Evaluating Performance

While performance evaluations can be an intimidating process for employees, it is also critical in documenting how you have supported your employees’ success. 

Providing your employees constructive feedback makes a huge impact on their ability to learn and grow. And it’s not just individual employees who benefit. If you use the evaluation process effectively, you can create a culture of teamwork and collaboration by building trust and enabling your employees to meet and exceed departmental goals and objectives.

Employee Performance Management System (EPMS)

The Employee Performance Management System (EPMS) refers to the process developed to evaluate job performance of University employees. The annual review is designed to serve as a tool that helps supervisors increase productivity, communicate expectations, establish goals for the coming year, and report the employee’s success in meeting the past year’s performance expectations. One of the most common mistakes supervisors make with regard to the appraisal process is that they fail to treat it as a process. The completion of the EPMS review is a small part of the performance management process. When used productively, performance management is actually a continuous, year-round practice of exchanging information between the supervisor and employee. The most highly motivated, productive employees are those, who participate in planning how their work will be accomplished, who know what they are supposed to do and receive feedback on how well they are doing it and who have an open and honest rapport with their supervisor. Supervisors are strongly encouraged to make the annual review process participative and collaborative.

 Relevant Forms and Resources

  • Policy HR 1.36  — Performance Evaluation for Classified and Unclassified Non-Academic Staff
  • EPMS Form  — Form used to evaluate the job performance of classified and unclassified non-academic staff.
  • Performance Feedback Assessment  — Form used to evaluate the job performance of non-covered employees (temps, grant, time-limited employees)
  • EPMS Performance Characteristics — List of qualities that are needed for employees to perform their job duties and objectives successfully

Communicating Expectations

Effective performance management is first and foremost about communication. Supervisors cannot manage or direct employee performance if they do not practice good communication skills. First and foremost, supervisors and managers must clearly communicate expectations, including the criteria by which an employee will be evaluated. Likewise, employees who do not practice good communication skills with their supervisor set themselves up for misunderstanding.

Supervisors should use the first month of employment as an opportunity to develop a plan with each employee individually, and also as a collective team, that includes specific goals and objectives. These goals should reflect both personal achievement, and also how those achievements contribute to the team or department’s success. While employees are expected to take some initiative and ownership over their own personal growth, it is up to the manager to observe, listen and provide the level of support necessary for each employee to achieve the goals that have been established.

As a supervisor, you should provide regular feedback (frequently if necessary). Feedback can be delivered informally, or it may be more efficient to schedule weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings. All supervisors and employees are encouraged to schedule a midpoint assessment to identify performance concerns and also to provide positive feedback.

Providing your employees constructive feedback makes a huge impact on their ability to learn and grow. And it’s not just individual employees who benefit. If you use the evaluation process effectively, you can create a culture of teamwork and collaboration by building trust and enabling your employees to meet and exceed departmental goals and objectives.

Open and honest communication is key in effectively evaluating performance, and that starts with a manager who clearly defines expectations. While performance evaluations can be an intimidating process for employees, it is also be critical in documenting how you have supported your employees’ success. 

Probationary Period

The probationary period is a working test period of 12 months from the date of hire which is used to determine satisfactory job performance and attainment as a covered employee. Staff employees who receive an overall rating of “successful” or better on their written performance evaluations (EPMS) at the end of the probationary period may be given permanent status. The probationary period may not be extended.

Poor Performance

If unacceptable performance is evident, supervisors should address these concerns as soon as possible, and this notification should be documented. This provides employees with an opportunity to adjust and improve prior to the annual review.

If improvements are not made, a supervisor may issue a Warning Notice of Substandard Performance. This is done if performance becomes substandard in one or more essential job function(s) or objective(s) that significantly impact overall performance. Supervisors must be sure that a planning stage document is in place prior to issuing the warning notice.

Required Training for Supervisors

A course for supervisors is available to learn more about managing employee performance using the Employee Performance Management System (EPMS). This course is required for all supervisors of classified and unclassified, non-academic employees. To learn more about this course or register to attend a session, search for the Managing Employee Performance Using EPMS course on the Professional Development page.

Let Us Help

If you, as the employee, need help solving a personal or work-related issue that is negatively impacting your performance, we encourage you to find a solution or seek guidance by contacting Employee Relations or referring to the Employee Assistance Program.