What is the effective date of the SHRA Performance Appraisal Program?
The annual performance cycle is April 1 – March 31.
What are the objectives of the SHRA performance appraisal program?
- Facilitate effective communication between employees and managers/supervisors;
- Ensure employees have a clear understanding of the performance and behaviors expected of them;
- Ensure employees have a clear understanding of how their individual work contributes to achieving the mission of their work unit and institution;
- Ensure employees provide, as well as receive, input into the development of performance goals and ongoing information about how effectively they are performing relative to established goals;
- Identify and implement opportunities for employee development and discussion of career objectives.
What is the role of the employee’s next-level supervisor in the SHRA Performance Appraisal Program?
The employee’s next-level supervisor is expected to review for consistency to ensure that goals and performance expectations are appropriate and that ratings are being assigned accurately across work units and across supervisors within the same organization. As such, the next-level supervisor is expected to review and sign both the performance plan and the annual appraisal of each employee in their work unit before these documents are issued.
When is the performance plan due under the SHRA Performance Appraisal Program?
Both the annual appraisal for the ending performance cycle and the performance plan for the new performance cycle are due each year between April 1 and May 31. This applies to 9-month employees also. For example, if the last day is in May, ratings should be entered before the last day, and the new plan could start at that time or begin as soon as possible upon return in the fall semester.
How does the performance plan differ from the prior work plan, which contained performance expectations that were connected to the employee’s position description?
The job duty based work plans have been replaced with individual goals and institutional goals on the new performance plan. Campus-wide institutional goals are included in all employee performance plans to provide a common set of performance expectations for SHRA employees throughout the University. Instead of ratings being assigned by each job duty, institutional goals are rated across all job duties (for example, a rating for accountability across all job duties, a rating for compliance across all job duties, etc…). Supervisors are also required to set three to five individual goals for each employee. Individual goals are key expectations for each position based on critical business needs. These are not meant to cover the totality of the work that the employee performs and may change from one performance cycle to the next. Job duties may be revised into individual goals where appropriate.
How do the competencies on the employee’s position description relate to the performance plan?
The competencies listed for an employee’s position classification describe the skillsets and levels of proficiency expected for someone performing that type of work. The performance management process is focused on how well the employee achieves those skillsets and proficiencies. Most of the descriptive language in the position description competencies can be mapped to expectations found in the institutional goals on the performance plan.
Does the next‐level supervisor have to approve changes to an employee’s performance plan during the performance cycle?
Yes, any changes to an employee’s performance plan requires the approval of the supervisor and the next‐level supervisor. The next‐level supervisor is responsible for ensuring consistency across the management team and appropriateness of performance plans and annual appraisals.
Can supervisors require employees to complete tasks that are not listed on their performance plan?
Yes. The “Team-Oriented” institutional goal on the performance plan sets a standard expectation that all employees perform “additional duties when team members are absent, during times of increased workload, or as otherwise requested by management to meet business needs.” The performance plan is not intended to include every possible performance expectation for employees but to serve as a framework. The individual goals section of the performance plan defines only the most significant job expectations for the current performance cycle. The institutional goals section provides performance expectations required campus-wide for all aspects of an employee’s work. In addition, most position descriptions include language indicating that other duties may be assigned as needed.
What happens if a supervisor does not complete an employee’s performance plan?
According to policy, if a supervisor fails to complete the appraisal process and/or to submit a final overall rating, the next-level supervisor is responsible for ensuring that these processes are completed in a timely manner. Employees who do not receive a performance plan should first speak with their supervisor or next-level supervisor in an attempt to resolve the issue. If this is unsuccessful, the employee should contact their departmental Human Resources office for assistance.
What is the difference among job duties, job guides, institutional goals, individual goals, and development goals?
The position description defines what tasks (job duties) are included in the position. The supervisor writes the position description with consultation from Human Resources.
Job guides are policies, procedures and other resources that give guidance to employees on how to do perform their assigned duties.
The performance plan defines how well the employee needs to perform job duties on the position description in order to meet performance expectations.
The institutional goals in the performance plan define campus-wide performance expectations for all SHRA employees. These goals address a wide range of performance expectations found in all aspects of the employee’s work product (quality, accuracy, timeliness, manner of delivery, policy compliance, etc.) as well as standard expectations for employee behavior and conduct. UNC General Administration sets the institutional goals for all SHRA employees and therefore, they cannot be changed.
The individual goals in the performance plan define the level of performance required for three to five critical job duties during the current performance cycle. These goals may be specific to an individual employee or may be shared across employees in the work unit or broader organization. Goals may be based on recurring job duties or may be assignments unique to the current performance cycle. Individual goals should align with the overall mission and goals of the University and work unit. Supervisors set the individual goals for each of their employees.
