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Vol. LVIII, No. 25
December 15, 2006

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It’s PMAP Time—Here’s How It Goes

The rating period for employees covered under the Performance Management Appraisal Program (PMAP) ends Dec. 31. Supervisors will need to complete the performance evaluation process by Feb. 15, 2007. PMAP was instituted to “make meaningful performance distinctions and to reward exceptional and fully successful performance.” Quantity, quality, timeliness, complexity and effectiveness should all be considered when measuring employee performance. These can be measured by considering factors throughout the rating period such as employee’s self-assessments or list of accomplishments, spot checks, supervisory documentation, customer feedback, record review, productivity data and/or surveys.

The NIH Office of Human Resources provides the following tips for supervisors and managers as they begin the performance-evaluation process:

  • Request and consider employee accomplishments;
  • Be consistent in the development of ratings—use the same criteria for employees performing similar duties;
  • Prepare the rating in advance and, if appropriate, obtain concurrence of higher level reviewer prior to the meeting;
  • Do not discuss proposed award amounts with employees prior to final approval;
  • Meet with each employee and provide adequate time to discuss the rating in a private location;
  • Do not focus on one specific incident—review the entire period that the appraisal covers;
  • Do not go solely by memory—base the review on accurate and factual data;
  • Separate performance from conduct issues; • Length of service or grade level do not necessarily mean better performance;
  • Avoid bias about an employee based on your personal feelings for that individual;
  • Consider only the performance for the current period being reviewed;
  • Do not overrate a poor performer as a motivational tool;
  • Do not rush through the appraisal—take time to record accurate information that truly reflects the individual’s performance;
  • Treat rating discussions with strict confidence. The following tips are provided to assist employees in preparing for their evaluation.
  • Take time before the meeting to consider: What training or professional development do you need? How are relationships going with your coworkers? What do you need from your supervisor to do a better job?
  • Prepare a list of your accomplishments during the rating period: Compare your performance to the expectations, standards and goals that were set. Be comprehensive, but concise and specific. Be as objective, honest and realistic as possible.

Training for employees and supervisors on effective performance evaluations will be available throughout January and February through the NIH Training Center. Additionally, performance liaisons have been identified within each IC to serve as a resource. To learn more about PMAP and performance management at NIH or find your IC performance liaison, visit

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