Position Descriptions

Where do I get the current position description for my employees?

A:  HR has all current approved position descriptions.  Contact Inger Blount or, in her absence, Sharon Robinson for position description files.

What is the purpose of the position description?

A:  The description should provide a clear and concise view of the responsibilities of that position.  The description is used in determining appropriate banding and compensation for a position.  It is posted when advertising an opening, and is used to guide the expectations of employees and their supervisors.

The succinct nature of the position description helps to maintain focus on primary responsibilities.  If it is important to spell out all required tasks, that should be a separate document that uses the position description as a starting point.

How do I create a description for a new position within my department?

A:  Complete the Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) and submit it to Human Resources.  Inger Blount will work with you to craft the position description. 

Performance Management

Which appraisal form should I use for my employees?

A:  There are standard forms for staff (hourly) and administrative (salaried) employees available.  Some departments within the College have developed customized appraisal templates for individual positions. These templates are maintained in each department.

Can I send the appraisal to HR electronically?

A:  HR currently maintains paper personnel files which include annual performance appraisals.  At this time, we require you to send us the original performance appraisal form with both the employee and supervisor signatures.

How can I get customized appraisal forms for my team?

A:  Contact HR for guidance on developing customized Excel appraisal templates.  Position descriptions must be current as they are used in developing the templates.

Messiah does not have a merit pay system for staff and administrators.  What, then, is the purpose of the annual performance appraisal?

A:  The annual performance appraisal ensures that supervisors and employees meet regularly to discuss job assignments and the work environment, reaffirm employee contributions, and address any areas of concern.  Research shows that employees who understand what’s expected of them and where they stand with their supervisor are more engaged and productive.

I share an administrative assistant with another department.  Who is responsible for the performance appraisal?

A:  Each supervisor must participate in the appraisal process.  It is acceptable to collaborate on the appraisal, with each supervisor contributing content.  It is your responsibility as a supervisor to address any issues and show appreciation for work well done in your area.  Appraisals can be submitted separately or collectively.

I am not able to submit my employee’s performance appraisal by the established deadline.  What do I do?

A:  Contact Kathy Castonguay to discuss an alternative schedule.  Reminder notices will be sent to supervisors, and copied to their managers, if they have not contacted HR and are late in submitting performance appraisals for their staff.

How do I best prepare my employees for their performance appraisal?

A:  The most effective way to prepare your employees for their annual performance appraisal is to talk with them frequently about their work, providing abundant praise and redirection when necessary.  Employees who understand your expectations and receive frequent feedback throughout the year should not be surprised by the appraisal content.   

Each employee completes a self-evaluation, included in each appraisal form, prior to the appraisal meeting.  Provide adequate time to your employee to complete this component and send it to you prior to the review meeting. 

I’m a new supervisor.  How do I prepare for the annual review of my staff?

A:  It’s very important that you and each of your employees are in agreement regarding their responsibilities.  Review each employee’s position description with them when you first move into the supervisory role.  Update the position description if responsibilities change. 

Throughout the year, engage in your employee’s work, providing reinforcement and any necessary feedback.  Maintain a log of points of excellence and points of concern.  Gather feedback from partnering departments and employee’s customers.

Have your employees complete the self-evaluation.  Prepare to address any significant differences between your perspective and theirs in the appraisal meeting.  Specific examples are very helpful. 

Schedule adequate uninterrupted time for the appraisal meeting.  If the employee prefers, allow sufficient time after the meeting for them to review the appraisal results prior to signing the form.

Thanking My Team

I’d like to thank my employee/team for a job well done.  What can I do to show my appreciation?

A:  There are many formal and informal ways to share your appreciation with your employees.  Formal recognition opportunities are outlined in the Employee Recognition section of our website.  Other ways to share your appreciation for a notable accomplishment or consistent good work include:

  • Send a thank-you note
  • Recognize the individual(s) at a unit or department meeting
  • Take the employee to lunch
  • Arrange for the employee to have lunch with your manager
  • Allow the individual to take a longer lunch or leave early
  • Celebrate unit achievements with a pizza party
  • Post related Intercom articles, news clippings in department