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Performance Assessment and Coaching

Clothier bell tower as seen from Parrish lawn, with daffodils in the foreground

The yearly performance assessment process is designed to help supervisors and staff members engage in a constructive dialogue resulting in meaningful goals that support professional growth as well as departmental initiatives and strategic priorities for the upcoming year. As part of this process, staff members are asked to complete an evaluation and participate in an assessment conversation with their supervisor, reflecting on accomplishments and any challenges that arose over the previous year, and setting goals for the coming year.

Beyond the formal performance assessment process, we encourage regular conversations between supervisors and staff members regarding job performance, to foster an environment of open communication in the workplace. Regular conversations between supervisors and staff members can help ensure goals are being met,  provide opportunities for growth and development, and identify avenues for improvement where it may be needed. Staff members are also encouraged to proactively seek feedback and communicate any concerns with their supervisors, as well as identify and pursue professional developmental goals. 

Timelines | Assessment Materials | Assessment Process | Additional Resources | Staff FAQs | Supervisor FAQs

Performance Assessment Timelines

Departments have a choice to participate in one of two review timelines, depending on what best suits their needs. 

  • Fiscal Year Cycle: Reviews are  due by August 16, 2024, for the period from July 1, 2023 –June 30, 2024

  • Calendar Year Cycle: Reviews are due by February 14, 2025, for the period from January 1, 2024–December 31, 2024

Find which performance assessment timeline your department is following, here.

Performance Assessment Materials

Performance Assessment Form [Google DOC]

The 2024 performance assessment is documented using a single Google Doc that the staff member will start and share with their supervisor, following the steps outlined below.

  • Please save the completed and signed PDF using this naming convention: Staff Member ID#_Last Name_First Name_Year (for example: 999999999_Doe_Jane_2024).

Performance Assessment Process

The performance assessment process follows several steps to ensure a thoughtful and productive dialog between staff members and their supervisors. The steps are outlined in detail, below. If you have any questions about the process, or about submitting the assessment, please contact Lindsay Raclaw, learning and development manager, at

  • Training sessions for staff members and supervisors will be offered before each performance assessment period. Register here.

Performance Assessment Steps

  1. First, the supervisor sets a meeting with their staff member and provides timeline for the staff member to complete their portion of the performance assessment form (their self-evaluation).
  2. The staff member then completes their self evaluation via Google Docs and shares it with their supervisor.
  3. After receiving the staff member’s self evaluation, the supervisor completes their section of the same form. 
  4. The supervisor and staff member then meet to go over the performance assessment form; points of discussion that are not already documented may be added by the supervisor. 
  5. At the end of the meeting, the supervisor prints the completed assessment form and both the staff member and their supervisor sign the document. 
  6. Once the process above has been completed,  the supervisor should scan the signed document and submit it to Human Resources using this form. Please be sure the document is named as follows: Staff Member ID#_Last Name_First Name_Year (for example 999999999_Doe_Jane_2024).

Additional Resources

Staff Member Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of SMART goals?

SMART goals are goals that are specific (S), measurable (M), attainable (A), relevant (R), and timebound (T). The following are examples of SMART goals that may be helpful as you complete your assessment: 

  • Marcus will create an outreach program by the fall of 2023 designed to increase awareness of the role of campus safety with the first year students to improve engagement and positive interactions.  
  • Ahmir will increase his planned giving gifts by 5% by the end of the fiscal year and identify four new potential donors in the eastern portion of his region to expand fundraising efforts on the east coast.
  • Alison will develop and document a workflow to be shared with the entire office regarding the new process for managing incoming grant requests by the fall of 2023, and train the office on proper utilization of the process.
What should I prepare before meeting with my supervisor?

You should complete the employee section of the performance assessment form, discussing the professional accomplishments you achieved, as well as any challenges that may have occurred. Come prepared to discuss progress toward your goals, what helped you to achieve these goals, what interrupted your progress, and what kinds of professional development may be of interest.

If I worked on a project for another department leader, should they be invited to the performance assessment conversation?

The actual performance assessment conversation should be exclusively between the supervisor and the staff member. However, input from other leaders, especially on key projects/goals, should be incorporated into your portion of the Summary of the Previous Year.​​​

How should I prepare for the conversation?

Be prepared to address your overall assessment of your performance during the year, including what went well, what may not have gone as well, what you would do differently, how you defined your successes, and what professional development opportunities you’d like to explore moving forward. Be sure to point out areas of accomplishments by reviewing your goals, and share clear examples of your performance to enhance the conversation.​​​​​

What if I do not agree with the information documented in my performance assessment?

The performance assessment conversation with your supervisor is the best time to have an open discussion about any discrepancies you see between your performance and the documentation. You can add a supplemental document outlining any differing points of view that can be attached to the assessment document.  ​​​​​​

Why am I asked to sign my performance assessment?

The performance assessment is an important formal document that allows for the supervisor and staff member to outline agreed-upon  goals and expectations for the coming year. Your signature indicates that you have read it and participated in the discussions.​​​​​

What should I focus on once the performance assessment conversation is over?

This is a good time to reflect on how you will continually grow and develop professionally. From the conversation, take time to reflect on the following questions:

  • What did you learn?
  • Did anything about what was discussed surprise you?
  • What were the benefits of having the conversation?
  • What aspects of the conversation were challenging?
  • What would you do or say differently in future performance assessment conversations?
  • How will you move forward in achieving your goals and developing professionally?


Supervisor Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to have ready when I meet with my staff members?

Share this web page with them, instruct them to complete their assessment, and have them review the overall instructions on how to complete it. 

For the performance assessment conversation, ask each staff member to come prepared to discuss progress toward their goals, what helps them to achieve their goals, and their professional development interests.​​​​​​

How much time should I schedule for the performance assessment conversation?

Meeting times will vary from staff member to staff member depending on the nature of the assessment and how frequently you are/were in communication prior to the assessment process. We recommend that you should reserve a minimum of one hour for the performance assessment conversation to allow for a meaningful discussion.

How should I prepare for the conversation?

You will supply your staff member with a copy of their assessment, including your comments. While you’re meeting, document key points of the conversation, as these can be used during follow-up conversations to assist with any performance or professional needs, or to aid in supporting their progress going forward. You should offer honest verbal feedback of the staff member’s performance for the year during this conversation. Share examples of their work, including how they complete their job responsibilities and how they approach working with you and others.​​​​​

May I stop the conversation if I need to?

In some emotionally charged conversations, it is beneficial to stop the meeting if it is no longer productive or if communication breaks down. Reschedule another time to meet before the conversation ends.

What if two people supervise a staff member; how do we both sign?

These forms are designed for one supervisor signature. Please have the primary supervisor sign and notations can be made in the supervisor comments section, if and where appropriate.

What should I focus on after the performance assessment conversation?

This is a good time to reflect on how you will continually help the staff members grow and develop professionally. It is also a good time to reflect on how you conducted the conversation and what you might want to do the same or differently in future conversations. Finally, it is helpful to take this time to reflect on your own goals and aspirations, including the following questions:

  • What did you learn?
  • What surprised you about the conversations you had?
  • What were the benefits of having these conversations? What aspects of these conversations were challenging?
  • What will you do or say differently in future performance assessment conversations?
  • How will you maximize the possibilities that resulted from these conversations? 
  • How will you hold yourself accountable to help staff members achieve the goals they have set through this process?
  • How will you continue to help staff members develop professionally?