E27.0 Staff Performance Appraisal

I. Scope

This policy applies to all staff at RIT. 

II. Policy Statement

All staff employees of RIT are expected to receive an annual written Performance Appraisal. Managers/supervisors are responsible for initiating, managing and completing the Performance Appraisal process.  A different process and/or format may be utilized for appraising officers and other senior leaders. If an employee has been at RIT for less than six months at the time of appraisals, it is not necessary to provide a written Performance Appraisal, however it is expected that they will receive regular feedback on their performance until the next appraisal cycle. This annual Performance Appraisal will be used to:

  • align annual individual goals with unit and university goals; 
  • provide feedback on progress against goals; 
  • promote the improvement of individual performance; 
  • encourage and foster continued professional development;
  • inform necessary updates to Job Description Questionnaires;
  • inform annual merit increments.

III. Rationale

Continuous feedback on, and improvement of, job performance are essential parts of the performance management process. This policy establishes the framework for the annual written appraisal of the performance of each staff member against established expectations and in accordance with the mission and goals of each staff member's division or college.

IV. Process

  1. Annual Appraisals
    1. Each organization will follow either a calendar or academic/fiscal year cycle and determine their internal timelines based on HR guidelines.  The appropriate timeline should be shared with staff prior to the start of the evaluation process.
    2. Each division and/or unit may create its own format for evaluating its staff.  
      1. Appraisal format must follow guidelines provided by HR (Staff Appraisal Forms). 
      2. All appraisals must include the official Staff Performance Appraisal signature page found on the HR website.
    3. All employees are encouraged to submit a self-appraisal. 
      1. The document is expected to include a summary of contributions, assessment of progress towards established goals, and areas of improvement and/or development.
      2. The self-appraisal document must be considered by the manager when completing the formal appraisal.
      3. Submitted self-appraisals must be attached to the Performance Appraisal that is sent to the second-level supervisor and Human Resources. 
      4. Exceptions to preparation of a self-appraisal may be made with agreement among the employee, manager and the second level supervisor.
    4. All staff will be appraised on a scale of 1-5 (whole numbers only).  No other scale may be substituted. The definitions of these numbers are:
      • 5= Outstanding: Performance during appraisal period was consistently exceptional, significantly exceeding all expectations for the position.  

      • 4= Exceeds Expectations: Performance during appraisal period met all expectations and frequently exceeded some expectations for the position.

      • 3=Successful/ Meets Expectations: Performance during appraisal period effectively fulfilled all expectations for the position.

      • 2= Does Not Meet Expectations: Performance during appraisal period met some, but not all expectations for the position. Performance improvement process should be initiated or continued.

      • 1= Unsatisfactory:  Performance during appraisal period consistently failed to meet minimum expectations for the position. Individual lacks or did not apply knowledge, skills or behavior expected for the position. Performance documentation process (e.g. written warning, Performance Improvement Plan) should be initiated or continued.  This rating is not to be used for employees new in their position, see “NA” rating below.

      • NA= New: Individual has not been in position long enough (at least six months) to fully demonstrate the competencies required for the position. This appraisal is provided for feedback purposes.

    5. Numerical ratings should be supported by manager’s comments.
    6. Managers must meet with each employee to review and discuss their performance; the written appraisal can be given to the employee before, during, or after this meeting. Upon receipt of the written appraisal, the employee will be allowed at least two business days to review it before responding to or signing the appraisal. 
    7. The employee will have the opportunity to include a response to the appraisal that will become part of the official documentation.
    8. Employees who believe that this policy has been unfairly or improperly implemented can bring the situation to the attention of the second level supervisor and/or HR. Other resources that the employee may consult during this process include the Ombuds Office, Resolution of Conflicts and Concerns among RIT Employees (Policy C06.1) and the Staff Grievance Procedure (Policy E30.0) if the employee believes the documented process was not followed. Final decision making authority lies with the manager, in consultation with the second level supervisor.
    9. Performance Appraisals are expected to include a plan of work, also known as goals and objectives, and/or written expectations.  At the beginning of each performance year:
      1. Managers and employees must work together to develop the plans of work, goals and objectives, and/or expectations that align with university/department goals.  Timing of developing these plans should coincide with the determination of university/department goals for that upcoming year.
      2. These plans, goals, and/or expectations must be included as expectations to be assessed on the next evaluation.
    10. All appraisals must receive two levels of supervisor signatures prior to submission to HR.
    11. The final appraisal, including all related documents and appropriate signatures must be forwarded to Human Resources in accordance with the pre-established timeline. The manager must provide the employee with a copy of all final appraisal documentation.
  2. Performance Documentation

    Any employee that receives a 1 or 2 rating overall on his/her appraisal must receive performance documentation as applicable (e.g. Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)), written warning, or outlined in next performance year’s plan of work/goals & objectives). If someone is already on a PIP for the appraisal year, the manager is encouraged to consult with HR before the appraisal is shared with the employee.
  3. Training

    Managers must receive HR-approved training on performance management. 

    Second level supervisors should ensure that the managers they supervise are trained appropriately in RIT’s performance management policies and processes.
  4. Reports

    After all colleges/divisions have completed the performance appraisal process and cycle, Human Resources will provide an annual report to University Council that includes statistics regarding Staff Performance Appraisals from the respective performance year. 

Responsible Office:  Department of Human Resources

Effective Date:  Personnel Policy 5.09 issued June 1, 1984

Policy History
Revised July 1, 1988
Revised September 2004
Revised March 2016