Performance Management

The Performance Management process is designed to communicate performance expectations related to specific goals, key performance factors and overall key responsibilities. This form is a tool for providing performance feedback and establishing performance objectives. Supervisors and employees share responsibility for the process.

Performance management is the methodical and organized system for monitoring the results of work activities, collecting information and evaluating performance, and determining the achievement of goals.  Properly using performance information can assist leaders in making staffing decisions, allocating resources and communicating whether department or organizational objectives have been met.

This performance management system was established to evaluate and develop the University’s human resources.  The process includes performance plans, goal setting, performance evaluations, recognition and coaching.

Performance Management Benefits

  • Improved staff performance
  • Staff member focused on goal achievement/results
  • Clarification of performance expectations
  • Clear lines of communication between staff member and supervisor
  • Alignment of individual goals with those of the organization
  • Recognition for accomplishments
  • Motivation to excel in performance
  • Development and growth of staff
  • Enhanced organizational performance
  • Increased accountability among staff

One of the most critical issues for leaders is to provide meaningful and timely job performance feedback to all staff.  A mutually agreed upon understanding between the staff member and leader as to what is acceptable job performance is essential for a successful working relationship.

This Performance Management Guide will assist leaders in answering the urgent questions on the minds of  all staff, “What should I be working on?” “How am I doing?”  “How can I improve?”  The performance appraisal should be the basis for a meaningful two-way discussion with the staff member to summarize discussion that     has occurred during the year.

One of the purposes of the performance management system is to assist leaders in evaluating the staff member’s overall performance during a specified review period.  Each staff member should be evaluated in accordance with current organizational and specific standards that were provided:

  • At the end of the calendar year
  • When the staff member’s current position or job duties significantly change
  • When the individual transfers to a different position within the organization

It is the manager’s/supervisor’s responsibility to ensure each staff member has an accurate job description, organizational and specific job standards/competencies (taken from the job description) upon which he/she will be evaluated, and/or specific goals to be achieved over a specified time.

The objectives of the performance management system include:

  • Involving the supervisor and staff member in the process of reviewing responsibilities, achievements, strengths, and deficiencies.
  • Assisting staff with necessary information to improve overall performance by providing meaningful, well thought out feedback on performance.
  • Providing a framework for establishing and communicating future opportunities, responsibilities and performance expectations.
  • Assisting staff with planning and implementing programs to meet improvement and/or career development needs.
  • Providing a historical record of staff performance.
  • Coaching the staff member to enhance skills/knowledge.
  • Assisting the organization in achieving yearly goals.
  • Focusing the organization and staff on continuous development.



Performance Management Guidelines

The following guidelines are designed to assist supervisors in evaluating, coaching and monitoring the performance of staff: 


  • Goals Specific measurable results to be achieved by a staff member within a specified timeframe.
  • Competencies – Job specific skills that are required to perform the job.
  • Tasks – Action steps taken to complete an assignment.
  • Coaching – Regular communication with a staff member to assist him/her with improving overall performance or effectiveness.
  • Feedback – Positive or constructive communication about a staff member’s performance.
  • Performance Improvement Plan – A documented time-sensitive plan to assist the individual with improving job performance.
  • Development plan/goals – Specific assignments given to a staff member to assist him/her in enhancing or developing new skills.




 A performance appraisal should be conducted:

  • At the conclusion of the staff member’s introductory period (as needed)
  • At least annually
  • As needed to provide feedback to the staff member regarding unsatisfactory work performance

(a Performance Improvement Plan must be completed if a performance evaluation is being  completed due to unsatisfactory work performance)


