Making sure that Yale employees receive clear and thoughtful feedback on job performance is a priority of the University and a practice that is consistently cited of best places to work. Historically, managers, professional staff members and approximately 20 percent of Yale’s clerical and technical staff have received some form of regular feedback from their supervisors as to how they are doing in their jobs. Soon, however, that percentage will dramatically increase.
In a joint communication to Yale managers and Local 34 clerical and technical staff members in March, vice president of human resources and administration Mike Peel and Local 34 president Laurie Kennington announced that Yale’s existing performance management program will expand to introduce a performance feedback process for staff members in clerical and technical positions throughout the University. Extending the program will improve the opportunity for Local 34 employees and their managers to engage in the same goal-setting and feedback dialogue that managers and professional employees participate in.
“This important new tool will help ensure that every clerical and technical staff member receives thoughtful feedback about her/his contribution versus job expectations,” said Peel and Kennington in their message. “We believe this feedback process will also help Yale managers to have more open lines of communication with the staff members they supervise. And, just as important, this feedback will serve as the foundation for greater emphasis that will be placed on skill development and helping our clerical and technical staff more fully realize their career aspirations at Yale,” they continued.
The new performance feedback process was developed by a project team composed of Union representatives and representatives from Human Resources and key University departments. “Both the University and Local 34 are committed to making sure that the new performance feedback process is used constructively to provide high-quality feedback to staff members,” explained Peel and Kennington.
To introduce the concept to departments across the University, human resources generalists have teamed up with Local 34 union stewards to conduct orientation meetings to clarify the timing, purpose, and the tools that staff members will be using together during the process. These orientations include an online audio enriched presentation that walks staff and supervisors through the new process. The presentation is a foundational piece that can be reviewed at any time on the website. Currently, Human Resources is also offering workshops to supervisors of Local 34 clerical and technical staff who will be working with the feedback process and tools for the first time. These workshops are designed to ensure that supervisors are well prepared to deliver performance feedback and to strengthen their ability to make the goal-setting and feedback discussions a positive and productive experience for their staff members and themselves. Additionally, the Learning Center has been and will continue to offer Goal Setting and Feedback classes to clerical and technical staff members as well as to managers and professional staff members to help them prepare for active engagement in the goal-setting and performance-feedback process that applies to them.
Over the next few months, the timing of the feedback and goal-setting process for clerical and technical staff members will begin to align with the similar process for managerial and professional staff members. “The University’s goal is to have the Clerical & Technical Performance Management process in place and available to provide the initial round of feedback to Local 34 clerical and technical staff members in the same time frame their departments use to provide annual feedback to managerial and professional staff members – generally at the end of the fiscal year (June) or for some departments, at the beginning of the academic year (September),” says Geraldine Sullivan, director of human resources employee relations.
“Just as a strong partnership developed between Union and Human Resources representatives as we built the new process, we are mutually hopeful that this same essence manifests in dialogues between staff and their managers as the process gets underway at the end of this fiscal year,” comments Sullivan.
To learn more about Yale’s Performance Management program for staff members and their supervisors, explore training opportunities and access resources including forms, guides, and samples, please visit the following links:
For assistance with Yale Performance Management, contact your HR Generalist.