Missouri State University

Employee Performance Evaluations

5.1 Purpose

The University believes that a fair performance evaluation system is one of the keys to a successful performance-based compensation system. The performance evaluation tool and process must be trusted by the employee and supervisor, effectively and consistently used, and should incorporate individual goal setting. The University’s Appraisal and Development Plan (ADP) process is designed to support the growth and development of employees within the organization and to recognize employees for their overall performance and contribution to the organization. The evaluation of employee performance is intended to be a continuous process of communication between employees and supervisors and to serve several purposes, including the following:

  • evaluate each employee's effectiveness in performing assigned duties and responsibilities
  • identify factors that can improve job performance
  • clarify performance standards as they relate to the current job description
  • assist employees in developing additional knowledge, skills and abilities for job advancement
  • recognize exceptional performance
  • document shortcomings or substandard performance and outline methods to improve future performance
  • determine retention of an employee at the end of the probationary period
  • identify training and developmental needs 
  • set and track performance toward specific job-related goals       

It is the cost center administrator’s responsibility to ensure performance evaluations are completed accurately and in a timely manner for his/her unit. 

Resources and information on the University’s Appraisal and Development Plan (ADP) process are available online for employees at http://www.missouristate.edu/human/training/ADPTraining.htm or by contacting the Office of Human Resources, Employee Development and Performance for assistance.

5.2 Method of Evaluation

The immediate supervisor will evaluate the employee’s performance using a rating scale that consists of the following five levels of performance: Exceptional, Commendable, Competent, Development Needed, and Unsatisfactory.  Supervisors must conduct:    

  • A performance planning meeting for new employees during their first week of employment.
  • A probationary evaluation for new employees at the third and sixth months of employment. 
  • An annual performance appraisal and performance planning meeting with all  employees during the period of October 1 through January 31.
  • A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) session at anytime during the year if employees are performing at a less than “Competent” (a rating of less than 3). 

Both the supervisor and the employee will sign the performance evaluation report form at the conclusion of the Performance Planning Meeting and the Performance Appraisal Meeting.  Signing the evaluation report does not mean the employee agrees with the evaluation; it means that the employee is aware of and has been informed of the evaluation. 

Administrative practices to follow for the ADP process are: 

  • Provide to employees copies of all formal documents being discussed during meetings
  • Practice confidentiality in the management of the ADP documents and discussions
  • Provide signed copies to employees and appropriate offices within the cost center
  • Submit the original signed ADP form to the Office of Human Resources.

Additionally, it is recommended that a mid-year meeting of the employee and supervisor be held to discuss progress and challenges related to accomplishing the performance plan.

5.2.1 Performance Planning Meeting

The performance planning meeting will occur between October 1st and January 31st or within 30 days after the performance appraisal meeting.  The performance planning meeting and the annual performance appraisal meeting may occur during the same meeting, if the supervisor desires.  The performance planning meeting is required in order for supervisors and employees to discuss and come to a mutual understanding of job duties, objectives, and specific goals to be accomplished throughout the upcoming year. The supervisor communicates the University's and department's goals and objectives and helps the employee to relate his/her performance to the accomplishment of these goals by establishing measurable outcomes. This step is documented in Section 1 of the ADP form. The Organizational Values/Behaviors found in Section 2 should also be reviewed so that the supervisor and employee have a common understanding of behaviors which are considered the norm for the position.  This step is a mutual review and planning exchange between the supervisor and employee.

5.2.2 Performance Appraisal Meeting

The annual performance appraisal meeting will occur between October 1st and January 31st.  Cost center administrators are encouraged to have their cost center’s  supervisors submit the completed ADP forms to them for review prior to meeting with the employee for the performance appraisal so the cost center administrator can help ensure performance evaluation ratings are consistently calibrated throughout the cost center.  The ADP report is reviewed and discussed by the supervisor and employee. An integral part of this meeting is planning for the subsequent year's job duties, projects, and/or goals (see 5.2.1).

5.2.3 Mid-Year Meeting

A mid-year meeting must be conducted by supervisors with employees who are performing at a less-than-competent level in any area.  At this meeting a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) must also be initiated.  The mid-year meeting is optional for all others but can provide an opportunity for the supervisor and employee to discuss progress and identify any challenges to accomplishing the established goals/objectives established at the beginning of the rating period.  A mid-year meeting will reduce the chance that surprises will occur at year-end during the annual performance evaluation.

5.2.4 Performance Improvement Plan

The supervisor must develop a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) when the employee's overall performance evaluation rating is less than "Competent" (a rating less than 3) or if the supervisor determines current performance requires improvement.  The Performance Improvement Plan must clearly describe:

  1. what behavior, performance, situations, or conditions must be changed and how,
  2. what is to be done by the employee,
  3. what is to be done by the supervisor, and
  4. when the improved level of performance is to be achieved. 

