Performance Appraisal


Puget Sound staff members should receive a formal performance review from their supervisors.  Performance reviews for new, transferred, and promoted staff members are conducted six months following their appointment dates. Annual performance reviews for all staff members are conducted annually thereafter and forwarded to Human Resources by April 15.


The purpose of the staff performance review and development system is to continuously improve the quality and capacity of the University of Puget Sound staff in support of the mission and goals of the university.

The system supports staff development by:

  • modeling a consistent philosophy of performance management throughout the organization;
  • aligning the work of the staff member and the team to the goals and objectives of the work unit, the department and the university;
  • providing a reasonable, flexible and fair process for the comprehensive assessment of an staff member’s or a team's work performance;
  • providing opportunities continuously to develop the knowledge, skills and abilities of the staff;
  • providing results which justify the staff member's and the supervisor's investment of time, effort, and emotional energy.

The system provides an ongoing process to:

  • make it easier for supervisors, managers, and staff members to recognize superior performance, to talk about performance that meets Puget Sound's high standards, to plan for next-stage performance development, and to talk about performance that needs to be improved;
  • make it easier for supervisors and managers to explain decisions that directly affect staff members, such as salary increases, promotions, reassignments, and training opportunities;
  • enable staff members to express their needs for supervisory mentoring, support and assistance; and
  • allow staff members to know, to a greater extent than before, the quality of their work performance, what to do to improve their performance, where to concentrate their self-development efforts, and what training, assignment, career development, etc., options may be available to them.

Supervisors should submit a Performance Summary Form to Human Resources no later than at 6 months after the employee enters their position and no later than April 15 annually thereafter. If the 6 month time period falls within 3 months of the annual April 15th cycle – the two Performance Summary Review Forms can be combined into just one review for that year.  The staff member maybe given the opportunity to participate directly in the review process by completing a self-assessment. The process also calls for the supervisor and the staff member to meet and discuss the staff member's performance during the review period as well as future performance goals for the staff member. This approach requires both the supervisor and staff member to be knowledgeable about performance standards and the review process.

There are a variety of ways to structure performance reviews—a review based on objectives established by the supervisor and the staff member at the beginning of the review period, a review based on some or all of the essential functions from the job description, or a review based on university-wide performance criteria. These are:

  • Productivity and Achievement
  • Initiative, Responsibility, and Self-Direction
  • Competence and Expertise
  • Problem Solving and Continuous Improvement
  • Cooperation and Collaboration
  • Service Orientation and Delivery

Supervisors may tailor the performance appraisal criteria to reflect the unique qualities and needs of different groups of staff members and to different areas of the university. Such tailored criteria should be reviewed in advance with the department head and the division vice president to insure their congruence with departmental, divisional and university objectives.

The university wishes to recognize significant projects, accomplishments or work performed whether or not they fall within the framework of the job description or established performance objectives. The process provides an opportunity for a staff member and a supervisor to recognize significant accomplishments.

The process puts the emphasis on describing performance in relation to performance objectives. A clear, specific and concise narrative is the key to a quality performance appraisal, providing a supervisor or staff member the means to describe exceptional performance or to define clearly concerns or areas the staff member should work to develop in the future.

The staff performance review system is intended not merely to assess past performance, but also to provide a means to set goals for future performance. Staff members and supervisors may want to establish a development plan to support continuous learning and improvement. The university and work processes are always evolving. Development planning allows the staff member and the supervisor to be proactive about continuous performance development.

In cases of performance that meets or exceeds expectations, a development plan can be created during the review process to clearly establish the professional development needed to meet future objectives. The action plan should include the desired performance outcomes (goals), the development steps to be taken, and the criteria for assessment of success.

A Performance Development Plan is required whenever performance does not meet expectations or when corrective action is needed. The review process facilitates the creation of a targeted and intentional plan to bring the performance up to expectations. Such a plan should specify the relationship between the steps to be taken and the work that needs to be improved and should include a specific discussion of how the outcomes will be assessed.

The supervisor finalizes the performance review normally within two weeks of meeting with the staff member. Even if a staff member chooses not to do a self-assessment  they will always have an opportunity to review and comment on the final Performance Summary Form before it becomes part of the staff member's personnel file. The staff member reviews, may comment on, and signs the form normally within two weeks of receiving it. The staff member returns the form to the supervisor who reviews the staff member's comments and then forwards the document to the next level supervisor for review and signature. The next level supervisor forwards the form to Human Resources to be placed in the staff member's personnel file.

Origination Date: 3/1974
Revised: 2006, 2015

Revised: 12/2018