3 myths about State Classified performance evaluations

State Classified performance evaluations are right around the corner. The Classified Personnel Council would like to dispel a few myths surrounding the review process and the steps you can take to make the most out of your review.

MYTH 1  

There is a ‘quota’ for top ratings and Supervisors are only allowed to give out a certain amount of threes during the review process, or are not allowed to give more than a two rating for a performance evaluation.  I’ll never get a three.  NOT SO!  Consistent with State of Colorado requirements, CSU’s State Classified Performance Management program prohibits establishing quotas.  Rating levels are defined by the state of Colorado as follows:

Level 3 (Exceptional Performer): This rating represents consistently exceptional and documented performance or consistently superior achievement beyond the regular assignment. Employees make exceptional contribution(s) that have a significant and positive impact on the performance of the unit or the organization and may materially advance the mission of the organization. The employee provides a model for excellence and helps others to do their jobs better. Peers, immediate supervision, higher-level management and others can readily recognize such a level of performance. 

Level 2 (Successful Performer): This rating level encompasses a range of expected performance. It includes employees who are successfully developing in the job, employees who exhibit competency in work behaviors, skills, and assignments, and accomplished performers who consistently exhibit the desired competencies effectively and independently. These employees are meeting all the expectations, standards, requirements, and objectives on their performance plan and, on occasion, exceed them. This is the employee who reliably performs the job assigned and may even have a documented impact beyond the regular assignments and performance objectives that directly supports the mission of the organization. 

Level 1 (Needs Improvement): This rating level encompasses those employees whose performance does not consistently and independently meet expectations set forth in the performance plan as well as those employees whose performance is clearly unsatisfactory and consistently fails to meet requirements and expectations. Marginal performance requires substantial monitoring and close supervision to ensure progression toward a level of performance that meets expectations. Although these employees are not currently meeting expectations, they may be progressing satisfactorily toward a level 2 rating and need coaching/direction in order to satisfy the core expectations of the position.

The expectations and standards for achieving each level may vary by department, but must be consistent with the above guidelines.  If you want to know more about how to achieve a level 3 rating, speak with your supervisor or human resource representative.


By not signing my performance review form, I am ‘officially’ disputing my rating.  NOT SO!  If you disagree with your performance rating, you must initiate a formal dispute by completing a CSU Performance Management Dispute Resolution Form (http://www.hrs.colostate.edu/pdfs/form-performance-management-dispute-resolution.pdf) and provide it to your supervisor within 3 working days of the event which resulted in the disagreement.

According to State Department of Personnel guidelines, issues that may be disputed are: 

• The employee’s performance plan (or absence of a plan); 

• The final overall performance evaluation rating, including lack of a final overall evaluation; 

• The application of the CSU Performance Management Program to the employee’s plan and/or final overall evaluation; and, 

• Complete payment of the performance salary adjustments as per the CSU/PMP. 

The following matters are not disputable: 

• The content of the CSU Performance Management Program; 

• Matters related to the funds appropriated; 

• The performance evaluations and performance salary adjustments of other employees; and, 

• The amount of a performance salary adjustment, unless the issue involves the application of the CSU Performance Management Program.


There is nothing I can do to influence salary increases because the Colorado Department of Personnel and Administration dictates how much I will receive.  NOT SO!  

Although the State Personnel Director specifies and publishes the percentage ranges for performance levels, the amount is determined by your state legislators!  Contact your legislators (leg.colorado.gov/find-my-legislator) and your governor (https://www.colorado.gov/governor/contact) and let them know what an increase means to you.

Your supervisor must review your Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ) when planning for the upcoming performance cycle. Ask to participate in that review and make sure your PDQ is up to date!  If your job has changed significantly, you may ask to submit an updated PDQ for review to determine if the changes warrant movement to a higher classification (promotion). Employees who promote via individual position audit (PDQ review), may receive an increase of up to 10% over the employee’s current salary Your review and planning discussions are also a great opportunity to speak to your supervisor about professional goals and begin a dialogue about how to grow in your current role, prepare for a new role or develop additional skills, all of which can help position you for advancement.

Find out more details about performance evaluations at cpc.colostate.edu