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5.2 Staff Training and Development

5.2 Staff Training and Development
5.2.1 Orientation

Orientation of new employees helps develop realistic and positive expectations of employment at the College. Orientation begins when the new employee attends a “new-hire” session in the Office of Human Resources. Primary responsibility for an employee’s orientation rests with the home department.

At the group orientation session, general policies and procedures are explained, reinforcing information already provided by the supervisor. This orientation also gives new employees the opportunity to obtain answers to questions that normally arise in a new job. Employees need to know and understand the kind of commitment the College makes to them. Such knowledge fosters a sense of security and belonging, reduces adjustment problems, and increases retention.

5.2.1.1 Orientation with Human Resources Staff

Supervisors must make certain that each new employee is scheduled to attend a “new-hire” session with the Office of Human Resources on or before the first day of work. Since several important tasks need to be completed, employees should allow about 2½ hours for this meeting. A staff member from the Office of Human Resources assists the new employee in completing all necessary paperwork.  If the employee holds a benefits-eligible position, the employee will be given information regarding enrollment in insurance plans and utilization of the Human Resources Information System(s) and Employee Self-Service to keep track of vacation, sick, and personal time. All employees are informed of the length of their probationary periods and issued an Employee ID number and instructions on how to obtain a College identification card. Employees are also informed of their College username and initial passwords for access to online resources.

5.2.1.2 Group Orientation

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5.2.1.3 Department Orientation

The supervisor plays an important role in making a new employee feel welcome on the first day of work. This can be accomplished by introducing new employees to co-workers, and orienting the employee to the layout of the department and essential facilities such as rest rooms, notice boards, coatrooms, and places to eat. Guidelines should be given on procedures such as use of computing equipment and software, phones, notification of absence, meal breaks, and fire and safety rules.

On the first day, the supervisor should explain the duties of the employee’s position and how those duties relate to the function of the department as a whole. The supervisor should give each new employee a copy of the new employee’s job description.

It is important that the new employee understand his/her role in the department and how to deal with students, other employees, and visitors.

The department orientation usually is accomplished over a period of time, and introduces the new employee to additional duties and responsibilities when the employee has mastered previous ones. Supervisors should work out a systematic training and development program to cover all the duties and responsibilities of the job.

5.2.2 Performance Review

5.2.2.1 Performance Review

Employee performance review is a continual process that takes place regularly with a supervisor's frequent, informal assessments of and conversations about an employee's work performance. Annually, supervisors are required to conduct a formal meeting with an employee that summarizes and highlights: performance and goal accomplishments, areas for improvement, and professional development plans along with discussion about goals for the coming year.  The formal session should hold no surprises because effective and frequent conversations about expectations and performance have been taking place throughout the year.

The annual performance review is linked to the available rewards.

See www.ithaca.edu/hr/development/performancereview for forms, tools and resources.

5.2.2.2 When Formal Performance Reviews are Required

Performance reviews are required to be conducted annually and the original document submitted to Human Resources by July 31.

Performance reviews should also be conducted:

  1. At the end of the first six months of employment;
  2. Whenever the supervisor feels it is appropriate, especially in a case where performance problems exist.

Contact the Office of Human Resources if unable to meet the July 31st deadline.

5.2.2.3 Purpose of the Formal Performance Review

The Ithaca College Performance Review Program is designed to:

  1. Encourage communication between the employee and supervisor about the employee's current job performance and objectives for the future;
  2. Provide an objective, consistent, and documented basis for decisions affecting promotions, transfers, salary adjustments, employee development, and terminations;
  3. Encourage and motivate the employee to develop and grow in the job;
  4. Assist long-range planning through identification and assessment of growth potential of staff.

5.2.2.4 Process for the Formal Performance Review

Steps in the Performance Review Program are briefly described below.

  1. Initiate the process by requesting the completion of the Employee Self-Assessment from the employee.
  2. Complete the Performance Evaluation form.
  3. Review employee's Self-Assessment and schedule a time to meet with employee.
  4. Discuss the performance review with the next level of supervision within the department before meeting with employee.
  5. Hold a formal, pre-arranged discussion with the employee to review performance and discuss the written materials prepared prior to this meeting. Following the formal discussion, the employee may make comments on the final page of the performance review form. The employee, the immediate supervisor and the next level reviewer should sign the performance review form after the employee has completed his/her comments.
  6. Forward original completed and signed performance review documents to the Office of Human Resources for review and placement in the official personnel file.

5.2.2.5 Disposition of and Uses for the Complete Performance Review

The Employee Relations and Diversity Department reviews all performance review forms. Each performance review is then placed in the employee's official personnel file. The department should keep a copy of the performance review form; this is a resource to be used and to help improve job performance. The care and skill used by supervisors in evaluating and then counseling employees is a measure of the supervisor's ability to direct the work of employees. Formal performance reviews written in an informed and thorough manner will be very valuable to department heads, supervisors, employees, and the Office of Human Resources. This review also helps supervisors to recognize meritorious service as well as assist the employee whose performance is not satisfactory. From the employee's standpoint, the performance review is important because it points out how well the employee is progressing on the job. It should stimulate interest and improve performance, since it formally recognizes efficient services and points out unsatisfactory service.

