Delaying annual performance appraisals

To: UC Santa Cruz Staff

From: Chancellor Cynthia Larive

Dear staff,

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty about the future. It has also posed challenges and altered the work priorities of some staff members. This in turn has impacts on many of the annual goals that were identified by staff members at the outset of this year’s performance review cycle. Our campus recently announced the launch of the new ePerformance module of UC Path. We outlined training sessions and announced a due date of July 31, 2020 for non-represented staff appraisals, with a due date of Aug. 31, 2020 for represented staff appraisals.

President Janet Napolitano has asked campuses to delay performance appraisals for staff until fall. She has also asked that decisions about staff merit-based salary increases that have been tied to performance appraisals be delayed until the campus financial picture is clearer. As a result, the previously communicated dates for the performance appraisal cycle have been halted. Though we do not yet know when the completion and submission of the performance appraisals will take place, we will proceed with the training program outlined for supervisors to learn about the new ePerformance module. This will ensure we are prepared to act quickly when we are given the go-ahead to proceed with appraisals.

We encourage managers and supervisors to continue providing regular support and feedback to employees as part of their leadership practice. To advance this, managers and supervisors are encouraged to:
  • Continue to hold and document performance and goal-oriented discussions via Zoom, telephone and email. Purposeful communications about ever-changing goals and objectives are especially important during this crisis. I know many--if not most--staff have successfully shifted to remote work if possible and we certainly want managers to acknowledge these successes and continue to set appropriate goals as we navigate through this crisis.
  • Build a culture of engagement that includes reinforcing the importance of ongoing candid supervisor/supervisee relationships. While this crisis has been disruptive to the traditional face-to-face format we usually use to have these discussions, let’s take advantage of the available technology and use the time we formerly devoted to those candid conversations to still have the dialog through Zoom and other formats.
  • Acknowledge that there is a lot we still do not know. The merit pay will be delayed but we do not know for how long and what the impact will be.
I am very proud of the dedication to our mission I witness everyday by our campus community. When we eventually emerge on the other side of this crisis we will want to reflect back and see what worked well and what we can learn from our experience.