Table of Contents
SECTION 1: PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM................................................................................. 3
SECTION 2: GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT ................................................... 8
SECTION 3: PERFORMANCE PLANNING............................................................................................................ 10
SECTION 4: DOCUMENTING PERFORMANCE .................................................................................................. 13
SECTION 5: MEASURING RESULTS THROUGH CRITICAL INCIDENTS ....................................................... 16
SECTION 6: PROVIDING PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK AND COACHING..................................................... 19
SECTION 7: NMSU POLICY & UNION AGREEMENT ........................................................................................ 22
SECTION 8: THE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN ............................................................................... 23
SECTION 9: GUIDE TOWARD MORE EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS ............................................ 25
January 2009 Page 2
SECTION 1: PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Performance Management is a collaborative initiative designed to advance the university’s
mission by aligning individual contributions with university goals; it is possibly the most powerful
management tool available to our institution. Performance Management is a partnership
between a supervisor and an employee utilizing the concepts of coaching, supporting and
Key Role of Supervisor: To get things done through others, and to motivate and inspire
employees. This involves doing everything you can to help employees be successful. To fulfill
this role, supervisors need to manage performance and provide every opportunity for the
employee to succeed.
Most supervisors begin to document performance problems only when they are
building a case for dismissal. – This is definitely NOT performance management.
Characteristics of the NMSU Performance Management Program
♦ Reinforces the values, mission, and goals of the organization; links employee objectives and
behaviors to the organization’s strategic focus.
♦ Includes training in performance management for every employee.
♦ Established core competencies are emphasized and discussed with employees.
♦ Ensures employees are familiar with the expectations of the organization and their
supervisors, the goals they are expected to meet, and the criteria that will be used to
evaluate their performance.
♦ Goals and expectations are discussed when an employee is hired, promoted, reassigned, or
given new job tasks, as well as on a regular basis.
♦ Employees are actively involved in setting goals and evaluating progress and performance.
♦ Supervisors acknowledge good performance immediately, reinforcing desired behaviors and
performance, and address problems as they arise.
♦ Supervisors observe and record specific examples (critical incidents) as they occur.
♦ Documentation is an ongoing process that provides a comprehensive, detailed, and
accurate picture of the employee’s performance over time.
♦ Involves continuous monitoring, coaching and feedback.
♦ Includes self-evaluation by employees who have an understanding of their place in the
organization and their contributions to its success.
♦ Encourages supervisors to solicit input from other individuals who have frequent interaction
with and observation of an employee’s performance.
♦ Supervisors listen carefully and keep communications open- employees are encouraged to
♦ The formal evaluation becomes a summary of ongoing performance discussions; it should
hold no surprises.
“Performance Management is a Process; Not an Event”
January 2009 Page 3
Benefits of Performance Management
For employees, performance management provides an opportunity to:
♦ Participate in establishing clear, understandable standards, goals and objectives
♦ Make sure they understand the supervisor’s expectations
♦ Hear how they are doing
♦ Receive praise for what they are doing well and correct undesirable behavior before
it becomes a problem
♦ Learn how to improve problem areas
♦ Solicit help from their supervisor in meeting organizational goals and standards
♦ Identify strategies for working toward career goals
♦ Identify professional development opportunities
For supervisors, performance management provides an opportunity to:
♦ Build positive working relationships with employees
♦ Communicate expectations
♦ Document and assess employee strengths and weaknesses
♦ Plan and organize work according to employee strengths and weaknesses
♦ Reinforce positive behaviors
♦ Provide frequent coaching and feedback
♦ Recognize outstanding performance and manage poor performance
♦ Address problem areas, identify underlying causes and/or obstacles, and develop
solutions- improve efficiency and effectiveness of work groups
♦ Identify training needs
♦ Develop employee’s skills and abilities
♦ Establish a climate for success
For NMSU, performance management provides an opportunity to:
♦ Reinforce organizational values and foster a positive organizational culture
♦ Inspires employee commitment and improves employee satisfaction, morale and
♦ Maximize contributions of employees
♦ Establish accountability for supervisors and employees
♦ Determine appropriate staffing levels
♦ Identify high-potential employees- succession planning and promotions
January 2009 Page 4
♦ Reduce employee dissatisfaction and turnover
♦ Promote organizational change and development
♦ Reward performance based on merit
♦ Make fair, objective, and legal personnel decisions
♦ Document personnel decisions and actions
♦ Identify concerns or problems
Performance Management – Key Elements
This graphic depicts the yearly process, starting at the top, with six key elements. Each element
represents one of the key interconnected components of the performance management
January 2009 Page 5
Performance management is an on-going process, rather than a yearly chore, culminating with
the annual Performance evaluation. Performance management is the systematic process of:
• Planning work, setting expectations and goal setting
• Continually monitoring and documenting performance
• Coaching & developing the capacity to perform and career advancement
• Evaluate (rate) performance (mid-year and annual evaluations)
• Communicate performance ratings to employee
• Rewarding good performance
PLANNING means setting performance expectations and goals to channel employees’ efforts
and contributions toward achieving organizational objectives and personal growth. Getting
employees involved in the planning process will help them understand the goals of the
organization, what needs to be done, why it needs to be done, and how it should be done.