The talent development goals in the performance plan define activities for employee growth and/or define corrective actions for performance deficiencies. Developmental goals include training programs, committee work, conference presentations or attendance, or related activities that maintain, develop or broaden employee skills relevant to their current position, to their career path, or to their role in service to the work unit or the broader University community. Supervisors set the developmental goals in discussion with the employee.
What are institutional goals?
The University has established five institutional goals, listed below, which appear in the performance plans of every SHRA employee. There is an additional institutional goal for supervisors regarding their supervisory responsibilities. The supervisor will rate the employee’s overall work product (performance and conduct) using the expectations listed for each of these goals. For more information about these goals, please refer to the Institutional Goals document.
- Compliance & Integrity
- Supervision (SHRA supervisors only)
How do institutional goals relate to job duties?
The institutional goals create University standards for work in all SHRA positions and provide the supervisor and employee with a way to discuss performance expectations for all of the work included in the job duties.
Each job duty in the position description comes with performance expectations that are described in the institutional goals (for example, level of accuracy, quality of analysis, efficiency of process management, the impact of absenteeism, how interactions with others affect the work, adherence to policy and procedure, etc…). However, instead of ratings being given for each job duty, the ratings are given for each institutional goal across all job duties. As such, instead of receiving one rating for all aspects of a job duty (accuracy, efficiency, compliance and customer service) or each other job duty, employees are rated on their expertise (quality of work) on all duties, then rated for their accountability (meeting deadlines, etc.) on all job duties, and so on.
Does the institutional goal of Supervision apply to employees who supervise students and/or temporary workers?
The institutional goal of Supervision is designed primarily for employees who supervise other permanent employees and who have the assigned authority and responsibility for setting work schedules, organizing work, and conducting the annual performance appraisal. As such, this goal usually does not apply to “lead” workers, who may guide day‐to‐day operations of other employees, but who are not responsible for hiring, developing, assessing employee performance or issuing other personnel actions.
The institutional goal of Supervision may apply to employees whose position description outlines that overseeing students and/or temporary workers represents a significant function of their job. However, it is not designed for employees who incidentally supervise student or temporary workers, as the function is either not outlined in their position description or represents a very small function of their job. In order to assess leadership skills that “lead” workers may need to display, which differs from supervisory responsibilities, Supervisors may refer to the descriptions of other Institutional Goals, as many of them encompass leadership characteristics that may be applicable to the employee’s role.
What are individual goals?
The supervisor sets three to five individual goals for each employee for the performance cycle. These goals are not meant to address every aspect of the employee’s work; instead, they are meant to focus on three to five work assignments that are particularly important for this performance cycle.
Individual goals may be critical-function goals that highlight some of the most critical work needs in the employee’s position. These are usually compliance-related (for example, annual research or budget reports).
Individual goals may be project-oriented goals that may be regular or one-time work that is particularly significant during this performance cycle to meet specific business needs (for example, implementing new software, completing a phase of a research project, reaching a fundraising goal, etc.).
Most individual goals should be forward-focused or stretch goals. This means that the goals should align with both the work unit’s and the University’s strategic goals and mission, if possible. For example, if the Chancellor sets an initiative for increased policy compliance on campus, supervisors might develop individual goals toward increasing policy knowledge and awareness in the work unit or goals to ensure that the work unit is in compliance, such as revising procedure guides or audits of files. If the individual goal is accomplished, then it should help the organization move forward in some way to make things more understandable, more efficient, less hectic, etc. to improve the work environment for employees, supervisors, and customers.
Supervisors are encouraged to set S.M.A.R.T. goals, ensuring that the individual goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. For more information on creating S.M.A.R.T. goals, please refer to the S.M.A.R.T. Individual Goals document.
Are individual development goals required?
The University recommends that each employee have at least one development goal each performance cycle. The expectation is that supervisors determine with each employee what the appropriate development goal(s) should be for the performance cycle. Some colleges/divisions may set development goal requirements for their employees. Supervisors are expected to set development goals to address performance deficiencies for employees who receive any rating of “Not Meeting Expectations” on their performance appraisal and/or who have active disciplinary action.
What happens if an individual goal is established for an employee at the beginning of the performance cycle but then ends?
An individual goal may end if: the work unit’s priorities have shifted, so the goal is no longer required or critical; the work duties associated with the goal operationally have been assigned to another person or group; or, the employee’s work performance is not meeting expectations, and as such, the work has been reassigned to someone else. If the reason for the goal ending is primarily the fault of the employee, then the goal should still be reflected in the employee’s performance appraisal. If the reason for the goal ending was not primarily the fault of the employee, then the supervisor can choose to: 1) not rate the goal 2) remove the goal, provided that the employee has at least three rated goals remaining 3) replace it with a new goal or 4) rate only the work product that the employee was able to complete prior to the goal ending. It is worth noting that some individual goals may not be established until later into the performance cycle and some goals may be for projects with a shorter timeframe rather than for the entire cycle.