The PIP becomes part of the employee’s Appraisal and Development Plan for the rating period it was initiated. Supervisors should consult with their next line of supervision (Reviewer) when initiating a PIP on an employee since the Reviewer also signs the form at the establishment of the PIP and at the Follow-Up Review. The Follow-Up Review with the employee should be conducted approximately 60 days following the initiation of a PIP. Supervisors may also want to contact the Office of Human Resources for guidance and assistance on the process prior to meeting with the employee.

5.3 Probationary and Annual Evaluations

The performance evaluation period is determined based upon the type of evaluation being rendered as described below.

5.3.1 Probationary Period Evaluations

New employees serve a six-month probationary period. During this period, the supervisor will complete two evaluations of the employee's work performance, at the third and sixth months of employment. Probationary evaluations assess the new employee's progress in learning the job. 

During the first week of employment, the supervisor should conduct a performance planning meeting to review the job description with the employee and determine the most important duties to be learned and goals to be accomplished during the probationary period. The probationary evaluations are primarily developmental and help the supervisor identify employee strengths and weaknesses and areas where more training is required. In a probationary evaluation, a rating of "3" does not mean competent as it does in the regular performance appraisal system. A rating of "3" means satisfactory progress has been made in learning how to do the job competently. Higher or lower ratings during the probationary period mean the new employee is progressing faster or slower than expected. An overall score of "3", meaning satisfactory progress is being made, is required for the new employee to be recommended for continued employment. An overall performance rating of 2.00-2.99 (development needed) at the three- or six-month evaluation period indicates that the supervisor should clarify job expectations and performance standards with the employee and together determine which aspects of the job need further explanation or additional training. An overall performance rating of less than 2.00 (unsatisfactory progress) at the end of the probationary period will result in termination of employment with the University. The supervisor can recommend an extension of the probationary period based on documented evidence that the normal probationary period provided insufficient time for the employee's job suitability to be determined. Alternatively, if work is judged to be unsatisfactory, probationary employees may be dismissed at any time during the probationary period.

If a new employee has received a three- or six-month probationary evaluation by March 1, that score should be forwarded to the cost center administrator for inclusion in the Compensation Matrix.  If a new employee has not received at least a three-month probationary evaluation by March 1, the supervisor should forward a performance rating of “3” to the cost center administrator for inclusion in the Compensation Matrix. 

5.3.2 Annual Performance Evaluations

All employees successfully completing the probationary period will receive annual performance evaluations. All annual performance evaluations will occur between October 1 and January 31 of each fiscal year. The results of each year's performance evaluations will be used as input for development of the Compensation Matrix to determine salary increases that will be implemented July 1 (assuming sufficient funding is available for salary increases that year). New employees’ three- or six-month probationary evaluations occurring between October 1 and January 31 will be used as input for the Compensation Matrix.

5.3.3 When Change in Supervision Occurs

When an employee changes supervisors during the year, the following guidelines will determine the supervisor responsible for completing the ADP process for that employee. When a change of supervision occurs between:

  • January 31st and June 30th – The new supervisor will complete the ADP for the employee.
  • July 1st and September 30th – The new supervisor will evaluate the employee at the end of January and may seek input from the former supervisor to complete the ADP. If the former supervisor is not available, input from the next level of supervision should be sought.
  • October 1 and January 31st – The former supervisor completes the ADP for his/her former employee. If the former supervisor is not available, input from the next level of supervision should be sought. 

5.4 Performance Evaluation Appeals

If an employee believes that an unfair performance evaluation or inaccurate performance evaluation has been rendered, a written response to the evaluation may be submitted to the Office of Human Resources with a request that it be placed in his/her personnel file with the performance evaluation. Employees who choose to formally appeal their performance evaluation must follow the appeal process. While the performance rating or evaluation may be appealed, the actual compensation decision (i.e., the salary increase percentage) may not be appealed.

  • Step 1 - Employees desiring to appeal a performance evaluation must submit a written appeal to their direct supervisor within 10 workdays of receiving the performance evaluation.
  • Step 2 - The employee and supervisor will meet within 10 workdays after receipt of the written appeal to discuss the employee’s concerns. If the employee’s concerns are not resolved, and the employee desires to escalate the appeal, the employee must submit a written appeal to the next level of supervision within 10 workdays following the employee’s appeal meeting with his/her direct supervisor.
  • Step 3 - The appeal process may continue to the major cost center administrator (President, Provost, Vice President, Chancellor, or Chief Financial Officer), whose decision will be final.

The Office of Human Resources also is available to advise or counsel employees about expected performance standards and to assist employees in making adjustments regarding performance.

Employees who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, sexual orientation, or veteran status with respect to a job performance evaluation may consult the Office for Institutional Equity and Compliance.