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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: HUMAN RESOURCES INDEX: C-13
SUBJECT: STAFF PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

POLICY

The University of Houston-Victoria (UHV) recognizes the value of its employees and understands that the quality of university services depends upon the employees. This policy sets forth the guidelines for evaluating the performance of regular staff employees in accordance with UHV’s staff employee performance appraisal process. All regular staff employees of the university who have completed their probationary period shall receive a formal performance appraisal at least once a year. Performance appraisals shall be scheduled, conducted, and documented according to the provisions of this policy. A copy of the signed appraisal document will be maintained in the employee's official personnel file in the Human Resources Department. Merit salary adjustments will not be approved unless a current performance appraisal has been conducted and is on file.

Confidentiality of the performance appraisals shall be maintained to the greatest extent possible. If copies of the performance appraisals are maintained within the employing department, they will be secured in a confidential location for the duration of the employee's assignment in that department. Completed performance appraisals will not be made available to someone other than the employee, the employee's immediate supervisor and/or cabinet-level supervisor, or with the written consent of the employee, or in compliance with state or federal law.

Nothing in this policy will be used to discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, or veteran status.

Definitions:

Regular staff employee: A university employee who is appointed for at least twenty (20) hours per week on a regular basis for a period of at least four and one-half months, excluding students employed in positions for which student status is required as a condition of employment and those employees holding teaching positions classified as faculty.

Performance appraisal: A formal appraisal by the immediate supervisor of the employee’s performance during a specific period of time using the university's official Staff Performance Appraisal form.

Probationary employee: The initial six (6) months of employment at UHV for each regular non-exempt staff employee is probationary and the initial twelve (12) months of employment for each regular exempt employee is probationary. Other provisions applying to probationary employment may be found in the university policy, C-23, 'Probationary Period for Regular Staff Employees.'

Exempt employee: An exempt employee is paid on a monthly salaried basis and is employed to work in a position classified as exempt from overtime pay regulations in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Non-exempt employee: A non-exempt employee is paid on a bi-weekly basis and is employed to work in a position classified as subject to the overtime pay regulations of the FLSA.

PROCEDURES

Purpose and Objectives of Performance Appraisals

Performance appraisals provide a means of informing employees of the quality of their work and identifying areas of performance that may need improvement. They are to be used as a positive, constructive tool to measure an employee's performance. Performance appraisals help supervisors provide valuable feedback to employees concerning their job performance and the university's expectations.

Additionally, performance appraisals are a valuable management tool to assist in making personnel decisions including, but not limited to, training needs, merit pay adjustments, transfers, promotions, career development. The objectives of the appraisal process are

•to provide clearly defined performance standards based upon the employee's current job description to ensure that employees know what is expected of them;

•to encourage supervisors and employees to have face-to-face discussions and let employees know how they are doing in terms of their job performance;

•to express appreciation for outstanding contributions and performance; conversely, to discuss performance areas where improvement is possible or needed and to outline plans for improving performance.

Responsibility and Monitoring

The Human Resources Department is responsible for the administration of the university's performance appraisal system. Any changes to policy, procedures, or forms related to performance appraisals will be communicated immediately by the Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action to supervisors.

Supervisors will work with the Human Resources Department in communicating the importance of the performance appraisal process in distributing all required performance appraisal materials and in ensuring that performance appraisals are completed in a timely manner.

The immediate supervisor is responsible for conducting performance appraisals for all employees under his/her supervision. In the case of multiple supervisors, the evaluation will be conducted by the supervisor who oversees the majority of the work (more than .50 FTE). If an employee has two (2) assignments of .50 FTE each, both supervisors will conduct a performance evaluation.

Cabinet-level supervisors are responsible for ensuring that all supervisors who report to them conduct performance appraisals on all regular staff employees in their respective departments in a timely manner as specified in this policy.

Schedule for Performance Appraisals

An effective performance appraisal process requires ongoing communications between employee and supervisor to ensure that the employee has a clear understanding of the supervisor's expectations and continuous feedback on how he or she doing on the job. There is a need, however, to periodically conduct formal performance appraisals as described below.

Annual performance appraisals: All regular staff employees shall receive performance appraisals annually.

Transfer or promotion to new positions: Two-way communication between supervisor and employee should take place regarding the employee's new job duties and responsibilities, performance level, and future action plans. The new supervisor will have access to the previous supervisor's evaluation(s) upon request.

Part-time and temporary workers: Performance appraisals are not required for part-time (less than .50 FTE) and temporary employees (less than 4.5 months); however, they may be used at the supervisor’s option to evaluate job performance.

