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Performance Management

This page contains performance management quicklinks, important dates, and guidance for employees and supervisors. Visit the development and training page for opportunities within GSA that are available to TTS employees

End of year performance review important dates

Date Item
September 30 End of FY2019 performance cycle
October 1 FY2020 performance cycle begins
October 1 Internal ask for employees to begin their self-assessment
October 22 Self-assessment submittal due date
October 23 Audit of Employee self-assessment completion
Oct 23 - Nov 7 Supervisors hold 1:1 performance review meetings with their direct reports
October 30 Audit of Supervisor review completion
November 7 TTS Internal ask due date to close out FY19 performance plans
November 14 Official GSA end of year close out due date for FY19 performance plans in HR Links
December FY19 Individual Performance Awards are targeted to be paid out in December 2019
Resource Use
Employee checklist Employee performance management steps
Supervisor checklist Supervisor performance management steps
Employee Step-by-Step HR Links Guide Entering performance review steps into HR Links
Supervisor Step-by-Step HR Links Guide Entering and processing performance review steps in HR Links
HR Links Submitting performance reviews
HR Links Employee Guide Visual guide for employees to enter components of a performance review into HR Links
HR Links Supervisor Guide Visual guide for supervisors to enter components of a performance review into HR Links
FY19 Performance Management Planning & Appraisal Master Schedule All FY19 dates
Online Learning University (OLU) Non-supervisor Performance management trainings (Non-supervisory employees)
Online Learning University (OLU) Supervisor Performance management trainings (Supervisory employees)
Employee Performance Management InSite performance management resources
HR Links: Time Off Award Preference Instructions for selecting time off awards in lieu of cash

Who participates in the end of year performance review?

A GSA employee is eligible to be rated by their official Supervisor if they have been on an established Performance Plan for 120 days, beginning with the date that the employee acknowledged the performance plan that was signed by their Supervisor.

Who is eligible for the end of year performance bonus?

Employees who occupy eligible positions as of September 30, 2019, and who receive an eligible rating of record, will receive an Individual Performance Award (IPA) or can opt for a Time Off Award in lieu of cash by selecting that option in HR Links no later than November 14, 2019.

Subject to the availability of funds, OCFO and OHRM plan to distribute FY19 IPAs as follows:

Creating a new performance plan

In most cases, supervisors should own the creation of performance plans for direct reports. This step applies to employees who require a new performance plan such as new employees and existing employees who have recently changed roles.

Copying an existing performance plan

In most cases, supervisors should own the creation of performance plans for direct reports. This step applies to employees that will be on a performance plan that is consistent with their prior year.

Submitting a performance plan for employee approval

Acknowledging a performance plan

Re-opening a performance plan

If modifications need to be made to an existing performance plan, a plan can be re-opened by the Supervisor and resubmitted to the employee to acknowledge.

NOTE: 120 days must pass from the date the employee acknowledges the updated plan before they can be rated against it.

Entering a self-assessment

Nominating participant reviewer(s)

This process allows supervisors and employees to solicit feedback from other supervisors or colleagues regarding their Performance Plan. HR Links allows both employees and supervisors to nominate and track participant reviews; however, only supervisors can officially submit a nomination. If an employee nominates another employee for feedback on their performance, the nomination is submitted to the supervisor for approval.

Once nominated, participant reviewers receive a notification alerting them of the evaluation request. The employee’s supervisor is required to review and approve all feedback from participant reviews. NOTE: A participant reviewer will only be able to see the employee appraisal information that they provided.

Submitting a participant review

Submitting a participant review in HR Links is the same process for all nominated colleagues regardless of their reporting relationship to the employee. TTS Supervisors will have to review and approve all participant reviews for their direct reports in HR Links as part of the final employee evaluation submittal process.

Reviewing an employee self-assessment

Reviewing evaluations from participant reviewer(s)

Submitting an evaluation

Acknowledging an evaluation

Establishing a performance plan for the new fiscal year

Employees have the option to update duty specific measures and/or weights -with supervisor approval- when establishing their FY20 performance plans in HR Links:

Note: FY20 performance plans may be further modified in the first few months of the new fiscal year to account for any updates to TTS and/or Business Unit level specific measure that leadership determines necessary. If this takes place, performance plans will need to be updated and re-established so that employees can be rated against those updated performance plans.

Confirming that performance plans have been established

It is critical that all FY19 performance plan evaluations are acknowledged by employees before November 14 and all FY20 performance plans are acknowledged by employees before November 29. The status of employee performance management can be checked in the Team Performance Supervisor dashboard:

Selecting Time Off Award in lieu of cash performance award

For the FY19 performance review cycle, employees who would like a time off award in lieu of cash must select their award type preference in HR Links no later than November 14, 2019. If time-off is not indicated in HR Links, then the default will be a cash award. If you’ve selected a time off award in previous performance review cycles, this may still be active in HR Links; make sure to delete that selection if you would like to receive the cash individual performance reward instead.

Note: Award time off must be used within one year of issuance and does not get paid out (like annual leave) if you leave GSA.

Employee resources

Employee performance management checklist



Gather supporting documentation

Supporting documentation that aligns with your Performance Management Plan is optional for the performance review process. Examples of supporting documentation include emails, written performance counseling, customer feedback, survey results, supervisory notes, database/spreadsheets, and/or work samples within the current rating cycle.

