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Performance Review

The Performance Review is not an event, but an ongoing process. It begins with the employee and supervisor working together to establish performance expectations for the year. Throughout the year, the employee receives support and feedback to improve and enhance performance. The process culminates when the year-end review is completed and successful performance is rewarded. Then it starts all over again.

Performance Reviews for calendar year 2014 are due to the Division of Human Resources by March 1, 2015.


In 2011 the Performance Review Form was revised. Based on feedback from UNM employees, the form has been simplified without losing the integrity or intent of the Performance Review process. Take a minute to learn more: Gotta Minute - Performance Review Form.


Two online courses were created to support staff and managers. They are:

  • EOD 307 - Performance Review for Staff
  • EOD 416 - Conducting a Performance Review (for Managers)

These courses will cover all aspects of the performance review process and how to complete the form.

Access this training in Learning Central - Subject Area: Human Resources.

Performance Review Timeline

Month Tasks
November Employee begins Performance Review self assessment
December Employee completes Performance Review self assessment
January Supervisor reviews and provides input in the Performance Review and begins the performance discussion
February Supervisor complete the Performance Reviews and submits to the Division of Human Resources
March All Performance Reviews are due March 1, 2015 for the 2014 calendar year

Frequently Asked Questions

Purpose and Guidelines in Developing Effective Performance Reviews

Who should receive copies of the Performance Review Form?

At the beginning of the year, after the planning portion has been completed, the supervisor and employee each keep a copy of the form. After the written review has been completed, the original is sent to the Department of Human Resources to be placed in the employee's official personnel file. Copies are kept by the employee and the supervisor.

What if a new job duty is given to the employee during the year, which was not assigned when the Performance Review Form was initially completed?

The planning section of the Performance Review Form should be reviewed and updated during coaching sessions throughout the year. Changes in duties and standards for successful performance should be documented on the form so that both supervisor and employee are aware of the revisions.

If the immediate supervisor leaves the job during the year who will rate the employee's performance at the end of the year?

The Performance Review is conducted by the supervisor who is there at the time the evaluation is due. If an employee's supervisor changes, the employee is normally reviewed based on the goals, performance standards, and expectations stated in the last written Performance Review. The new supervisor meets with the employee to discuss and document any changes. The former supervisor is encouraged to document employee performance prior to leaving the position. The employee is encouraged to provide the new supervisor with a self-assessment since this will assist the supervisor in providing a meaningful review for the employee. Depending upon the timing of the change in supervisors, it may be appropriate for a higher-level supervisor to conduct the review.

What if an employee is promoted during the year?

Whenever there is a change in job titles or a complete change in job duties (i.e., promotion, transfer, etc.) the planning sections of a new Performance Review Form are completed to document the goals and standards for the new position. It is recommended that a formal (written) progress review be completed for work done up to the point an employee is promoted or leaves

If an employee changes jobs in the University, how does that affect the Performance Review? What if it is the same title but a different department? A different job title?

When an employee changes jobs, the new supervisor begins planning goals/duties for the remaining review period (i.e. until the end of the calendar year). Supervisors are encouraged to provide Performance Reviews for employees who move to a different job or different department so that information can be used by the new supervisor in preparing the review for the entire year. If this is not done, the employee would be rated for the period of time worked for the new supervisor

Can performance standards differ for two employees who have the same job duties?

Yes. Standards are developed for individuals by the supervisor and the employee. Employees with the same job titles may have different goals and priorities, so the goals or duties chosen for their evaluations may be different.

What is the relationship between Performance Review and Performance Management?

Performance Review is the ongoing communication between supervisors and employees about how well jobs are being done, according to UBPPM #3230. Performance Management (UBPPM #3215) describes how problems with performance are managed. Generally, these are two separate processes. A formal warning is not required if you are still training or coaching a marginal performer. However, serious performance deficiencies identified during the performance review process may result in disciplinary action under the performance management process if required improvement is not demonstrated.

How can this evaluation help streamline work and make the department more efficient?

