Frequently Asked Questions - Check-ins

Check-ins

What are the six guided check-in questions that we use to map to the Achievement Criteria?

  1. What goals did you accomplish this period? In what ways does your work connect to our overall strategy and/or mission? (Goal Accomplishment & Job Mastery)

  2. What do you like best about your work? (Goal Accomplishment)

  3. How have you supported others work and/or collaborated with others on your work this period? (Collaboration)

  4. How have you innovated to seek efficiencies or improve work outcomes? (Innovation)

  5. How have you fostered diversity, equity, inclusion and/or belonging on our team and campus? (Inclusion & Belonging)

  6. What can I do as your supervisor to better support your success? What additional knowledge, resources, or tools are needed to successfully do your job? (Development Planning & Manager Support)

Do we always have to discuss all the guided questions during each check-in?

Yes. Here are a few considerations to better understand the purpose and use of the guided questions:

  • These questions map to each performance indicator in the Achievement Criteria, providing the opportunity to adequately discuss what we do and how we do it
  • They enable managers/supervisors and direct reports to expansively discuss current performance and plan for future job needs
  • Think of the check-in questions as conversation starters, which set up the conversation to use attentive listening and open-ended follow ups to deepen the conversation
  • Managers/supervisors and direct reports are not limited to the guided set of questions. It is encouraged to bring attention to feedback, recognition, questions/concerns about work
  • By the end of the conversation, managers/supervisor and direct reports should have clear expectations on how work will be accomplished over the next four months. 

Where will completed check-ins be stored?

Check-in conversations are documented using the Achieve Together Online Form through the Online Dashboard. Supervisors and direct reports finalize the Online Form once they are done.  The Online Forms for each of the three annual check-ins are sent to the employee's personnel file after each cycle. 

Your Online Forms are also always viewable from the Online Dashboard.  

What timeframe does a check-in cover?

Check-ins conversations cover the preceding four months. For example, the August / September check-in covers performance between April 1 and July 31. See the Check-ins page on the website for more information. 

Can I make changes to previous check-in forms?

Once a form is finalized, edits cannot be made. Please make sure that the form is completed before selecting the "Finalize my Notes/Comments" action.

Doing performance evaluations once a year took a lot of time. Won’t doing them three times a year take even longer?

With the previous performance program, non-represented employees spent several hours at the end of each performance year collecting records on accomplishments and completing self evaluations. Managers did the same before completing each employee’s annual performance evaluation. Approximately 60,000 hours were spent each year on annual performance evaluations with little to no added value. Achieve Together check-ins are estimated to take a total of 20,000 hours each year (less than half the time), and will transform our workforce. This is because the check-in should be incorporated into the regular one-on-one meetings that already occur. Additionally, as events occur, they are entered onto the check-in form and then discussed. This real-time, informal feedback will increase agility and employee engagement, and lead to increased levels of performance.

What if I don't agree with my manager/supervisor or my employee’s comments?

It is possible managers/supervisors and direct reports do not agree on individual or overall performance levels, or comments documented in the check-in form. We recommend discussing these disagreements to seek greater understanding, with intent to identify an action plan for prevention of future misaligned perspective on how work is accomplished.

Disagreements between managers/supervisors and direct reports are common and are a major opportunity for constructive, thoughtful, and supportive discussion.

If there is evidence to suggest an inaccurate depiction of performance or conduct, contact your HR Partner to discuss the issue and potential options. The Office of the Ombuds also has conflict resolution and mediation support. 

What if I submit the check-in form late?

Check-in forms should be completed by the due date for each Check-in converstion; we close the system after that date. Once the Achieve Together Online Dashboard system is closed, you cannot add content to the online form, but a separate process to include the check-in notes can be arranged with help from your HR partner.

Remember, if you do not complete your Online Form by the deadline, you will not be able to review it later via the Achieve Together Online Dashboard

What if my manager/supervisor didn't have a check-in conversation with me?

Managers/supervisors (this includes anyone who is supervising a non-represented employee) are responsible for managing performance and facilitating performance conversations as required by UC Berkeley's performance program for non-represented staff. This information is included in the Achievement Criteria for managers/supervisors. You are entitled to discuss scheduling a check-in conversation. If you are met with resistance, you should contact your HR Partner with questions/concerns.

If it is that check-in conversations do not occur, per UC policy, employees will automatically receive a "Well Done" performance level. In this case, the supervisor will not be eligible for a merit increase.

Reports will be generated for units for completion data.