Performance Appraisal Season is Here!

Annual performance appraisal season is underway. It’s a time to receive formal feedback from your supervisor on your contributions, job performance, and goals and discuss performance expectations for the upcoming year. The performance appraisal process is different this year, and we wanted you to be aware of these updates to help you prepare and know what to expect.  

What You Need to Know

As part of the annual performance appraisal process, you should receive a rating (based on the current 1-5 rating system) on your contributions and job performance since the beginning of the current fiscal year. Here are the changes that will impact you:

Capability Model – Henrico County implemented a Capability Model that went into effect in Fiscal Year 2022-2023 and replaced the competencies that employees were previously rated on during the performance appraisal season. If you are unfamiliar with the model, we encourage you to visit our resource page on the employee website, view the Henrico Capability Model videos on YouTube, or the series of articles previously written in the County Connection.

Ratings – Your performance ratings should reflect what you earned based on your overall performance  and the performance goals and expectations created last year around the Capability Model.  

Performance Narratives – You can expect to receive a written narrative explaining your rating with a summary or description of your performance. Your performance narrative should be based on your overall performance, as well as goals and expectations that were established around the Capability Model. 

Performance Goals – During the appraisal meeting, you should reflect on your achievements and partner with your supervisor to establish performance goals that you would like to focus on in Fiscal Year 2023-2024 to help you perform well. Performance goals and narratives should be based on the Capability Model. 

What’s Next?

The performance appraisal season will conclude on Friday, May 26th. Now is the time to think about your performance and what you may want to share with your supervisor about your achievements and goals, and partner with them to understand expectations to set you up for success in your role. HR is here to support you during the performance appraisal season. Please contact us at (804) 501-4628 if you have questions about the performance appraisal process or Capability Model. 

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Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Leading the Organization Capability

The constantly accelerating changes in the workplace have demanded we find innovative ways to get work done. Henrico County has answered the call by developing the Capability Model to help our employees meet this challenge. You can learn more about the capabilities on our resource page or by viewing our Henrico Capability Model videos.

To provide more explanation about the capabilities, the County Connection features a series of articles, each focusing on a specific capability. This article is about Leading the Organization.

Effective organizational leadership is critical to ensuring the County meets our increasingly diverse community’s current and future needs. It can be accomplished at every level by examining current practices and considering how the methods can be improved to accommodate increased and changing service demands. 

The capability model describes Leading the Organization in four ways:

Organizational Awareness: Understands the components and culture of the organization and predicts how events and situations will affect individuals or groups within it.

Innovation: Implements creative ideas and processes to add value to the organization.

Agility: Quickly adapts to changes impacting the County in ways that benefit organizational goals and objectives.

Cultural Awareness: Recognizes, understands, and appreciates similarities and differences among various cultural groups.

Here are some examples of ways to effectively lead the organization:

  • Reviewing the “State of the County” address to learn more about the organization’s goals and priorities
  • Discussing the organization’s mission and leadership philosophy as a team and identifying specific goals you want to achieve on your work team, division, or department; Communicating the plans you come up with to everyone affected.
  • Placing the welfare of others and the organization over your interests
  • Making decisions based on the organization’s goals and priorities- When making decisions regarding work issues, ask yourself, “What’s best for the organization?”
  • Asking for and being open to ideas from colleagues and customers regarding changes to services and working with your team to implement those changes
  • Finding ways to streamline current processes to get work done more efficiently
  • Staying open, alert, and up to date on events that could impact the organization and/or your work team (such as the COVID pandemic) and working with your colleagues to develop innovative ways to provide services and get work done.
  • Participating in strategic planning meetings with your team to clarify future goals and priorities and develop an action plan to meet those goals
  • Communicating upcoming changes as much and as often as possible to help your team through the change
  • Proactively educating yourself on diverse cultures through:
  • Attending classes on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Interacting with fellow employees and/or County residents to learn more about their cultures
  • Watching DEI videos on the OLTD YouTube channeland reviewing cultural resources on the DEI Resource page 
  • Getting involved in events that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion

Skilled organizational leadership inspires people to use their talents to fulfill the organization’s mission and goals through encouraging ideas, problem-solving, and innovation; promoting inclusion; overcoming setbacks; and creating an environment where everyone can grow. 

