Williams College Employee Handbook
As part of the College's pursuit of excellence Williams is committed to conducting annual written performance evaluations for staff, usually in the spring, but varying by unit. Performance evaluations provide employees and supervisors an opportunity for reflection on the year past and to plan and set goals for the future. Through a shared dialogue that is the culmination of ongoing dialogue throughout the year, achievements, strengths and areas needing improvement during the past year are highlighted with equal emphasis given to defining goals for the future.
This presupposes clarity of expectations between supervisor and employee. The supervisor and employee engage in on-going communication about job content and expectations for performance, and the resulting expectations are documented in the position description.
There are three key elements to a successful performance evaluation. First is reviewing the challenges of the past year and evaluating progress made toward meeting the goals set. Second and equally important is goal setting for the coming year. Special emphasis should be placed on establishing measurable objectives and benchmarks for achieving them. These form the basis for future evaluations in a cyclical process.
Both of these elements are thought about in the context of the third, or reflective element. This is an opportunity to think longer term, perhaps establish goals that take longer to accomplish, and explore employees' professional aspirations and development. The purpose is to reflect on the role they have been playing in the unit and the role they or the College might want them to play in the future. Emphasis is on how the employee can better help the unit to be effective, and how the College might best help the employee to develop. Such expectations will sometimes include discussion with the next-level supervisor.
Final written performance evaluations are submitted to the department head. When completed, reviewed, and signed, evaluations should be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources where they are kept in the employee's file.