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Policy 4.21
Performance Management

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Responsible Official: VP for Human Resources
Administering Division/Department: Employee Relations
Effective Date: March 29, 2007
Last Revision: June 19, 2007

Policy Sections:


The performance management process offers a planned opportunity for the employee and supervisor to meet and mutually identify, discuss and document the demonstrated job performance and expectations.

Policy Details

For the employee, the performance discussion:

  • clarifies where he/she stands in relation to the expectations of Emory, the department and the supervisor
  • assures mutual understanding of responsibilities and work assignments
  • provides assistance and guidance in improving and preparing for advancement.

For the supervisor, the performance discussion:

  • helps identify an employee’s performance level, growth potential, and developmental needs
  • assures that the employee is fully aware of assigned duties and responsibilities
  • serves as a major consideration in matters concerning employee development, promotion, transfer, retention, salary and performance improvement.

Performance discussions should occur on scheduled review dates:

Initial Review  Performance discussions shall be conducted for all regular newly employed, reemployed, promoted or reclassified employees. The discussion shall be scheduled 6 months to the date following the employment, reemployment, promotion or reclassification. 

Annual Review  Performance discussions should be conducted at least once every year, either in September or on the employee’s anniversary date. A department should be consistent in establishing the review date.

Unscheduled Discussions  Unscheduled performance discussions may be conducted as often as necessary when an employee’s performance does not meet established standards. Unscheduled discussions may be initiated by the supervisor or at the request of the employee.


The following guidelines should apply when the supervisor is preparing for the performance management discussion:

  • Establish a time and a place for the performance discussion and notify the employee well in advance.
  • Provide the employee with a current copy of his/her job description.

Discuss objectively, referring to the job description, all positive and constructive customer feedback and incidents critical to the period of employment covered in the discussion.

  • Meet with the employee to discuss performance strengths, improvements/ enhancements for each performance factor. Encourage the employee to ask questions and openly communicate with you about his/her performance.
  • Discuss the employee’s performance based on the duties and responsibilities of the job, rather than personality traits, special or occasional duties, or factors which do not have an effect on job performance.
  • Discuss performance based on the entire performance period, not on just one single accomplishment or mistake. Outstanding or unsatisfactory occurrences should not be ignored but should be considered in context with total performance over the entire rating period.
  • Develop a written Performance Improvement Plan, if appropriate, and establish dates and times for follow-up meeting(s).
  • Develop and document short and long term Performance Goals for projects and job assignments, to be discussed and reviewed during the next scheduled performance discussion. A time frame for completion should be agreed upon with the employee and documented.
  • Allow the employee to take the lead in discussions regarding a Career Development Plan. Provide assistance in fine tuning goals and objectives, identifying resources and provide organizational support.

CONCLUDING PROCESSThe performance management discussion should be documented and signed and dated by the supervisor, the department head or designee and the employee. The signature of the employee indicates only that the discussion has taken place and not that there is agreement with the content.

Retain a copy of the documentation in the departmental file, forward a copy to the employee and to Human Resources for retention in the employee’s personnel file.

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