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Division of Human Resources

Evaluate Performance

While performance evaluations can be an intimidating process for employees, it is also critical in documenting how you have supported your employees’ success. 

Providing your employees constructive feedback makes a huge impact on their ability to learn and grow.  If you use the evaluation process effectively, you can create a culture of teamwork and collaboration by building trust and enabling your employees to meet and exceed departmental goals and objectives.

Managers must clearly communicate expectations, including the criteria by which an employee will be evaluated. Use the first month of employment as an opportunity to develop a plan with each employee individually, and also as a collective team, that includes specific goals and objectives. These goals should reflect both personal achievement, and also how those achievements contribute to the team or department’s success.

While employees are expected to take some initiative and ownership over their own personal growth, it is up to the manager to observe, listen and provide the level of support necessary for each employee to achieve the goals that have been established.

As a supervisor, you should provide regular feedback. Feedback can be delivered informally, or it may be more efficient to schedule weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings. All supervisors and employees are encouraged to schedule a midpoint assessment to identify performance concerns and also to provide positive feedback.

If unacceptable performance is evident, supervisors should address these concerns as soon as possible, and this notification should be documented. This provides employees with an opportunity to adjust and improve prior to the annual review.

If improvements are not made, a supervisor may issue a Warning Notice of Substandard Performance. This is done if performance becomes substandard in one or more essential job function(s) or objective(s) that significantly impact overall performance. Supervisors must be sure that a planning stage document is in place prior to issuing the warning notice.

The LEAD (Supervisory Essentials) program, consisting of seven courses, is required for all staff supervisors, (Policy HR 1.51 [pdf]) but all supervisors are strongly encouraged to attend.  LEAD course, Setting Expectations and Coaching covers the EPMS Planning Stage, and LEAD course, Managing Expectations covers the EPMS review process and substandard performance.  Leading at USC/Writing Position Descriptions is a LEAD course that is a required prerequisite to attend other LEAD courses.

To register for LEAD courses and specifically the EPMS related courses, search the Organizational and Professional Development training calendar or class list by subject.

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