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Employee Relations Procedures and Guidelines

GENERAL DISCIPLINARY GUIDELINES

The best working conditions prevail when employees conduct themselves with respect and consideration for themselves, their fellow employees, and their employers. Therefore, it is the duty of each employee to maintain high standards of conduct, personal behavior, cooperation, efficiency, and economy in his/her work for the University.

Rules and regulations are necessary in the workplace to provide the framework upon which work requirements, employee behavior, and self-discipline can be established and a mechanism provided whereby disciplinary action can be taken to address deviations from established policies and rules.

The primary focus of discipline is to prevent the recurrence of past problems and to discourage new ones from arising, rather than on administering punishment. Except in cases of gross misconduct, disciplinary action is normally undertaken with the intent of bringing the employee's performance and conduct up to a satisfactory level. If the employee does not respond within a suitable length of time, which will vary with differing circumstances, the employee is subject to discharge. If the severity of the rule infraction and work behavior warrants such action, the employee may be discharged immediately.

The University of North Alabama's rules concerning discipline are intended to be general guidelines for good judgment and fair treatment. All employees are expected to abide by the University's rules and regulations as a condition of continued employment. Therefore, the University reserves the right to take disciplinary action for violations of its established rules. Employees who violate the University's policies, procedures, work rules, or behavioral rules will be disciplined in a timely, fair, equitable, and consistent manner.

Progressive Discipline

A system of progressive discipline may be used for the purpose of encouraging an employee to correct unacceptable behavior and adhere to the rules. The University's approach to matters requiring action attempts to administer discipline that is corrective rather than punitive. The discipline progresses from the less severe disciplinary action to the more severe disciplinary action. This does not preclude by-passing the lower levels of disciplinary action and rendering more severe punishment, including termination, when the severity of the offense warrants such action.

Any step or steps of the disciplinary process may be skipped at the discretion of the department head and the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action after investigation and analysis of the total situation, past practice, and circumstances. If performance, personal conduct, work habits or attitudes of any employee fall below the established standard, supervisors should point out the deficiency at the time it is observed. Corrections and suggestions should be presented in a constructive and helpful manner in an effort to elicit the cooperation of the employee. Whenever possible, oral and/or written warnings, with sufficient time for improvements, shall precede formal discipline.

Warning System

To help ensure that all necessary disciplinary action is taken without prejudice or favoritism, and that the employee is given an opportunity to correct his/her work performance or behavior, the University will warn the employee, through the progressive discipline system, of unacceptable performance or behavior. The warning system allows the employee to know when he/she has violated a university rule or regulation and what he/she may expect if this conduct continues.

The number of warnings prior to any recommended termination is dependent on the seriousness of the rule or rules violated. In cases of misconduct in which the severity of the action is such that continued employment would be detrimental to the University, immediate termination is in order. The employee will be given a copy of all warnings placed in his/her personnel file.

Administering Discipline: Disciplinary action may include a problem-solving meeting (counseling), verbal warning, written warning, reprimand, suspension, demotion, or dismissal. The University reserves the right to determine those steps necessary, considering all aspects of each individual case. 

Problem-solving meeting: The first step of the disciplinary procedure is regarded as a corrective measure. The problem-solving meeting provides the supervisor with an opportunity to discuss his/her concerns with the employee. The supervisor should give the employee an opportunity to provide reasons for his/her perceived deficiency. Ultimately, this meeting should result in an agreement between the supervisor and the employee as to how performance will improve. This may involve a plan for training and/or skill development, an explanation of procedures, a review of rules, etc. The supervisor should document that the meeting took place.

Verbal warning

Should deficiencies and/or issues continue with regard to an employee’s work habits, attitudes, production, or personal conduct after the problem-solving meeting, it may be necessary for the supervisor to meet with the employee to issue a verbal warning.