5.2.2.6 Amending a Performance Review

No changes in the content or of the overall rating may be made to the Performance Review Form after the original copy of the form has been received by the Office of Human Resources. The performance review may, however, be updated by the supervisor submitting a new performance review to the Office of Human Resources, or by the supervisor submitting a letter to the file outlining any substantive changes in performance.

5.2.2.7 Review of Performance During the Probationary Period

Performance should be carefully and continually monitored during the probationary period.  For newly hired employees, a performance review should be conducted at the end of the probationary period, usually six months from the date of hire. Administrator employees are appointed on a fiscal year basis.  A formal performance review should take place just prior to issuing the reappointment form for the second year.  Employee suitability and progress in the position for which each was hired will be discussed and documented in order to undertake any necessary corrective action to improve performance.  If there are performance deficiencies that may result in an unsuccessful or extended probationary period, the supervisor should consult with the Office of Human Resources as early as possible. 

5.2.3 Promotions and Transfers

Ithaca College encourages promotion or transfer from within as a means of offering development and challenge to qualified and competent employees. There are advantages both to the College, in increased retention, and to the employee, in increased job satisfaction.

Depending on the circumstances, a supervisor may wish to:  (1) limit recruitment to internal candidates only, (2) conduct the widest search possible, open both to internal and external candidates, or (3) use a waiver to posting to appoint a member of the department who is in direct-line for the job.

If a supervisor wishes to promote a department member who is in direct-line for the job, it must be in accordance with the Direct-Line Promotion Policy as explained in the following section.

5.2.3.1 Promotion Policy

When a vacancy occurs, an individual may be promoted without posting the position and conducting a search, provided the employee meets or exceeds the experience and education requirements.  A promotion may also be appropriate when reorganization in a department occurs and substantial responsibilities are identified as “fitting” a particular role within a department.

A department head wishing to promote an employee should contact the Office of Human Resources to review the specific situation.  It must be demonstrated that there are no other interested, qualified employees, and that invoking this policy is in the best interests of the College and the department. It must also be clearly demonstrated that the individual has the required performance record, experience, training, and educational background for this position.  Annual performance reviews, salary history, and other factors, will be used to demonstrate that this individual merits promotion.

After review, the director of recruitment and employment, in cooperation with the executive officer, will make the decision whether the individual should be promoted without posting the position.  If so, a “Waiver to Posting” form must be completed.

5.2.3.2 Career Development Resources

When appropriate, supervisors should explore readiness and opportunities for promotion as part of the annual performance evaluation.  The Tuition Remission program and staff development opportunities at the College offer employees a chance to obtain the necessary education, skill or training to make them more eligible for promotion.  The supervisor should also encourage interested employees to contact a member of the Office of Human Resources, who will discuss positions currently available or future prospects and when appropriate, will work with the individual employee to give advice and guidance.  The Office of Career Services offers the use of their career library.  Employees may also borrow reading materials from the collection maintained by the Office of Human Resources.

5.2.3.3 Procedures for Promotion or Transfer

Employees interested in transfer or promotion must complete the appropriate online application form and apply to a specific position.

New staff and administrative positions are posted daily by the Office of Human Resources. The postings can be accessed by visiting apply.icjobs.org. Employees who are interested in seeking a promotion or transfer may make an appointment with a member of the Office of Human Resources to discuss career opportunities at the College. In considering an employee for promotion, the individual’s depth of knowledge, experience, training, competencies, attendance record, past performance, and length of service are considered.

Employees must arrange interviews at a time that is agreeable with their current supervisor, and supervisors may require employees to make up any lost time. Employees are expected to be in a job at least one year before applying for transfer or promotion. A supervisor may waive this requirement in an exceptional circumstance after discussion with a member of the Office of Human Resources.

When selected for transfer or promotion, an employee is expected to give the appropriate notice to the employee’s current supervisor. By mutual agreement, supervisors may arrange for a shorter or longer period of time before the transfer or promotion becomes effective.

5.2.3.4 Conditions of Promotion or Transfer

An employee who accepts a promotion or transfer will begin a six-month probationary period on the first day in the new position.  All paid time away will transfer with the employee to the new department.

The rate of pay for a promotion or transfer is established according to the compensation procedures.

5.2.3.5 Documentation of Promotion or Transfer

The Office of Human Resources or the new supervisor should confirm in writing the conditions of the offer and a copy of the signed acceptance letter must be sent to the Office of Human Resources for inclusion in the employee’s official personnel file. Template letters are available on the Office of Human Resources website.

Last Updated: January 1, 2013