The administration of the University of Liberia (UL) on Monday, August 13, launched Performance Evaluation and Enhancement Program (PEEP) to ensure efficiency and effectiveness of faculty members.
The PEEP will include written performance reviews for all staffs on a regular basis with every three month as a minimum. Managers or supervisors in various departments within the university will forward complete performance reviews to UL Human Resources for inclusion in the personnel file.
The aim of this exercise is to support employee succeed through a cycle of goal and development planning, coaching and support, periodic (four times a year) progress review and regular performance review.
While officially launching the program on Monday at the Fendall Campus of the university, UL president, Dr. Ophelia Inez Weeks, said the PEEP is being introduced, because the lack of performance from some staffers is undermining the works of the university. “We need to do more to make this university a better place for all of us,” she said. She added that the launch of the PEEP is to improve service delivery and therefore, everyone must get involved. Also in attendance was former university president, Dr. Emmet Dennis.
“Everybody’s got to work together to make the university successful. Students have to do their jobs; faculty got to do their jobs; the staffs’ got to do their jobs, and the casual workers’ got to do their part. That is the only way we can achieve success at this university,” Dr. Weeks told the audience.
She said that inefficiency is leading to three or four persons doing a single person’s job. “This is unfortunate, because we are paying people who are doing nothing, and the ones who are doing the actual works are being underpaid,” she said.
It is unfortunate; she added that people are hired based on connections, and not on merit. “No matter how much we don’t want to admit it, but many of us get hired based on friendship, family connections, or you are someone boyfriend or girlfriend, and most of the times it is not merit based. There are others who are committed to the university, and are working very hard but do not get the desire recognition and appreciation,” Dr. Weeks repeatedly told the audience.
She also indicated that the inability of supervisors not tracking the deficiencies of staffers over time leads to loss of legal cases when a harsh decision of dismissal is taking against that employee. “The other reality is, it becomes a problem when people are not doing their job and their supervisors are not keeping track of their poor performances. Most of them just occupy space, because they are dead weights, while the real people who are working are not being recognized.”
She added, “This program is to reasonably, fairly, equitably evaluate people, but sometimes you are not good in the job that you are currently in but could be a whole lot better in an capacity that would help the university improve. This is meant to look at where people can be the best of service to our university. This will also provide training where it is needed.”
“The hope is that we will make this university a better place, because we will be looking for efficiency and this efficiency will provide better services. We will make this place a better place for everybody,” Dr. Weeks said.
According to the Director of PEEP, Yede Michelle Dennis, the tool is to give an employee with performance deficiencies the opportunity to succeed. He said it will be used to address failures to meet specific job goals or to improve behavior-related concerns.
The program has five steps including below average, satisfactory, very good, excellent and outstanding performance, but the outcomes may vary, to include improvement in overall performance; the recognition of a skills or training gap; or possible employment actions as may be deemed necessary.
Former UL president, Dr. Emmet Dennis, lauded Dr. weeks for the initiative, and said it will go a long way in improving standards at the university.