  1. Performance Ratings/Definitions:
  • OUTSTANDING RATING:  Performance consistently surpasses all established standards.  Activities often contribute to improved or innovative work practices.  This category is to be used for truly outstanding performance. (Comments must accompany this rating.)  Examples of outstanding performance:
    • Staff member developed an innovative student math study program that increased math student grades by 25% in one semester and won a national award.
    • Staff member won a “Top Dawg” award for introducing an environmentally green program that has saved energy across the campus.
  • ABOVE EXPECTATIONS RATING:  Performance meets all established standards and most of the time exceeds those standards.  Activities contribute to increased unit/department results.  Consistently completes the work that is required and most of the time goes beyond expectations. Examples of above expectations performance:
    • Staff member was to increase number of volunteers by 20%.  Increased number of volunteers by 50%.
    • Staff member was to complete a staff development plan, including timeline and budget, by 11/26/07.  Plan was submitted for review on 10/31/07 and was approved by Senior Administration.
  • MEETS EXPECTATIONS RATING: Performance meets all established goals.  Activities contribute to increased unit/department results.  Examples of meets expectations performance:
    • Staff member was to develop a student manual in 2007.  The manual was done well and was developed and distributed on the agreed upon date.
    • Staff member was to develop and implement a student-mentoring program.  The program was developed and implemented by the deadline established.
  • NEEDS DEVELOPMENT RATING:  Performance meets most, but not all, established goals.  This category is to be used for staff who did not consistently meet required goals and/or staff still learning their job.  Examples of needs development performance:
  • Staff member was asked to establish a tracking system and track number of students canceling classes.  Established database; however, only 60% of the students were captured in database.
  • Staff member was asked to write an article for the school newspaper to encourage students to volunteer.  The article was written; however, no students volunteered.
  • UNSATISFACTORY RATING:  Performance is consistently below requirements/expectations.  Immediate improvement is necessary.  (May require reassignment or termination if work deficiencies are not improved within a specified time frame).  Comments and a Performance Improvement Plan must accompany this rating.  Examples of unsatisfactory performance:
  • Staff member was assigned a task/project with a deadline for completion. The task/project       was not completed by the deadline.
  • The staff member has been shown and sent to training on how to complete a task.  The    individual is still unable to complete the task/project.


  1. Assessing Performance:
  • Refer to the manner in which the staff member was observed demonstrating the competencies.
  • Refer to notes in files regarding staff member’s performance (All disciplinary documentation, feedback notes, etc.).
  • Performance assessment techniques most frequently used include direct observation and/or work outcomes.
  • Refer to goal, project or task achievement.
  1. Developing Competencies:
  • Develop job specific competencies based on priority duties as highlighted in the job descriptions.
  • Develop competencies based on specific departmental or university goals. 

   Sample Competencies:

Job specific

  • Technical equipment skills
  • Computer skills
  • Writing skills
  • Communication skills
  • Phone skills

Departmental or university specific

  • Manage time effectively
  • Set priorities
  • Effectively communicate with team
  • Train team members
  • Demonstrate flexibility



  1. Setting Goals: (For Leaders and Professional staff only )

This is an opportunity to establish SMART goals and developmental goals for leaders and professional staff who report directly to you. (See description for SMART goals on page 5.)

  • During the discussion list mutually agreed upon goals and target dates of completion.
  • Focus on goals that can be defined/developed for specific duties and responsibilities.
  • Each goal should refer to behavior that can be followed or action that can be taken.

5.   Establishing Future Goals: (For Non-Leaders) 

  • Identify specific competencies for the staff member to focus on for up-coming year.
  • Review competencies and expectations with the staff member.

6.   Guidelines for Determining Performance Evaluation Rating:

  • Prioritize your ratings based on the category importance.
  • Prioritize your ratings based on the importance of the competencies (within each category) to the job.
  • Determine the average. 

7. Staff Comments/Signature Section: 

  • Opportunity for the staff member to provide written feedback regarding performance evaluation (additional sheets may be attached if more space is needed).
  • The individual does not have to sign the evaluation and make comments during the evaluation session, but may take the evaluation and return it signed by an agreed upon date.

HOW TO WRITE SMART GOALS (For Leaders and Professional Staff Only) 

Goal: a specific, measurable result or outcome to be achieved.

Goals are:

  • targets and measures used to set direction and to evaluate progress and degrees of success.
  • powerful tools in promoting accountability of individuals and work groups.
  • rooted in customer needs and the overall strategies for the university.

Goals must be:

  • meaningful, based on customer and organizational needs,
  • measurable, objective and understandable,
  • realistic, achievable with the immediate capabilities, systems and resources,
  • monitored, visibly displayed with follow-up and accountability,
  • challenging, stretches the capability of individuals and groups and,
  • controllable, can be directly influenced by those working toward the goal.