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Performance Management

Davidson College expects all employees to receive an annual performance appraisal. The performance review is an opportunity for managers to discuss with their employees the contributions and achievements of the previous year. This document outlines the steps of the review process, provides instructions for completing the different forms, and discusses the best practices for capturing performance on paper.

All reviews are due by July 1.

The Steps

Midway through the year the employee and manager should meet to discuss the employer's progress towards completing those goals outlined on the goal-setting form. A form should be completed outlining the conversation and should be sent to HR for filing.

1. Form Selection

Select from one of two forms:  the Check-Box Form or the Open-Ended Form.  Either form is acceptable for any employee, but individual managers should use the same form for all employees at similar organizational levels.

2. Self-Assessment

Optional for employees, the manager must give every employee the option to complete a self-assessment and turn back into the manager. Managers should provide every employee with copies or a links to the following: a) self-assessment form, b) job description, c) last year's goals.

3. Manager Review Draft

The manager completes the review form, using examples and supporting information where appropriate. Include last year's goals (and documentation on completion) in the appropriate section.

4. Goal-Setting

The employee and the manager each begin drafting goals for the upcoming year. A separate form should be completed outlining these goals and should be sent to HR for filing.

5. Conference

The employee and manager(s) meet to discuss the employee's performance over the past year and to review documents and goals for the year to come. May comprise multiple meetings.

6. Signatures

The manager finalizes the review and goal-setting process following his/her conversation with the employee by securing signatures as well as any additional employee comments. Employees must be allowed to respond to the review if requested or to include a copy of their self-assessment.

7. Routing to VP

The final signed copy is sent to the respective department's VP (the manager may retain a copy for his/her records). The VP/Department Head signs the review and sends to HR for the employee's personnel file.

8. Mid-Year Review

Midway through the year the employee and manager should meet to discuss the employer's progress towards completing those goals outlined on the goal-setting form. A form should be completed outlining the conversation and should be sent to HR for filing.

The Forms

Open-Ended Form

The Open-ended Form (DOC) is for managers/employees that prefer a more free-form approach to assessment. Managers should still consider the employee's whole performance when completing reviews, with an eye toward competencies and duties outlined in the job description.

For employees that supervise others, complete the section specifically addressing duties around management.

Check-Box Form

The Check-box Form (DOC) includes individual competencies standard for virtually all employees. Additionally, managers may add competencies in the "other" section specific to an individual job. Prior to rating the employee the managers should review the Competency Definitions (PDF, print on 11x14) for a guide to each rating level. Additionally, the manager should include examples for each competency to support the rating.

Self-Assessment Forms

The self-assessments ask the same questions as the review but are in a different format so it can be distinguished from the review. Employees do not need to complete a self-assessment but they should be given the opportunity. Employees should complete the cooresponding assessment–either the Self-Assessment: Check-box (DOC) or the Self-Assessment: Open-ended (DOC).

Goals Form

The Goals Form (DOC) is used to capture annual performance goals for an employee. The form includes prompts for two specific categories of goals-technology-related goals (which help the college determine possible IT needs) and diversity goals, specifically aimed at ways the employee should work on diversity competencies and take advantage of training or other opportunities for diversity education.

Mid-Year Check-in Form

Managers and employees should sit down mid-year to review progress on goals, make any necessary adjustments, and complete the Mid-Year Check-in Form (DOC).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Self-Assessment part of the official review?

The "official" review is the one written by the manager with all of the requisite signatures. The manager may incorporate feedback from the employee in the body of the review and the employee is always permitted to provide written comments on the review. But the core of the review should be drafted by the manager.

What period should the review cover?

The review should cover the entire previous year. Managers should avoid focusing only on the most recent incidents and conversely, managers should recognize changes in performance and not repeat by rote the same review each year.

When are the reviews due? Are goals due at the same time?

Most departments do reviews based on the fiscal year/academic year. Therefore, reviews should be completed at the end of June, covering the previous 12 months. Goals may be set at the same time or a different time (some areas of campus may prefer to set goals in August, more aligned with the academic year or after data from the fiscal year is reviewed).

Is the Mid-Year Review required?

The Mid-Year Review is designed as a check-in, particularly around annual performance goals. Like the annual review, it is not a substitute for on-going communication, coaching, and honest feedback.

I have an employee with performance issues. How do I approach this on the performance review?

If the employee is currently on a performance improvement plan or has been coached on performance issues, reference that in the document. But in severe cases, feel free to contact Human Resources for help drafting the review. HR also has books with sample phrases for goal-setting and performance assessment.

I can't spell check or easily format the document.

On Microsoft Office forms, the text field box does not automatically spell check like it does in regular word documents. One alternative is to draft the review on a different document and paste into the review form. But the documents are not restricted for editing-so adjust the form as necessary to enter your content.