It is the job of the supervisor to make the Performance Review an effective means of communicating within the work unit. Ideally, Performance Reviews will increase everyone's effectiveness by clarifying goals and expectations each year. Performance discussions are an opportunity to provide your department with the direction needed on what is to be accomplished and who has been assigned specific responsibilities. It helps establish direction, foster progress, and clarify accountability. The department/unit is more likely to be successful when individual employee goals are linked with department/unit goals. This will also help employees stay focused and committed.

Performance Reviews can also improve communication by encouraging information sharing. It also represents a way that supervisors can demonstrate their interest in an employee's development, concerns, and potential.

How do I conduct a difficult evaluation?

The Performance Review is a visible part of the larger supervisor/management process. If good communication is not already in place, simply completing a review is unlikely to change behavior or results. Begin with planning. Use coaching and support techniques to improve feedback and communication. At the end of the review period, ask the employee to complete the self-assessment. These steps are all designed to improve ongoing communications between the employee and the supervisor throughout the year. By the time the review is conducted, noticeable improvement should be evident. You may also wish to take advantage of the many training and other resources available to assist supervisors at UNM.

What should I do about employees who become belligerent during the annual Performance Review?

If the supervisor has been coaching the employee throughout the year, the written Performance Review should contain no surprises. It is important for both the supervisor and the employee to take a problem-solving approach to the discussion of performance. Poor communication is a barrier to having an effective performance discussion. Both should state their opinions and feelings in a constructive manner so points of disagreement can be better understood and resolved. Both the supervisor and the employee must demonstrate the highest standards of behavior for the Performance Review to be productive.

If standards are not being achieved, the supervisor and the employee should offer constructive suggestions on why they were not achieved and what course of action would be helpful. The focus for both should be on resolving issues. Good communication is a critical management skill. If managers need to develop their ability to communicate effectively with employees, training programs are available. Assistance in resolving workplace disagreements is also available from OMBUDS/Dispute Resolutions Services.

Expectations Around Goal Setting and University Values

How is the completed evaluation form used?

The form is a tool used to communicate with the employee how well he/she is doing, how well goals have been achieved and what needs improvement. Development goals are derived from the written evaluation. The pay review & planning is used as a communication tool. and is used for personnel decisions, salary increases, and career development.

How can I review my people on values?

The University Values are derived from the UMM Strategic Plan and are the common ground for all University employees. On the Performance Review Form are examples of behaviors that illustrate the University Values. These behaviors are common to all jobs. Standards are developed by the supervisor and employee for the behaviors that relate to each job and are aligned with the mission and goals of the work unit or department. Some departments have developed examples of common behaviors for their employees. The samples developed by the Department of Human Resources are available on our website. Also available on the website are definitions of the seven University Values. If you are not sure how to rate your employees on any of the values, review the definitions and develop expectations appropriate for your department.

Employee/Supervisor Responsibilities

What will an employee be held responsible for in the evaluation process? That is, will an employee be required to do the main job duties listed on the Performance Review Form or will s/he be responsible for all job duties included in the job description?

Every employee is responsible for performing all assigned duties. The job description is the official description for a given job title. Supervisors are responsible for assigning duties consistent with the job description. However, because job descriptions are general in nature and often cover many positions, not all duties listed on the job description may be relevant for all positions. It is also appropriate for departments to develop specific position descriptions for jobs. These are based on the general job description.

The Performance Review Form can be used in two ways. Goals can be developed for employees and inserted into Section I of the Form. Or, Section I can be duty-based, in which case the duties are chosen from the job description. A combination of goals and duties may also be used. All employees are rated on the University Values in Section II.

My supervisor does not have time to give us all Performance Reviews. What do I do?

Performance Review is an important supervisory function. Clarifying goals and expectations will help improve communication and performance. Most supervisors are doing that informally. The Performance Review and Recognition Policy makes the process more formal. The new policy requires that all employees receive an annual written review. If your supervisor does not provide reviews, you should first discuss your concerns with your supervisor. If that does not resolve the issue, you may also talk to the next level supervisor or seek assistance from the OMBUDS/Dispute Resolutions Services.

Can a supervisor be exempted from turning in Performance Reviews if extenuating circumstances in the department made it difficult to do them on time?