Performance elements and standards should be measurable, understandable, verifiable,
equitable, and achievable. Through critical elements and core competencies, employees are
held accountable as individuals for work assignments or responsibilities. Recognition is given to
not only what is accomplished (goals and tasks), but also, how the employee went about
accomplishing goals and tasks (behaviors). Employee performance plans should be flexible so
that they can be adjusted for changing program objectives and work requirements. When used
effectively, these plans can be beneficial working documents that are discussed often, and not
merely paperwork that is filed in a drawer and seen only when performance evaluations are
MONITORING means frequently observing employees in their work performance, consistently
measuring performance, recording specific examples of performance as they occur, and
providing ongoing feedback to employees on progress made toward reaching their goals.
Ongoing monitoring provides the supervisor the opportunity to check how well employees are
meeting predetermined standards, make changes to unrealistic or problematic standards and
goals, and identify and eliminate obstacles. By monitoring continually, supervisors can identify
unacceptable performance and behaviors at any time during the evaluation period and provide
assistance to address any problems immediately. Supervisors can also identify and recognize
strong performance, reinforcing it to continue.
COACHING AND DEVELOPING means showing interest in helping employees succeed, and
providing frequent feedback on performance. It means increasing the capacity to perform
through training and giving assignments that introduce new skills or higher levels of
responsibility. Carrying out the process of performance management provides an excellent
opportunity for supervisors and employees to identify developmental needs. Providing
employees with training and developmental opportunities encourages good performance,
strengthens job-related skills and competencies, and helps employees keep up with changes in
the workplace, such as introduction to new technology.
EVALUATING or rating performance helps with comparing performance over time or across a
set of employees. Organizations need to know who their best performers are. The
performance evaluation measures employee performance against the elements and standards
in an employee’s performance plan and assigns a summary rating of record. Annual
performance evaluations should also incorporate information obtained through 360 degree
(peer) feedback and employee self-evaluation. Employees should be encouraged to not only
January 2009 Page 6
engage in self-evaluation; but, also to tell the supervisor how they can help them perform better,
and how much cooperation they get from their peers. Evaluations should be thorough and
comprehensive capturing work performed during the entire evaluation period, and they should
have a bearing on personnel actions, such as merit pay increases or awards.
COMMUNICATE performance ratings to the employee. The supervisor should schedule
sufficient, uninterrupted time for the performance discussion with the employee. Last minute or
rushed performance discussions may result in ineffective and incomplete reviews.
Performance discussions should be done with, not to, the employee.
REWARDING is recognition of employees’ performance and acknowledgement of their
contributions to the university’s mission. A basic principle of effective performance
management is that all behavior is controlled by its consequences. Those consequences can
and should be both formal and informal and both positive and negative.
Good managers don’t wait for their organization to solicit nominations for formal awards before
recognizing good performance. Recognition is an ongoing, natural part of day-to-day
experiences. A lot of actions that reward good performance, like saying “thank you” and “good
job” are excellent employee motivators. Supervisors should look for opportunities to catch
employees doing good things.
"... a primary reason why most managers do not more frequently reward and
recognize employees is that they lack the time and creativity to come up with
ways to do it." - - Bob Nelson
January 2009 Page 7
SECTION 2: GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
View Performance Management as a Valuable Tool, Not as an Evil
When used constructively, performance measurement is an invaluable feedback tool that
provides information to supervisors and employees about how well they are doing in reaching
their goals and where they might have room for improvement. Performance management helps
the individual and organization grow. It is one of the most important responsibilities of a
supervisor, requiring a significant time investment.