This information can be shared with your Supervisor during your 1:1 performance review conversation that will take place October 21 - November 7.

TTS performance rating tool

Use of this tool is optional but can be helpful in determining what your end-of-year rating may be once the performance review is complete. This tool can be used as a reference during your 1:1 performance review session with your supervisor. Note that your supervisor will make final rating determinations on all specific measures associated with your performance plan.


Supervisor resources

Supervisor performance management checklist



Discussing performance expectations with a new direct report

When an employee joins TTS or changes supervisors within TTS, it is important that the supervisor establish new performance expectations with the employee through dialogue and ultimately in the official performance plan. Performance expectations must be developed to describe the expected level of performance at a Level 3 rating; supervisors are encouraged to establish performance expectations for other levels if deemed appropriate.

Performance improvement plans

Employees who will be rated at Level 1 or 2 in any category on their FY19 Performance Plan must be issued a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)[Level 1 rating] or Performance Action Plan (PAP)[Level 2 rating]. To initiate this process, reach out to Jim Mulvaney, TTS’s Employee & Labor Relations Specialist. Jim will work directly with you to create the PIP/PAP for your team member; supporting documentation will need to be submitted to Jim for review when creating the PIP/PAP.

The fully vetted PIP/PAP must be issued to the employee by the last working day of the FY19 performance cycle, September 30, 2019. Please note that PIP/PAPs must be reviewed by Legal, which takes a few days, before those plans can be presented to the employee.

Verifying your direct reports

FY19 Audit: In preparation for the FY19 End-of-Year Employee Performance Review Cycle, please conduct an audit of your Direct Reports in HR Links by following the instructions in the FY19 Direct Report Audit Survey.

All supervisors should complete the FY19 audit by COB September 24th, so please fill out the above survey if you have not yet.

FY20 Audit: Once the TTS reorg has been completed, the Performance Management team will communicate to Supervisors to do a new audit of their Direct Reports in HR Links by following the instructions in the FY20 Direct Report Audit Survey.

1 on 1 performance discussion

This meeting is an opportunity to rate, recognize and give your direct report constructive feedback (formal or informal) regarding the results of their work within the established expectations, goals, and objectives outlined in the performance plan. If your direct report has filled out a performance rating tool, this meeting would be a good time to review it with them.

See below for how to prepare for this meeting.

Preparing for 1 on 1 performance discussion

Gather emails, written performance counseling, customer feedback, survey results, supervisory notes, database/spreadsheets, and/or work samples about the employee’s performance that you observed within the current rating cycle. Prepare feedback for your direct reports that’s backed with specific data points and examples, regardless of whether it will be constructive criticism or praise. When providing constructive criticism, it is recommended that you have clear examples of the desired behavior.

Here’s a pre-feedback checklist you may want to consider:

For instances when a direct report is not assigned to their first line supervisor in HR Links or their supervisor doesn’t have HR Links manager access, there are two primary options for the first line supervisor to be able to contribute to the evaluation:

  1. The first line supervisor should have a 1:1 performance discussion with their direct report and then email their evaluation to the second line supervisor who will submit the evaluation in HR Links on the first line supervisor’s behalf.
    • NOTE: If the employee has submitted a self-assessment in HR Links, the second line supervisor should email or print a copy for the first line supervisor to review prior to the 1:1 meeting.
  2. The second line supervisor can nominate the first line supervisor as a participant reviewer so that the first line supervisor can submit an evaluation for their direct report in HR Links after the 1:1 discussion.
    • NOTE: The nominated supervisor’s feedback is not automatically included as a comment in the employees performance review. HR Links creates a separate document, so it is recommended that the second line supervisor cuts and paste the feedback into the summary comments.

Approving/Denying a level 1 or level 5 summary performance rating

If an employee has received a Summary Rating of Level 1 or 5, the evaluation will automatically be routed to the employee’s 2nd level supervisor (the supervisor of the employee’s supervisor) for approval. To approve or deny a Summary Rating of Level 1 or 5, the employee’s 2nd Level Supervisor must follow the instructions below:

The only time a supervisor may want to cancel an evaluation is when an employee separates and evaluation cannot be completed or it’s not necessary. Only and HR Admin can cancel “submitted” evaluations. Please reach out to Jim Mulvaney to initiate this process.

A supervisor may need to approve an employee performance plan or employee evaluation on behalf of their employee if the employee is unable to (i.e. on vacation) or refuses to do so (i.e. does not agree with the evaluation).

Leveraging diversity performance measure

All FY20 supervisory performance plans must include a new “Leveraging Diversity” measure. For guidance on adding this to supervisory plans click here and/or attend a Supervisor’s Lounge session (see below).

Additional training

Supervisors’ Lounge Question and Answer Sessions

These sessions will feature a demo showing how to incorporate organizational measures into the performance plan. Both sessions will go over the same content, so Supervisors can attend either one. The links below lead to OLU where you can sign up for a session:

Thursday, October 3rd, 1-2pm EST

Thursday, October 31st, 1-2pm EST

Courses include, but is not limited to the following:

OLU Performance Management Program

Courses include, but is not limited to the following:

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