What are off-cycle reviews?
Off-cycle reviews are documented check-ins between supervisors and employees that occur during the performance cycle. There are several types of off-cycle reviews:
- Interim reviews are completed near the middle of the cycle (October).
- Probationary reviews are encouraged quarterly (April, July, October, January).
- Transfer reviews are completed at the time a supervisor/employee transfers to another position.
- Employee-requested reviews can be completed anytime during the cycle, if at least 60 days have elapsed since the employee’s last review.
- Management-requested reviews can be completed anytime during the cycle.
The supervisor is expected to meet with the employee, review the employee’s progress on the individual goals on the performance plan, and discuss how well the employee is meeting the expectations in the institutional goals. The supervisor documents the conversation (at least one paragraph summarizing the employee’s performance thus far in the performance cycle) on the SHRA appraisal form, and both the supervisor and employee initial the review.
Are interim reviews required for all employees?
Supervisors must hold interim reviews (generally in October) with employees who received any rating of “Not Meeting Expectations” on their last annual performance appraisal or employees who have active disciplinary action. Brief written comments are required on interim reviews, but ratings are not. Although interim reviews are not required for other employees, supervisors are highly encouraged to hold interim reviews for all employees, in an effort to ensure that ongoing performance discussions occur.
How will probationary period employees be evaluated under the SHRA Performance Appraisal Program?
Employee Relations encourages supervisors to conduct quarterly reviews for all probationary employees. Supervisors use the off-cycle review section of the performance appraisal form to complete the probationary reviews. The supervisor is not required to complete a full performance appraisal for these quarterly reviews, but is required to provide a brief summary of the status of the employee’s performance. For consistency, supervisors perform these quarterly reviews in the same months each year (April, July, October, January) regardless of the employee’s actual start date. The supervisor completes an annual performance appraisal for probationary employees who have worked for at least six months of the performance appraisal cycle (including assigning an overall rating and written comments) in the same way as with SHRA career status employees.
What happens if an employee or supervisor transfers to another position during the performance cycle?
If an employee transfers to another position during the performance cycle, the current supervisor completes an off-cycle review and forwards it, along with all current performance management documents, to the new supervisor. The new supervisor can factor in the employee’s progress during the performance cycle into the final overall rating. If a supervisor transfers to another position during the performance cycle, he/she should complete an off-cycle review for his/her employees to provide to the new supervisor, if at least 60 days have elapsed since the employees’ last evaluation.
Can employees request an interim review or other off-cycle review?
Yes, employees can request one off-cycle review each performance cycle. If at least 60 days have elapsed since the employee’s last evaluation, the supervisor must honor the request. Supervisors are encouraged to have regular individual check-in meetings with employees to discuss work issues and to give other informal feedback to employees throughout the performance cycle.
If an employee requests an off-cycle review and the supervisor refuses to complete it, can the employee file a grievance?
No; employees may only file a grievance for receiving a final overall rating of “Not Meeting Expectations” on the annual performance appraisal. Employees who request an off-cycle review and do not receive one should first speak with their supervisor or next-level supervisor in an attempt to resolve the issue. If this is unsuccessful, the employee should contact their departmental Human Resources office for assistance.
How is an employee’s final overall rating on the performance appraisal calculated?
Under the SHRA Performance Appraisal Program, supervisors establish weights for each institutional goal and for each individual goal at the beginning of the performance cycle. Goal weights must be at least 5% for each goal and any weighting changes should occur prior to the annual appraisal. An overall numeric score is calculated for each employee using the sum of the score of all institutional goals (50% of the overall score) plus the sum of the score of all individual goals (50% of the overall score). This numeric score corresponds to an employee’s final overall rating, according to the following:
2.70 to 3.00 = Exceeding Expectations
1.70 to 2.69 = Meeting Expectations
1.00 to 1.69 = Not Meeting Expectations
It is important to note that performance deficiencies have an impact on an employee’s final overall rating. For example, employees who receive any rating of “Not Meeting Expectations” on an institutional goal or on an individual goal OR who were issued disciplinary action during the performance cycle may not receive an overall rating of “Exceeding Expectations,” regardless of the final overall score.
Can employee ratings be assigned in half-point (.5) increments?
No, the ratings for each institutional goal and individual goal must be in whole numbers, as outlined below. An employee’s final overall rating is based on the weighted average of the institutional goal and individual goal ratings.