Measure What is Important – Not What is Easy to Measure
It is easy to count the number of days since a project began, but if that is all that you measure,
is that enough information to assess performance? Probably not in most cases. Or if, for
example, a customer service unit only measures the number of calls that come in or
transactions (the easy measure), and does not attempt to measure customer satisfaction with its
service (the more difficult measure), the employees do not have complete information about
their performance or what is important. In addition, because of what is being measured, the
employees will probably focus on how they can increase the number of calls received and
ignore the quality of service they provide.
As a result, think about the behavioral and unintended consequences of measuring
performance. If you are measuring the number of calls or transactions completed and
employees shorten their conversation and efforts in assisting the customer to attain a log of
more calls or transactions, customer dissatisfaction will likely occur.
Develop Performance Plans and Standards that are Flexible and Reasonable.
Do not design performance plans that are set in concrete; build in flexibility so you can adjust
them as program goals, work assignments and priorities change. Also, establish performance
standards that can reasonably be achieved… not too high, not too low. Setting too high of
standards will set many employees up for failure and cause disappointment for the supervisor.
Rely on Multiple Measures Whenever Possible.
Remember the story of the three blind men who went for a walk and came across an elephant?
One of the men felt the animal’s trunk and claimed that the elephant was like a large snake.
Another explored the elephant’s leg and claimed that the elephant was like a big tree trunk. The
third blind man touched the elephant’s side and said that the elephant was like a tall, wide wall.
Each one was relying on only one measure from one perspective. If the measures had been
used together, the three men would have had a more accurate picture of the elephant.
When possible, solicit information on employees’ performance from other individuals that have
opportunities to frequently interact with and observe an employee’s performance. And, again,
measure not only what employees accomplish, but also, how employees go about
accomplishing the task. If you focus solely on goal attainment, half the picture is missing. Also,
have employees evaluate their own performance.
Demonstrate that Performance Matters.
Not only should employees perceive that performance measurement and management is
important, but also management must demonstrate that performance matters. When
management tolerated poor or mediocre performance in the past and employees see that the
January 2009 Page 8
new performance measurement system has not changed the situation, employees know that
performance is not important, despite the new system. Rating all employees equally when it is
clear to you and your employees that someone is not pulling their weight will send the message
that performance is not important.
Also, supervisors should set the example and be held to higher performance standards.
Let’s look at a more detailed description of the NMSU Performance Management Program.
January 2009 Page 9
SECTION 3: PERFORMANCE PLANNING
Using standards and goals that have been set in advance gives a much better and fairer sense
of the employee’s performance because it provides a means of measuring performance against
what was needed and expected.
Understanding performance standards and setting goals
1. Meeting between supervisor and employee or group of employees.
2. Discuss standards and how they align with NMSU vision.
3. Agree on a purpose statement, which defines the reason the job exists.
4. Identify the major job segments, functions, tasks or recent significant changes.
5. Prioritize job segments, functions, or tasks.
6. Determine the criteria that will be used to assess whether the job segment, function or
task was done adequately.
Both employee and supervisor must be honest, tactful, and flexible .
View as an opportunity to build an environment conducive to achieving common g oals and for
solving mutual problems.
Performance Standards and Goals
The evaluation system is divided into two sections: Standards and Goals.
Written guidelines of what is expected Developed for each employee
of all positions
The same within each level of positions Focus on activities defined in the job
Describes specific levels for standards Set priorities
Measure performance by set categories Help by specifically stating desired,
measurable, relevant outcomes
Focus on organizational needs Challenge or broaden skills and
Written for each job Written for each employee
Measure expected level of performance Challenge or stretch abilities
Focus only on activities defined in the May focus on activities outside the
job analysis current job
January 2009 Page 10
We’ll examine the Standards first.
Core Competencies or Standards – Non-exempt Staff:
Quantity of work
Time & task management
Attendance and punctuality
Core Competencies or Standards – Exempt Staff:
The following uniform, university wide core competencies have been established for
Dependability & reliability
Adherence to organizational and university policies
Contribution to efficient operation
Supports organizational goals
Standards are included in every employee performance evaluation form and must be
considered the foundation of all evaluations.
