Training and evaluating employees Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights Annual Report to the Legislature

FTB develops knowledgeable and engaged employees to improve the customer experience and accomplish FTB’s mission. Our goal is to provide the services and information taxpayers need to file accurate and timely tax returns and to only pay the proper amount of tax owed.  Training begins with an employee’s first day on the job and continues throughout their career at FTB.

All public facing staff in our contact centers, public service counters and collection programs receive extensive classroom, on-the-job, and ongoing training, with programs tailored to the specific needs of each business area.  Audit staff also receive extensive classroom and on-the-job training. Audit staff must have the knowledge needed to analyze tax returns, research complex issues, and effectively communicate their findings to taxpayers and representatives. Having well trained auditors will likely reduce the burden placed on taxpayers from an audit by shortening the completion time and improving the accuracy of the outcome.

FTB provides employee training in workplace diversity, sexual harassment awareness, employee assistance program, career development and upward mobility, and other administrative courses. This training includes information and practical guidance regarding FTB’s policies, as well as federal and state laws concerning the prohibition, prevention, and correction of sexual harassment and other equal employment opportunity matters. This training also includes information and practical guidance on internal and external complaint processes available to victims of harassment, discrimination and retaliation in employment. Additionally, FTB provides all employees with training in workplace diversity, disability awareness, our employee assistance program, career development, upward mobility, and other administrative courses.

Finally, all FTB personnel who are classified in FTB’s conflict of interest code are required to take Ethics training provided by the Department of Justice within 6 months of appointment to a classified position and once every 2 years thereafter.

Evaluating FTB Employees

FTB is committed to evaluating and providing feedback to our employees. This helps them to perform at the highest level in their current positions and to advance professionally when promotional or development opportunities arise. Our goal is that all eligible employees not only receive a written performance evaluation annually, but that the evaluation and feedback they receive is valuable. The most important part of the evaluation process is sincere, respectful, and open conversations with employees regarding expectations and performance.

Customer service has always been one of FTB’s highest priorities. In recognition of this, we assess employees on how well they provide quality customer service, including their treatment of taxpayers and providing accurate, timely, and complete assistance. Our goal is for every employee to exceed each customer’s expectations.  Importantly, we do not evaluate employees based on revenue that is produced through additional tax assessments or collections.

Beginning with the 2016 performance appraisal cycle, we implemented tools to assist supervisors in writing, routing, and storing employee performance evaluations. These tools helped us reach our goal of every eligible employee receiving a timely evaluation. In 2019, we rolled out a tool to assist supervisors in having effective one-on-one conversations with their employees. We also reinforced the expectation that every supervisor should have regular one-on-one meetings with each of their employees.

A key component of employee/supervisor meetings is to have continuing discussions on performance expectations and to identify training and development needs. Discussing development opportunities is critical in today’s environment due to the increase in number of employees who are eligible for retirement and is an important part of our efforts related to workforce and succession planning.