Performance Management

Fostering growth and success

Performance management is about successfully accomplishing work expectations. It’s achieving expected outcomes and results in our jobs. Auburn University has been steadily improving performance management for the last two years, and there is more to come!

A new Performance Management Process was introduced in 2018-19 in order to ensure that AU employees and their supervisors work together to reach organizational goals as well as experience increased engagement and productivity. The four phases that make up Auburn’s Performance Management Process are Planning, Coaching and Feedback, Planned Check-ins, and the Year-End Review.

To learn more about Auburn’s Performance Management Process, watch our QuickDive on the Performance Management Process or check out our Best Practices in Performance Management.

Important Dates and Information


Important Dates and Information

At Auburn University, the performance year begins June 1 and ends May 31. Each phase of the Performance Management Process should take place during specified dates throughout the year.

  • Planning: June 1- Aug. 31*

  • Coaching & Feedback: year-round

  • Planned Check-in: Nov. 1-Jan. 31

  • Year-End Review: March 1-May 31

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

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.

*Due to COVID-19 restrictions as well as the introduction of PeopleAdmin, a new digital Performance Management System, the dates for the 2020 Planning Phase are Aug. 17-Sept. 30. For more information on how the Planning Phase of Performance Management works this year, check out the video. 

Performance Review Form


Our New Performance Management System

Auburn University will convert to a new digital platform called PeopleAdmin for Performance Management in the fall of 2020. (Watch the video for more information.)

Bookmark this page for announcements on the new system as well as upcoming training opportunities!

Five-Point Rating Scale


Five-Point Rating Scale

In 2018-19, Auburn adopted a five-point rating scale, which is used to determine how well an employee is meeting or exceeding expectations for position responsibilities and supporting duties, goals, and previously identified development needs. The scale and definitions are listed below. Check out the QuickDive video on Performance Ratings and Baseball to discover how our rating system works.

  • 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. 

Observed Behaviors


Observed Behaviors

Position responsibilities and supporting duties are important in establishing performance expectations and reviews. But it’s not just meeting the expectations of a job. It’s about how the job is performed.

Behaviors matter. They help distinguish between exceptional performance, unsatisfactory performance, and everything in between.

Behaviors, when discussed between supervisor and employee, significantly add to the likelihood of successful performance outcomes. Identifying the right behaviors while planning, observing them throughout the year and adding as necessary provide clarity to both employee and supervisor.

For more information on AU’s Observed Behaviors, go to aub.ie/observedbehaviors and watch the QuickDive on Observed Behaviors.

On-Demand Training


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:

  • 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.

New this year!

Human Resource Development will host live trainings, and provide user guides and tip sheets, videos, and online support to help you when it is time to start using the new Performance Management System. Our goal is to have these resources available to you by mid-fall 2020.

Key Documents and Websites


Key Documents and Websites
Document/Website Description Format

Employee Input Document (EID)

Employee Input Document -- Academic Advisor

While it is a supervisor’s responsibility to create Performance Plans for their employees, receiving input from employees on what they do day-to-day as well as what they think some goals for their positions might be is a great way to start planning for the performance year. The Employee Input Document can be used for that purpose during both the Planning and Planned Check-In phases of performance management.

Employees* should use the Employee Input Document planning section to consider their role within the department, their position responsibilities & supporting duties, current projects, and development opportunities for the coming year.

*NOTE: In 2020, supervisors will be using this document as part of the Planning meeting for the 2020-2021 performance year until the new performance system is available to all employees.
Microsoft Word
EID Sample

Includes tips and examples to help users navigate the Employee Input Document.

PDF
Best Practices in Performance Management  A collection of articles regarding performance management at Auburn University PDF
Conducting a Virtual
Year-End Review 
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
Observed Behaviors website 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.
QuickDives on Performance Management QuickDives are agile video resources for professional development. Short videos have been provided for employees and supervisors to be able to access knowledge when they need it and apply what they learn immediately.

 

FAQs for Performance Reviews During Modified Operations


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


For More Information
Email Human Resource Development at hrddept@auburn.edu
Last updated: 08/14/2020