HC workers face evaluations

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WINTON – Those employed by the County of Hertford will be in for employee evaluations for the first time in many years.

At last week’s meeting of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, the board approved a Performance Appraisal Policy that will allow for evaluations of county staff.

“What you have before you is a document that staff and I have been working on for a while,” said Hertford County Manager Loria D. Williams. “All county employees are to have an evaluation on an annual basis, according to policy. Evaluations have not been conducted on general county employees for quite some time.”

Commissioner DuPont L. Davis asked Williams who would conduct the evaluations and the manager said they would be done by supervisors and/or department heads.

“The Department of Social Services will have some conducted by supervisors instead of the department head, but they have been evaluated,” Williams said. “The other county employees have not been in a considerable amount of time.”

Commissioner Johnnie R. Farmer said he was pleased to see the evaluation process being put in place.

“I commend the county manager and her staff for doing this,” he said. “When I became a county commissioner, I was surprised that something like this was not in place. In my career, I was evaluated every year both in the military and with the school system.”

He also said he felt the evaluation process was important.

“When you’re hiring, firing or making other personnel moves without an evaluation, it seems strange,” Farmer said.

Williams said she agreed, but also pointed out that the evaluation process was important in allowing the employee to understand what his or her supervisor was expecting.

“We’ll sit down with the county employees and let them know that the evaluation and appraisal is not about letting them know what’s wrong,” Williams stressed. “It is about dialogue. It requires the supervisor to sit down twice per year and tell the employee what they are doing well and where they have a need for improvement.

“This is truly not about failure, but about providing good service to our citizens,” Williams said.

The Hertford County Performance Appraisal Policy will cover all employees except those who are elected and their deputies, contractual employees and temporary or emergency employees. That exempts Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan and Register of Deeds Kathleen Wright and their respective staffs.

The policy requires department heads and supervisors to make sure that the evaluations are completed.

“Each department head and/or supervisor is responsible for ensuring that utilization of the performance appraisal system complies with these provisions and appraisal objectives and that deadlines and internal equity are met,” the policy reads. “Department heads/supervisors shall ensure that each employee is appraised on job-related performance criteria and shall have received training on the performance appraisal system.”

The appraisal form allows for four levels of rating. They include Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Below Expectations and Unsatisfactory.

After the discussion, Commissioner Curtis A. Freeman made the motion to accept the performance appraisal with Commissioner William F. Mitchell Jr. offering a second. It passed without objection.