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Performance Management Process

Chapter 4080
Revised September 22, 2000, September 30, 2004, October 14, 2005, March 1, 2006, September 1, 2009, June 19, 2014, August 14, 2014, September 4, 2014 and November 28, 2016

Table of Contents

.010 Introduction
.020 Related Policies
.030 Overview
.040 Types of Reviews for University Support Staff
.050 Less than Meets Expectations Work Performance
.060 Performance Review Appeals
.070 Performance Management Process Form
.080 Overall Rating
.090 Completion of Form/Process
.100 Submission of Form
.110 Questions
Related Content
.200 Performance Management Process Form

.010 Introduction

All university support staff (USS) are consistently evaluated throughout the university through the Performance Management Process.

With the Performance Management Process, mid-review discussions occur between April 1 and June 30 and annual evaluations are due between November 1 and January 31 every year.

The Performance Management Process is a continuous process where supervisors and employees work together to establish objectives (goals), monitor progress toward these objectives and assess results. With this process, employees receive regular feedback and coaching which is a vital development process for all employees.

.020 Statutes, Regulations and Policies

The following is a listing of policies relevant to this chapter:

KSU Policies and Procedures Manual, Chapter 4020, Disciplinary Action Procedures

KSU Policy and Procedures Manual, Chapter 4030, University Support Staff Peer Review Committee Hearing Process

.030 Overview

The Performance Management Process is used to identify performance expectations and provide feedback to the employee. Ongoing communication throughout the entire review period between supervisors and the employees who report to them is essential.

The Performance Management Process includes the following four components:

Performance Planning: A discussion at the beginning of the review period between the supervisor and employee to identify and clarify performance expectations for the review period.

Coaching and Feedback: The daily process of communicating with employees — managing behavior and performance to help employees meet performance expectations.

Reviewing and Appraising Performance: The process of evaluating performance against established performance expectations for a specific time period.

Recognizing and Rewarding Performance: Provide monetary and non-monetary rewards for achieving and exceeding performance expectations. Recognition reinforces and rewards successful past performance and encourages continued successful performance in the future; however, it must be timely, sincere, specific and earned.

Nonmonetary awards are encouraged when employee has achieved a critical objective and/or has made significant progress toward achieving a complex or long-term critical objective. Non-monetary rewards include thank you notes, coffee or lunch, certificate of recognition, etc.

.040 Types of Reviews for University Support Staff

The type, length, and circumstances for performance reviews for university support staff vary; however, the Performance Management Process is to be used in all instances. There are three categories of performance reviews, each with unique characteristics: a) probationary, b) annual, and c) special reviews.

Probationary Reviews

The probationary period is a test of an employee's ability to meet expectations. Recommendations to enhance employee's performance should reflect the skills to be demonstrated, the training to be completed, and the knowledge to be acquired during the probation. One or more feedback sessions should be conducted during the probation period. Prior to the expiration of each employee's probationary period, a performance review shall be completed and submitted to Human Resources. Failure to notify the employee of the rating or an approved extension by the end of any probationary period shall mean that the employee has been granted permanent status. A request for any extension must also be submitted to the Vice President for Human Resources, prior to the end of the probationary period.

When a probationary employee is on leave, with or without pay, for 30 consecutive calendar days or more, the probationary period will be adjusted to the extent of the leave. Temporary employees do not serve a probationary period; nor do those who are rehired following a lay off.

There are circumstances that require a probationary period and review.

1. New Hire

This initial probationary period is six months, but it may be extended up to six additional months for valid reasons, such as completing specific training, attaining a specific skill level, or acquiring necessary credentials. An original probation period of up to 12 months may be established when specific training or certification requirements as documented in the position description cannot be completed within six months.

An extension of the probationary period requires prior approval by the Vice President for Human Resources. A rating of "Meets Expectations" or higher qualifies an employee on an original appointment for permanent status, unless the probationary period has been extended. An employee who receives a a rating of less than "Meets Expectations" will not be granted permanent status.

