Performance Management

Important Dates and Information

  • At Auburn University, the performance year/review period is from June 1 until May 31.

  • All regular full-time and part-time employees, with the exception of some recent hires, should receive a performance review. 

  • Most reviews and discussions will occur in the month of June. 

  • The due dates for supervisors/managers to submit performance reviews vary by department/unit, so please check with your HR Liaison or unit leadership for your respective deadline.

  • Employees are encouraged to complete the Self-Appraisal Form and submit it to their supervisor before their review.

Performance Review Form

  • Based on the feedback that we received from employees, supervisors, and campus leadership, AU Human Resources created a new review form that was first used for the 2018-19 performance year.  

  • This is a shorter and simpler form that gives supervisors more options. This form also facilitates more opportunities for an employee and supervisor to communicate year-round.

  • This new form allows employees to be rated on their job duties / responsibilities / position goals/ and/or previously identified development needs -- all in the same place and in the same form.

  • There is a five-point scale for rating job duties or responsibilities, goals, or developmental needs (see below).

  • Supervisors can easily choose to cut and paste from a list of Observed Behaviors. These behaviors not only have definitions, but also have examples of what supervisors would observe as contributing to the success, or lack thereof, of the employee achieving the expected outcomes established for the performance period.

  • There is also a place for the employee and supervisor to discuss development opportunities for the upcoming year.

  • We will offer this new form until we convert to an electronic system.

  • Departments/divisions may use the new Performance Review Form or the traditional Performance Management Planning and Review Form (retiring July 1, 2020), which also features a five-point scale. Check with your Department/Division leadership, or HR Liaison, before deciding on which form to use. 

Five-Point Rating Scale

A five-point rating scale is used to determine how well an employee is meeting or exceeding requirements for the respective job duty/responsibility/position goal/previously identified development need. The scale and definitions are listed below.

  • Performance is consistently superior and significantly exceeds expectations.

  • Typically, in a “performance-oriented” culture, 5 to 7 percent of employees will be performing at this overall rating level.

  • Your department may require a detailed justification for this rating.

  • May replace “Leading Performance” from the previous scale.
  • Performance frequently exceeds expectations.
  • Typically, in a “performance-oriented” culture, 30 to 35 percent of employees will be performing at this overall rating level.

  • May replace “Leading Performance" from the previous scale.

  • Performance consistently meets expectations.
  • Typically, in a “performance-oriented” culture, 50 to 60 percent of employees will be performing at this overall rating level.

  • IMPORTANT: This is a very good rating.

  • May replace “Strong Performance” from the previous scale.

  • Performance meets some, but not all of the expectations.
  • Typically, in a “performance-oriented” culture, 4 to 5 percent of employees will be performing at this overall rating level.

  • An overall "Marginal" rating would warrant a Performance Improvement Plan developed with Campus Relations.

  • May replace “Building Performance" from the previous scale.

  • Performance consistently fails to meet the minimum expectations.
  • Typically, in a “performance-oriented” culture, roughly 2 percent of employees will be performing at this overall rating level.

  • Your department may require a detailed justification for this rating.

  • An overall "Unacceptable" rating would warrant a Performance Improvement Plan developed with Employee Relations.

  • May replace “Improvement Essential” from the previous scale. 

On-Demand Training

AU Human Resources has created three online training courses through Fast-Train for employees, supervisors, and managers that are available on demand. These classes focus on performance management, the new form, and the new rating scale:

  • MG500E, An Introduction to Performance Management at Auburn University: This training, for employees, supervisors, and managers covers the benefits of having a systematic performance management process, identifies those involved in the performance management process, and describes the new five-point rating scale.

  • MG505E, Performance Management Fundamentals for Employees: The Performance Management Process is a continuous cycle that involves Planning, Coaching and Feedback, Planned Check-ins, and the Year-End Review. This training is a detailed description of the entire Performance Management Process, how it relates to employees, and how employees can best prepare for their Year-End Review. MG500e is a prerequisite to this course.

  • MG510E, Performance Management Fundamentals for Supervisors: The Performance Management Process is a continuous cycle that involves Planning, Coaching and Feedback, Planned Check-ins, and the Year-End Review. This training is a detailed description of the entire Performance Management Process and how it relates to the supervisor/employee relationships as well as the Performance Review Form and how to use it. MG500e is a prerequisite to this course.

