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Employee reviews are revamped

August 25, 1998|By MATTHEW BIENIEK

The Washington County Commissioners have approved changes in the system for evaluating county employee job performance after receiving cost estimates for the evaluation process and organizational charts showing which supervisors evaluate which employees.

The changes to the county performance management system passed by a 4-1 vote at the Aug. 18 meeting, with Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers voting against the changes.

"I'm totally dissatisfied, it does not give the County Commissioners enough oversight," Bowers said.

County Personnel Director Alan Davis initially presented the plan to the commissioners at their Aug. 11 meeting, but Bowers and Commissioner John S. Shank had questions.

Shank said he wanted to know the cost of the plan before voting for it. Bowers said he thought the plan did not protect employees from the influence of personality conflicts with supervisors.

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At the Aug. 18 meeting, Davis said the evaluation system would cost between $15,000 and $18,000 a year. He based the figure on between 1.2 and 1.5 hours per review and the average county hourly wage of $12.66.

Davis also presented organizational charts of each county department so the County Commissioners would know which supervisor was responsible for evaluating which employee.

The plan updates a September 1997 overhaul of the employee evaluation system. The update includes specific instructions to supervisors on filling out the forms and changes in the rating system. The plan provides merit raises for employees based on their evaluations.

The previous rating system used numbers one to four to rank employees. Davis proposes changing to numbers one through five. Employees complained that with three as average, they could get two ratings below average but only one above, he said.

The evaluation lists up to 20 categories in which each employee can be evaluated, Davis said. Five of the categories, called performance factors, are mandatory in each evaluation: Safety, attendance, professional/technical proficiency, teamwork and skill-development, he said.

The plan calls for three meetings a year between supervisors and employees and the preparation of individual performance goals, Davis said.

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