To find more examples of the Leading the Organization capability, view these videos on our OLTD YouTube channel:

How To Be an Agile Leader

Dealing with Change and Transitions

Managing Workplace Change

How to Lead Your Team Through Change

Vision to Performance: The Work of Leadership

Who We Are: Leadership Lessons from COVID-19 video series

Voices of the Heart video series


For more information on the Capabilities, view our Henrico Capability Model videos on our OLTD YouTube page or visit our resource page

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Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Leading Others Capability

The many recent changes in the workplace have sparked a reimagining of how we accomplish work and demanded flexibility in responding to situations in the moment. Henrico County supports our employees in meeting these progressive challenges by providing the Capability Model. You can learn more about the capabilities on the resource page on the employee website.

To help you gain more in-depth knowledge of these capabilities, the County Connection features a series of articles, each focusing on a specific capability. This article focuses on “Leading Others.”

When we think of leadership, leading others instinctively comes to mind for many of us. But, whether we’re formal or informal leaders, the organization excels when we bring out the best in the people around us. 

The capability model describes Leading Others in four ways:

Relationship Management: Maintain ongoing rapport with customers and colleagues to forge effective relationships across the organization.

Well-Being (Whole Health): Builds and supports a work culture that enhances social, emotional, physical, mental, and purpose-related wellness.

Collaboration: Shares ideas, knowledge, and experience with others and works together to accomplish organizational goals.

Value & Develop Others: Motivates, empowers and supports others to accomplish team and organizational goals.

Here are some ways you can enhance your skills in the “Leading Others” capability:

  • Develop self-awareness. Identify your strengths and weaknesses and be mindful of how you come across to others at work. You can grow your leadership skills in this area by joining one of Henrico County’s leadership programs (Leadership Henrico (LH) for supervisors or Emerging Leaders Certification Program (ELCP) for non-supervisors). You can learn more about self- and social awareness in this video on Emotional Intelligence. Please pay attention to others’ communication styles and adjust your style and behavior when needed to communicate more effectively with them and be better understood. For more on Communication Styles, see this video.
  • When collaborating on a team, invite and be open to the ideas and opinions of all team members. Discuss and consider diverse viewpoints to make sure you are making the best decisions possible.
  • Willingly share information and your expertise with coworkers to set them and the organization up for success. 
    • For example, consider a “reverse mentoring” relationship with a coworker where you help each other improve in your respective areas of expertise. (Ex: you help the coworker strengthen their technology skills, and they help you master a process.)
  • When leading teams or supervising others:
    • Empower employees by encouraging decision-making and utilizing new and innovative methods of getting work done. 
    • Provide frequent, specific feedback, both positive and constructive, to help your team members grow and succeed. For tips on giving effective feedback, view our Delivering Feedback Effectively: SBI Method video on our OLTD YouTube channel
  • Encourage your teammates’ professional growth and development by encouraging them to join LH or ELCP.
  • Proactively take measures to manage your personal well-being and stress levels to be your best self. 
  • When leading teams or supervising others, support them in managing their well-being. Encourage them to take care of themselves and remind them of the wellness leave available to help them recharge and stay healthy. Employees can take advantage of the County’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if they are experiencing any personal difficulties that might affect their well-being. 

Leading others effectively strengthens relationships and leads to more engaged employees and improvements in communication, teamwork, productivity, customer service, and innovation, to name just a few benefits. 

To find more examples of the Leading Others capability, view our video series on our YouTube channel in these categories:

For more information on the Capability Model, view our Henrico Capability Model videos on our OLTD YouTube page or visit our resource page on the employee website.

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Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Leading Self Capability

The rapid transformation of today’s workplace is bringing many exciting changes and new opportunities. To support our employees in developing the agility and skills needed to respond to changing demands and provide new services, Henrico County has introduced the Capability Model. You can learn more about the capabilities on our resource page.

To provide insight into each of the seven individual capabilities within the model, the County Connection features a series of articles, each of which focuses on one of the capabilities. This article focuses on the capability of Leading Self.

Leadership at all levels is a core component of the county’s Henrico Way philosophy. Whether you are a formal or informal leader, leading yourself first is critical to successfully interacting with and leading others.

The capability model describes Leading Self in four ways:

Decisiveness: Makes timely and effective decisions to accomplish team and organizational goals.

Functional Expertise: Has the knowledge, skills, and abilities in job function or area of expertise.

Personal Accountability: Takes responsibility and personal ownership for actions and decisions.

Critical Thinking: Objectively analyzes and evaluates information to solve problems and make informed decisions.