The department is responsible for notifying its supervisors approximately one month before probationary reviews are due. Completed probationary reviews are due in Human Resources prior to the last day of the review period.

2. Promotion

Promotional employees are subject to a probationary period of not less than three months nor more than six months. However, a probationary period of up to 12 months may be established by the Vice President for Human Resources when specific training or certification requirements cannot be completed within six months. A promotional probationary period cannot be extended.

3. Reclassification

A probationary period and review is not required for a reclassification. However, the supervisor has the option to designate a probationary period and review of not less than three months nor more than six months for a reclassification. Reclassification is a change in an existing position from one job title to another. When a position is reclassified, an employee may be granted permanent status or may be subject to a probationary period of not less than three months nor more than six months. A probationary period of up to 12 months may be established if approved by the Vice President for Human Resources when specific training or certification requirements as documented in the position description cannot be completed within six months.

4. Reinstatement

Reinstatement occurs when an employee returns to state service within a year of separation. Reinstated employees are subject to a probationary period of not less than three months nor more than six months.

5. Transfer

A probationary employee may transfer from one position in a job title to another position in the same job title or to another job title in the same pay grade; the transfer has no effect on the employee's probationary period. However, the initial probationary period may be extended, with the approval of the Vice President for Human Resources, up to six additional months.

When a permanent employee transfers from one position in a job title to another position in the same job title or to another job title in the same pay grade, the transfer has no effect on the employee's permanent status; the employee does not serve another probationary period.

Employees who transfer, demote or promote from a temporary university support staff position or from any unclassified position to a regular university support staff position shall serve a standard six month probation.

6. Probationary Police Officers

All police officers are required to attend and successfully complete a course at the Law Enforcement Training Center before receiving permanent status.

7. Probationary Supervisors

All university support staff in a supervisory position (i.e., those who evaluate other USS employees) are required to complete Introduction to Supervisory Training or its equivalent before receiving permanent status.

Annual Reviews

Annual reviews are required for each regular USS employee and are due between November 1 and January 31.

Special Reviews

A special review may be made at any time to gauge the level of performance or to improve that performance. When appropriate, a special review may be conducted to increase or decrease a rating. A special review will not change the annual review due date which will remain due between November 1 and January 31.

.050 Less than Meets Expectations Work Performance

Probationary Employees

If overall performance is rated less than "Meets Expectations" at the end of any probation period, the employee shall not be granted permanent status.

The department may request that the Vice President for Human Resources dismiss a probationary employee on an original appointment for not meeting the work requirements or for other good cause, such as conduct, at any time. In addition to completing the Performance Management Process Form, the supervisor shall notify the employee in writing, on or before the date of dismissal of a) the reason for the dismissal and b) the effective date. The notice shall give the employee the opportunity to respond in writing or to appear before the Vice President for Human Resources or his/her representative. (For initial probationary employees, the department head is designated as the Vice President's representative.) A copy of the dismissal notice and the completed Performance Management Process Form shall immediately be sent to the Vice President for Human Resources. The opportunity given the employee to appear or to respond in writing shall not be construed as a limitation on the authority of the Vice President for Human Resources to dismiss the probationary employee.

Permanent Employees

When a permanent USS employee's work performance deteriorates or does not meet the key requirements of the job, the supervisor will coach the employee with the stated objective of improving the employee's future performance. The steps below are to be followed to encourage improved performance:

1. Feedback session

Confer privately with the employee. Use the performance criteria listed on the Employee Performance Review to guide the discussion. Communicate what level of performance is expected and document the recommendation to enhance employee performance.

Ask if mitigating circumstances may have affected work performance. Involve the employee in developing solutions, setting priorities, and establishing a timeline for improvement.

