Managing the Performance of Employees Subject to the State Human Resources Act

University Policy 103.2, Managing the Performance of Employees Subject to the State Human Resources Act

Executive Summary: 

All SPA employees will be appraised at least annually by the immediate supervisor of the employee and reviewed by a higher level supervisor, as appropriate. This describes the objectives, components, and related responsibilities for the Performance Management System.

The work performance of all permanent employees subject to the provisions of the State Personnel Act ("classified" or "SPA" employees) will be appraised at least annually by the immediate supervisor of the employee and reviewed by a higher level supervisor, as appropriate.  The appraisal of employee performance is to be job related and not influenced by: race; color; religion; gender, including pregnancy, childbirth or any related medical condition (except when gender is a bona fide occupational qualification; sexual orientation; age; national origin; physical or mental disability; political affiliation; protected veteran status; or genetic information.  By adopting this policy, the University seeks to achieve the objectives listed below.

The information contained in this policy statement is to be communicated to all classified (SPA) employees and all supervisors who participate in the performance appraisal of classified (SPA) employees.

Objectives

The Performance Management System has the following objectives:

  1. Clarify performance expectations and competencies in conjunction with the position description, work plans and organizational goals in order to ensure employees know what is expected of them.

  2. Provide the basis upon which an employee makes a commitment to fully acceptable performance.

  3. Improve employee performance by providing feedback through effective two-way communication with the appropriate supervisor.

  4. Provide an objective and equitable basis for appraising employee performance.

  5. Provide a fair and equitable basis for making personnel management decisions including permanent status, promotion, performance pay, development opportunities, reduction in force, and discipline.

The Performance Management Process

The performance management process is the sequence of actions supervisors take when interacting with employees about their job performance and includes:  determining the key elements of the job, developing performance expectations, providing an interim review of job performance, and providing an annual performance appraisal.  Interaction between supervisor and employee is required at each step of the process.

  1. Competencies. Before realistic performance expectations can be established, the work to be performed needs to be clearly articulated and prioritized based on the importance of each competency and its value to the employee’s department and the University.  Duties and responsibilities that fall within each competency for employees are determined by the immediate supervisor and normally include:

    1. Routine tasks/assignments.  These are tasks that are "assigned" on a regular basis and   affect the goals and objectives of the University.

    2. Special Projects and Assignments.  These are non-routine tasks that the employee and   the supervisor have mutually developed in priority order.

The position’s job description and the organization goals for the employee’s department or office serve as important source documents in identifying the key competencies of the job.

  1. Competencies and Performance Expectations.  At the beginning of each annual performance cycle, each classified employee will meet with his or her supervisor to review the work plan and jointly develop performance expectations and competencies using S.M.A.R.T. goals which identify minimum acceptable levels ("Good, Meets Expectations") of performance for the employee.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for

  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Aligned (to UNC Charlotte goals and department goals)

  • Realistic goals that are achievable & attainable)

  • Time-bound & Teamwork

The supervisor is expected to:

  1. Explain the performance management process to the employee so that the employee understands the importance of his or her role in the process as well as that of the supervisor and the reviewer (supervisor's supervisor). 

  2. Take the lead in developing and subsequently updating performance expectations at the beginning of each annual performance cycle.

  3. Review the S.M.A.R.T goals within each competency.

  4. Review and discuss the career development section and identify career development growth opportunities.

  5. Provide the employee a signed and dated copy of the performance expectations and competencies.

  6. Use the techniques of modeling, coaching and reinforcing throughout the Performance Management Cycle to sustain good performance and improve poor performance.

  1. Interim Performance Review. The interim review is recommended at the midpoint of the Performance Management Cycle and provides the opportunity for the supervisor to meet with the employee and informally review the employee's progress in meeting the performance expectations and the position competencies established for each significant task and to make appropriate modifications, if appropriate.

For the interim review, the supervisor is expected to:

  1. Take the lead in meeting with the employee to discuss performance as measured against expectations.

  2. Communicate an interim rating of actual performance for each significant task of the employee.

  3. Provide guidance, instructions and resources available for improving performance, as  appropriate.

  4. Communicate an interim overall rating to the employee.

  5. Prepare a Performance Improvement Plan for any competencies or performance expectations rated “below good” or “unsatisfactory.”

