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Q: Should the athletic department have its own annual performance evaluation instrument in addition to the institution's?

A:  YES, unless such an addition is restricted by union agreements or institutional policy.  A comprehensive evaluation instrument is essential for the conduct of an annual performance review and deserves the careful attention of the athletic director.  While the institution may have a standardized instrument, the athletic department is usually permitted to customize various elements to match employee responsibilities.  Following are the recommended elements for a comprehensive annual performance evaluation:

  1. Achievement of Assigned Measurable Objectives.  The department’s strategic plan should contain measurable objectives.  Each employee should have expectations directly related to these measurable objectives.  Development staff should be expected to demonstrate fundraising success.  Coaches should be held accountable for team performance goals.
  2. Performance of Primary Job Responsibilities.  Each employee should have a written job description that defines his or her primary duties and responsibilities.  These should also be listed and evaluated in the annual performance review instrument.
  3. General  Performance Expectations of All Employees.  This area of the performance evaluation should be common to all employees and should include such elements as: (1) knowledge and skill, (2) problem-solving and decision-making, (3) communications, (4) internal relations, (5) customer relations, (6) leadership, (7) quality of work, (8) productivity, (9) self management, and (10) attendance/punctuality.
  4. Professional Growth and Development Plan.  The supervisor should detail areas requiring improvement, actions to be taken by the employee and a timeframe to accomplish the plan.
  5. Improving the Athletic Department.  Employees should be asked how the athletic department might better contribute to the employee’s performance, whether there are safety concerns or whether the employee has suggestions to eliminate waste and improve efficiency.
  6. Succession Planning.  An often omitted element of the annual performance review is a discussion of succession planning.  What current staff should be groomed for advancement?  Local or retired people who could do the job on a temporary short-term basis in an emergency should be identified and discussed.   Who are the top prospects who are capable of stepping into the employee’s position if employee leaves (be sure to include females and underrepresented racial, ethnic, or other minorities)?