Submitted by Dr. Missi Patterson, ACC Professor of Psychology

Austin Community College District looks to relaunch its Upward Evaluation program in 2023 as part of the college’s ongoing efforts to create a welcoming, inclusive work culture. The program supports ACC’s Administrative Rule regarding Upward Evaluations and the annual Performance Excellence Program, better known as PEP. 

To better understand our evolving work environments, ACC evaluated feedback collected through our Climate Survey and 3Cs Roundtables. Chancellor, Dr. Richard Rhodes, asked the college to prioritize restarting this important tool for continued feedback and reflection.

The “Upward Feedback Workgroup” started meeting in November 2022, with the goal to develop a plan for the new Upward Feedback effort. The group will continue meeting every other week through Spring 2023.

Thus far, the focus has been to develop and discuss several important questions:

  • How many levels of supervisors should employees be asked to review?
  • Should the feedback be upward only, or a 360 approach?
  • How will the college and our leaders be best equipped to take appropriate action based on the feedback?
  • Who will receive the results of the feedback process and what form should it take?
  • What level of confidentiality would best serve this process?
  • Should we perform the process using in-house tools, or should we invest in an external vendor?
  • How will this process align with the current PEP (Performance Excellence Plan) and our Strategic Plan?
  • How many/what questions should be a part of this process?

In developing answers to these questions, the workgroup has begun exploring the functionality and expertise of external vendors and has been collecting resources to explore best practices. They have voted to begin the RFP process (Request for Proposal) to select an external vendor to improve processes and confidentiality regarding upward feedback.

If you are interested in this work, please review the group’s charge. You may also review the list of members, and consider reaching out to the representative for your employee group to learn more and share your thoughts.