No. It is the responsibility of all supervisors to provide Performance Reviews for their staff by March 1 of each year. Because the program is designed to be collaborative, staff can initiate their own performance planning by drafting goals and standards for their supervisor's review. They can also initiate the evaluation process by providing their self-assessment to their supervisor.

What if employees are supervised by faculty who are not familiar with the Performance Review and state they do not have time to take the training?

Faculty members are not evaluated with the staff Performance Review form, but they are responsible for using it to evaluate their staff. They can take two online courses available to support staff and managers. They are:

  • Performance Review for Staff
  • Conducting a Performance Review (for Managers)

and also access the HR website for forms, definitions, and examples. Employees can initiate the planning process by providing supervisors with suggested goals/duties and standards. They can initiate the evaluation by providing their supervisor with their self-assessment. They can also seek assistance from their Department Administrator in developing goals and standards for their position.

Who should conduct the evaluation?

The employee's immediate supervisor conducts the evaluation. A person designated as a "lead" may give input to the supervisor, but does not typically complete the review.

Disagreements with Performance Review

When an employee refuses to participate in the Performance Review process, is the Performance Review valid?

Yes. The Performance Review is still conducted. It is recommended that the process be collaborative. However, the supervisor has the ultimate responsibility to set goals and standards and to evaluate employees against the goals. The employee can contact OMBUDS/Dispute Resolutions Services for assistance. The final Performance Review Form becomes part of the employee's personnel file. Supervisors are encouraged to contact OMBUDS/Dispute Resolutions Services for further assistance in working with an employee who is reluctant to participate to help make the process a productive one for both parties and so that the same issues don't recur every year. Persistent failure to comply with the requirements of the Performance Review policy would be handled in the same manner as a violation of any University policy in that it may be considered cause for disciplinary action.

What if an employee disagrees with the Performance Review?

If a post-probationary employee disagrees with the written Performance Review, the employee should discuss any concerns with the supervisor. Three options are offered if the disagreement cannot be resolved. (1) The employee may append written comments/response to the form that will be filed with the form in the employee's personnel file. (2) The employee may ask for a review from the next level supervisor. (3) The employee may also contact the OMBUDS/Dispute Resolutions Services for assistance. These three options may be pursued in any order or in combination with each other.

What do I do if the employee refuses to sign the Performance Review?

Explain to the employee that the signature does not indicate agreement but only that they have had an opportunity to read and understand the form. Let the employee know that they can express their concerns or disagreements in the employee comment section of the form. You may also wish to contact the OMBUDS/Dispute Resolutions Services to assist in resolving the disagreement. If the employee still refuses to sign, the supervisor should indicate that the employee received a copy of the evaluation and refused to sign.

Union's Role in Performance Review Process

How does the Performance Review policy apply to employees in bargaining units?

All aspects of the Performance Review policy apply to all regular staff employees, except for the section on "reward." Salary increases for employees in a bargaining unit are determined based on union negotiations.

What if bargaining unit employees don't cooperate with the Performance Review process?

Merit increases are based on the Performance Review, but Performance Review is a separate process. It is designed to improve communication and accountability, and assist employees in reaching goals. Also, pay is not the only reward available to UNM supervisors. Non-monetary awards can include education and training opportunities, personal acknowledgement and flexible work schedules. Failure to comply with the requirements of the Performance Review policy would be handled in the same manner as a violation of any University policy in that it may be considered cause for disciplinary action.

Does a union representative have a right to be present at a performance review discussion?

No. Union representation at these discussions is not appropriate.

Can a bargaining unit employee file a grievance over a review?

A grievance, under a union contract, is defined as a disagreement about a provision in the collective bargaining agreement. Performance Review is not usually a provision in the collective bargaining agreement. Rather, it is a management right/responsibility. Therefore, Performance Reviews are not typically grievable.

Self Assessments

What is the purpose of the self-assessment?

Yes, section 3.2 in the policy indicates that the employee is responsible for providing their supervisor with a self-assessment of accomplishments with respect to goals/duties and University values. The self-assessment gives the employee an opportunity to share pertinent information about their performance during the year. While the supervisor is not required to incorporate this information in the Performance Review, the information is useful because it helps the supervisor understand their employee's perspectives on the items being reviewed and also allows them to include any pertinent information on the final review.