The verbal warning step of the disciplinary procedure is regarded as a corrective measure and is combined with appropriate instructions which, if followed, would make further steps unnecessary. The verbal warning meeting should be documented by the supervisor and sent to the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

Written warning

If the undesirable behavior continues, or the rule infraction warrants, the supervisor may issue the employee a written warning. A written warning is issued to document the fact that the employee has been officially advised of the precise nature of his/her misconduct and warned that any future violation will result in further disciplinary action. Written warnings may be filed as a permanent part of the employee's personnel record; however, the supervisor may stipulate that the written warning will be removed from the employee's file after a specific period of time.

Reprimand

A written reprimand may be made by supervisors for continued substandard performance, poor attendance, and other types of minor offenses. Reprimands may also be issued for offenses that are of a more serious nature and, therefore, necessitating an escalated approach. Reprimands are usually preceded by a problem-solving meeting and a written warning. Written reprimands are filed as a permanent part of the employee's personnel record.

Investigative Suspension

An investigative suspension is a period during which an employee is relieved of his/her job because of a serious breach in discipline. This type of suspension is normally done to permit an investigation prior to taking final action when the offense would normally require dismissal. An employee may be placed on investigative suspension when it is necessary to make a full investigation to determine the facts of the case.

The employee may be suspended with or without pay based on the circumstances involved. The employee may be given the option of taking annual leave in lieu of being placed on an investigative suspension.

Conversely, the employee may be suspended with the determination made after the investigation as to whether or not he/she is to be paid (or reimbursed leave) for time missed during the suspension (depending on a determination or lack of a determination of misconduct). This determination will be made by the President in collaboration with the employee’s supervisor(s) and the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

Disciplinary suspension

Employees involved in serious attendance, performance, misconduct, or other problems may be given a disciplinary suspension from one to ten workdays by their supervisor and/or department head. Suspensions are not initiated without the advice and concurrence of the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

While on disciplinary suspension, the employee is relieved of his/her assignments and forfeits pay as a result of the suspension. Unless otherwise agreed to by the President, no employee benefits are paid or accrued to any employee while on suspension. Health and life insurance may be continued at the expense of the employee.

Rule infractions requiring suspension of a duration greater than ten days must be approved by the President through the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

All suspension actions must be communicated to the employee in writing. Records regarding suspension are filed in the employee's permanent personnel record.

Charges of serious crime: Employees arrested and charged with a serious crime may be, at the option of the University, placed on annual leave or leave of absence without pay, pending disposition of the case. 

Demotion

If an employee fails to meet the requirements of a job to which he/she has been promoted or of a job which has changed beyond the ability of the employee, he/she may be demoted and his/her salary adjusted accordingly. An effort will be made to place the employee in a position for which he/she is qualified. However, if no such position exists, the University reserves the right to terminate the individual's employment. All demotion actions must be documented in writing and filed in the employee's personnel record.

Probation

As an alternative to termination, an employee can be placed in a probationary status. The duration of the probation could be up to 6 months, depending upon the circumstances. Probation can be used to address disciplinary and performance issues. An employee placed in a probationary status is informed of such in writing and is given specific guidance regarding the corrective action(s) required and the evaluation procedures used during the probationary period.

If probation is imposed due to a performance deficiency, the supervisor should refer to the Performance Evaluation policy for guidance in documenting both performance deficiencies and improvement, if any.

Although a probation is initiated by the employee’s supervisor, it must receive prior approval by the appropriate Vice President and the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

Dismissal

An employee may be terminated as a result of a serious offense, or as the final step in an accumulation of infractions for which lower levels of disciplinary action have been administered.

For a serious offense (i.e., misconduct where continued employment would be detrimental to the University), termination may be the first and only disciplinary step taken.

The University also reserves the right to dismiss employees with or without just cause, except that no such dismissal will be made for unlawful reasons.

