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PRESIDENT'S COUNCIL MEMORANDUM #1

TO: All Staff

FROM: President’s Council

DATE: November 2001

SUBJECT: Career Development

As you may know, UCAR invited the American Physical Society's (APS) Committee on the Status of Women to in Physics (CSWP) to examine the professional "climate" for female scientists at NCAR/UCAR and UOP. The CSWP issued a report following the July, 2000 site visit. The report can be found at: http://www.ucar.edu/inside/aps/.

While the focus of the CSWP site visit and report was on women scientists, some of the recommendations apply to all employees. In our response to the CSWP (http://www.ucar.edu/inside/apsresp/), the President’s Council committed to improving UCAR’s mentoring efforts across the board and to support career planning for all employees. We said:

"…each year, the annual review document will include a section, co-signed by both mentor and "supervisee", that describes the opportunities and challenges for the individual from the point of view of the next five years of his or her career development. In this section of the annual review, for example, both supervisor and supervisee will address what is needed to get to the next stage in the planned professional development… Also, for NCAR scientists (associate, project and regular track appointments), the documents will be reviewed by the NCAR director in consultation with individual division directors."

We believe that supervisors should be aware of the policies and procedures pertaining to mentoring and career development and be supportive of employees who wish to take advantage of them. Also, management should ensure that mentoring is an explicit responsibility of supervisors and senior staff in general and should evaluate these activities during annual performance reviews.  Our current Performance Appraisal process provides a framework for meeting these objectives; and for the 2001 appraisal, we are adding the following guidance:

To start five-year career plans for all employees:

In Part C "Coaching and Developmental Planning" employees with their supervisors should identify opportunities for growth. For 2001, all employees should list as a goal: "Prepare a five year plan for your own career growth and identify your long-term career goals. Set a date to meet with your supervisor prior to the end of the 2001 calendar year to discuss this plan.

For some employees, the five-year career plan may be a plan to prepare them for another job, for others it may be a plan to develop skills used in their current job. The five-year plan is very much an individual plan, and is to be used solely for the benefit of the employee. Some plans may be extremely short and simple. These plans will not be used in future performance evaluations or in determining merit raises for employees (which are based on past performance metrics) but are intended to provide a more explicit vehicle for individual professional development planning.

To ensure supervisors understand their responsibility to mentor employees:

In Part B "Performance of Key Activities", employees are evaluated each year for "Key Activities". One of the Key Activities for Supervisors is Leadership, which includes managing, training, developing, motivating and coaching. For the 2001 appraisal, managers should place special emphasis on this Key Activity to identify areas of improvement in the area of mentoring for all supervisors. Any deficiency in skills in this area should be identified as an area to improve in future years.

During this next year, additional resources (training, etc.) will be made available to managers to help them become good (or better) mentors. Sample forms for five-year career planning will be available shortly and you will be advised once they are ready. We truly believe that mentoring and career development is of the highest importance for the success of UCAR, and personally support all efforts to improve in these areas.

 
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