Guidance for Supervisors Conducting Performance Evaluations

Special Considerations for Evaluations During COVID-19

The University of Washington has compiled information on preparing performance evaluations and effectively managing flexible work arrangements during COVID-19. Highlighted below are four elements* supervisors should consider:

  • Supervisors should have regular conversations with their employees about performance during COVID-19.
  • Because the effects of COVID-19 are not limited to our professional lives, supervisors should make room in conversations to understand what faculty and/or staff are experiencing.
  • When evaluating performance, acknowledge both accomplishments and challenges faced. And, when evaluating performance against goals set last year, consider whether the goals or job duties were impacted by COVID-19.
  • Supervisors should also discuss what platform to use for these conversations (e.g., phone, WebEx).


We have all had to make accommodations to our daily work routines, but what hasn’t been discussed as much are the necessary adjustments to departmental practices and procedures to better support faculty and/or staff. Below is guidance to rethink departmental practices and procedures during COVID-19.*

*Content was reposted with permission from the University of Washington’s Office of Human Resources

Express Departmental Commitments
  1. Modify turnaround time expectations, as appropriate and feasible, focusing work on the highest priority tasks and projects.
  2. Acknowledge the perspectives of employees with caregiver responsibilities.
  3. Recognize that each person’s situation is unique and that needs may vary over time.
Establish New Norms
  1. Institute department-wide “no meeting hour” or “no meeting day.”
  2. Memorialize expectations for the telework environment.
  3. To support transparency, collaboration, and communication in a telework environment, ask employees to:
    • Create an out-of-office message to communicate a reduced or flex schedule.
    • Add their work schedule to their email signature or calendar to communicate availability.
    • Block out “busy” time on their calendar to schedule around child/elder time (e.g., child’s lunch hour or senior medicine time).
    • Practice patience and understanding of caregivers if they have to take a meeting while multitasking with a child(ren).
    • Be thoughtful about colleagues’ varied work schedules by sending an email instead of scheduling a meeting, or recording the meeting, or taking notes.
Establish Manager Supports

To the extent possible for each position:

  1. Identify work that could be cancelled or postponed, reprioritized, or reallocated to others, being mindful to not overburden others taking on moved work.
  2. Be mindful of working hours and support and encourage time away from the telework environment.
  3. Allow employees to continue to telework through the school year (if possible) to provide predictability/certainty for childcare and other planning.
  4. Suggest a “buddy system” where each team member has a designated colleague who will brief them if they need to miss a meeting.
  5. Work collaboratively with employees to innovate additional ways to flex work schedules and workloads.


Campus Resources

Best Practices for Writing COVID-19 Impact Statements

As part of the Annual Evaluation process, faculty members have the option to include a COVID-19 impact statement. Documenting the effects of COVID-19 gives supervisors an accurate account of your circumstances under the conditions caused by the pandemic, and facilitates a fair assessment of your performance. Below are guiding questions to assist with preparing your impact statement.

Administrative Faculty and Staff

  1. Did your scope of work change during the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, please explain.
  2. Were you designated as an essential worker? If so, what work granted you this status?
  3. Were there any challenges with continuing to work on campus (e.g., supply of PPE, products/equipment to safely perform your job, caregiving responsibilities, unexpected personal/family events)?
  4. Were there any challenges with working remotely (e.g., lack of access to wi-fi/high speed internet, lack of software/equipment, caregiving responsibilities, unexpected personal/family events)?
  5. What additional efforts were required to convert to remote work (e.g., technology training)?
  6. For faculty and staff who serve students and academic units, were there any changes to your academic support responsibilities (e.g., advising load, mentoring of students’ mental/physical health needs, increased departmental requests)?
  7. What additional efforts occurred, if any, to attend or schedule unit meetings online? What about unit or campus events (e.g., commencement, award ceremonies, workshops, training)?
  8. Document the overall change in workload/work hours.

Academic Faculty

  1. What course changes were made (e.g., new technologies, online format, increased prep time)?
  2. Were there any additional teaching responsibilities (e.g., course overloads, shared teaching)?
  3. What challenges occurred (e.g., lack of teaching assistants, issues with technology, caregiving responsibilities, unexpected personal/family events)?
  4. Were there any changes to advising or mentoring responsibilities?
  5. What additional work was required to close and re-open a research laboratory? How were university safety guidelines met when the lab was open? What additional sanitation steps occurred? How were team meetings organized? How did these adjustments impact the manner in which research was conducted?
  6. How was research or creative work disrupted (e.g., animal research, theatrical performances, travel, field research, internal and external collaborations, access to extramural funds, publications, proposal development)?
  7. How was sabbatical or faculty development leave impacted?
  8. How were service commitments to professional societies and community organizations impacted?
  9. How were conference presentations and invited talks impacted (e.g., cancellations, rescheduled events)?
  10. Document the overall change in workload/work hours