3 = Exceeding Expectations
2 = Meeting Expectations
1 = Not Meeting Expectations
Does the University have a quota system for the number of ratings allowed at each level of performance?
No. Supervisors are charged with providing accurate and honest assessments of employee performance. The University does not have a quota system for the number of ratings allowed at each level.
Will employees who complete all tasks outlined on their performance plans receive ratings of “Exceeding Expectations” on their annual appraisal?
Not necessarily. Individual goals and institutional goals are written at the “Meeting Expectations” level of performance. If employees perform their work most consistently at that level, then their rating would be “Meeting Expectations.” Employees should discuss with their supervisors what level of performance would warrant a rating of “Exceeding Expectations” so they can clearly establish achievement markers. Employees can also review the institutional goals document found under Resources on the Performance Appraisal Program webpage. which describes institutional goals at the “Not Meeting Expectations,” “Meeting Expectations,” and “Exceeding Expectations” levels of performance. For example, completing work by the established deadline is considered “Meeting Expectations.” A rating of “Exceeding Expectations” may be appropriate if the employee consistently completes assignments earlier than the established deadline throughout the performance cycle, usually at least several days or weeks in advance.
Are employees required to sign the performance appraisal?
Yes. Employees are required to sign the performance appraisal form at the completion of the performance review session with their supervisor. If any changes to the appraisal result from the performance review session with the supervisor, employees are required to sign the revised performance appraisal form. The employee signature line on the performance appraisal includes the following statement:
“Employee Acknowledgement: I understand my signature below indicates: that I have received this annual performance appraisal, that my signature does not necessarily imply my agreement with the ratings given or the comments included, and that if I choose, I may write a response to include with this appraisal document.”
Can supervisors submit a final rating for an employee without having completed an annual appraisal?
No; as part of the SHRA Performance Appraisal Program, supervisors are required to complete the annual appraisal form and meet with their employees before submitting final overall ratings to Human Resources.
Can supervisors meet with employees to discuss both the annual appraisal and the performance plan in the same meeting or schedule separate meetings?
Yes; supervisors have the option to schedule one meeting with employees to discuss both the current performance cycle annual appraisal and the new performance cycle performance plan or may decide to schedule separate meetings to close the current performance cycle and begin the new performance cycle.
What recourse do employees have if they disagree with the ratings on their performance appraisal?
Employees are encouraged to discuss ratings and comments with their supervisor either during the performance appraisal meeting or shortly thereafter. The employee can make suggestions for changes and provide additional information that may be useful to the supervisor in deciding if any changes should be made. Employees may also attach a response to the appraisal form providing additional information they believe is pertinent to the appraisal; this document will be included in the employee’s personnel file. The box on the appraisal form indicating that the employee has provided additional comments should be checked. In addition, employees may file a grievance for a final overall rating of “Not Meeting Expectations” on the annual performance appraisal. The performance plan, off-cycle reviews, institutional goal ratings, individual goal ratings, and written comments are not grievable. For more information, please refer to the SHRA Employee Grievance Policy. Employees may also contact their departmental Human Resources office to discuss what other options may be available.
If an employee wants to attach comments to a performance appraisal, by when must it be done?
There is no deadline for attaching a performance appraisal response; however, it is strongly recommended that employee responses be completed within two weeks of the appraisal meeting.
What happens if a supervisor does not complete an employee’s annual appraisal?
According to policy, if a supervisor fails to complete the appraisal process and/or to submit a final overall rating, the next-level supervisor is responsible for ensuring that these processes are completed in a timely manner. Employees who do not receive an annual appraisal should first speak with their supervisor or next-level supervisor in an attempt to resolve the issue. If this is unsuccessful, the employee should contact their departmental Human Resources office for assistance.
What training opportunities are available?
Is there anything that I am supposed to do right now?
Supervisors and employees should review the institutional goals included on the performance plan and discuss how these values interconnect with the job duties in employees’ position descriptions. Supervisors should also review each employee’s current position description during the performance cycle to ensure that the position description is consistent with the current job duties and responsibilities of the position. As a best practice, it is recommended that supervisors review employees’ position descriptions annually to ensure accuracy.
How can an employee or supervisor obtain a copy of the employee’s position description?
Supervisors should contact their departmental HR Representative to locate employees’ position descriptions. Employees should request a copy of their position description through their supervisor or may contact their departmental HR Representative for assistance.
Who do I contact if I have additional questions about the new SHRA Performance Appraisal Program?
If you have additional questions regarding the new SHRA Performance Appraisal Program, please contact your departmental Human Resources office or NC State’s Employee Relations Team at (919) 515-6575 or via email at email@example.com.