2. Recommendation to Enhance Employee Performance

Within one week, provide the employee written recommendations to enhance employee performance that reflect the areas needing improvement. Include the goals, steps for improvement, and timelines. The recommendation must state that without such improvement, the employee may be placed on a special performance review.  The recommendation must also state that without such improvement disciplinary action (suspension, demotion, or dismissal) may ultimately be recommended.  Any recommendation for disciplinary action must be reviewed and approved by the department head prior to delivery to the employee.

3. "Special" Performance Review and Rating

If, after a reasonable period of time following the feedback session (normally 30 to 45 days), the work performance remains less than “Meets Expectations,” a "special" performance review shall be prepared and a planning discussion held. Special review periods can be either 30, 60, or 90 days in length and frequent feedback sessions must be held and documented. If the special review period is 30 days in length, the feedback sessions must occur weekly; if 60 or 90 days in length, the feedback sessions must occur biweekly. At the end of the special review period, the supervisor will assign a rating, have the reviewer sign the review and then meet with the employee to provide the final rating. The supervisor will confer with the staff in Human Resources before discussing a less than “Meets Expectations” rating with the employee. (Note: The employee's signature acknowledges receipt of the review and the rating; it does not imply agreement.) Recommendations may be extended and/or revised for the upcoming rating period.

4. Subsequent "Special" Performance Review and Rating

A minimum of 30 calendar days must elapse before the next "special" performance review may be conducted. If the performance has improved a rating other than "Unsatisfactory" or “Needs Improvement” will be reported; if performance has not improved, an "Unsatisfactory" or “Needs Improvement”rating will be given.

5. Decision-making Leave, Demotion or Dismissal

If the employee has received two performance review ratings of less than “Meets Expectations” in the 180 calendar days immediately preceding the effective date of the proposed action, the department head may recommend decision-making leave, demotion, or dismissal of a regular employee for deficiencies in work performance. The second performance review with a rating of less than “Meets Expectations” will be forwarded to the Vice President for Human Resources with the department's written recommendation.

When a proposed decision-making leave, demotion or dismissal is based upon two less than "Meets Expectations" performance reviews, the employee may appeal either the second review or the proposed action, but may not appeal both the review and the proposed disciplinary action within the University.

Reasons for Less than Meets Expectations Rating

The following deficiencies in work performance may lead to a "Unsatisfactory" or "Needs Improvement" performance rating and decision-making leave, demotion, or dismissal:

  1. Inefficiency, incompetence, or inability to perform the duties;
  2. Negligence in the performance of duties;
  3. Careless, negligent, or improper use of university property;
  4. Failure to maintain satisfactory and harmonious relationships with the public and fellow employees;
  5. Habitual or flagrantly improper use of leave privileges;
  6. A habitual pattern of failure to report for duty at the assigned time and place or to remain on duty;
  7. Failure to obtain or maintain a current license or certificate or other authorization required to practice a trade, conduct a business, or practice a profession.

Employees who receive an unsatisfactory rating on either of the essential requirements set out on the form (dependability or K-State values) must receive an overall performance rating of "Unsatisfactory."

Personal conduct detrimental to state service may also result in decision-making leave, demotion, or dismissal. The grounds for such actions are discussed in PPM Chapter 4020, Positive Discipline of University Support Staff.

.060 Performance Review Appeals

Probationary Employees

A probationary employee on an original appointment (i.e., a new hire) cannot appeal a review rating. However, an employee serving probation as a result of a promotion, a reclassification, or a reinstatement shall have the same appeal rights as an employee with permanent status if the employee had permanent status in the prior position.

Permanent Employees

A permanent USS employee may, within seven calendar days after having the opportunity to sign the Performance Management Process Form, appeal an overall rating other than "Exceptional." That appeal should be submitted in writing to Human Resources, who will mediate the issue if both the employee and the rater are willing.

If mediation is refused or if it is unsuccessful, the appeal will be referred to the KSU University Support Staff Peer Review Committee (PRC). That Committee is appointed by the Vice President for Human Resources to hear USS employee appeals. The Committee will consider evidence offered by the employee and the manager (supervisor), as well as any evidence the committee has requested. After deliberating, the PRC will assign a rating within 10 calendar days of the hearing date. The rating is final and not subject to further appeal.

