ANR Employees
University of California
ANR Employees

From trepidation to inspiration: An easier performance appraisal discussion

It is that time of year that many of us would like to avoid: the performance appraisal discussion. Although the process makes some of us uneasy, there is good news. There are preparations we can take that will ease this process and make it more of a partnership between the supervisor and the direct report. Consider preparing yourself with the following ideas and tools.

Direct reports:

  • Complete the “Receiving Feedback” learning module via the UC Learning Center. Know the difference between criticism and constructive feedback.
  • Come to the table willing to listen and a sense of inquiry. Be open to hearing about areas for skill development and growth. Suggest to your supervisor where you may learn new skills (UC Learning Center;; other ANR resources). Know that your supervisor also has areas for growth and will also participate in their own performance appraisal.
  • Share feedback with your supervisor on processes and any obstacles that exist in productivity. Ask your supervisor how your goals align with UC ANR and with the mission, vision and goals of your program.
  • Offer your supervisor help with general planning for projects. Let them know you have a unique perspective and can share with them any obstacles that have come up in the past. 


  • Complete the UC People Management Series Certificate Course module #2 “Setting Performance Expectations” via the UC Learning Center (course # DAC-HRUCPM02)
  • Start your discussions with celebrating your employee's accomplishments. Share where you see skill strengths and areas for skill development. Share resources for learning new skills (UC Learning Center;; other ANR resources). Ask your employee for feedback on your observations. Maybe there are communications that will open new discussions for removing obstacles and creating new successes.
  • Help your employees feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves by sharing the vision, mission and goals of your program and of UC ANR; discuss how the employee's goals align with your program.
  • Include your employees in the actual goal-setting planning for projects, when possible. Be delighted as they take ownership and commit with competency to the outcome.

Both supervisors and direct reports should agree to meet at least quarterly to celebrate milestones and to check in on project progress and for skill development. Refer to the ANR Learning & Development website for Career Planning tools. An important tool is the creation of an Individual Development Plan (IDP). The IDP is a career action roadmap for skill building, professional development and career management.

Employees are encouraged to ask their supervisors for feedback and help in planning the IDP. Supervisors are tasked by UC ANR to coach employees in drafting and following progress of an IDP.


Posted on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 11:09 AM
  • Author: Jodi Azulai

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