Additionally, each employee should be provided with job specific SMART GOALS for the review
Specific – they precisely define the work involved
Measurable – quantitative, qualitative, and timely
Agreed – both supervisor and employee are committed
Realistic – an acceptable but stretching challenge
Timed – specify completion and review dates
There are five types of goals and objectives:
To achieve routine work assignments
To resolve identified problems
To support innovation
For professional development
To support institutional or departmental goals
January 2009 Page 11
Supervisor and employee should set goals collaboratively.
Employees should be encouraged to accept goals that are ambitious.
Be aware, that the fear of being punished for not meeting goals may encourage
employees to negotiate easily attainable, mediocre goals, which do little to encourage
The more employees understand how their jobs fit into the big picture, the better
they’ll understand the value of each task – and the importance of doing it well.
Goal statements should include:
♦ What is to be accomplished (e.g. develop a vehicle maintenance plan)
♦ How it is to be accomplished (e.g. by completing a study of fleet maintenance
♦ When it is to be completed (e.g. by July 2002)
How Many Goals?
The number of goals to be set depends on the supervisor’s style and the purpose and urgency
of the goals.
♦ Use goals to outline major job responsibilities or
♦ Write 2-3 goals intended to encourage employee to learn a new skill or take on new
January 2009 Page 12
SECTION 4: DOCUMENTING PERFORMANCE
Assume for a moment that you have several employees whose
work meets the standards you have set. When a job for a team
leader comes up you promote the employee who is best qualified
for the job. Disgruntled, one of the employees files a complaint
arguing discrimination on the bases of age, sex, race, disability, or
any number of other reasons. He cites the fact that he has been
with the government for a longer period of time than the newly
promoted employee and claims that you have never promoted
anyone over the age of 40. Although it is true that no older
employee has been promoted, age had nothing to do with your
decision; the other employee simply has better leadership and
management skills. Most of the employees on your team are
young, often just out of college, and are promoted long before 40.
But without documentation, you can’t prove it!
Our court system protects employees from being discriminated against by requiring an
organization to be able to prove that personnel decisions are being made on the basis of
Documentation is the key
Being able to support your decisions is just one of the many reasons for maintaining complete
and accurate performance records.
Supervisors who fail to document performance are likely to over emphasize major successes or
recent events and will be unable to accurately recall specific examples of earlier behavior.
Good record keeping helps supervisors praise employees for exemplary work, point out
mistakes, and offer suggestions for how to improve and grow on the job.
You don’t need and elaborate documentation system, but you should have a way to keep track
of significant events, milestones, and facts.
Properly written documentation significantly increases the possibility that the employee will
change behavior to meet expectations. Because proper documentation focuses on the job
related problem and not the personality or emotion, the employee is much more likely to
January 2009 Page 13
Six Steps for Documenting Performance
1. Set up and maintain a performance file for each employee.
2. Record critical incidents.
3. Track both positive and negative incidents.
4. Use forms, time sheets, project schedules, and other record keeping tools.
5. Update records frequently.
6. Involve employees in documenting their own performance.
When documenting, stick to the facts: What, When, Why, Where, Who, & How
Example based on conclusions:
“Your report was late. It was the worst report I’ve read in years. It left out all the
important information. There was no way I could release it to the Committee.”
Example base on FACTS:
Your report was due on January 11. On January 10, you assured me you were almost
done writing it. I received your report on January 14. When I asked you why it was late,
you told me, “Deadlines are so artificial. What’s a day here or there?”
When I read the report, I found seven misspelled words. The pages were numbered 1,
2, 3, 7, 9, and 12. The report did not have an executive summary, as required by the
Committee. It also did not include a financial analysis. My December 12 memo to you
stated, “The committee report must include a detailed financial analysis.”
Use your Five Senses
To successfully document employee behavior, you must describe your direct
observations of the behavior or record the direct observations of others. A good way
to make sure you deal with the facts is to limit yourself by focusing on your five senses.
• I saw…
• I heard…
• I touched…
• I smelled…
• I tasted…
“I say you report to your workstation at 8:10 a.m. You are scheduled to report to work at
8:00. I heard you tell Jane that you overslept because your alarm clock didn’t go off.
This statement is factual. It simply reports your observations.
January 2009 Page 14
The Performance File
The Work Plan: Include job description, performance standards and goals, work plan or
Attendance Records: Use an attendance log. Look for patterns. If you notice a pattern, keep
more detailed records.
Safety Records: Records of accidents and near accidents can help you flag problems. A
poor safety record might mean the employee needs more or better
training, is ignoring safety procedures, or is working with substandard
Development: Continuing education courses taken, training programs attended,
coaching and mentoring the employee receives.