Please refer to PPM Chapter 4030, University Support Staff Peer Review Committee Hearing Process, for further information about the appeal process.

.070 State of Kansas Performance Management Process Form Instructions

Identification Information

Complete the identification information (i.e., Employee Name, Person Completing Review, Employee ID, Agency Name, Job Title, Position Number, Timeframe being Evaluated and Review Type) at the beginning of the review period.

The Date of this Review and the Overall Performance Rating is identified by the supervisor at the end of the review period.

Part 1: Performance Planning

Identify S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based) objectives for the employee based on the supervisor/employee performance planning discussion. S.M.A.R.T. objectives define "WHAT" job responsibilities (tasks) that need to be achieved throughout the review period using skills and knowledge.

Write a performance objective so that both parties understand its meaning and will know whether progress has been made or whether objective has been reached. In setting the objectives, be as specific as possible using quantitative (e.g., numbers, data, quotas, dates) and/or qualitative measures. The number of objectives should be based on the outcomes of the performance planning discussion; objectives may be added and/or modified as necessary throughout the review period.

Performance Planning — Competency

Competencies describe, very specifically, the skills, behaviors, and personal characteristics the employee is expected to exhibit in accomplishing job responsibilities.

Select and mark the competencies that the employee will be rated on; it is not necessary for every employee to be rated on all competencies. Suggest a project or on-the-job activities the employee can engage in to help develop the selected competencies.

On-Going Feedback and Coaching Process

During the review period, performance coaching will provide the employee and the supervisor with an opportunity to discuss progress against objectives, review demonstration of competencies and determine if any objectives should be modified before the final review at the end of the performance management cycle. This feedback may be documented on the optional "On-going Coaching and Feedback Discussion” form or other method. Attach this documentation to the Performance Review Form when submitted to Human Resources at the end of the review period.

Mid-Review Discussion

Document progress against the Objectives and Competencies as defined in the Performance Planning process. Be as specific as possible about the employee's actual performance to date, documenting specific observable results wherever possible, and add qualitative information or feedback whenever helpful. Valid updates to employee's objectives which are based on changes in the unit or department needs, may also be documented in this section. This discussion may be documented on the optional “Mid-Review Discussion” form or other method. This documentation should be attached to the Performance Review Form and submitted to Human Resources at the end of the review period.

Essential Requirements

Dependability and K-State Values are essential requirements - basic behaviors that are critical to K-State operations.

Dependability: Recognizes responsibilities to K-State and applies effective work habits and attitudes to meet work requirements. Accomplishes tasks by showing concern for all aspects of the job and manages workload or completes tasks in a timely manner.

K-State Values: Individuals adhering to K-State values align their actions with high standards of conduct, accept responsibility for behavior and exhibit personal integrity at all times. Acts as a role model for other employees and does the right thing. Individual does not waste resources (i.e., time, material). Refer to the K-State Principles of Community for further guidance.

An unsatisfactory rating in dependability or K-State values will result in an overall performance rating of "Unsatisfactory."

Considering the level the employee typically or consistently operates at, check the box which best describes his/her behavior for the competency.

Summary Discussion Points

Based upon ratings in the previous sections, identify the employee's major strengths in this job, and areas for improvement. Include any additional accomplishments. Comments will help focus year end performance review discussion and help prioritize relevant objectives and development priorities for the coming year.

.080 Overall Rating

At the end of the review period, assign a rating to each of the objectives, rate core competencies and essential requirements and provide overall employee performance comments. The objectives ratings and other documentation on the form will substantiate the overall rating.

Authority for deciding the overall rating ultimately rests with the supervisor. The employee's signature does not necessarily signify agreement.

Annual Performance Review: Overall Performance Review Rating

Indicate which level most appropriately describes the overall performance level of the individual. Add any comments to clarify the Overall Rating (may include unique circumstances, relevant career objectives, or other considerations).

