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Hello DHS,

I'm doing a written message today because I want to build on the leadership video I did last week. Today, I want to provide some more specific detail about the Performance Feedback Model I mentioned then, and I want to give you a couple of assignments at the end. That's better done in writing than in a video message.

This new Performance Feedback Model isn't really new at all. It's an extension of the professional and leadership development work we're all doing to get better outcomes for the people and families we work with.

Performance Feedback Model 

Basically, we're moving past the old idea of a single, annual performance appraisal (which I expect many of you will agree wasn't working) and building a model that helps us have an ongoing conversation about employee development and the connection of the jobs we do to the agency's goals and needs, now and in the future. The new model consists of three components; the Employee Development Plan, receiving Regular Performance Feedback, and receiving Annual Performance Feedback.

Just to be clear, the Performance Feedback Model is NOT about discipline or setting up a "work plan." It's about growth and development, and that's why it has such a solid base of support among everyone across the Department. It's also why I support it whole-heartedly!

So how does this work? It starts with a conversation with your Supervisor about your personal "Employee Development Plan" – that is, a plan to focus on what you need to do your current job better and what you need to continue to be a valuable, contributing employee in your future work. These development goals are documented on an Employee Development Plan form.

Employee Development Plan 

Once you have your development plan in place, the Performance Feedback Model calls for employees and managers to check in regularly to discuss the status of your work and your progress on your plan. There's no set frequency for these check-ins, so you'll need to work that out for each work group.

One early success we are already seeing is how much employees like the opportunity to sit down with their manager, one-on-one, and talk about what's working well and what needs improvement. Staff members have told me how much they appreciate the opportunity to get real-time feedback, and these face-to-face meetings build connection and add to the progress we're making with Lean Daily Management System.

The last component of the model is Annual Performance Feedback where the manager summarizes the employee's performance over the prior year. Given the manager and employee are regularly meeting regarding the Development plan, this should be summary where there should be no surprises.

The Performance Feedback Model is a big part of our change in culture for us here at DHS. It provides a framework for shifting the way we manage the agency because it recognizes that we have a shared responsibility for success.

It gives value to both the employee and manager to develop a meaningful plan on behalf of populations we serve; therefore allowing us to see how our daily work fits into the big picture. It means the employee must be accountable for their own development, and the manager must be a coach and facilitator to make sure the employee gets to that goal.

Of course, it's not going to work perfectly every time right away. We'll all need to learn and grow with the process, and it won't always be easy for staff or managers at first. However, I am absolutely sure that this will be one the most important changes we make at DHS because it helps us bring change at the essential working unit of one employee working with one manager.

It's exciting and challenging, so I'm asking two things of each of you reading this message:

First, to be aware that there is a new model for employee development and feedback; and Second, to start thinking about what you're going to write into your personal plan for development. What do you need now, and what will you need later? Get started talking with your Supervisor about it.

Let's start this courageous conversation together because it starts us down the road to being a more effective agency to help children, people with disabilities, adults, seniors and families in Oregon to be independent, safe and healthy. And that's the outcome we all want.

Have a great week

~Erinn

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