Conduct Warranting Disciplinary Action: The following list outlines conduct deemed by the University not to be in the best interest of the institution or its employees. As it would be impossible to anticipate and list every sort of violation, this list is not all inclusive. Participation in any of the following acts could result in disciplinary action against the violator. The severity of the disciplinary action would be dependent upon the seriousness of the violation, a determination of which would be within the sole discretion of the University. Although written in the format of rule violations, the list below serves the dual purpose of disciplinary guidelines and rules.

­ Falsification of personnel records, including leave reports, electronic timesheets, and applications for employment.

­ Deliberate refusal or failure to carry out any reasonable instruction of superiors.

­ Excessive absenteeism or tardiness.

­ Violation of the campus Weapons Policy.

­ Stealing, or attempting to steal, from fellow employees, students, the University, or others on university property.

­ Immoral or indecent conduct on university premises, or conviction by a court of law for such conduct off the job.

­ Threatening, intimidating, coercing, or interfering with the work of other employees, students, or others on university property. This includes violations of the Workplace Threats and Violence policy.

­ Conviction of a felony or an egregious misdemeanor.

­ Any act of fighting on university property (other than in the line of duty or for self-protection), inciting to fight, or attempting to inflict bodily injury upon another.

­ Leaving university premises or work areas without permission and/or notification during working hours.

­ Misuse of paid leave privileges and benefits.

­ Negligence, inefficiency, carelessness, incompetence, or lack of application of effort in the performance of duties (productivity not up to standards). Wasting time or loitering, "loafing," sitting when there is work to be done, or hiding out.

­ Failure to report an accident and/or injury of a student, self, visitor, or anyone on University premises.

­ Sleeping during work hours.

­ Clocking the time card of another employee.

­ Violation of or disregard for common safety regulations or practices.

­ Discourteous treatment of students, visitors, or other employees.

­ Gambling during work hours.

­ Exhibiting disorderly conduct or abusive language toward another on university premises.

­ Giving false information to another employee or to a third party with regard to University business.

­ Engaging in any strike, sickout, work stoppage, or slowdown.

­ Disregarding personal appearance, hygiene, or standards of dress.

­ Violation of the Tobacco Policy.

­ Disregard for the appearance of work areas.

­ Violation of the solicitation of employees policy.

­ Personal use of university supplies, property, equipment, etc., for.

­ Engaging in any form of horseplay, scuffling, or mischief on university property that shows a disregard for the safety, comfort, or work performance of a fellow employee, or any other person on university premises.

­ Violation of the Harassment Policy.

­ Failing to return to work when notified to do so by university personnel.

­ Unlawfully possessing, using, or distributing illicit drugs or alcohol on university property, or as a part of any of the University's activities. Also, includes any violation of the University Drug and Alcohol Policy.

­ Malicious gossip and/or spreading of rumors.

­ Violating university traffic and parking rules or failure to dispose properly of traffic fines.

­ Any conduct deemed by the University to be improper or unbecoming to an employee in university service.

­ Violating any lawful or reasonable university regulation, policy, procedure, rule, or order.

Departmental Rules: The rules contained herein are not intended to be all inclusive. Department heads and supervisors have the authority to establish and enforce work site rules, behavioral rules, and operating procedures unique to their specific requirements.

Attendance

Each university job is important; otherwise, it would not exist. Therefore, each employee is expected to be punctual and keep absences to a minimum. The employee must give advance notice to his/her immediate supervisor whenever necessary absence from work is contemplated.

When an unexpected absence or tardiness arises because of illness or an emergency, the employee must notify his/her immediate supervisor as soon as is feasible, preferably before the start of the workday, but not later than two hours after the start of his/her scheduled workday. If that person is not available, someone in the employee's line of supervision must be notified by telephone The employee is responsible for providing the supervisor with the information regarding the general nature of the absence and the expected date of return to duty. If the employee is unable to report for duty by the specified date, he/she must request additional leave by contacting his/her supervisor. The employee should personally notify his/her supervisor unless he/she is medically unable to do so.