Here are some examples of how you can effectively build self-leadership skills:

  • Effectively planning and organizing your time and work. Learning time management skills and using resources like planners, calendars, and apps to help you stay on track and meet deadlines.
  • Taking responsibility for your own professional development. Examples include taking classes or joining one of the County leadership programs (Emerging Leaders Certification Program for non-supervisors or Leadership Henrico for supervisors).
  • Learning as much as possible about your job or industry through research, job shadowing, classes, reading trade publications, etc.
  • Volunteering to take on tasks within your workplace that might be outside of your comfort zone to become more competent.
  • Taking personal ownership when you’ve made a mistake and proactively looking for ways to learn from it. Asking yourself and/or others, “What could I have done differently?” or “How should I approach this next time?”
  • Looking at a situation from different perspectives before making a decision. This might involve gathering information and/or asking for the views of others, such as those the decision would impact. It might also include considering the impact on other priorities or the organization.
  • Making quick, firm decisions in critical situations when time is of the essence. If this type of decision-making is difficult for you, seek the guidelines around typical steps involved in decision-making. You might also set a deadline for yourself to make a final decision. Once it’s made, assess the outcome to identify what went well and what could be done differently next time.

Becoming skilled in the Leading Self capability enhances your productivity, performance, and work relationships and better equips you to achieve your professional goals.


To find more examples of the Leading Self capability, view our “Time Management: Prioritize What’s Important” video and “Upskilling: How to Take Charge of Your Professional Development” video  on our OLTD YouTube page.

For more information on the Capabilities, view our Henrico Capability Model videos on our OLTD YouTube page or visit our resource page.

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Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Inclusion Capability

As a high-performing organization, Henrico County focuses on providing our employees with the resources and support needed to excel in our ever-changing work environment. The new Capability Model (shown below) is designed with this support in mind. You can learn more about the capabilities within it on Capability Model resource page.

To help you understand each of the seven individual capabilities within the model, the County Connection features a series of articles, each of which focuses on one of the capabilities. This article focuses on the capability of Inclusion. 


For an organization to thrive, all employees need to have a sense of belonging and feel valued for their individual contributions. As a result, these diverse and inclusive workforces are better at decision-making, innovation, and overall results. These results are due to elevated levels of engagement and motivation to produce high-quality work.  


Some may think of specific types of diversity such as race, ethnic background, gender, or sexual orientation. While these are certainly elements of diversity, there are many more to consider. A few examples include age, cultural background, religion, disability, language, education, personality type, and personal values. The Inclusion capability focuses on creating a sense of belonging for the entire diverse workforce. It is defined as “Acknowledging and showing appreciation for the individual differences, contributions, and talents of all team members, and strengthening employee confidence in their abilities.”


There are many ways for all employees in the workplace to help foster a sense of inclusion. Here are some examples:

  • Increase your self-awareness. Be mindful of how you express yourself with your colleagues. Ask yourself: How am I coming across to others at this moment? Do I appear open? Calm? Approachable? Am I intentional about getting to know my teammates?
  •  Welcome everyone’s input during meetings. Create an environment where employees feel empowered to share ideas without fear of rejection. Pay attention to whose voices you’re hearing and not hearing during meetings. Encourage, listen and be open to diverse views and opinions, and acknowledge them with respect. Send your agenda ahead of time to provide introverted employees time to contemplate the ideas they will share, and make time for them to connect offline with additional thoughts after the meeting.
  • When planning activities, consider your coworkers’ individual needs and circumstances. Are there elements of the activity or celebration that might make any of your colleagues uncomfortable? Your plans need to ensure everyone can attend and participate. 
  • Connect with others. It can be natural to gravitate toward people when we have things in common with them. Instead, challenge yourself to build connections with those who are different from you. A great way to do this is to attend one of Henrico County’s workshops on diversity and inclusion to engage in open dialogue. Share information about yourself and ask questions of others to learn more about them. 
  • Encourage involvement and participation. When leading others, involve employees in decisions and initiatives that impact their work. Ask for their opinions and input through informal discussions, meetings, focus groups, or surveys. Asking for the input of your diverse workforce leads to better decisions and more engaged employees.
  • Recognize and appreciate others. Acknowledge your team members individually for the unique value they bring to the workplace. Share with them how their specific contributions positively impact the workplace and the organization. 


Fostering inclusiveness maximizes the organization’s success and engagement of the employees by involving the diverse perspectives, ideas, knowledge, and approaches of every person. To find more examples of diversity and inclusion, view the “Psychological Safety: Fostering a Sense of Belonging” video and the “Voices of the Heart” video series on the OLTD YouTube page

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Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Communication Capability

Whether you’re a new or longtime employee, the ability to meet the demands of our rapidly changing workforce is essential. With this in mind, Henrico County has introduced a new Capability Model designed to help County employees develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in our new work landscape. The model is shown below, and you can learn more about the capabilities within it on our resource page.