Isn't a formal evaluation pointless for truly outstanding employees?

Not at all. Formal evaluation for outstanding performers can be highly motivating. Failure to acknowledge this performance may actually result in reduced performance and lower morale. Since pay for performance is linked directly to Performance Review, it is even more important to document differences in performance to support differences in merit pay. Employees who are not reviewed are not eligible for pay for performance. Performance Review is also an important tool to set goals for the employee for the next year. Having a clear understanding of what is expected of them assists employees in maintaining high levels of achievement.

Performance Review with Relation to Salaries

Will the results of the Performance Review affect salary?

Yes, Each year guidelines will be distributed that will identify if funds are available for pay for performance and if so, will specify the upper and lower limits for pay for performance increases. Suggested ranges for the different performance ratings will be provided. Guidelines will change from year to year. Raises for staff in the bargaining unit are determined through union negotiations.

Can I give merit pay to employees when a Performance Review was not conducted?

Merit pay is based upon the Overall Rating on the Performance Review Form. If a Performance Review was not conducted, there is no basis on which to award differential salary increases. However, it is recognized that there may be unusual circumstances where it is appropriate to award merit pay when an evaluation is not on file. Examples include when a manager is on extended leave or when the manager's position is vacant. In such cases, in order not to penalize meritorious staff, exemptions may be granted by written approval of the cognizant vice president/provost. Any merit pay increase awarded without a written Performance Review on file must be approved by the vice president/provost.


How many times will an employee be formally evaluated within a year?

For a regular, post-probationary employee, the supervisor is required to provide a written review once per year. More frequent reviews can be done at the discretion of the supervisor.

What is the time period for Performance Review?

The Performance Review cycle is on a calendar year, January 1 through December 31. Employees begin the self assessment in November and complete it before the annual review. The annual reviews are conducted between January and March for work performed in the previous calendar year.

When does the review process begin for a new employee?

As soon as a new employee is hired, the supervisor sets goals for the probationary period and develops standards for performance. After the probationary period is over, the supervisor provides a written review of the employee's performance and sets goals for the next review period. The next review period goes through the remainder of the calendar year to bring the new employee into the same review period as continuing employees.

What happens if I don't turn in evaluations?

As a supervisor it is your responsibility to conduct and turn in evaluations. All performance reviews should be submitted to the Department of Human Resources no later than March 1. In early April of each year, the Department of Human Resources generates a list of employees who did not receive performance reviews that is sent to the vice presidents and provost.

My department is on an academic schedule and our goals are set on an academic year cycle. How do I evaluate on a calendar year when the goals are on a different cycle?

The calendar year cycle was necessary to support pay for performance and the fiscal year budgeting of salary increases. Departments or units operating under an academic year calendar should use the planning part of the Performance Review process to translate individual employee goals or duties to a calendar year basis. Throughout the year, goals may be updated or revised as necessary. It is recognized that the planning cycle for individual employees and departments may differ. A mid-year or semi-annual review may assist in reconciling these different cycles.

University Required Training

Why did UNM add Section 3 to the Performance Review?

Section 3: Required and Job Specific training has been added to the Performance Review form for 3 reasons:

  • Allows leaders to track compliance with required and job specific training
  • Allows the leader to suggest development opportunities for the upcoming year for employees
  • Allows the employees to get clear expectations of what professional development is needed for the upcoming year

How do my employees know what training to take?

Required training is set by the University based on regulatory compliance. Job specific training is based on the employee's function and development opportunities. For example: If the employee will use be using Banner in any way, they will need to take the required training associated with the role they request in the BAR.

Where can employees review available training classes?

All training associated with the Banner can be found in the BAR. Any other training that the manager recommends can be found online in Learning Central

Is it my responsibility is it to know what training is needed?

The supervisor and employee should know what training is needed. If you have questions about a specific training class, contact Employee and Organizational Development at 277-1555.

Can a supervisor or manager make suggestions for training that helps build business or soft skills based on an employee's performance?

Absolutely, leaders should make suggestions for any development opportunities that the employee needs to improve performance.

Contact Information

If you have questions, please contact your HR Consultant or Employee & Organizational Development at 277-1555.