Not long ago Jeff Neal was the Chief Human Capital Officer of the Dept. of Homeland Security. Today, he is consulting and out here in the blogosphere letting folks know what he really thinks. We find him honest, helpful and concerned.  He recently went on record supporting the value of pass-fail evaluations.  This is one of those issues where there are good arguments on both sides of the debate.  Frankly, we lean toward a pass plus, pas and fail three-level system, but take a look at what Neal recommends.

“Reduce rating levels to 2. Although most agencies use 4 or 5-level systems, the regulations require a minimum of 2 – fully successful and unacceptable. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) got close to that with a 3-level system prior to implementing the National Security Personnel System (NSPS). DLA had Unsatisfactory, Marginally Satisfactory and Fully Successful ratings. The vast majority of employees got a Fully Successful rating. My first reaction to the system (implemented by one of my predecessors) was that it would not work. That was before I saw the benefits and decided to fully embrace the concept. As a result, we eliminated the lengthy rating document for 99% of employees and replaced it with a system-generated rating that the supervisor and employee signed. The ratings were input into the Defense Civilian Personnel Data System on an exception basis, eliminating more than 20,000 individual entries for employees. The number of grievances and EEO complaints regarding ratings dropped to almost zero. The rating process became far more simple, less time-consuming and expensive, and, most importantly, eliminated the stress on employees the old process caused.”

About AdminUN

FEDSMILL staff has over 40 years of federal sector labor relations experience on the union as well as management side of the table and even some time as a neutral.
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One Response to

  1. Benjamin Toyama says:

    I along with about 50 other Union repersentatives, worked with Management and the Unions on the “New Beginning” efforts to re-write the personnel rules related to performance ratings for the Department of Defense. After an eight (8) month effort, the parties agreed on a “Pass/Fail” system, however the DoD refused to implement the recommendations.

    After much research and discussion, the parties came to the conclusion that a “Pass/Fail” system was in the best interest of the Government. The requirements were simple to implement and allowed for quarterly appraisals and incentive awards that were timely and effective. It did not require the time and efforts required by the current system and it allows for timely identification of the good employees as well as the poor workers. It allows for quarterly performance improvement plans (PIP), as well as quarterly cash awards for outstanding workers. It allows various amounts of the incentive awards based on the employee’s current (quarterly) performance.

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