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FHWA Order M3000.1C

Order
Subject
FHWA Personnel Management Manual; Part 1: Personnel Systems & Procedures, Chapter 9 Awards and Employee Recognition, Section 2, Attachment 2 Writing the Evaluation
Classification Code Date
M3000.1C February 10, 2006  

Attachment 2: Writing the Evaluation

  1. Be positive

    Approach suggestions with a positive attitude. If the entire suggestion cannot be adopted, consider whether it may be adopted in part or with modification. In these instances, the suggester may be entitled to an award based on the extent of influence the suggestion contributed to management's action (a partial award). Be certain the reasons for the non-adopt action are clear. If you cannot adopt a suggestion, do not dwell on or overemphasize its shortcomings.

  2. Summarize First

    Start the evaluation with a brief summary of the suggestion so the suggester knows you understand the idea. Follow with the reasons for your decision and conclude with an expression of appreciation for participation in the program.

  3. Watch the Tone

    Write answers that you would be willing to accept. Avoid a cold, impersonal, or superior tone. (Remember that a copy of your evaluation, with your name, will be sent to the suggester with a non-adoptive letter.)

    Write the answer with the suggester in mind. Use language that the suggester will understand. A responsive answer often eliminates requests for reconsideration.

  4. Don't "Turn Off"

    Avoid words or statements that might "turn off" suggesters, such as:

    • "scheme" (It sounds negative. Use "plan" or "idea");
    • "impractical" (also unpleasant; use "not feasible");
    • "gadget" (It belittles a suggester.); and/or
    • "reject" or "rejection" (Use "not adopted" or "declined.").
  5. Be Brief

    Try to keep your evaluation short. In other words, do not overwhelm the reader with detail.

  6. Be Timely

    Respond in a timely manner. Remember that delaying the implementation of an adopted suggestion can cost the Federal government money.

  7. Consider Legality

    Consider the legal aspects of your evaluation. If the idea has legal implications, return it to the Suggestion Coordinator with a note attached recommending review by the Chief Counsel and Chief Financial Officer's Office.

  8. Review

    As you review your draft evaluation, ask yourself these questions:

    • Is it written to the suggester?
    • Is it clear as to why the suggestion will not be adopted?
    • Is it motivational - does it encourage future suggestions?
    • Is it appreciative? Does it thank the suggester for taking the time and effort to submit ideas for improving the organization?
    • Is it possible to implement the suggestion in another unit in FHWA? Did I tell the suggester that?
    • Am I totally satisfied with the research, data analysis, conclusions, and write-up of the evaluation?
    • In writing the evaluation, have I been totally fair, "long-range minded," and objective?
    • If I were the suggester, would I be satisfied to receive the evaluation?

If the answer is "NO" to any of the above, the evaluation should be revised accordingly.

PMM Chapter 9, Section 2  |  Attachment 1  |  Attachment 3

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000