3.2 Performance Review for University Staff

(Enacted 6/22/92; amended 1/02; 6/05; 8/05; 2/07; 5/07; 8/13; 4/14; 10/15; 7/1/17; 12/30/20)

Effective December 30, 2020, this policy has been revised. For individual changes, see the redlined version

  1. Purpose:
    1. to establish a method for providing each University staff member with expectations for performance and periodic evaluation of performance;
    2. to facilitate direct communication between supervisors and staff members on performance expectations, achievements, and goal setting;
    3. to recognize the accomplishments and define the educational needs of staff members;
    4. to review the job description duties and assure the necessary resources are available to effectively perform the job duties;
    5. to identify potential career growth opportunities or expanded roles within departmental operations; and
    6. to serve as one criteria for determining discretionary salary increases for staff members in accordance with collegiate and departmental salary policy.
  2. Philosophy. The performance review system facilitates the growth and development of staff members and achievement of institutional goals. It is a continuous process with shared responsibility that begins during onboarding and orientation and continues throughout employment. The actual performance review is a formal opportunity to review and discuss the progress and accomplishments made during the year and to review position expectations and set goals for the coming year. This process should address the University's three Universal Competencies: Collaboration/Positive Impact; Service Excellence/Customer Focus; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. For UI Health Care staff, this process should address the ICARE Core Values: Innovation, Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence. Fundamental principles of the process are to assure appropriate performance, encourage continuous developmental growth, and motivate behavioral change when expectations are not being met. The process should stimulate both oral and written two-way communication, including opportunity for self-appraisal.
    1. Reviews will be based on observable and, when appropriate, measurable outcomes. Reviews must occur no less than annually.
    2. The performance review system will serve to aid managers in decision making with respect to (but not limited to):
      1. achievement of organizational goals and individual goal setting;
      2. performance improvement;
      3. training and coaching;
      4. compensation;
      5. promotion, transfer, and reclassification;
      6. nomination for University and departmental awards;
      7. probationary period; and
      8. disciplinary action.
    3. Each University staff member should be aware of the expectations of their position as well as how they will be evaluated. (See https://hr.uiowa.edu/performance-management.)
    4. The performance review system will serve to aid staff members in the following ways:
      1. as a mechanism to express feedback about their performance;
      2. as an opportunity to list accomplishments for evaluation period;
      3. as an opportunity for coaching;
      4. to provide clear understanding of supervisor’s and unit’s goals for the following year;
      5. as an opportunity to request training in or referral to learning and development opportunities to enhance skills or develop new skills;
      6. as a time for discussion regarding career goals, including referrals to University programs that support staff to achieve career goals; and
      7. as an opportunity to provide feedback on process improvement.
    5. Performance review training, with opportunities for providing both qualitative and quantitative feedback, will be available through UI Learning and Development and through UI Health Care Human Resources.
  3. Policy. Each administrative unit within the University shall demonstrate utilization of a performance management system consistent with the philosophy statement above.

    Deans and vice presidents will be responsible for ensuring that each administrative unit for which they are responsible meets the requirements of this policy. The Chief Human Resources Officer will run annual compliance completion reports for each college or division. Reporting occurs utilizing HR web applications (https://hr.uiowa.edu/imhr). Further, compliance reporting will be considered a part of the evaluation process for every dean, executive officer, manager, or supervisor.

    Each unit, department, division, or college will be responsible for providing support to supervisors in the review of staff members in accordance with University, collegiate, division, and departmental guidelines, and for identifying what latitude there is for creating the unit's own best practices. It is the responsibility of each supervisor to be consistent in the performance review practices with all staff members they supervise. All performance management systems shall be consistent with the philosophy, principles, and characteristics outlined in this University policy on Performance Review. Tools are available at the performance management website.
  4. Procedure. The following steps are a guideline for the performance management process:
    1. The supervisor communicates clear expectations with measurable outcomes to the staff member. This occurs at the beginning of a staff member's employment and continues throughout the year. Job descriptions should be regularly updated and reviewed in concert with the performance review process.
    2. The supervisor collects supportive documentation (both quantitative and qualitative) that provides information about the staff member's performance.
      1. All professional and scientific staff members and merit staff members are also held accountable to meeting three Universal Competencies:
        1. Collaboration/Positive Impact;
        2. Service Excellence/Customer Focus; and
        3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
      2. All UI Health Care professional and scientific and merit staff members are held accountable to the UI Health Care Core Values:
        1. Innovation: We seek creative ways to solve problems.
        2. Collaboration: We believe teamwork is the best way to work.
        3. Accountability: We behave ethically, act openly and with integrity in all that we do, taking responsibility for our actions.
        4. Respect: We honor diversity and recognize the worth and dignity of every person.
        5. Excellence: We strive to achieve excellence in all that we do.
    3. The supervisor provides feedback to staff members on a regular basis regarding their performance. This includes both strengths and areas for development. Feedback is a crucial part of building the relationship between supervisor and staff member and also provides the opportunity for questions and clarification.
    4. The supervisor sets the stage for an annual performance review by communicating to the staff member about the performance review form that will be used and how the review will be conducted. Supervisors should utilize a review process that is fair, confidential, and consistent within a defined working group.
    5. The supervisor and staff member both prepare for the review by organizing information and identifying accomplishments, reviewing past and future performance goals for the review period, deciding what issues need to be discussed, identifying whether new or additional resources are needed to do the job, and determining future developmental needs.
    6. Typically, the review session occurs with the supervisor and staff member meeting face to face and, together, reviewing goals from the previous year and creating a future action plan. In extenuating circumstances, other models may be used as appropriate to provide for this exchange of information. In either case, the supervisor concludes the review process by documenting the session — recording both goals met and those not completed and identifying future performance goals and resources available to support change. A staff member may make additional comments on their review. Additionally, if a staff member disagrees with their supervisor's review, these comments should be recorded as a part of the review document. Each party needs to sign and date the form and have the opportunity to include comments.

The performance management website details the components of preparing and conducting an effective performance review. For clarification regarding guidelines for the performance review process in a specific unit, contact your unit's Human Resources representative. To identify your Human Resources representative, visit Employee Self Service, choose the "Personal" tab, and click on "My HR Rep/Workflow Admin/Dept/Admin."