Performance Management (Staff)

Wilkes University values the contributions of all employees. The University recognizes that regular and open communication between supervisors and employees helps create and maintain a productive work environment.

While supervisors are encouraged to continually coach and mentor their staff, the University’s Staff Annual Performance Appraisal Process provides the framework and guidelines to formally document and evaluate performance on an annual basis. The process is designed to:

  • clearly define performance expectations.
  • enhance communication between supervisors and employees.
  • foster a culture of ongoing feedback, recognition and professional development.
  • encourage dynamic and collaborative goal-setting.
  • create a shared understanding about individual goals and department.
  • review the University’s expectations of employees related to Ethics, Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest.

In order to provide relevant and meaningful feedback to all staff, the University has established the following performance tools:

Both formats evaluate employees’ performance according to the following scale:

3 Exceeds Expectations Consistent high overall performance. Routinely goes beyond what is expected to surpass expectations.
2 Meets Expectations Proficient in the job function. Fully meets all of performance standards relevant to the position.
1 Needs Improvement Fails to perform the job at an acceptable level. Does not meet minimum requirements.

Employee performance is evaluated on a fiscal year basis (June 1 – May 31). All employee evaluations must be turned in to the Human Resources Department.

Employees completing their probationary period will fall into the regular performance cycle as follows:

Probationary Period Ends Next Performance Appraisal Due

June 1 – December 31

During same fiscal year in July
January 1 – May 31 During the next fiscal year in July


Jane Smith successfully completed her probationary period and received a probationary evaluation on August 9, 2013. Her next performance appraisal is due by July 31, 2014.

John Thomas successfully completed his probationary period and received a probationary evaluation on February 17, 2014. His next performance appraisal is due by July 31, 2015.

For more details about the probationary process, please see the Probationary Period policy and Staff Probationary Evaluation.

The Performance Appraisal for Facilities and Public Safety

These forms were developed to facilitate dialogue between supervisors and employees in the Facilities and Public Safety department related to the following:

  • Job Responsibilities
  • Results Focused/Quality of Work
  • Teamwork
  • Reliability
  • Initiative
  • Safety and Cleanliness of Work Area: Required Training
  • Goals

Supervisors are encouraged to utilize the comments section for each responsibility to make note of excellent performance or areas for improvement/development/training.

In the “Comments and required actions Section” supervisors should make general notes about the employee’s overall performance and/or required actions. Employees can also add general comments related to performance in the “Employee Comments” section.

Supervisors should review the University’s Code of Ethics, Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest policies with each employee. Employees are then required to sign the Code of Ethics and Confidentiality agreements and Conflict of Interest disclosure.

The performance appraisal should be signed and dated by the employee, immediate supervisor and next level manager before returning it to the Human Resources Department.

Staff Annual Performance Appraisal

This performance worksheet is designed to evaluate and rate employees’ performance in the following areas:

  1. Job Responsibilities – the day to day functions and accountabilities of the position found on the position description
  2. Baseline competencies which include:
  3. Accountability
  4. Initiative
  5. Collaboration
  6. Problem Solving
  7. Communication
  8. Results Focused
  9. Customer Focus
  10. Safety
  11. Flexibility
  12. Additional competencies may include:
  13. Attention to Detail
  14. Management: Change leadership
  15. Diversity
  16. Management: Coaching
  17. Integrity
  18. Management: Collaborative leadership
  19. Global Sensitivity
  20. Job Focused Learning
  21. Management: Delegation
  22. Management: Innovation
  23. Planning and Organizing
  24. Management: Risk Taking
  25. Professional Relationships
  26. University Understanding
  27. Once all job responsibilities and competencies are rated, an average score is calculated within the form. All ratings must be completed to ensure accurate scoring.
  28. Last year’s goals – Supervisors should reflect upon the goals established for each employee in the previous fiscal year and evaluate the results achieved.
  29. Employees and supervisors should collaboratively establish goals for next year using the SMART format (Specific, Measurable, and Aggressive yet achievable, Realistic, and Tied to a timetable).
  30. Supervisors are also encouraged to utilize the space provided to enumerate each employee’s “Areas of Excellence” and “Development Opportunities”.
  31. Supervisors and employees are able to record comments related to performance in the designated sections.
  32. Supervisors should review the University’s Code of Ethics, Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest policies with each employee. Employees are then required to sign the Code of Ethics and Confidentiality agreements and Conflict of Interest Disclosure.
  33. The performance appraisal should be signed and dated by the employee, immediate supervisor and next level manager before returning it to the Human Resources Department.

Appeals Process

Both forms provide employees a space for comments and/or to document any disagreements or disputes related to the evaluation. Prior to documenting concerns on the form, employees are encouraged to discuss any issues or disagreement with their immediate supervisor during the evaluation. Often this open dialogue will provide the opportunity to review and resolve any misconceptions or differences in opinion related to the performance evaluation.

If there are still concerns or conflicts following this dialogue, an employee may make a formal appeal in writing to the Vice President of the appropriate work area within 30 days of the performance evaluation. The appeal should include the rating received and any associated comments from direct supervisor and the rating sought along with any related information.

Leadership will review the appeal and respond within 10 days of receipt. The employee may be given the opportunity to attend a meeting with the supervisor and respective leadership to review the decision and any related follow up activities. Leadership’s review and resolution of the formal appeal is final.

Performance Improvement

If a supervisor determines that an employee’s performance is not meeting expectations, a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) may be initiated to address and improve performance. Before administering a PIP, supervisors are encouraged to consult with Human Resources to evaluate if the employee issue is a behavioral problem or a performance issue.

Behavioral problem – Progressive discipline is normally utilized to address and/or modify behavior in situations related but not limited to: misconduct, insubordination, attendance issues or any other violation of University policies, rules, or procedures. (See Progressive Discipline Policy). Although PIPs are not part of the Progressive Discipline process, failure to improve performance during a PIP may result in Progressive Discipline.

Performance issue - a PIP should be used in situations involving issues including, but not limited to, overall unsatisfactory work results, low productivity, lack of focus or direction, inefficiency, repeated errors, and/or overall failed outcomes. PIPs provide the employee with a list of specific goals and an action plan to achieve those goals. The expected results and a target date for completion are also detailed in the plan. While the plan is in place, the employee and supervisor will meet on a regular basis to review progress and modify the plan as needed.

If the employee improves as required, no further action is necessary. However, the improvement must be maintained. A decrease in performance after successfully completing the PIP may result in disciplinary action without the issuance of additional PIP.

If the employee’s performance does not improve and/or the employee does not adhere to the PIP, further action may include, but is not limited to Progressive Discipline and/or termination of employment. Prior to the previously established end of the PIP, the supervisor will consult with Human Resources to complete a final progress review. The results will be communicated to the employee at the scheduled end of the PIP.

Effective Date: 2/1/2004          Revision Date: 07/2020