University of California, Riverside

Human Resources

Supervisor's Important Role in Performance Management

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Supervisor Guidance

Performance Management is an ongoing process of communication between a supervisor and an employee that occurs throughout the year, in support of accomplishing the strategic objectives of the organization. A formal performance appraisal is an important opportunity to summarize the informal evaluations of the employee's performance over a longer period of time. UC Policy requires that each employee's performance be appraised in writing at least annually.

Employees are most likely to be successful performers when they clearly understand their assignments, know what level of performance is considered acceptable, and receive consistent feedback. Evaluation of an employee's performance is not just a once-a-year activity, it is an ongoing process.

  • Performance Factors & Behavior Indicators
    Performance Factors & Behavior Indicators are intended to clarify for employees and supervisors what each performance factor measures, and what performance or behavior is expected at each rating level for every element of all performance factors. These behavioral statements are intended to be used as a general guide. Raters should provide supporting statements that accurately reflect their observations of the employee’s performance for each factor.
  • Linking Performance Goals/Expectations to the University’s Mission
    This resource assists supervisors in linking an individual's performance expectations to the mission and goals of the campus, organizational unit and/or the department.

Tips for Talking to Employees

  1. See it as an opportunity: Talking to your employees about performance is a year-round responsibility. The annual review is the culminating assessment of your employees’ performance for the year. It provides a great opportunity to tell your staff how much you value their contributions in the workplace, and to plan for the coming year. It’s also a chance to offer support to employees who have clear professional goals. The large majority of UC Riverside employees successfully meet performance expectations and these conversations provide an outlet to recognize strong performance in a one-on-one meeting.
  2. Be prepared: Show your employees how much you care by being prepared. Putting your best effort into performance appraisals will deliver benefits to you, your team and your employees. Take time to review what employees have written about themselves in their self-assessment, add your own perspective, and identify specific examples in advance of your conversation to highlight when you meet one-on-one.
  3. Give praise and credit where it’s due: Don’t miss an opportunity to praise strong performers. Credit performance, specific achievements, professional attributes and more. Take this time to remind your staff how much you value and appreciate them.
  4. Coach and cultivate: Even consistently high performers have opportunities for growth. A good supervisor looks for chances to coach and cultivate and doesn’t shy away from dealing with issues. It’s a good occasion to identify performance issues and build plans to get an employee back on track. While poor performance or inappropriate behaviors should be dealt with immediately, the annual review process can reinforce corrective measures and restate expectations.
  5. Get on the same page: During a performance review, a supervisor should strive to listen, to be heard and to reach a mutual understanding of one another’s views. Take time to discuss goals and set expectations for checking in throughout the next year.

Supervisor Next Steps

In 2016, UCR completely revised the performance management process. Rating factors and rating categories were updated and redefined to more clearly reflect the high quality of work performed by UC Riverside employees. The new definitions provide clearer distinctions between ratings and include specific criteria related to goals, achievements, job functions, skills and behavior. Furthermore, it aligns the performance management process with the merit-based pay program for non-represented staff employees.

For more detailed information about the reengineered ratings, read the Performance Factors and Behavior Indicators.

  1. Draft evaluation and initial rating: Supervisors review employees’ self-assessment and draft a brief written appraisal with an initial rating. Keep in mind that supervisors should provide ratings unencumbered by considerations of possible merit increases. Ratings should fall naturally where they are. Final merit decisions will be made at the dean and vice chancellor level to allow the greatest flexibility.
  2. Calibration meetings: Supervisors present their draft evaluations to calibrate the ratings of their staff. The purpose of these meetings is to discuss and determine what differentiates performers in their organization, creating added consistency across ratings while providing supervisors with a shared language with which to discuss performance with employees. Once calibration meetings are completed, supervisors should finalize the draft appraisal and rating on the Performance Appraisal form.
  3. Discuss with employees: Supervisors schedule and conduct individual one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their draft appraisals. Following that, the supervisor finalizes the evaluations and routes them for approval. Keep in mind that merit decisions are made later and will be discussed separately.
  4. Goal Agreement form: This form is used to document agreement on the most important priorities for upcoming employee's performance evaluation cycle, and to track progress throughout the year.

Performance Appraisal Forms to Get You Started

More Information

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Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Human Resources
1201 University Ave., Suite 208
Riverside, CA 92507

Tel: (951) 827-5588
Fax: (951) 827-2672