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Penn State University Libraries

Policies and Guidelines

HUMAN RESOURCES

Policy UL-HR09 UPWARD FEEDBACK PROCESS FOR EMPLOYEES IN SUPERVISORY POSITIONS

Contents:

  • Purpose
  • General Statement
  • Procedure
  • Retention Period
  • Cross References

PURPOSE:

The Upward Feedback Process has been developed to obtain the feedback necessary for providing a more complete, accurate, and fair review of individuals in supervisory positions as well as supporting their professional development.  This is a mandatory process that will be completed in addition to the Staff Review and Development Plan or Annual Faculty Performance Review. 

GENERAL STATEMENT:

It can be difficult for a supervisor to fully gauge an employee’s performance.  Supervisors are not always able to observe the interactions of employees with their subordinates and this is where seeking feedback from those individuals is key.  While the completion of the Upward Feedback Form is voluntary, those asked to provide feedback are strongly encouraged to participate.  The Libraries believe that it is crucial that all employees receive feedback.  The comments of those selected will be extremely helpful for completing a thorough review of the employee. 

PROCEDURE:

  1. Employees in positions falling under the following supervisory levels will be reviewed as part of this process on a rotating three-year cycle:

    Year 1: Department Heads, Directors, Assistant Directors, and Managers who report to the Dean or Associate Deans or have been selected by a Dean or Associate Dean to be reviewed.*

    Year 2: Unit Heads and University Park (subject/branches) and Campus Library Heads, who report to those who were reviewed in year 1, or the Head of University College Libraries.*

    Year 3: Front-line Supervisors of full-time employees who report to those reviewed in year 1 or 2.*

    NOTES:

    1. The addition of supervisors of part-time employees is still under consideration.
    2. The Dean and Associate Deans will continue to be reviewed in accordance with Policy AD14, Academic Administrative Evaluation.

    *The responsibility for the final selection of which positions fall under each level of supervision rest with the Dean and Associate Deans.

  2. Reviewees will be notified by Libraries Human Resources that they have been selected to undergo an Upward Feedback evaluation prior to the requests being sent to reviewers.

    Upward Feedback requests will be sent out by the Libraries Human Resources Office in January of each year, so that the feedback provided can be considered as part of the annual performance review process that occurs in the Spring.  The individuals asked to participate will be all employees (full-time and part-time) in the reviewee’s reporting line.

  3. Individuals contacted will have two weeks to complete and return the forms.  This feedback will be kept confidential.  Those participants who choose to provide their name may be contacted to further discuss or clarify submissions. 

  4. The Upward Feedback forms will be collected by LHR and then forwarded to the reviewee’s direct supervisor for review.  Individual responses will not be shared with the reviewee; instead, a summary of the compiled feedback will be discussed with them during the annual review meeting.  If appropriate, identified areas for growth and/or improvement will be incorporated in the reviewee's developmental action plan/work plan. 
     

RETENTION PERIOD:

Upon completion of the annual review summary document, all feedback forms and reports will be returned to Libraries Human Resources and will be retained until the end of the annual review process, at which time they will be destroyed.

CROSS REFERENCES:

Guideline UL-HRG05 Annual Performance Reviews


Effective Date: November 2007
Date Approved: November 12, 2007 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • January 2014 – Revised; Editorial with minor changes to include part-time employees with those from whom we solicit feedback.
  • February 20, 2009 – Revised; Editorial with minor changes relating to timing of review process and how feedback will be handled.
  • November 12, 2007 – New policy

Last Review Date:   January 2014