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Staff Performance Appraisal Process

Annual performance appraisals for non-exempt staff are due on February 28. Annual performance appraisals for exempt staff are due on March 30. The instructions and link to the on-line performance appraisal form are located on the Employee Relations and Engagement website at Performance Management Assessments.

Click on the topics below to read performance appraisal tips.

Why the performance appraisal process is important

The performance appraisal

  • Informs the employee about the quality of his or her job performance
  • Clarifies goals and expectations as job responsibilities and procedures change
  • Provides official documentation of communications between employee and supervisor
  • May be used by internal and external offices during the separation process

Tracking employee accomplishments throughout the year

  • A record of accomplishments and performance issues should be kept by both the employee and supervisor
  • Record keeping should be a year long process
  • Supervisors should engage the employees’ participation in setting goals and developmental opportunities
  • Before the evaluation, supervisors should ask employees to submit a list of accomplishments achieved throughout the year and goals for the upcoming year

Composing the evaluation narrative

  • Try to avoid using the same comments as the previous year
  • Be specific --use concrete examples both for praise and for areas needing improvement
  • Recommendations for improvement will be received better if stated in a positive manner
  • Remember to review goals set during the previous evaluation period and address progress towards those goals

Creating an appropriate environment for the face-to-face meeting

  • Select a neutral space that provides a comfortable, non-threatening setting
  • Move to a conference room or other quiet area to avoid distractions such as ringing phones and walk-in traffic
  • Be flexible--allow the employee to select the time and place for the meeting
  • Combine the evaluation with a lunch or a walk around campus

Incorporating goal-setting into the evaluation process

  • Goal-setting should be an ongoing process throughout the year
  • Encourage the employee to set individual goals
  • Goals should be realistic (achievable) and limited in number
  • Use the face-to-face meeting to formalize what the employee and supervisor can do to develop employee growth
  • Promote professional develop by identifying training and meetings the employee should attend
  • Utilize the Performance Management Worksheet to document expectations

Keeping the employee focused on the important message instead of obsessing over the scores

  • Positive feedback should be addressed first, then discuss where improvements are needed
  • Be prepared to provide an explanation for a questionable score
  • Award the appropriate score based on the employee’s performance
  • Avoid the ‘halos and horns’ syndrome by referring to the documentation accumulated over the year rather than just what happened most recently
  • The supervisor and employee should decide which categories of the evaluation are most important

Delivering suggestions for improvement effectively

  • Pay attention to your phrasing--use non-threatening words
  • Use a collaborative approach to problem-solving
  • Be sensitive to generational differences in how employees may hear recommendations for improvement
  • Use encouraging comments in your written appraisal and the face-to-face meeting

Handling someone who gets upset and emotional during an evaluation meeting

  • Remain in control of the meeting
  • Appropriate humor can sometimes defuse a tense situation
  • Stop and reschedule if the employee is too distraught to continue