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Performance Appraisals: Creating Opportunities in Tough Economic Times
April 21, 2009, Volume 55, No. 30

In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to focus on organizational success at every level. That means setting goals and developing strategies to meet them. One of the best means to this end is open and effective communication—and Penn’s Performance and Staff Development Program is an excellent tool to accomplish this.

The Performance and Staff Development Program, also known as the annual performance appraisal, provides staff and supervisors with a process to support communication and promote a successful and rewarding work environment.  It helps establish clear job expectations, allows for discussion of performance and accomplishments from the past year, and provides an opportunity to plan for the upcoming year.

And the benefits don’t stop there. In fact, there are even more reasons why conducting performance appraisals are valuable in tough economic times. Here are just a few:

1) Providing accurate, honest feedback about a staff member’s work increases their productivity, engagement and commitment to high quality performance.

2) Recognizing staff contributions, especially when many staff are taking on more responsibility due to frozen or limited job availabilities, is a big motivator that often leads to higher performance levels.

3) In today’s highly skilled, technology-driven economy, it’s important to consistently enhance the skills of staff members in order to maintain Penn’s competitive status as a top employer with a talented and creative workforce.  Performance appraisals allow for discussion of professional development opportunities that can benefit both the staff member and the department.

4) Open dialogue allows staff to address issues and concerns about their current position as well as discuss future career plans and how Penn can help advance those goals.

This year, performance appraisals for all eligible regular staff should be completed and entered into the Performance Appraisal Database (PAD) by June 1, 2009.  You can find information and materials for the 2009 appraisal cycle on the Human Resources website at www.hr.upenn.edu/staffrelations/performance.

—Division of Human Resources


Almanac - April 21, 2009, Volume 55, No. 30