Failure to notify the supervisor of an absence of three days or more is considered an automatic resignation by the employee unless he/she can prove that it was impossible to notify the supervisor or someone else in the line of supervision.

In cases where records clearly indicate continuing abuse of leave privileges and/or habitual disregard for reporting to work, being prompt, returning to work timely after breaks, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. Supervisors can and should require excuses for sick leave when appropriate. An employee may be terminated for excessive unexcused or excused absences or a combination of the two, even though proper notice of the absences was given to the University.

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

General Policy: Performance evaluation is a basic tool used to appraise each employee's performance and to collaborate with him/her in setting and meeting future goals. Employee goals and contributions should be tied to the goals of the University. The performance evaluation is a means whereby a personal inventory is taken to identify strengths and areas that would benefit from improvement. A performance appraisal should assist in eliminating barriers to outstanding performance, help each employee grow in his/her job, and facilitate cooperation between the employee and supervisor to achieve enhanced overall performance. Each performance evaluation should be based on performance factors as they relate to the job responsibilities and duties set forth in the employee's job description, behavioral traits, supervisory factors (if applicable), and standards.

Purpose of Evaluation: Performance evaluations are of importance to both the supervisor and the employee for the following reasons:

  • It serves as a management tool.

It ensures that an employee's work contributions are judged against objective standards, and it opens the line of communication between the supervisor and the employee. Additionally, it ideally avoids serious disciplinary problems by identifying and addressing problem areas early. It should also lead to high morale and effectiveness of an employee and assure that his/her growth potential is maximized.

  • It assists the employee in the performance of his/her job responsibilities.

It provides information (feedback) regarding how well the employee is doing, identifying strengths as well as areas where performance can be improved. It helps to determine the cause(s) of inappropriate performance and identifies means of correcting performance deficiencies. In addition, it sets appropriate work standards for the employee and evaluates the employee against those standards.

Responsibilities: The rater (supervisor), reviewer (level above supervisor), and Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action share responsibility for the performance evaluation program. The day-to-day administration is the responsibility of the rater and reviewer, with the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action serving in a supporting capacity.

The Human Resources Director:

  • ­ Provides the rater and reviewer with technical information needed to implement and operate the performance evaluation program
  • ­ Ensures that written performance evaluations are prompt and complete and conform with policies and procedures by providing the form and notifying the rater of due dates for employee performance evaluations
  • ­ Maintains completed performance evaluations
  • ­ Evaluates the effectiveness of the overall performance evaluation program, conducts research to determine the most effective evaluation techniques, and provides feedback to management and employees.

The rater (supervisor):

­ Reviews the performance with the employee in order to advise or assist the employee in achieving a higher performance level or in overcoming obstacles to achieving high-level performance. The rater:

 

  • ­ Identifies and defines major job responsibilities and duties, performance factors, behavioral traits, supervisory factors (if applicable), and standards with the employee prior to the rating period
  • ­ Encourages the employee to participate in the development of performance requirements and performance standards
  • ­ Gives the employee an opportunity to demonstrate fully successful performance
  • ­ Assigns an accurate rating based on the employee's level of performance during the rating period
  • ­ Provides the employee feedback on how well he/she is performing the job responsibilities as compared to performance standards
  • ­ Informs the employee of his/her progress in areas that need improvement and assists the employee in improving his/her job performance
  • ­ Uses the results of the employee’s performance evaluations as a basis to recommend various personnel actions

The reviewer (rater’s supervisor):

  • ­ Ensures that the rater is capable of conducting a performance evaluation effectively
  • ­ Ensures that written performance evaluations are prompt, complete, and conform with policies and procedures
  • ­ Reviews the written evaluation of an employee by a subordinate supervisor for accuracy and fairness. If the evaluation is deemed to be appropriately prepared and is not contested, signs and forwards it to the appropriate vice president
  • ­ Meets with the employee, if requested, to discuss an evaluation prepared by his/her supervisor
  • ­ Attempts to resolve any disagreement between the rating supervisor and the employee with regard to the evaluation

