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Performance Management and Evaluation

⤓ Download the Performance Evaluation Form and Guidelines docx

Performance management is a partnership between an employee and his/her supervisor to optimize performance, build effective feedback and communication, enhance employee growth and development, and develop goals that are consistent with department/college strategic plans.

A performance evaluation is a part of performance management. The distinctions between the two are highlighted below.

Performance Evaluation
  • Focus is on evaluation
  • Seen as a once-a-year event
  • Discussions happen when salary increases are awarded or performance problems emerge
  • Forms are designed to evaluate performance and rank employees
  • Feedback occurs primarily in the appraisal/review discussion

Performance Management
  • Focus is on employee development
  • Seen as an ongoing, daily process
  • Discussions happen frequently; formally at least twice a year
  • Forms are designed to evaluate performance and plan for employee development
  • Both positive and negative feedback occurs frequently

Supervisors are encouraged to evaluate performance within the context of performance management.

Reasons for Conducting a Performance Evaluation
  • Communicate organizational goals and objectives
  • Motivate employees to improve performance
  • Heighten productivity
  • Employee growth and development (see Professional Development Planning)
  • Distribute organizational rewards equitably
  • Assess match between knowledge, skill and ability with performance and job requirement
When to Conduct a Performance Evaluation

Written performance evaluations shall be completed on all regular employees. (See the Performance Evaluations policy.) Evaluations occur at the following times:

  • Recommended at the end of the original six-month probationary period.
  • Required annually, either on the anniversary of the employee’s hire date or at another time designated by the department.
  • Recommended at the end of six months after transfer or promotion to a new position.
  • At any time the supervisor wishes to record noteworthy performance, either favorable or unfavorable.
Challenges in Conducting Performance Evaluations
  • Changing nature of work, i.e., technological changes, job duties, or change in scope of work.
  • Rating performance objectively.
  • Shift to emphasis on team orientation (necessitate multi-rater evaluations).
  • Limited organizational rewards and consequences.
  • Scarce resources.
  • Reducing employee defensiveness or anxiety and increasing dialogue and recognition.
Approaches to Conducting Performance Evaluations
  • Develop a system that encourages employee participation in establishing performance standards.
  • Develop standards based on critical job elements.
  • Assess employee against performance standards rather than each other or some statistical guide.
  • Clarify performance expectations.
  • Utilize ongoing coaching, communication and feedback.
  • Provide timely and accurate documentation.
  • Base evaluation on actual performance, not subjective feedback.
  • Consider including self evaluation, peer, customer input (360○ feedback) where applicable.
  • Promote consistency within the department.
  • Establish SMARTER Goals (Specific, Measurable, Agreed upon, Realistic, Timed, Evaluation, and Recognition).
Steps in Conducting an Annual Review
  1. Review job description, work goals, and professional development goals established for the year.
  2. Review last year’s performance evaluation.
  3. Review documentation in management file.
  4. Review peer and customer input.
  5. Review employee’s self evaluation.
  6. Take into account environmental factors (e.g. organizational changes, FML protected absences, etc.).
Tips to Help You Improve Performance Appraisal Interviews
  • Review evaluations written by other experienced supervisors to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Keep notes throughout the evaluation period. Do not rely on recall at the end of the review period.
  • Seek input from other observers when appropriate (i.e., customers).
  • Educate employee regarding evaluation philosophy and standards of performance in advance. Provide examples of what constitutes “exceeds expectations”, “meets expectations”, and “needs improvement”.
  • Know what you are looking for. Evaluate the right things. Concentrate exclusively on factors directly related to job performance.
  • Don’t include rumors, allegations, or guesswork as part of your written evaluations.
  • Be complete:  Include both positives and negatives.
  • Do not be afraid to criticize. Do not forget to praise.
  • Focus on improvement. Use the evaluation to set goals for better performance.
  • Supplement periodic written evaluations with frequent verbal feedback. Negative written evaluation should not come as a SURPRISE.
  • Do not put anything in writing that you would not say to the employee in person.
  • Say what has to be said clearly and move on.
  • Be as specific as possible; use examples.
  • Relate evaluations to previous reviews. Are things better? Worse? The same?
  • Allow plenty of time to prepare evaluations properly. Do not work under pressure.
  • Avoid completing an evaluation when you are angry, frustrated or tired.
  • Focus on developing the employee and utilizing his/her strengths.
  • Be willing to change an evaluation if new information becomes available.
  • End the evaluation on a positive note. Let the employee know you value his/her contributions and efforts.
An Effective Performance Appraisal
  • Uses specific objectives previously set with employees as standards to measure progress.
  • Puts the employee at ease and explains the purpose of the feedback interview.
  • Encourages and supports.
  • Is clear about consequences if performance does not improve.
  • Criticizes performance, not the person, when giving negative feedback.
  • Obtains employee participation and encourages self-evaluation.
  • Uses specific examples to support ratings.
  • Has the employee summarize the feedback to ensure understanding.
  • Creates a future plan of development jointly with the employee.
Employee’s Role

Detail personal performance and accomplishments, and compare to last review

  • How have my responsibilities supported the strategic direction of our program?
  • What have been my most important contributions and accomplishments during the review period?
  • What do I need to do to further enhance my performance?
  • How has my manager helped or supported my performance during the review period? What else could my manager do in the future?
  • What strengths have led to my success this far?
  • What skill would make me a more valued contributor in my current job? Is there a task or project in which I can develop those skills?
  • Are there professional development opportunities which would enhance my job and increase my skills and abilities?
  • Are there revisions needed for my job description or goals?
Employee Concerns about Review
  • Discuss concerns with your supervisor; be clear and specific. Ask questions to clarify meaning and intent.
  • Reach agreement/understanding about this review period, and use current concerns to clarify for next review period.
  • You have five business days to respond in writing to your evaluation if you so wish. Your response will be placed in your employee file with the evaluation.
  • If you have tried to resolve your concerns unsuccessfully with your supervisor, you may talk with your supervisor’s supervisor.

Learn about Professional Development Planning