Guidelines for Supervisors:  Staff Performance Management

Purpose of Staff Performance Management

Performance management is an ongoing process of communication between a supervisor and staff, focused on maximizing the performance of the individual, aligned to and in support of the organization’s goals.

The performance management process should include the following:

  1. Planning and discussing expectations about job responsibilities and Performance Standards
  2. Providing ongoing coaching and feedback to support success
  3. Evaluate the level of achievement of goals and demonstration of Performance Standards using the University of Pittsburgh Staff Performance Appraisal Form

Steps for Conducting Staff Performance Management

The following instructions are designed to guide you through the University’s Staff Performance Management process.

  1. At the beginning of the appraisal year (July 1-June 30,) review performance expectations for the upcoming year and suggest that your employee use the Annual Goals Form to write performance goals for the upcoming year (use of this form is optional.)
  2. Provide ongoing feedback and coaching to your employee throughout the year.
  3. At the end of the appraisal year (July 1-June 30) the employee completes a self-appraisal using the Staff Self-Appraisal Form. If the Annual Goals Form has been used at the beginning of the appraisal year, the employee can update this form with results and attach it to the self-appraisal.
  4. At the end of the appraisal year (July1-June 30) the supervisor completes a performance appraisal for the staff employee using the Staff Performance Appraisal Form.
  5. At the end of the appraisal year (by June 30) the supervisor conducts a performance appraisal meeting with the employee. If the employee has completed the Annual Goals Form at the beginning of the appraisal year, this meeting can include discussion of the results of the employee’s goals.

Frequency of Staff Performance Appraisals

  • All regular full-time or regular part-time staff employees receive an annual appraisal at the end of each appraisal year (July 1-June 30)
  • Provisional mid-point reviews are given at the 1½-month interval for employees on a 3-month provisional period or at the 3-month interval for employees on a 6-month provisional period

Supervisor Preparation for Staff Performance Appraisals

  • Supervisors should ask their employee(s) to complete and submit a self-appraisal form before the end of the appraisal period (July1 –June 30) – the submission date should fall before you complete your Staff Performance Appraisal Form for the employee so that you have the self-appraisal in hand for reference. If annual goals have been set using the Annual Goals Form, ask the employee to update the form with goal results/ratings and attach the form to the self-appraisal form.
  • Make sure you have the employee’s job description handy as a reference for required duties and responsibilities.
  • Gather relevant information (e-mails, observations, previous discussion notes, etc.) throughout the year regarding the employee’s performance.
  • If appropriate, incorporate information included in the employee’s self-appraisal form into your appraisal of their performance.
  • Seek performance information from other sources (peers, customers, etc.) if you feel you need clarification or additional information.
  • Advise the employee of the date and time you will conduct their performance appraisal meeting. Generally, an hour should be set aside for the meeting.

Completing the Staff Performance Appraisal Form

Rating the Performance Standards and Explanation of the Overall Rating Scale:

There are a nine performance standards on the performance appraisal form for non-supervisory employees and 12 performance standards on the performance appraisal form for supervisory employees. In both cases, each performance standard is rated as described below.

There are five ratings used to describe the level of performance demonstrated by the employee during the appraisal year. The ratings you assign under each performance standard should reflect the entire year’s performance. If you assign a rating below, or above, the “Successful” level, please include specific, relevant, and objective examples to illustrate the strength or “for improvement” examples demonstrated by the employee throughout the year.

The rating scale is as follows:

  • Exceptional: Work performance consistently exceeds performance standards.
  • Above Expectations: Work is fully satisfactory and often exceeds standards.
  • Successful: Work is fully satisfactory; employee consistently meets and occasionally may exceed performance standards. This represents the expected level of performance as established by the supervisor.
  • Development Needed: Performance standards are not fully achieved; performance improvement is expected during the next appraisal period (e.g., 12 months)
  • Unsatisfactory: Employee must demonstrate improved work performance within immediate period of time (e.g., 3 months)

Summary of Current-Year Objectives:

In this section, you should provide a narrative of the employee’s achievement of goals and objectives established within the appraisal year. This is also an opportunity to provide specific examples of how the employee performed in relation to the duties and responsibilities included in their job description. If the Annual Goals Form has been used at the beginning of the appraisal year, you can skip this section and, instead, update the goals form with results and attach it to the appraisal form.

Development Opportunities:

In this section, you can create a plan for developing the employee’s existing skills and improving performance in appropriate areas. You can also include professional development opportunities such as attending FSDP workshops, obtaining certifications, participating in associations, etc. It is recommended that development opportunities relate directly to the Performance Standards.

Overall Rating:

This rating is determined by considering all of the performance standards and the objectives for the current year as measured in the performance appraisal. Supervisor comments should be made to reinforce the overall rating.

Performance Appraisal Meeting:

Generally, an hour should be set aside for the meeting. Bring a copy of the completed Staff Performance Appraisal Form, the Staff Self-Appraisal Form, and, if the Annual Goals Form has been used at the beginning of the appraisal year, a copy of the completed form with your ratings of the employee’s goal results. This is an opportunity to examine, discuss, and evaluate the past year’s performance. This includes performance strengths and areas of performance to be developed. The appraisal process also provides an opportunity for the supervisor and employee to identify professional development opportunities and, if necessary, an "action plan” for improving performance. 

Employee Comments:

Allow the employee the opportunity to write any comments regarding the appraisal in this section.

Completion Steps:

  • Sign and date the Staff Performance Appraisal form and have the employee sign and date the form
  • Provide a copy of the signed Staff Performance Appraisal to the employee
  • Place signed Staff Performance Appraisal in the employee’s personnel file within your department
  • Schedule a meeting to discuss performance expectations with the employee for the upcoming year – you may suggest that the employee use the Annual Goals Form to set goals for the upcoming year

Supervisors are encouraged to complete and save the Staff Performance Appraisal Forms electronically, and employees can do the same with their Staff Self-Appraisal Form.