  6. Continue to model, reinforce, and coach the employee.

  1. Annual Performance Appraisal.  Annually, at the end of the Performance Management Cycle, every supervisor will meet with the employees supervised to review each employee's actual performance as compared to the expectations established at the beginning of the evaluation period.  In conducting the performance appraisal the supervisor is expected to:

  1. Discuss how well the work was performed, identify good performance, and discuss performance which needs to be improved.

  2. Determine and explain the rating of each competency in terms of meeting, exceeding, or failing to meet the established expectation.

  3. Discuss the overall performance rating and develop, where appropriate, a plan to improve overall performance and performance for each expectation which has not been rated on the "Good, Meets Expectations" level.

  4. Record the results of the performance evaluation and performance interview on the Performance Management Appraisal Form.

  5. Review and discuss career development goals for the next Performance Cycle and provide a signed copy to the employee.

The Performance Management Appraisal is to be reviewed and acknowledged by the Employee, Supervisor, and Reviewer prior to being finalized.

Components of the Performance Management System

The University's system of performance management will include the following components:

  1. An individualized work plan (Performance Management Form) prepared annually for each classified (SPA) employee which includes performance expectations and incorporates an interim review of performance.

In completing the work plan, primary job responsibilities are identified and further broken down into significant tasks within each competency for which performance expectations are developed using S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Information about the employee's performance is obtained from reports, observation, customer feedback, review of the work products, etc.  Performance expectations and competencies are written to establish the minimum acceptable level of performance.  This should provide the motivated employee an opportunity to exceed expectation.

For those who supervise, the Primary Job Responsibility of "Supervision" should be listed on that person’s work plan within one of the key competencies for their job.  The behavioral competency of “valuing diversity” should be listed on the work plan.

Competencies and the supervisor’s expectations are to be established at the beginning of employment for probationary employees (within 30-days) and will be acknowledged and reviewed by the Employee, Supervisor and Reviewer, and available electronically to the employee.  When an employee is ending his/her probationary period, the manager will review the employee’s performance to determine if the employee is performing at a Good level (or above) in all competencies.  A probationary review form will be completed and the supervisor may recommend that:  (1) the employee’s position be changed to a permanent appointment; (2) the employee continue on probationary status; or, (3) the employee be separated from employment,

  1. An overall performance rating scale of five levels is defined as follows:

OUTSTANDING (# Rate 5) – Performance is far above the defined job expectations.  The employee consistently does outstanding work, regularly going far beyond what is expected of employees in this job.  Performance that exceeds expectations is due to the effort and skills of the employee.

VERY GOOD (# Rate 4) – Performance meets the defined job expectations and in many instances, exceeds expectations. The employee is generally performing very well and requires little, if any, correction.

GOOD (# Rate 3) - Performance meets the defined job expectations.  The employee generally performs in a satisfactory manner and is performing at the level expected for employees in this position.

BELOW GOOD (# Rate 2) – Performance may meet some of the job expectations but does not fully meet the remainder. The employee generally is performing at a minimal level and improvement is needed to fully meet expectations. Performance is deficient and lapses in performance are due to the employee’s lack of effort or skills.

UNSATISFACTORY (# Rate 1) – Performance generally fails to meet the defined expectations or requires frequent, close supervision and/or the redoing of work.  The employee is not performing at the level expected for employees in this position.  Unsuccessful job performance is due to the employee’s lack of effort or skills.

  1. A performance appraisal (Performance Management Appraisal Form) will be completed on every employee annually (no less than every 12 months).  A career development plan will be included as part of the performance appraisal.  If an employee receives a rating of 1 or 2 (either overall or within any individual competency), a performance improvement plan must be included.

In completing the Performance Management Appraisal Form, the Supervisor is expected to meet with the employee to ensure the accuracy of the priority sequence of the Competencies, as listed on the work plan.  Once the Competencies are listed on the Appraisal Form, the manager can either have the employee complete a self-evaluation of actual performance or the manager can request feedback from the employee to include in the evaluation.

The Supervisor's evaluation of the individual significant tasks, completion of goals, and the overall performance is then completed, after which a performance interview is held with the employee. The employee is provided an opportunity to comment on the Supervisor's evaluation.

