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IPP Guidelines Q&A

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 4 - September 15, 1994

(Editor's note: This is the fourth in a series of articles on the Incentive Pay Plan. With the performance-evaluation deadline of October 1 approaching, the following questions and answers are offered to address: 1) the process and guidelines to be used by the selection committees to determine the number of steps employees will receive depending upon the rating, 2) the appeal process for employees who feel they have been unfairly evaluated, where and how to document those justifications, and 3) for your information, the Classified Employee Salary Scale, effective Dec. 1, 1994.

Q. Does the Incentive Pay Plan limit the number of employees who can be rated exceptional?

A. No. The policy does not set restrictions on the number of employees who can be evaluated as Exceptional. However the intent of the policy is to recognize only the truly exceptional employees by providing them with the greatest pay increase of three steps. At Virginia Tech, each section will be restricted to a maximum of 9.2 percent of incentive-increase budget for three-step increases.

Q. What is the process to be followed if exceptional ratings exceed the budget-limit allowance?

A. If a section exceeds the 9.2-percent allotment, either the section head (dean or vice president or designee) or a committee appointed by the section head, will determine which of the exceptional employees will receive the three-step increase.

Q. Have guidelines or instructions to determine the recipients of the three-step increases been provided to the section administrators and committees?

A. The policy and written guidelines, which have been provided to deans, directors and department heads, state that consideration should be given to only performance-related information and the relative importance of job elements and expectations.

Factors to Consider

* The Performance Planning and Evaluation Form, including detailed supportive documentation of the performance evaluation.

* Other explanations from supervisors to clarify or enhance information provided on the performance evaluation.

* Other documentation used by the supervisor in completing the evaluation.

* Service to the department or university (which may include participation in the governance systems or providing exceptional support within the department so that others may participate in governance).

* Relative strength of the expectations (i.e., an employee could receive an Exceptional rating on a relatively weak expectation).

* Relative value of the employee's performance in meeting the mission and goals of the section or department.

* Consistency with which exceptional performance was exhibited.

* Extent to which the individual was able to overcome job-related adversity to excel.

* Extent to which creativity and innovation played a role in the employee's exceptional contribution.

* Scope or impact of the exceptional performance (within the context of what is possible and appropriate relative to the employee's job classification and responsibilities).

Section administrators are encouraged to discuss their proposals of other job-related factors with Personnel Services prior to use.

Factors Not to Be Considered

* Race, sex, color, religion, age, national origin, disability.

* Political affiliation, or any other factor not job-related.

* Source of funding.

* Incremental cost of the employees' current salary (except where adding one more employee to the three-step or two-step pool would exceed the budgeted amount)

* Leave time related to overtime, compensatory, on-call, worker's compensation and military.

Q. What is the role of the reviewer in the appeal process?

A. The reviewer is not required to meet with the employee; however, they must respond to the employee, in writing, within five work days. The review may 1) support the current evaluation, 2) change the evaluation, or 3) may request that the supervisor revise or complete a new evaluation within the next five work days.

Q. What can I do if I feel I have been unfairly evaluated?

A. The employee can point out the area(s) of disagreement during the performance-evaluation conference, justifying reasons why it should be changed. Any change must be approved by the reviewer and should be indicated on the evaluation with a note, dated and initialed.

The employee may appeal the evaluation in writing to the reviewer within 10 work days of the initial evaluation date. The employee should point out areas of disagreement and may request a meeting with the reviewer to discuss the evaluation.

Q. Is my signature (employee) required on the evaluation form?

A. The employee signature on the evaluation, which is not required, does not necessarily indicate agreement with the evaluation but verifies that the evaluation was discussed with the employee.

Q. Where can I document my disagreement with my performance evaluation?

A. The employee may document the justification for the disagreement in the space indicated on Page 5, under Section L, Employee Review. Additional comments may be written on a separate attachment.

(Please see classified salary scale on page 7)