Performance Management Standardization

With that goal of being an employer of choice in mind, the State is moving to a 5-point rating scale for performance management starting with the development of individual performance plans on April 1, 2022 for a transition performance cycle ending July 31, 2023. 

As a State employee, you deserve the opportunity to learn, develop, and grow to the fullest potential in your careers. That is made possible if supervisors have a process allowing for constructive feedback, fairness, and flexibility in the way employees are evaluated. 

To reward good works we must have consistent processes that can measure them. Standardizing our performance management systems plays an important role in reimagining State government. 

Moving to a 5-point rating scale will allow:

  • Better alignment between performance and agency goals 
  • Greater differentiation, added nuance, and supervisory coaching tools to help employees reach beyond current performance levels for improved ratings
  • Evaluative, competency-based detail that can be used to suggest free educational opportunities with the State’s Center for Organizational Effectiveness (COE)
  • Improved equity and accountability based on employee performance and needs
  • Enhanced bias detection when reviewing supervisory evaluation methods
  • Uniform, transferable, and translatable definitions between agencies - a 3, 4, or 5 at one agency will be, and mean, the same thing at every other agency
  • Development of career pathing and succession planning tools that tie back to more objective measures of performance

For more information specific to your department, please contact your department's human resources office.

Q: Why is the State moving from a 3-point rating scale to a 5-point rating scale?

A: The State is moving to the 5-point rating scale as a result of a study conducted on behalf of the State Personnel Director (Director). The Director and Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) also engaged in town halls across the state and heard from employees that this was an important issue for them. Employees wanted a way to know how they are doing and the current 3-point rating scale did not differentiate the efforts of those employees who were almost level 3s from those who were almost level 1s.

Q: When will the transition to a 5-point rating scale occur for State employees in general government?

A: The transition period will be April 1, 2022, through July 31, 2023.

Q: When will the transition to a 5-point rating scale occur for state employees in Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs)?

A: All departments and IHEs will begin using the 5-point rating scale on April 1, 2022.

Q: How will the annual performance cycle change?

A: There will be one main cycle August 1 - July 31. *Caveat: Some IHEs may choose a second option of September 1 - August 31 based on their business needs. Once a cycle has been chosen by an IHE, it cannot be changed without the authorization of the Director.

Q: How many check-ins with employees are required during the transition period to the new performance scale and standardized cycle?

A: One. After thoughtful consideration of feedback from the Point of Contacts on this project, there will not be a second check-in required during the transition. The one (1) progress review should be no sooner than six (6) months after the 2022 annual review given to the employee, but no later than twelve (12) months after the 2022 annual review given to the employee.
It is important to emphasize that Performance Management is a year round event with continuous feedback between supervisors and employees. While two check-ins are not required, it is in the best interest of employees and agencies to foster a year-round culture of feedback and improvement. The Center for Organizational Effectiveness (COE) will continue to provide training on this expectation as we shift into a new performance model.

Q: Why is the State changing the timing of the performance cycle?

A: The State is seeking to standardize the process, including timing of the performance cycle statewide. Consistency is a benefit and better aligns performance with State agencies wildly important goals and the fiscal year. Because every employee contributes to the success of their agency’s goals and the goals of the State, aligning performance management with goal setting clarifies the line from leadership to employees. The next performance cycle will run from April 1, 2022 through July 31, 2023. Future performance years will then run from August 1 through July 31.

Q: What role does Colorado Workers for Innovative New Solutions (COWINS) have in performance management?

A: Performance management is addressed in Article 27 of the partnership agreement.