Employee Performance Evaluations

G7.02-5 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 goals. 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.
  • Establish performance standards as they relate to the current job description and in support of the university’s goals and mission.
  • Assist employees in developing additional knowledge, skills and abilities for job advancement.
  • Document shortcomings or substandard performance and outline methods to improve future performance.
  • Determine retention of an employee at the end of the probationary period.

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 process are available online or by contacting the office of human resources, Performance Management for assistance.

5.2 Method of evaluation

The immediate supervisor will evaluate the employee’s performance using a one (1) to five (5) rating scale that consists of the following five levels of performance: Exceptional (5), Commendable (4), Competent (3), Development Needed (2) and Unsatisfactory (1). Ratings can be entered in .25 increments. Supervisors should verify with their Cost Center Head for guidance on the utilization of the rating scale for whole numbers or increments.

Supervisors must conduct:

  • A probationary performance planning meeting for new employees during their first week of employment, at the third month of employment and at the sixth month of employment.
  • A probationary performance appraisal for new employees at their third and sixth month anniversary date.
  • An annual performance appraisal with all eligible employees during the annual rating period of October 1st through January 31st.
  • An annual performance planning meeting with all eligible employees.

The ADP forms for the Planning and Appraisal Process are accessed and completed online through the My Missouri State portal. Both supervisors and employees are notified by email from HRPerformance@MissouriState.edu when they have actions to complete during the planning and appraisal processes for the annual and probationary ADPs.

Both the supervisor and the employee will acknowledge the online forms at the conclusion of the Appraisal Meetings. Acknowledging represents that the employee is aware of and has been informed of the Appraisal document. Confidentiality should be exercised in the management of the ADP documents and discussions for employees.

5.2.1 Performance planning meetings

The performance planning meeting and the performance appraisal meeting may occur during the same meeting, if the supervisor desires. 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 the Objectives/Job Duties Performance Standards and Appraisal Section of the ADP form. The Organizational Values/Behaviors Section should also be reviewed so that the supervisor and employee have a common understanding of the behaviors expected for the position. Supervisors should provide feedback to their employees throughout the rating period to reinforce expected behavior and to address performance issues.

5.2.2 Performance appraisal meeting

Cost center administrators are responsible for ensuring that the performance evaluation ratings are consistently calibrated throughout their cost center. The ADP Appraisal document 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 Section 5.2.1).

5.2.4 Performance improvement plan

A supervisor may initiate a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) when an employee's overall performance rating is less than "Competent" (less than 3) or when a supervisor determines current performance requires improvement as part of the Annual ADP process. The PIP process must be initiated by the supervisor if the employee’s overall rating is less than 2.5 on the 5.0 rating scale. If the lower rating is the result of behavior and/or performance that was already formally addressed during the rating the period, the supervisor may not be required to initiate a PIP. Supervisors should consult with HR Performance Management for guidance on their employee’s individual situation. The Performance Improvement Plan document should include:

  • Behavior, performance, situations or conditions that need to be changed.
  • Expected changes by the employee to improve their performance or behavior along with demonstrated outcomes.
  • Any supporting activities, training or guidance to support the improvement.
  • Expected timeline for improvement.

The PIP document 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. Supervisors needing to address performance issues with an employee should contact the office of human resources, Performance Management for assistance and guidance on the process prior to meeting with the employee. The Performance Improvement Plan form can be found online.

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 may 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 or performance is judged to be unsatisfactory, probationary employees may be dismissed at any time during the probationary period. Supervisors should contact the office of human resources for assistance and approval to extend an employee’s probationary period beyond six (6) months or to recommend termination of employment. Only the Director of Human Resources can grant an extension or terminate an employee. These actions should be initiated prior to the employee’s six-month anniversary.

5.3.2 Annual performance evaluations

All employees successfully completing the probationary period will roll forward into the annual performance evaluations process based on their six (6) month anniversary date. All annual performance evaluations will occur between October 1st and January 31st of each fiscal year.

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:

  • February 1st through September 30th – The new supervisor will complete the ADP for the employee. Input from the next level of supervision may be sought.
  • October 1st through 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 inaccurate performance evaluation has been rendered, a written response to the evaluation may be submitted to the office of human resources within 10 work days with a request that it be placed in his/her personnel file with the performance evaluation.

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, national origin, ancestry, age, disability or veteran status with respect to a job performance evaluation may consult the office for institutional equity and compliance.

Employees who believe that they have been discriminated against on the basis of sex (including family status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation and/or gender identity/expression) may consult the title IX office.