype. They continue to refine and solicit further feedback. It's been a thoughtful, collaborative, careful process, as it should be. We need a tool that's easy to use—a tool that works for us!

The new tool's coming soon.

It's tough to say exactly who will use the tool when. But we do plan to launch a pilot in the coming months, with the goal that it ripples outward over the coming year. We want to be sure that the tool is really effective before launching it broadly, as the new standard. There will definitely be a period of transition; some evaluators might not yet use the new tool in the upcoming review cycle. And that's reasonable; this is a massive organizational change. We're proceeding cautiously to make it really work for employees.

Have questions we didn't cover here? Please reach out to your area's HR Business Partner.

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