NOTE: The Appraisal Form is to be reviewed and acknowledged by the Supervisor and the Employee before being sent to the Reviewer.  If the Employee refuses to acknowledge the Appraisal Form, the Supervisor is to note that refusal, and forward the completed Appraisal Form to the Reviewer.  The Reviewer is to review and acknowledge the appraisal.  The final Performance Management Appraisal Form is available to the employee electronically.

The content of appraisals is considered to be "information personal in nature" and as such is releasable only on a "need-to-know" basis.

No information contained in a completed evaluation may be changed without the employee's knowledge.  Any changes require the review and acknowledgement of the Employee, Supervisor and Reviewer prior to being submitted to Human Resources for approval.

As part of the evaluation process, the Employee and Supervisor are expected to:

  • Discuss strengths and identify areas for further improvement/development.
  • Agree on a plan for improvement/development and record the plan in the section of the Appraisal Form established for developmental planning.

This will serve as an action plan for maintaining good performance and improving performance when needed.

The plan is to include the Competencies that the Employee needs to acquire or improve and time  frames for completion or demonstrated improvements.

The plan is to be updated throughout the Performance Management Cycle.

  1. An education/training program will be offered to provide the information and skills necessary for employees, supervisors, and managers to effectively operate the system of performance management.

This program will be carried out by the Learning and Development Manager under the guidance of the Director of Employee Relations, Training and Compliance.

  1. Information will be made available at the final appraisal meeting regarding a dispute resolution procedure using the established grievance procedures for classified (SPA) employees.

This procedure will be used for reviewing and resolving disputes concerning performance ratings and/or performance salary decisions.

Relationship of Performance Management to Other Personnel Systems

Performance management is an integral part of the overall management of the University.  Information from the Performance Management System pertaining to classified (SPA) employees will be one of the factors considered in making other personnel management decisions.  Decisions concerning promotions, transfers, training and staff development, discipline and other personnel actions are influenced by information from performance appraisals.  Performance salary increase decisions come directly from annual performance appraisals.

In order to achieve internal consistency in personnel administration, the following requirements apply:

  1. A current performance appraisal must be completed for an employee before any of the favorable personnel actions listed above can be approved.

  2. Favorable personnel actions must be consistent with an employee's current performance  appraisal.

  3. Personnel action requests that are inconsistent with an employee's current performance appraisal will require a request and written justification for exception to policy.

Trainees and probationary employees are required to have a work plan completed within 30 calendar days from the date of employment.  Trainees and probationary employees who are employed on or before the first day of an annual Performance Management Cycle and who hold a permanent appointment by the last day of the cycle will be considered to have worked the entire cycle.

Employees whose duties and responsibilities change (either in their current position or in a new position) must have a new work plan completed with 30 days of the new assignment.

Responsibilities

The Chancellor is responsible for ensuring the Performance Management System is developed and implemented in accordance with the requirements of the Legislature and the State Personnel Commission and is approved by the State Personnel Director.  The Chancellor is also responsible for determining sanctions to be levied if all provisions of this policy are not met.

The Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources has the responsibility to:

  1. Develop, publish, implement, and administer procedures consistent with University and State policies pertaining to performance management.

  2. Provide training and assistance to effectively implement the Performance Management System.

  3. Provide supervisors with the necessary documents and forms in a timely manner to facilitate compliance with the dates associated with the Performance Management System.

  4. Review Performance Management work plans and Appraisals to ensure consistency, timeliness   and compliance with University and State policy.

  5. Provide technical assistance to employees, supervisors and managers.

  6. Provide appropriate management reports to include: (a) the spread of ratings within each department/office for employees by gender, ethnicity, and occupational activity code; and (b) an annual report to the Office of State Personnel.

Supervisors at all levels are responsible for effectively managing the performance of subordinate employees in accordance with this policy and the procedures established by the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources.  The responsibility for effective supervision shall be included as a significant task of the work plan for all classified (SPA) supervisors and managers. 

Revision History: 
  • Initially approved May 7, 1979
  • Revised October 12, 1989 [not distributed]
  • Revised November 5, 1990
  • Revised February 17, 2000
  • Revised November 29, 2011

Authority: Chancellor

Responsible Office: Business Affairs

Related ResourcesState Personnel Act