Overall Performance Level:

An overall rating of Exceptional, Exceeds Expectations, Meets Expectations, Needs Improvement or Unsatisfactory is assigned upon completion of any review type. The rating shall be substantiated by overall objectives, competencies, essential requirements, accomplishments and other documentation on the Performance Management Process Form.

Exceptional: Performance far exceeded expectations. An employee performing at this level should be performing at a significantly higher level than those who Exceed Expectations. Only a small percentage of employees will achieve this level of performance.

Exceeds Expectations: Performance consistently exceeded expectations. An employee performing at this level should truly be performing above and beyond what was agreed to as their objectives and other performance criteria (i.e. employee took on additional duties beyond what was agreed upon or completed duties significantly better than was expected).

Meets Expectations: Performance consistently meets expectations. An employee who completes all of the objectives and competencies identified at the beginning of the review period is performing at this level. The majority of employees will perform at this level.

Needs Improvement: Performance did not meet expectations. An employee performing at this level is inconsistent in performance. Employee sometimes meets expectations and requirements. Continual improvement is required to fully meet expectations.

Unsatisfactory: Performance is consistently below expectations.Immediate improvement is required.

A new employee who receives an "Unsatisfactory" rating prior to the end of his or her probationary period will not be granted permanent status. If an employee is serving an initial probationary period, permanent status will not be granted and the employee will be dismissed.

.090 Completion of Form/Process

Individual departments are responsible for tracking due dates of performance reviews and for ensuring their timely completion through the utilization of a standard report from the Human Resource Information System (HRIS).

Within first 30 days of review period (generally January):

The supervisor and employee establish objectives, identify competencies that will be rated and discuss essential requirements. After the performance planning discussion, the employee and supervisor sign and date the Performance Planning Discussion signature block on the form.

Throughout the review period:

One-on-one meetings are held with the employee to discuss progress on performance objectives and competencies. Constructive feedback, both positive and negative, is provided to help the employee grow and develop. In addition, employee contributes information regarding activities being performed.

April 1 – June 30:

Mid-Review Discussion (face-to-face meeting between supervisor and employee) occurs each year between April 1 and June 30. The date the discussion occurred and the discussion details are documented on the Mid-Review Discussion form or by some other method. The employee and the supervisor sign and date the Mid-Review Discussion signature block.

 For probationary reviews, the Mid-Review Discussion takes place at the mid-point (typically three months.)

November 1 – January 31:

Annual performance review occurs each year between November 1 and January 31. The Supervisor assigns overall rating, has the reviewer sign the review, and conducts final review conference with the employee. If an immediate supervisor has not supervised an employee for at least 90 days, the performance review must be completed by another qualified employee.

 Prior to the final review conference between the supervisor and the employee, the supervisor (manager) and reviewer, (normally the supervisor's manager), sign and date the End of Review Performance Discussion signature block on the form. After the final review conference, the employee signs and dates the form.

 Prior to the last day of the review period, completed form is submitted to the department personnel specialist who forwards the form to Human Resources.

 Recognizing an employee's performance reinforces continued success. Non-monetary rewards include a thank-you card, certificate of appreciation, or a small token of appreciation, etc.

.100 Submission of Form

The Performance Management Process Form must be submitted through the department HR Liaison to Human Resources. The supervisor and the employee should each retain a copy of the review form. (Note: No written comments or attachments may be submitted as part of a review if they have not been shared with the employee.)

Human Resources reviews the document for completeness and then enters the overall performance rating into the Human Resource Information System. The review becomes part of the employee's official personnel file. All annual reviews are due in Human Resources by January 31 for the preceding year; tardy submissions are to be avoided.

.110 Questions

Human Resources (HR) is responsible for this policy. The Vice President or designee must approve any exception to this policy or related procedures. Questions should be directed to Human Resources at 785-532-6277 or hr@ksu.edu.