Performance Calibration

What is performance calibration? 

  • An ongoing, informal process of revisiting and refining expectations, ensuring fairness and equity in the performance development program.

  • A formalized facilitated process in which managers/supervisors in departments determine employee performance levels and numeric ratings once annually

Two people working together to arrange post its on a wallThe three Achieve Together Check-ins make-up one overall performance appraisal. The information from the three Check-ins is used by managers/supervisors to determine the performance level (Needs Attention; Well Done; Stand Out) for each of the five (5) Achievement Criteria. The five performance levels are then averaged to generate an Overall Performance Level and an associated numeric rating.  

Note: When merit funding is available, numeric ratings confirmed in the performance calibration process will be used to inform percentage-based merit increases.

Divisions, schools, units, and departments have been using some form of performance calibration at UC Berkeley for decades. With the launch of the Achieve Together program, we’d like to share information on how you can update and align your practices with the new program.

When do we engage in performance calibration?

The three Check-ins make-up one overall performance appraisal and are completed each year by April 30. Calibration is done in May each year with final calibration rosters due in early June. Specific due dates in May and June will be determined by the Unit Administrator.

Managers/supervisors can review the 2021 Year-End Process for details.

Why do we utilize performance calibration?

  • Performance calibration is the industry standard for ensuring a fair and equitable process in evaluating performance

  • It creates space for managers/supervisors to consistently and fairly administer the Achieve Together performance program, including:

    • Documentation of three Check-in conversations to note achievement during the year

    • Use of the Achievement Criteria with its behavioural indicators to evaluate performance annually

    • Participation in an in-unit facilitated process to calibrate performance ratings among supervisors 

  • It challenges hard and easy “graders” to be fair and accurate in their evaluation of employees

  • By engaging in the performance calibration meeting, supervisors and managers raise awareness of the work contributions of their teams to peers and leadership

  • It ensures that all UC Berkeley employees have a consistent performance development experience 

Through the discussions with peer managers and unit leadership, the calibration process will:

  • Confirm the performance level (Needs Attention, Well Done, Stand Out) in each of the fiveAchieve Together Achievement Criteria

  • Confirm the Overall Performance Level and its associated Numeric Rating.

What are managers/supervisors responsible for doing? 

Before Your In-unit Performance Calibration Meeting

  • Visit and review the “Learn about performance calibration” section of this website to prepare yourself for a successful calibration meeting.

  • Use the Online Dashboard to review the 3 Check-in conversations for each employee on your team AND use the Achievement Criteria to complete ONE Pre-Calibration Roster for your team. 

  • Upon completion of the Pre-Calibration Roster, return it to your in-unit performance calibration organizer (generally your CAO or CUA will have this information).

During Your In-unit Performance Calibration Meeting

  • A facilitator from your unit (generally in HR or Admin) will share the overall performance level and the corresponding numeric rating for individual employees and the overall average for each team. 

  • Managers will discuss each employee’s performance contributions, their recommended overall performance level with corresponding numeric ratings, and engage in a conversation to affirm or offer differing perspectives for each employee.

After Your In-unit Performance Calibration Meeting 

  • If changes are recommended to the initial employee overall performance level, their manager and unit leadership will connect to discuss and confirm the changes.

  • If there is a merit program, the confirmed numeric ratings will be used to inform percentage-based merit increases. The employee’s Overall Performance Level will be communicated as part of generated merit letters.

  • Final Step: Regardless of a merit program, manager/supervisor will share the performance levels for all 5 Achievement Criteria and the Overall Performance Levels with each employee during a scheduled 1:1 after the completion of the calibration process. 

Learn About Performance Calibration

Performance Calibration Overview

Performance Calibration Overview

Determining and Documenting Performance Levels with Corresponding Numeric Ratings

Determining and Documenting Performance Levels with Corresponding Numeric Ratings

Useful Resources

Unit Leader Responsibilities

Unit leaders are those designated by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) or Control Unit Administrator (CUA) to manage the Achieve Together Calibration process each year. It may be the CAO/CUA themselves or someone on their staff. Each CAO/CUA and additional staff they identify are members of the Achieve Together Network. Members of the Achieve Together Network work with People & Culture to support and complete the Achieve Together processes. 

Unit leaders are responsible for using the Performance Calibration Toolkit to organize and facilitate their in-unit performance calibration meetings.

Note: Organizing the calibration meetings in your unit will depend on size, structure, and leadership discretion. Generally, peer managers gather to calibrate performance for their direct reports. 

After numeric ratings are confirmed by unit leaders, departmental data will be shared with Berkeley People and Culture (details available through your unit). In the event a merit program is approved by the UC Office of the President, you will also share the results of calibration with the unit’s financial administrator.