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 University of Puget Sound staff's quality and capacity in support of the university's mission and goals.

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 a staff member’s or a team's work performance;
  • providing opportunities to continue to develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities of the staff;
  • providing results that 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 the performance that meets Puget Sound's high standards, to plan for next-stage performance development, and to talk about the 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., available to them.

Supervisors should submit a Performance Summary Form to Human Resources no later than 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 may be allowed 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 and future performance goals for the staff member. This approach requires both the supervisor and staff members to know 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 different university areas. Such tailored criteria should be reviewed in advance with the department head and the division vice president to ensure their congruence with departmental, divisional, and university objectives.

The university wishes to recognize significant projects, accomplishments or work performed whether 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 emphasizes 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 the exceptional performance or 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 future performance goals. 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 performance cases that meet or exceed expectations, a development plan can be created during the review process to establish the professional development needed to meet future objectives clearly. The action plan should include the desired performance outcomes (goals), the development steps to be taken, and the criteria for assessing success.

A Performance Development Plan is required whenever performance does not meet expectations or when corrective action is needed. The review process facilitates creating 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 its personnel file. The staff member reviews may comment on and sign the form normally within two weeks of receiving it. The staff member returns the form to the supervisor, 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.