Step-by-Step Guide to the Performance Appraisal Process

  1. Inform the staff member of the performance appraisal period and that he/she will soon be receiving a Performance and Staff Development Plan (“Performance Plan”).
  2. Ask the staff member to complete a Performance and Staff Development Program Self Appraisal Worksheet [Word] and give it to you either at the appraisal meeting or before you complete the appraisal. If he/she doesn’t have access to a computer to download the form, print it from your computer.
  3. Tell the staff member which key 3–5 competencies you’ll address in his/her Performance Plan. (See the Performance and Staff Development Plan or Guidelines Booklet for definitions of the competencies). Ask him/her to address the identified competencies in the Self-Appraisal Worksheet.
  4. Collect all performance documentation for the staff member for the current appraisal cycle. This might include: notes to the file about the staff member’s performance, commendations, and other compliments received; written summaries of discussions with the staff member about performance; notes regarding oral warnings; written warnings; and probation documents.
  5. Review a copy of the previous year’s Performance and Staff Development Plan. Review the goals, responsibilities, and projects assigned to the staff member for the current cycle. Also, review any changes made to the initial goals, responsibilities and/or projects assigned. Review the staff member’s most recent Self-Appraisal Worksheet.
  6. Download the Performance and Staff Development Plan for the staff member. You may use abbreviated versions of the Performance and Staff Development Plan: Memorandum Template [Word], and Letter Template [Word], Short Form [Word].
  7. Complete the sections for Staff Member’s and Supervisor’s Information. Make sure to include the correct Penn ID number for both the staff member and supervisor.
  8. Describe the key goals, projects and/or responsibilities the staff member had for this appraisal cycle. Comment on the performance results obtained for each goal and provide examples of results achieved.
  9. Set goals, projects and/or responsibilities for the next appraisal cycle. Remember to describe in detail the expected results and time frames using the SMARTS criteria. Effective goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results Focused, Time Bound, and a Stretch. (See the Guidelines Booklet for more details on the SMARTS criteria.) Also, list the key competencies the staff member should further develop in the next appraisal cycle.
  10. Give feedback on 3–5 key competencies that are vital to the staff member’s success in the current position and/or will enhance his/her professional development. Be sure to give feedback on the competencies you told the staff member you would address in the Performance Plan. Review the definition of each key competency (see the Performance and Staff Development Plan or Guidelines Booklet). Discuss in detail how the staff member demonstrates the competency using supporting examples. Also, provide feedback on how the staff member can further develop each competency and methods that can be used to enhance the competency, e.g., training, work assignments, project team participation.

    You do not have to give feedback on all of the competencies.
  11. Review the definitions in the Summary of Performance Section on page one of the appraisal. Based on the performance results achieved, check one definition that best describes the staff member’s overall performance.
  12. Review the appraisal with your supervisor or manager, if necessary. Meet with the staff member to discuss the appraisal. Finalize the appraisal, making changes if needed. Secure the appropriate signatures.
  13. Give a copy of the finalized appraisal to the staff member. Keep a copy of the appraisal for the departmental files.
  14. Forward the appraisal to the appropriate person in your school/center or to the Division of Human Resources/Staff and Labor Relations, in accordance with your school or center’s guidelines.