The employee:

  • ­ Assists the supervisor in the development of job responsibilities and duties as set forth in the job description
  • ­ Participates freely in meetings with the supervisor to obtain a clear understanding of his/her job responsibilities, behavioral traits, and the standards upon which his/her performance will be evaluated
  • ­ Seeks continual communication with the supervisor during the evaluation period to keep informed of changes in job responsibilities, job-related behavior, performance standards, supervisory standards (if applicable), and feedback on how well he/she is performing
  • ­ Performs duties in a manner which facilitates fulfillment of standards
  • ­ Signs performance evaluation signifying that he/she has reviewed the performance evaluation and has been afforded an opportunity to discuss the evaluation with the supervisor
  • ­ Submits an appeal if he/she believes the ratings do not adequately reflect his/her performance.

Types of Performance Evaluations

Informal evaluation: An employee's performance is continually reviewed by his/her supervisor. The employee is encouraged to seek feedback about his/her job performance from his/her supervisor. The supervisor should discuss the employee's performance with him/her at any time.

Annual evaluation: At least once a year, during the month of July, the supervisor makes a formal written evaluation of the employee's performance. Annual performance evaluations should be administered for employment periods of at least 90 days since the last evaluation.

Provisional evaluation: All commitments of regular full-time or part-time employment with non-exempt status are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a three-month provisional period. During the provisional period, the employee has an opportunity to learn more about the job responsibilities and duties and determine whether or not he/he is satisfied with the position. At the same time, the supervisor has an opportunity to determine whether the employee has the ability and desire to perform the job responsibilities and duties.

Since the provisional period serves as an orientation period, several informal evaluation sessions should be held between the immediate supervisor and the employee. The Provisional Evaluation (link) should take place by the end of the third month of service.

Evaluation Factors, Traits, and Standards

Performance factors and standards: The employee should be evaluated using five performance factors in Part II of the Performance Evaluation Form. The following are generic standards for the five performance factors. As a minimum, these generic standards can be used as stated; however, they should be used in conjunction with specific standards established for each job responsibility and duty.

Knowledge, skills, and abilities: exhibits understanding of job responsibilities and duties; possesses theoretical knowledge and practical "know-how" that relate to the job; understands processes of assignments; displays skills and abilities appropriate for the job; demonstrates abilities to achieve effective results; shows proficiency in application of methods, procedures, techniques, tasks, machines, equipment, materials, etc., necessary to accomplish assigned tasks; possesses required specialized knowledge of job; shows willingness to acquire new or broader knowledge of job; and understands new information and situations quickly.

Quality of work: performs work with acceptable accuracy; performs work that is neat and presentable; performs duties thoroughly; shows attention to detail and accuracy; sets high personal work standards; achieves high quality results; and makes few mistakes.

Quantity of work: completes an acceptable amount of work; does extra work when asked; performs work in a productive and timely manner; uses time and resources efficiently; and meets work schedules.

Work habits: adheres to attendance and punctuality policies; carries out duties in an orderly and diligent manner; works with minimum supervision; complies with instructions, policies, and regulations; organizes and manages time in meeting schedules, projects, deadlines, priorities, appointments, etc.; strives to eliminate nonessential work; plans and organizes work; and devotes efforts to completion of responsibilities and duties.

Communication: displays skills in verbal and written communication; communicates well with supervisors, fellow employees, students, and visitors in an appropriate and timely manner.

Behavioral traits and standards: Behavioral traits are the criteria against which the employee's work-related behavior is assessed. The five behavioral traits in Part III of the Performance Evaluation Form are considered important to all university staff positions. The following standards may be used for each of the behavioral traits.

Dependability: carries out assigned responsibilities and duties in a reliable manner; responds appropriately to instructions and procedures; completes work in a conscientious and timely manner; meets deadlines promptly; trustworthy; works with minimal guidance and supervision.

