University Support Staff (USS) Performance Evaluations
To articulate the process for University Support Staff (USS) Performance Evaluations
University Support Staff
Performance evaluations are required for all staff on at least an annual basis. Performance evaluations are based on 3 components: “Goals/Objectives,” optional “Staff Feedback,” and a “Performance Evaluation” of performance factors.
Human Resources notifies departmental Personnel Related Staff when evaluations are due for staff, establishing a deadline for submission.
Performance evaluations assess how an employee performs job duties. Position descriptions describe what job duties an employee is expected to adequately perform. Therefore, prior to completing a performance evaluation, the supervisor and the employee should review and, if needed, update the position description.
Prior to the end of the first 6 months of initial employment, supervisors will evaluate employees to determine if permanent status should be granted. Failure to complete the initial evaluation and present it to the employee prior to the end of the probationary period, or failure to extend the probationary period in writing prior to its expiration, will result in the probationary employee being granted permanent status. An initial probationary period may be extended for up to a total of 12 months. (Promotional probationary periods may last only a total of 6 months.) Performance will be evaluated at least once a year thereafter. It is advisable to provide performance feedback at least twice a year.
A supervisor may evaluate an employee at any time if conditions warrant a higher or lower rating; such evaluations are called “special evaluations.” Those special evaluations must have goals in place at least 30 days prior to the evaluation. The special evaluation period can leave no “gap time” between its start date and the end of the last evaluation period.
Supervisors determine an overall performance rating after rating the individual performance factors, assessing “Goal/Objective” progress, and taking into consideration the optional “Staff Feedback.” The supervisor reviews the 3 components of the evaluation with the employee.
A performance evaluation is a permanent part of an employee’s record. Additionally, supervisors may review it when employees are considered for a pay increase or promotion. A current rating of “meets expectations” or above is necessary for promotion and to be considered for a pay increase (as funded by the University and/or Legislature.)
The various components of the evaluation process should be handled in the following way.
Goals/Objectives for Performance Evaluations
Goals are based on the employee's job requirements and should be measurable, realistic, objective, and job related. Employee input to the goals is encouraged. The supervisor has ultimate responsibility for establishing goals.
Goals are established at the beginning of each evaluation period. At least 1 goal must be established for each evaluation period. Goals may be established or updated at various times as noted below. However, changes and additions to goals must be made at least 30 days before the end of the evaluation period. The supervisor and the employee retain copies of the established/modified goals for use at the end of the evaluation period.
Goals are established or modified:
- shortly after appointment to a new position;
- at the beginning of each evaluation period;
- when there is a significant change in duties;
- when additional goals are warranted during the evaluation period.
At the end of the evaluation period, the supervisor assesses goal progress. Employee input on goal progress is encouraged. The supervisor assesses the goals as being “met,” “in progress,” or “not met.” The supervisor may make comments about goal progress. Both the employee and supervisor sign and date the goal form. The employee's overall performance will be based on these goals, as well as other components of the evaluation process.
If goals were not established in a timely fashion, the employee’s goal progress may be rated using the duties from the current position description.
Supervisors are encouraged to provide performance feedback at least twice a year. This feedback can be documented in the “Comments” section of the goal form. Both the supervisor and the employee should initial and date the feedback documentation. If performance feedback is provided in the form of a memo to the employee, that memo must be retained with the evaluation documents.
If an employee believes the goals to be unreasonable,the employee should seek resolution with a supervisor or departmental administration. If no resolution is achieved, the disagreements must be outlined in writing and sent with the goals to Human Resources. A Human Resources staff member will try to mediate any disagreements.
Staff Feedback for Performance Evaluations (Optional)
The supervisor will also take into consideration the optional “Staff Feedback” when rating an employee's overall performance. The supervisor is required to offer the employee the “Staff Feedback” form a few days before conducting the performance evaluation. It is the employee’s option to complete the form.
Performance Factors for Performance Evaluations
The supervisor will rate the employee on performance factors of “position knowledge and skills;” “quantity” and “quality of work;” “working relationships with coworkers;” “customer focus;” and “leadership” (if leadership is applicable to the employee’s job duties). Employee input on performance factors is encouraged.
The supervisor assesses the performance factors as being “unsatisfactory,” “meets expectations,” “exceeds expectations,” or “exceptional.” Supervisors are encouraged to make comments about the performance factors. Supervisory comments are required for ratings of “unsatisfactory” or “exceptional.”
The supervisor will rate the employee's overall performance based on the assessment of goal progress, ratings of the individual performance factors, and taking into consideration the optional “Staff Feedback.” The overall rating will be “unsatisfactory,” “meets expectations,” “exceeds expectations,” or “exceptional.” Supervisory comments are required; an employee’s comments are optional.
The supervisor and the employee will discuss the overall evaluation, date and sign the form. The employee's signature on the evaluation form does not signify agreement with the evaluation nor waive the right to appeal. The signature only signifies receipt of the evaluation. If the employee refuses to sign the evaluation, a witness’ signature can verify that the evaluation was provided to the employee. The department sends the evaluation form with goals and any optional “Staff Feedback” to Human Resources by the established deadline.
Unsatisfactory Performance and Disciplinary Action
An employee who, in the opinion of the supervisor, is not performing work at a level of “meets expectations” will be counseled on ways to improve. Unsatisfactory work performance may necessitate a special evaluation or be grounds for disciplinary action. A salary increase cannot be granted if an employee receives a rating of “unsatisfactory.” Two or more unsatisfactory ratings completed a minimum of 30 days apart within a 180 day period or an indication of adequate counseling about which the staff member has been fully informed may result in a recommendation for demotion or dismissal.
Appeal of Performance Rating
A permanent employee or an employee serving on a promotional probationary appointment has the right to appeal any evaluation (except one with a rating of “exceptional”). An employee serving on an initial probationary appointment does not have the right to appeal evaluation. Within 7 calendar days of receiving the evaluation, the employee must contact Human Resources in writing to register an appeal.
Department of Human Resources
103 Carruth-O’Leary Hall
1246 W. Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045
05/22/2017: Removed broken link.
07/20/2016: Updated to remove gendered pronouns.
06/21/2016: Updated DLR
01/20/2015: Policy formatting cleanup (e.g., bolding, spacing).