July 1, 2005

Performance Evaluations

Written performance evaluations should be conducted at least on an annual basis. Problems in performance should be brought to the staff employee’s attention as soon as possible.

When a candidate is hired or a staff employee is transferred, promoted, reclassified, or given new duties, the supervisor and staff employee should review job responsibilities, performance expectations, and university and departmental personnel policies. Subsequently, the supervisor should regularly review with the staff employee his or her performance, either verbally or in writing, and discuss any concerns as soon as issues arise. It is suggested that the supervisor meet with the staff employee on the staff employee’s one-month, two-month, and three-month anniversaries of the assumption of duties to discuss how well he or she is meeting performance expectations and to provide guidance on further development.

Annual evaluations are generally done in the spring before annual pay increases are considered. Annual pay increases are merit-based and should reflect the performance described in the evaluation.

Regardless of the evaluation system used, its success or failure largely depends upon the effort of the individual supervisor to provide a balanced assessment of the staff employee’s performance. The department should utilize performance appraisal methods which meet the following objectives:

  1. develop performance standards
  2. evaluate past performance
  3. motivate a staff employee to perform his or her duties better
  4. identify career development paths and the concurrent training needed

Performance evaluations should be based upon observations and facts that the supervisor has been gathering continuously and sharing with the staff employee prior to the performance evaluation session. The written evaluation should be the basis of discussion between the staff employee and the supervisor and should be given to the staff employee prior to the discussion. It is recommended that the supervisor allow sufficient uninterrupted time and a confidential meeting place to discuss the evaluation with the staff employee. The staff employee should be given an opportunity to add written comments to the evaluation. The supervisor should sign the evaluation and the staff employee should be given the opportunity to sign and date the evaluation. If the staff employee declines to sign the evaluation, an appropriate notation should be made on the evaluation. The supervisor, staff employee and home department coordinator should each receive signed and dated copies of the evaluation for their files.

Responsible Office

Human Resources Administration

(213) 821-8100

Issued by

Todd R. Dickey, Senior Vice President, Administration
University of Southern California