Cooperation: cooperates and collaborates well with others; helps others willingly; maintains rapport with others; tactful, friendly, courteous, patient, and uses discretion in dealing with fellow employees, supervisors, students, and the public; responds appropriately to the needs of individuals seeking information and assistance; considers new ideas, the views of others and divergent points of view; and accepts additional work assignments.

Initiative: seeks increased responsibility and broader knowledge of job; receptive to new work assignments; makes useful suggestions; attempts to influence events that can affect the achievement of goals; energetic about completion of work; plans; voluntarily starts projects; and attempts non- routine tasks.

Adaptability: receptive to instructions, guidance, suggestions, etc.; interprets and responds to instructions, methods, and procedures; adjusts to new or changing work assignments and situations.

Judgment: evaluates facts and applies sound judgment; thinks logically; reaches sound opinions and logical conclusions; recognizes the need to make decisions; makes practical decisions; responds to instructions and procedures in a favorable manner; and seeks advice and input of superiors, subordinates and other appropriate sources.

Supervisory factors and standards: In addition to the five performance factors and five behavioral traits, employees who have supervisory responsibilities should be evaluated on five supervisory factors in Part IV of the Performance Evaluation Form. These factors directly reflect the employee's supervisory effectiveness and his/her overall evaluation. The following standards for each factor may be used as stated.

Leadership: demonstrates effective supervisory abilities; guides and affects positively the actions and results of individuals and groups; establishes rapport, gains respect and cooperation; inspires and motivates subordinates; exhibits fairness and impartiality toward subordinates; supports subordinates; trains, guides, and instructs subordinates effectively; plans, schedules, and makes assignments successfully; directs work group toward common goals; considers new ideas, the views of others, or divergent points of view; maintains poise and adjusts to changes, work pressure, or difficult situations without undue stress; and displays high degree of integrity and trustworthiness.

Delegation: delegates appropriate responsibilities to subordinates; affords subordinates opportunities to succeed by assigning responsibilities, authority, and accountability; gives clear instructions; defines assignments; oversees the work of subordinates; and uses observation, reports, meetings, and other means to monitor and follow up on the work of subordinates.

Planning and organizing: establishes work objectives, standards and programs to assess progress; anticipates future needs; sets priorities, applies innovation in developing new and sound plans; allocates resources and personnel for best effect within budget constraints; implements cost-saving measures; uses financial, material and other resources for maximum benefit; makes sound and timely decisions; plans and organizes work; carries out assignments effectively; coordinates work with that of other related activities; adjusts work operations to meet emergent or changing requirements; and demonstrates the skills to analyze, solve problems, and establish priorities.

Administration: handles administrative requirements; performs day-to-day administrative tasks; manages time; keeps accurate records; administers policies and implements procedures; maintains appropriate contact with supervisor; completes required reports in a timely manner; demonstrates concerns for cost, waste, and inventories; coordinates work within and outside the cost center, faculty, and staff as required; demonstrates skills in developing improvements in work methods or designing new procedures; and understands and applies the principles required to further the University's goals.

Personnel management: serves as a role model and provides personal assistance with professional growth and development; resolves work-related employee problems; trains and counsels subordinates to solve personnel issues; assists subordinates in accomplishing their work-related objectives; evaluates performance of subordinates effectively; encourages positive performance through appropriate feedback; and supports equal employment opportunity policies as well as overall diversity.

Ratings: The rater has a choice of not rating the employee on the factor or trait, if not applicable, or rating the employee’s performance on a scale of 1 through 9. The rating scale for each factor or trait is as follows.

Not applicable: This performance/behavior factor or trait cannot be related to standards or requirements of this position.

Poor (1): Performance or work behavior is inadequate, inferior to the standards for the position, deficient; employee is unwilling or unable to improve. The employee's performance or behavior adversely impacts the effectiveness of the work group. Definite and immediate improvement must occur.