Key Documents and Websites

Document/Website Description Format
Performance Review Form with Observed Behaviors hyperlink Shorter and simpler form that focuses on job duty, responsibility, position goal, or previously identified development need.   Microsoft Word
Performance Review Form without Observed Behaviors hyperlink
Performance Review Form Guide Includes tips and examples to help users navigate the Performance Review Form. PDF
Traditional Performance Review Form Longer form that focuses on Universal Performance Dimensions and Job-Specific Competencies Microsoft Word
Best Practices in Performance Management (NEW!) A collection of articles regarding performance management at Auburn University PDF
Conducting a Virtual
Year-End Review (NEW!)
Performance conversations between supervisors and employees are critical to supporting continued growth and development for individuals and teams -- even in Modifed Operations. This guide will help employees and supervisors prepare for Year-End Review conversations virtually. PDF
Employee Self-Appraisal Form This form can be used to gather information prior to the Year-end Performance Review. Use of the form is optional. Microsoft Word
Employee Performance Management Planning Form This form is similar to the Employee Self-Appraisal Form, but includes questions designed to assist the employee as he or she prepares for the meeting on Planning. Microsoft Word
Trades Performance Review Form Microsoft Excel
Performance Management Log Form This form can be used throughout the year by either the employee or the supervisor to write down any achievements, demonstrations, or outcomes in various areas of job performance. Microsoft Word
Observed Behaviors website On the Performance Review Form, supervisors can easily choose to cut and paste from a list of behaviors. These behaviors not only have definitions, but also have examples of what supervisors would observe as contributing to the success, or lack thereof, of the employee achieving the expected outcomes established for the performance period.
QuickDive videos website AU Human Resource Development’s QuickDive videos are agile resources for professional development. Short videos have been provided for employees to be able to access knowledge when they need it and apply what they learn immediately. With only one takeaway, these small bites of focused information are retained and internalized better than long training sessions or longer eLearning content.

 

FAQs for Performance Reviews During Modified Operations

Information on this page is current as of May 13, 2020. Please check back frequently as we will add and update information as it becomes available.

Yes, all employees are still expected to complete the performance management process for the 2019-2020 performance year.

Performance conversations between supervisors and employees are critical to supporting continued growth and development for individuals and teams. In fact, every employee should expect to receive from their supervisor clear expectations at the beginning of the performance year, coaching and feedback throughout the year, and a Year-End Review conversation. This opportunity to reflect on university and team successes as well as what we have done in pursuit of the AU Strategic Plan is no less important this year.

Since our forums, focus groups, and surveys of two years ago, employees have consistently asked for feedback on how they’re doing and in such a difficult time as we are going through now, it’s critical we continue to provide employees with the feedback they deserve.

The due dates for supervisors/managers to submit performance reviews vary by department/unit, so please check with your HR Liaison or unit leadership for your respective deadline.

While we are in modified operations, we must remember that solid performance management, which includes Planning, Coaching and Feedback, Planned Check-ins, and Year-End Reviews, is significant in helping Auburn achieve its strategic goals.

At this point in the year, the other three phases of the Performance Management Process should have already taken place and now it is time for the Year-End Review which takes into account the entire performance year. Auburn’s performance year ends May 31 and our current modified operational changes due to COVID-19 started March 15- 288 days into the performance year. That means 78 percent of the performance year has already passed which is why we are proceeding with the completion of the 2019-2020 Performance Management Year.

If there are Year-end goals not achieved due to operational circumstances, these can be carried over to the 2020-21 performance year and noted in the Performance Review Form during the Planning phase next year.

There is no need to wait until we return to campus.

  1. Employees are encouraged to start the Self-Appraisal form Once completed, those forms should be sent to supervisors for review.
  2. Supervisors will complete the Performance Review Form and forward it on to the correct second-level reviewer.
  3. This would be a good time for supervisors to confirm submission deadlines with the department HRL and check for any other specific guidelines that must be met.
  4. Once the second-level reviewer returns the form, the supervisor will set up meetings with employees. Here are the two ways to proceed with the Year-End Review meeting:
    1. Conduct an in-person meeting while maintaining physical distancing guidelines. Wet signatures are acceptable for this option.
    2. Conduct the review meeting via Zoom and accept a digital signature.

Performance review conversations under modified operations will be challenging for all of us, whether the reviews occur in person or via Zoom. However, the best practices for a productive performance review conversation still apply to a conversation conducted by Zoom. (Conducting a Virtual Performance Review)

Reviews focus solely on an employee’s performance on planned job duties/responsibilities, position goals, previously identified development needs, and demonstrated behaviors.

Reviews are not meant to compare the performance of an employee vs. a team peer or a group. In that spirit, we must keep in mind President Gogue’s Governing principles during the pandemic: “Protect the health and well-being of students, faculty and staff.” Therefore, employees choosing to stay home for health and safety reasons, may not be penalized. This is in keeping with the governing principles. Supervisors have 78 percent of the year on which to review an employee’s performance and should proceed in this way. 

We have heard about employees performing their assigned work remotely or on campus. Many have also taken on additional duties- perhaps in place of employees choosing not to work. This work and behavior should be recognized. Employees who have performed admirably during alternate operations can be considered for a higher rating- provided they met expectations throughout the previous months—78 percent of the year
  • The Second-Level Reviewer’s role in Performance Management during normal operations is to ensure that annual performance appraisals are conducted in a timely manner as well as check for possible rater bias on the part of managers (harshness and/or leniency).
  • Especially, during modified operations, Second-Level Reviewers should ensure that an employee is not evaluated negatively for choosing to stay home for health and safety reasons during alternate operations.  (March 16 – May 9).

For More Information

Email Human Resource Development at hrd@auburn.edu
Last updated: 05/20/2020