Performance Appraisal Process

1. Each calendar year (usually in October), the Human Resources Department will provide each supervisor with the appropriate forms and instructions to be used during the performance appraisal process. 'Employee's Self Appraisal Form' (Form A) and 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' (Form B).

2. Supervisors will fill out the top section of the 'Employee's Self Appraisal Form' (Form A) and distribute the 'Employee's Self Appraisal Form' to each employee in their department to complete. The top section informs the employee of the performance meeting date and the date that Form A is to be returned to the supervisor. The supervisor should schedule the appraisal interview in advance with adequate notice . Approximately one hour should be scheduled for the interview. This self evaluation allows employees to provide a list of their accomplishments, list how their actions assisted the unit in meeting its goals, indicate where they felt they excelled, indicate what they think works and does not work well in the unit, and/or indicate if there is any particular assistance that they need, etc. The self evaluation will help supervisors evaluate the employee, develop strategies for improving weak areas, and set attainable goals for the next appraisal period. This is a key step in advance of completing the 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' (Form B) and allows for a more productive, insightful exchange between supervisor and employee during the performance meeting.

3. When supervisors distribute the 'Employee's Self Appraisal Form' (Form A), they also may need to distribute a copy of the 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' (Form B) to each employee in their department to complete. (Refer to Step 4 below)

4. The employee and the supervisor(s) will then both independently complete the 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' (Form B) prior to the interview. Note: Employees do not return the 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' that they independently fill out to the supervisor until the performance interview meeting (step 6). (This step is optional per the department head’s discretion; however, it should be consistent within a department.)

5. Prior to conducting the performance appraisal interview, the supervisor will identify and develop items to be covered in the session. The supervisor will collect relevant data concerning job requirements and established goals and standards.

Supervisors shall then:

  • review the job requirements;
  • review the goals and standards previously communicated with the employee;
  • review the employee's self appraisal form;
  • evaluate job performance versus job expectations for the period being appraised and rate accordingly;
  • note any variances in the employee's performance that need to be discussed and provide specific examples of those variances; and
  • consider career opportunities or limitations for the employee and prepare to discuss them.

6. The employee and supervisor will then meet to discuss the 'Job Performance Appraisal ' . (Note: The date for the appraisal interview meeting should be communicated to the employee on the 'Employee's Self-Appraisal Form' during step 2 of the process.)

Through the performance appraisal interview, the supervisor can communicate openly with employees on the subject of performance. Supervisors should define problems clearly, set improvement goals and encourage employee participation.

7. During the final portion of the interview, supervisors and employees should attempt to summarize what was said in the course of the appraisal. Employees should leave the appraisal interview knowing what standards were used to evaluate their performance and how well they met those objectives. Supervisors should communicate ways to develop, maintain or improve performance.

8. A final composite 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' will be prepared by the supervisor and forwarded to the employee for signature. The form will reflect the ratings, goals, plans, and comments with which there was agreement or disagreement. Comments are required to support the overall rating of the performance. The signature of acknowledgment indicates only that the employee read the appraisal, not necessarily agreement with the appraisal itself. Employees should add any comments to the 'Employee Comments' section of the form if they so wish. The employee should be provided with a copy of the final 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' within one week.

9. If the employee refuses to sign the 'Job Performance Appraisal Form,' the supervisor conducting the evaluation shall so indicate by noting 'employee refused to sign' and by initialing the date of the refusal. In addition, a witness should be called to sign the performance appraisal form confirming that the employee received a copy of the appraisal.

10. Immediately upon conclusion of the appraisal process, the originating department should forward the completed 'Job Performance Appraisal Form' (Form B) to the Human Resources Department for inclusion in the employee's official personnel file. The originating department should also maintain a copy for their record. Note: Employees have the option of forwarding the 'Employee's Self-Appraisal Form' (Form A) to the Human Resources Department for filing in their official personnel file.

11. The Human Resources Department will monitor the process to ensure that all required evaluations are completed. The Director, Human Resources/Affirmative Action will contact supervisors when staff performance evaluations have not been forwarded for inclusion in the official personnel files. If the completed evaluations are then not provided by an established date, the appropriate cabinet-level supervisor will be notified.

Merit salary adjustments will not be approved unless a current performance appraisal has been conducted and is on file.

Grievance Process

Employees who disagree with their performance appraisal have the right to file a grievance in accordance with the grievance procedures outlined in Policy C-21, “Grievance Procedures.”

Approved by:

Signature Obtained                     10/27/2010
Don Smith, Ph.D.                         Date
Interim President

Next review date: October 2012
Origination: Human Resources

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