Poor Performance: Keep copies of written warnings and explanation of oral warnings or
informal discussions/counseling about poor performance.
Or Complaint: Look for information that indicates how the employee’s work is affecting
Production Records: Units of work completed, rates of production, error ratios or other
quantitative measures of performance.
Observations: Critical incident reports or log.
Description of the process or procedure used.
Notes from discussions with the employee about his or her goals,
complaints, likes, and dislikes.
January 2009 Page 15
SECTION 5: MEASURING RESULTS THROUGH CRITICAL INCIDENTS
Supervisors and employees should keep track of critical incidents as they occur through the
rating period. Critical incidents are not limited to negative events. All events that would have a
bearing on the evaluation should be documented.
Recording of actual events that illustrate either good or poor performance.
♦ A task that was done particularly well
♦ A conflict or confrontation with a colleague or citizen
♦ The need for coaching or skills development
The easiest way to keep such a record is for the supervisor to make notes in his/her calendar or
on a form like the one included in this packet. The notes should be short and to the point, such
♦ 10/12/07 8:45 a.m. John arrived 15 minutes late. Counseled him on the
importance of being on time. He said he would try harder.
♦ 1/5/07 4:30 p.m. Told Susan she did an excellent job on the quarterly report.”
Keeping a critical incidents diary is a habit every supervisor must develop to accurately manage
performance and avoid year-end pitfalls in completing performance appraisals. Each critical
incident can then be tied back to a competency or goal. View the following examples.
Competency: Work Relations/Departmental Representation
Critical incident: July 29, 2007, Message form clerk at legal thanking Laura for her help
Critical incident: October 26, 2007. Mr. Perea very upset with selection process. Explained
reason for successful application. Left satisfied with explanation.
Competency: Job Knowledge
Critical Incident: Asked Kim to provide documents in mail merge format. Had to type
Critical Incident: Sept 15, 2007. Continuing communication problem exists in section. Talk
with Pat and wanted issues addressed at staff meeting. No mention at
Oct 1 meeting. Problems persisting.
Critical incident: Nov 23, 2007. Zoning issues a XYZ street continuing. Received call from
citizen, Terry solved by researching proper statutes and explaining
reason to citizen.
Critical incident: May 10, 2007. Payroll reports should have been balanced 24 hours
before checks distribution. Banner down. Pam fixed problem.
Competency: Time and Task Management
Critical incident: June 24, 2007. CDBG report to board done on time with no mistakes
Critical incident: July 16, 2007. PM status reports turned in late and incomplete.
January 2009 Page 16
Critical Incident Report
Employee’s Name: Title/Position: _____
Date of Incident: Time: Location: _____
Date form completed: ____________________
Check one: ( ) Personal Observation
( ) Second-party observation: __________
Description of incident (include specific details about situation, what happened, the
Area of performance affected (What performance goals, standards, rules, procedures,
etc., address this issue?):
Follow-up planned: ( ) No ( ) Yes, describe:
Action taken? ( ) No ( ) Yes, describe:
January 2009 Page 17
Sample Completed Critical Incident Report
Employee’s Name: Jill Scott Title/Position: Part-time Instructor
Date of Incident: 6/12/07 Time:11:00 am Location: Main Campus
Date form completed: 6/13/07
Check one: ( ) Personal Observation
( ) Second-party observation: Discussed with 3 Students
Description of incident (include specific details about situation, what happened, the
It has been reported Jill has, on three occasions, placed “Class Cancelled” notes on the door of
the scheduled classroom. Students have arrived to find the note.
Area of performance affected (What performance goals, standards, rules, procedures,
etc., address this issue?):
Failure to perform essential functions.
Follow-up planned: ( ) No ( ) Yes, describe:
Meet with Jill and provide written documentation that this behavior cannot continue.
At staff meeting will have general discussion with other part-time faculty to make sure this is an
Action taken? ( ) No ( ) Yes, describe:
January 2009 Page 18
SECTION 6: PROVIDING PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK AND COACHING
The effectiveness of performance goals, standards, documentation and appraisals depends on
how information is shared with the employee.
It is an essential supervisory responsibility to help the employee meet performance goals and
♦ Identifying areas that continue to fall short of expectations.
♦ Providing guidance and suggestions for improvement.
♦ Recognizing improvements and success.