Below average: Performance or work behavior compared to standards is sorely lacking or distinctly limited. Improvement is needed. The rater may assign a "low" or "high" by marking either 2 or 3.

Average: Performance or work behavior relative to standards is of the quality that is expected of a competent employee. Meets the expectations or standards of the job. Does that which is expected. Improvement would enhance the work group's effectiveness. The rater may assign a "low", "average" or "high" by marking either 4, 5 or 6.

Above average: Performance or work behavior exceeds standards and is commendable and of a high quality. Does more than expected. Displays a level of performance or behavior which enhances the effectiveness of the work group. The rater may assign a "low" or "high" by marking either 7 or 8.

Superior (9): Performance or work behavior relative to standards is of a quality that far exceeds requirements and is achieved only by the most exceptional employee. Consistently demonstrates exceptional desire and ability to excel. Sets an example for others to follow. Does far more than what is expected.

Rating procedures

Parts II, III, and IV: The rater indicates the employee’s level in each performance factor or behavioral trait by marking an "X" in the box at the right of the trait or factor considered.

Part V: The employee's overall performance rating should take into consideration his/her performance of job responsibilities and duties, performance factors, behavioral traits, and supervisory factors (if applicable). The same rating procedures as those discussed above should be used.

Part VI: The narrative section gives the rater the opportunity to discuss significant strengths and areas requiring improvement and to provide a general summary of the ratings. An overall rating of 8 or 9 in Part V (Overall Performance) must be supported in this section.

Part VII: The employee should indicate in the appropriate field whether or not he/she agrees with the evaluation and then sign the form. The employee’s signature only verifies that he/she reviewed the evaluation and that the above choice (agree or disagree) was selected by him/her.

Performance Evaluation Process: The performance evaluation process follows a continuous cycle which is repeated annually and is related to the job responsibilities and duties, performance factors, job-related behavior, and supervisory factors. The basic components of the performance evaluation process are:


Communicating the job responsibilities and duties, factors/traits, and standards

Each employee should have a clear understanding of his/her job responsibilities and duties, performance factors, behavioral traits, supervisory factors (if applicable), and standards upon which his/her performance will be evaluated.

Observing/measuring performance and behavior

To make the evaluation fair and accurate, the supervisor should not rely solely upon his/her memory but should maintain working records. Such records should include notes regarding dates of observations, conferences with or assistance to the employee, quality and quantity of work, strengths and weaknesses, customer reactions, peer evaluation, attendance record, notes of meetings and counseling sessions, disciplinary letters, etc. The supervisor may maintain a running record of critical incidents (events that serve as examples of the employee's job performance) in which the employee performed either above standards or below standards.

Providing on-going performance feedback

Throughout the year, the supervisor should openly communicate with the employee regarding his/her performance and how his/her job-related behavior compares with the performance standards, behavioral standards, and supervisory standards. Such communication strengthens supervisor/employee relationships. The supervisor should provide feedback on the positive aspects of the employee's performance and behavior as well as on those areas requiring correction.

Preparing the formal performance evaluation

At the end of the evaluation cycle, the supervisor will prepare a written evaluation of the employee's performance. The employee's performance of the job responsibilities and job-related behavior should be evaluated against established standards. The supervisor should refer to the record he/she has maintained on the employee's performance throughout the evaluation cycle as a guide in preparing the formal evaluation. It is highly recommended that the rater seek review and approval of the completed evaluation from the reviewer prior to presenting the completed evaluation to the employee.

Reviewing the performance evaluation with the employee

After the performance evaluation form has been completed, a meeting with the employee should be set for the purpose of reviewing the evaluation. The evaluation interview should be private and should provide the employee every opportunity for an open and frank discussion.

The supervisor should give the employee a full and honest picture of how well he/she has performed. The evaluation of the employee's performance should encompass the entire evaluation period and should be evaluated against job responsibilities and duties, performance standards, behavioral standards, and supervisory standards that are known to the employee. Specific examples of performance should be discussed in detail. The employee should be commended for work well done and helped to understand in what specific way he/she needs to improve.