To help you gain an understanding of each of the seven individual capabilities within the model, the County Connection is featuring a series of articles, each of which focuses on one of the capabilities. This article focuses on the capability of Communication.


Effective communication is essential for productivity and good working relationships, and it’s only become more important now that many employees work from home. While verbal and written skills may initially come to mind, there is much more involved. Good communication also requires strong listening skills, the use of diplomacy and tact when interacting with others, and effectively addressing conflict when it happens. The Communication capability, defined as “Expresses thoughts, ideas, and information effectively,” encompasses all these skills.


Conflict can be an area many of us struggle to navigate well. Some may avoid it at all costs while others may be too aggressive when confronting others, resulting in damaged relationships. However, handled well and with good communication skills, learning and growth can occur. Communication can be at the root of many conflicts among employees. Let’s look at an example of a conflict between two employees and how applying the components of the Communication capability can help resolve it.


Two employees are working on a team to redesign a process. During a brainstorming meeting, they both present very different ideas on a solution, and they end up in a disagreement. To work through this conflict employing the Communication capability, one employee might respectfully approach the other and propose they meet to have an open dialogue about each other’s ideas.


During this meeting, each employee actively listens to the other’s ideas, asks questions to further their understanding, and tries to comprehend the other person’s perspective. They use diplomacy and tact to give feedback on each other’s ideas and their own opinions of them. Instead of trying to “win” or be the one with the “right” solution, these two employees would have a goal of coming to an agreement on the best possible solution for the process.

In this example, the employee proposing the meeting showed strong communication capabilities through the desire to learn more about their coworker’s point of view and approach them to suggest a meeting to discuss their ideas in more depth. The second employee demonstrated the capability by being open to the meeting and their coworker’s perspectives. Both employees approached the meeting with the goal of the best solution for the organization, listened to and appreciated each other’s ideas, and engaged in mutually respectful dialogue.

In summary, great communication is the foundation of a successful workplace through building positive relationships, increasing collaboration and innovation, and engaging employees. To find more examples of communication capability, view our Communication videos that include tips on respectful dialog and dealing with conflict on our OLTD Division YouTube page.

For more information on the Capabilities, visit our resource page.

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Henrico’s New Capability Model: The Courage Capability

In our ongoing commitment to meet our workforce’s and residents’ ever-changing needs, Henrico County has implemented a new Capability Model beginning in the Fiscal Year 2022-2023. This model replaces the previous County Competencies and focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to successfully lead and serve in a rapidly evolving workplace and community. 

The Capability Model is modeled around seven capabilities, with many former competencies woven into it. 

The four capabilities outside the circle – Courage, Customer Engagement, Communication, and Inclusion – are foundational to success and create opportunities to excel in the three capabilities within the circle—Leading Self, Leading Others, and Leading the Organization. The seven capabilities promote “Future Readiness,” as you see in the circle’s center.  

You may be wondering how each of these capabilities is defined and how they apply to your role. To help you better understand, the County Connection will feature a series of articles focusing on a different capability each month. 

We’ll start with the Courage Capability.

While some may think of courage as bravely fighting battles or standing up for a person or belief, the model refers to a slightly different definition. For county purposes, it is defined as a “Willingness to navigate uncomfortable situations, adhere to vision and values, take action and initiative on new ideas, and question assumptions and processes to improve outcomes.” 

So, what might the Courage capability look like in the workplace? Here’s one example: 

A team is responsible for presenting important information to all employees. One team member recognizes a segment of information that could be potentially interpreted as questionable or even offensive by certain audience members and realizes this could harm the County’s credibility. This employee shows courage by respectfully approaching the team leader, sharing the potential negative impact of the information, and suggesting an alternative approach. 

In turn, the team leader demonstrates courage by being open to the teammate’s feedback, challenging their own assumptions of how this information could be perceived, asking for input regarding alternative solutions, and actively making changes to the presentation based on their conversation with the teammate.

In this example, both employees are stepping outside their comfort zones with the shared goal of success. The employee with the concern did not simply present the issue – they also proactively came up with a suggested solution. The team leader remained open, curious, and engaged in healthy dialogue with the teammate to explore solutions that would benefit the organization. 

You can find more examples of the Courage capability on our resource page.

Courage in the workplace fosters employee engagement, decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation. As the County transforms to meet current and future demands, courageous employees play a crucial role in our success.

For more information on the Capabilities, visit our resource page.

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