♦ Reinforcing positive behaviors.
Pitfalls of Single Annual Appraisal Alone:
♦ Too much information to cover in one meeting.
♦ May overemphasize recent events.
♦ Does little to effect change because change in behavior takes place gradually over
♦ Supervisor has to act as critic, judge, counselor and coach simultaneously.
♦ Anxiety of both sides – employee and supervisor.
Purpose: Aims at improving performance by providing a forum for communication and
Offer solutions to help the employee resolve any problems through the following:
Coaching I will work with you on the next project to help you learn
how to do it.
Training I suggest you take a Word Processing course through
the Customized Training Program.
Resource Person If you have questions about the documents assigned to
you, you may ask Joan to help you or to review your work
before you submit it.
Resource Materials I’m sending you a book that explains the program
January 2009 Page 19
As a supervisor, take action to work toward resolving any performance
improvements issues and communicate what the consequences are of
not meeting established goals and/or objectives.
Follow up I will follow up next week to see if you’re applying the
information from the training you attended.
Counseling I will meet with you in 30 days to see if your attendance
Written Reprimand I am giving you a written reprimand that will be placed
in your personnel file. If you do not meet the objectives
outlined, you will be subject to further disciplinary action,
up to and including termination.
Last-Step Option I am recommending your suspension for three days
without pay beginning Tuesday. If you do not meet the
objectives outlined above, you will be subject to further
disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Steps for Coaching:
1. Observe performance.
♦ Management by walking around.
2. Give prompt and regular feedback.
♦ Good and poor with specific examples.
3. Provide constructive criticism aimed at improvement.
♦ Provide suggestions.
♦ Give employee an opportunity to suggest improvements.
4. Learn about employees’ long and short-term career goals.
5. Encourage creative problem solving.
♦ If creative problem solving is valued, you are less likely to meet with reluctance or
5. Establish two-way rapport and reciprocal feedback.
♦ Learn how you are doing as a supervisor and what you can do to help the employee.
6. Be available.
7. Accommodate different learning styles.
♦ Use a variety of techniques to make sure all employees receive information in a way
they understand it.
January 2009 Page 20
What happens if you don’t coach?
♦ Performs activities in a below-standard manner until finally
poor performance is addressed.
♦ May feel abandoned, frustrated, or set up to fail.
♦ Receives a subtle message that you will view a request for assistance as a lack of
♦ Is not given an opportunity to develop or excel.
♦ Loses confidence in you and begins to see you as someone who doesn’t know how
to do the task or just doesn’t care.
♦ May receive a poor performance review, which proper and timely intervention could
♦ Begin to question your ability to hire competent staff.
♦ Lose credibility with staff who view the employee’s work as poor.
♦ Begin to perform the employee’s work as a way to ensure timeliness or accuracy.
♦ Jump to disciplining the employee without properly exploring other options.
January 2009 Page 21
SECTION 7: NMSU POLICY & UNION AGREEMENT
NMSU Policy and Union Agreement Provisions Related to Performance Management
1. The initial probationary period shall be the first 6 months of service for nonexempt
employees and the first 12 months of service for exempt employees. NMSU policy 8.50 and
Union Agreement Article 10.
2. Adjustments to the probationary period may be requested by the director/department head.
There may be cases in which employees demonstrate exceptional qualities that would
permit a reduction of the probationary period. Conversely, the type of work and an
employee’s performance may demonstrate a need to lengthening the period. Variations are
normally limited to 3 months for nonexempt and 6 months for exempt employees. Any
adjustment should be requested in writing no later than 2 weeks prior to completion of the
probationary period. NMSU policy 8.50.
3. Any exempt employee promoted, transferred or reclassified (voluntarily or involuntarily) will
serve an additional probationary period. NMSU policy 8.50.
4. Prior to completion of the probationary period, the supervisor completes the performance
evaluation form and forwards it trough channels to the Human Resources Office for
inclusion I the employee’s personnel file. NMSU policy 8.50.
5. In the event during the current rating period an employee’s performance deteriorates to a
less than satisfactory level, the supervisor will meet with the employee to discuss the
deficiencies. If a performance evaluation is conducted, the supervisor shall include in the
written performance evaluation: 1) The specific tasks and standards that will assist the
employee in accomplishing overall objectives for the next evaluation period, and 2) any
training needs. Also, if an evaluation is conducted, the standard performance evaluation
form will be used. Union Agreement- Article 21, Section 5.