The employee should be afforded an opportunity to review his/her performance evaluation and sign the form verifying the review. The employee's signature does not necessarily indicate agreement with the evaluation.

Uses of Performance Evaluation: The results of the performance evaluation may be used to aid in decisions about employees such as training, promotion, reassignment, demotion, termination, or re-employment.

Training: At the time of the annual evaluation, the supervisor may start action to obtain training or arrange for developmental work assignments. Also, the supervisor may counsel the employee regarding self-development activities that would contribute to his/her performance or career development.

Promotion: Results of performance evaluations should be considered in evaluating an eligible candidate for a promotion to an internal position for which he/she has applied.

Reassignment, demotion, or termination: When an employee continues to perform at the "below average" or "poor" level after being given a reasonable period of time (as specified by the supervisor at the time) to improve the current performance, the supervisor should contact both his/her immediate supervisor and the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action to determine appropriate actions that should be taken. Reassignment, demotion, and termination are among those to be considered.

Reemployment: Upon request, performance evaluations will be made available to a supervisor when consideration is being made of a former employee who applies for re-employment.

Continued Performance Deficiency

After an employee is advised of any performance deficiency and of what must be done to correct it, he/she should be given an opportunity to show performance improvement. During this period, the supervisor should maintain close contact with the employee to provide continual guidance with regard to his/her progress.

Typically, a second performance evaluation is conducted after no more than 90 days to assess performance improvement. If, after this period of time, it is found that the employee lacks the ability to meet the requirements of his/her position, or if the employee is able but unwilling to make the effort to perform the work satisfactorily, the individual's supervisor should make contact with his/her supervisor and the Director of Human Resources and Affirmative Action to discuss any further actions that should be taken and whether or not termination of employment should be recommended. The number of additional reviews and warnings and the time involved before recommending termination of employment are at the supervisor's discretion but should be made in consultation with his/her direct supervisor.

Administrative Procedures

Instructions for completion of the performance evaluation form are provided on the form and within this policy. Questions concerning the execution of this form should be addressed to the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

Each dean or department head should ensure that an annual performance evaluation is accomplished in July for each staff employee within his/her area of responsibility.

Copies of employee evaluations are sent to the appropriate Vice President for review. All completed, signed employee evaluations are forwarded to the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action.

Evaluation Appeal

If the employee disagrees with his/her evaluation, he/she may request a meeting with his/her rater or reviewer to discuss informally the performance evaluation before he/she signs the evaluation.

The employee has a period of ten business days from the date on which he/she signed the evaluation to file a written appeal. This appeal may be filed if the employee believes the evaluation is not justified, does not adequately reflect his/her performance, or was unfairly administered. Reconsideration may be requested of any item, including the overall rating.

A written appeal should be addressed to the rater and should state in detail the employee’s specific disagreements with the evaluation. If the rater is unable to resolve the disagreement, the appeal will be forwarded to the reviewer.

Upon receipt of the written appeal, the reviewer reviews the appeal and, if necessary, meets with the employee and rater, individually and/or together. The purpose of the meeting(s) is to determine the validity of the employee's appeal. If the reviewer determines that the evaluation is appropriate, he/she informs the employee by letter. The appeal and the letter are attached to the evaluation and forwarded to the appropriate vice president. If the reviewer determines that the evaluation is not appropriate, the reviewer discusses his/her findings with the rater. If the rater agrees with the reviewer, a new performance evaluation form is prepared. If the rater does not agree to changing the evaluation, the reviewer attaches his/her findings and the appeal to the performance evaluation and forwards it through the appropriate vice president to the Office of Human Resources and Affirmative Action for filing in the employee's personnel file.

If an employee disagrees with his/her evaluation but does not desire to file a formal appeal, he/she is entitled to write an appropriate rebuttal that may be attached to the performance evaluation and filed in the employee’s personnel file.