The Human Resources Department acts as a resource on a full spectrum of HR matters, such as management practices, performance management, labor relations, policies and procedures.  We are dedicated to the enhancement of a quality working environment for employees by encouraging positive communication between employees and managers.

Managing staff performance is one of the most critical responsibilities for managers. Effective performance management is an important tool in capitalizing on your team’s skills and competencies. Performance management is not just the annual performance review; the process includes:

  • goal setting and setting reasonable expectations
  • providing ongoing feedback and coaching
  • handling the disciplinary process effectively while treating employees with respect
  • conducting thoughtful, clear and meaningful performance reviews

The university depends upon and invests in performance excellence from its employee’s in achievement of its strategic objectives. The fulfillment of the university’s mission demands not only unqualified commitment to performance excellence but effective, efficient performance management methodology and process. In furtherance thereof, the university administers performance evaluation programs in accordance with collective bargaining provisions, as applicable, and the parameter of its performance management program.

The evaluation program and process are designed to facilitate ongoing communication and participation of employees in the performance management process, establish accountability for performance and links compensation to performance as applicable.

The essential parameters of performance evaluation include performance planning, performance coaching, and performance evaluation. The evaluation process involves an opportunity for an employee’s self-assessment. This is designed to provide the evaluator with a direct indication of the employees understanding of his/her positional expectations, professional maturity and investment in critical self-assessment as a means to performance enhancement. Its purpose is improved communication and notice of the employee’s perspective.

The evaluation by the supervisor culminates the planning and performance process for the record, focusing on core, functional and leadership competencies applicable to the position, along with the translation of those competencies to previously set and position inherent goals, objectives, responsibilities and expectations.

Under the evaluation process, the evaluator reviews the incumbent’s performance relative to necessary, prescribed competencies and the charted and inherent performance agenda over the previous performance period. Where an incumbent has either exceeded or fallen short of performance expectancies, a narrative explanation is mandatory.

The evaluation(s) shall be reviewed by the evaluator’s supervisors as applicable at division and vice president level for concurrence, comment or rejection.

While performance management is a continual process, periodic performance review, amendments, adjustments and re- visitation of charted and inherent goals and objectives is not only sensible it is necessary to ensure focused, quality performance, maintaining the integrity of the university’s employment contract policy.

Performance planning shall generally be annualized although shorter or lengthier terms are appropriate where noticed to the employee and approved by the university.

Evaluations are to be conducted at least annually. Evaluations may be conducted more often where certain performance characteristics or aptitudes are determined by the performance manager to be in need of formal, recorded review.

Formal annual evaluation should be completed and submitted for contractual employment and/or performance based compensation consideration in line with the timelines prescribed under the specific collective bargaining unit agreement for unionized employees and under the performance management program for non-aligned employees.

Performance evaluation forms can be accessed at:

Performance Evaluation Competencies Dictionary

  1. PSA Evaluation Form — Please note that the PSA performance evaluation process and form is now web based and can be accessed through the Highlander Pipeline via “Faculty and Staff Services/Human Resource Services/Performance Management Applications”
  2. OPEIU Evaluation Form
  3. OPEIU Security Officer Evaluation
  4. SOA Evaluation
  5. FOP Lieutenants Evaluation
  6. UCAN Evaluation
  7. Non-Aligned Evaluation — Please note that the Non-Aligned Performance Review process and form is now web based and can be accessed through the Highlander Pipeline via “Faculty and Staff Services/Human Resource Services/Performance Management Applications”

When a staff member’s performance, behavior or attendance is unsatisfactory, the supervisor must advise the employee of the issue(s) and give him/her an appropriate opportunity to improve to an acceptable level through performance improvement measures, such as progressive discipline, subject to collectively negotiated procedures, if applicable.

The university encourages supervisors to use proactive and progressive action whenever possible to improve performance, however depending on the nature, frequency, and severity of the issues, a supervisor has the freedom to determine what progressive actions are necessary and to take the action deemed to be appropriate under the circumstances.

Consultation with Human Resources is strongly advised prior to instituting progressive discipline.


Steps in Progressive Discipline

Counseling Memo – is a formal documented conversation between a supervisor and an employee used to inform the employee that an issue exists with his/her performance, attendance, or behavior and to detail the precise action needed by the employee to address and correct the identified issues. It is often the first action taken when workplace issues arise. 

Written Reprimand – is a serious, formal, documented discussion between a supervisor and an employee used to inform an employee about his or her unsatisfactory performance, attendance, or behavior and to detail specific improvements that are needed. A Written Reprimand may be used:

  1. When a Counseling Memo has not been effective in bringing about identified performance improvements.
  2. To address repeated and/or ongoing work-related issue(s).
  3. As the first action taken in the progressive disciplinary process when the performance, behavior, or attendance issue or circumstances warrant(s) this response.

Suspension – is an involuntary, short-term dismissal from the workplace that is unpaid.. Suspension is generally for a period of one to ten working days. The length of suspension is dependent upon the nature and severity of the infraction or violation. A suspension may be used:

  1. When a Counseling Memo and/or a Written Reprimand has/have not been effective in bringing about identified performance improvements.
  2. To address repeated and/or ongoing work-related issue(s).
  3. As the first action taken in the progressive discipline process when the performance, behavior, or attendance issue or circumstances is serious enough to warrant this response.

Termination of Employment – is defined as an involuntary permanent dismissal from the workplace when:

  • An employee fails to improve his or her performance, attendance, or behavior through the prior steps of progressive discipline, including a Performance Improvement Plan, if applicable (see below) or
  • Immediately, without prior notice or without prior progressive discipline, in instances of gross misconduct or serious negligence or circumstances under which the supervisor, in consultation with the HR Director, determines that the nature, frequency or severity of the work-related problem warrants such action.

Gross Misconduct or Serious Negligence – is defined as any behavior(s), action(s) or lack of action by an employee, that warrant(s) serious disciplinary action.  Examples include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Insubordination, which is defined as refusal to carry out a specific, legal, and work-related directive or request issued by an appropriate manager.
  • Inappropriate or unauthorized release, discussion, or disclosure of confidential information.
  • Unauthorized possession, use, theft, or damage to property of the university, fellow employees, students or visitors.
  • Unauthorized possession, use, consumption, sale, or transfer of illegal drugs, weapons, or explosives on university property or while fulfilling the duties of a university employee.
  • Reporting to work under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
  • Falsifying and/or omitting information on university records and/or requests for information, including but not limited to employment applications, time and attendance records.
  • Sleeping while on work time.
  • Actual or threatened violence in the workplace.

Performance Improvement Plans

When an employee’s performance is below expectation, the supervisor should consider placing that employee on a Performance Improvement Plan, which will detail the expectations for the employee and set structured measurable goals for improvement.

Example of Performance Improvement Plan

The HR Director can assist you in developing a performance improvement plan.