6. The employee will be given a reasonable amount of time to correct the performance
deficiency before the next performance evaluation is conducted unless the deficient
performance occurs late in the annual evaluation period. Union Agreement- Article 21,
7. The supervisor shall take into account equipment and resource problems, lack of available
training, and other such matters that were outside of an employee’s control. Pre-approved
time away from the job including sick leave, annual leave, comp time off and authorized duty
time for union representational purposes, and other authorized activities will not be
considered negatively in the application of performance elements, but evaluations shall fully
take into account such pre-approved absences in a measure of timeliness and quantity of
work. Union Agreement- Article 21, Section 3.
8. All employees will receive an annual performance evaluation. NMSU policy 8.50 and Union
Agreement Section 21.
9. Mid-year, or more frequent, performance evaluations are permitted. NMSU policy 8.50 and
Union Agreement Article 21.
10. If an nonexempt employee is transferred, he/she shall be given an exit evaluation and it
shall be used in conjunction with his/her new supervisor’s year-end evaluation, unless the
employee has been working under the new supervisor for at least 6 months, in which case
the new supervisor may elect not to use the former supervisor’s evaluation. When both
evaluations are used, the overall ratings may be averaged in accordance with the number of
months evaluated by each supervisor. Union Agreement- Section 4.
11. An evaluation should be completed upon transfer of an exempt employee to a new
organizational unit. NMSU policy 8.50.
January 2009 Page 22
SECTION 8: THE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN
Any problems that aren’t ironed out through periodic reviews and ongoing coaching may require
a written performance improvement plan.
Goals of the Performance Improvement Plan
1. Communicate expectations clearly to employees that performance must improve
2. Invest the employee with a sense of responsibility for his/her own progress
The plan should:
1. Document specific problem areas.
2. Set a day or deadline for results.
3. Communicate the consequences of not improving.
As the supervisor, you are responsible for identifying deficient performance and initiating the
process of planning for results. However, the employee should be involved in developing the
performance improvement plan. Jointly, you and employee should take the following steps:
1. Identify underlying causes or contributing factors.
2. Brainstorm possible solutions.
3. Develop a plan for achieving goals.
4. Monitor and document progress.
Meeting to Develop the Improvement Plan
♦ Encourage open and honest discussion.
♦ Practice active listening skills.
♦ Explain that your purpose is to help the employee improve performance.
♦ Encourage the employee to take responsibility for the problem.
♦ Ask for feedback on how you can help the employee succeed.
Monitoring & Documenting Progress
♦ Observe performance and document progress.
♦ Remind the employee of due dates and help keep the plan on schedule.
♦ Change the plan if circumstances warrant.
♦ Be accessible for assistance and encouragement.
♦ Recognize progress and improvements, no matter how small.
♦ Let the employee know when a satisfactory level of improvement has been reached.
Performance Improvement Plan
Employee Name: Date of Counseling:
Department/Section: Job Title:
1. Statement of the Problem:
2. Action Plan:
What is to be accomplished? When is it to be completed?
3. Dates for Review of Action Plan:
4. Action recommended if change does not occur:
Employee’s Signature: Date:
Supervisor’s Signature: Date:
January 2009 Page 24
SECTION 9: GUIDE TOWARD MORE EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE REVIEWS
1. Don’t let problems fester until the annual review. Give regular feedback. The annual
review is not the place for surprises.
An employee should know at any given point in time how they are doing.
2. Encourage the employee to engage in self-evaluation. Ask them how they are doing,
how you can help them perform better, and how much cooperation they get from their
Ask “What can I do to assist you in meeting your goals and objectives and
support your endeavors to become the very best you can be?
3. Give praise where it is due.
Sometimes we fear that if we praise an employee, he/she will become complacent.
Think about times when you have worked hard or gone the extra mile and no one
seemed to notice. Behavior rewarded it behavior repeated.
4. When it is necessary to give negative feedback, focus the criticism on specific examples
of behavior, not on the individual personality.
Coach and support employees. Share information about what needs to be done,
why it needs to be done, and let the employee take primary responsibility to figure
out how it should be accomplished.
5. Treat the review as only a point in an on-going process. Use it to achieve agreement
about what constitutes satisfactory performance in the future.
Do not allow review conferences to become a “me against you” situation.
Maintain a “we” attitude.”
6. Make feedback a win-win situation.
January 2009 Page 25