SMU HR Resources

SMU's Annual Performance Review - Manager's Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

Annual Performance Review Questions

When are annual performance reviews to be completed?

The Department of Human Resources has established the spring semester, January to mid-April, as the Annual Review Period. Reviews should be completed and originals forwarded to Employee Relations, PO Box 232, Department of Human Resources by the annual due date.

Why do we conduct annual performance reviews in the spring semester?

The Department of Human Resources has designated the spring semester for annual performance reviews to allow supervisors time to consider an employee's performance when making decisions about merit increases. Merit increase recommendations are due in late March or early April, therefore we suggest that managers conduct all reviews prior to turning in merit recommendations.

For whom do I need to conduct a performance review?

All regular staff members should receive an annual performance review.

I recently completed a 90 day review with an employee; do I need to conduct an annual review as well?

If a new employee began work prior to January 1, then you will need to complete an Annual Review for this employee during the spring semester. The 90 Day Performance Review will not substitute for an annual review. If your employee was hired after January 1, you will not be required to complete an Annual Review for him/her until the following year.

Where do I get a performance review tool?

Visit the “Forms” page to download the Performance Review tool.

Can I customize the Performance Review further for use in my own area?

Yes, please see Manager Options. If you wish to make other customizations, please email us for assistance.

Is the employee required to sign the review?

We ask that the supervisor and employee sign "The Plan" as an indication of commitment to the developmental goals for the year. Signature on The Plan does not indicate agreement with the supervisor's review feedback. If an employee does not sign the review, s/he is still accountable for the responsibilities and performance of the job. The Plan may be included in the Staff Member's form.

To whom do I send performance reviews once they are completed?

Please forward the original completed Annual Performance Review for each staff member to Employee Relations, Box 232, Department of Human Resources. Some divisions require managers to forward their originals to an internally designated individual before sending them to the Department of Human Resources. Please follow your internal guidelines for this process. If your division has this added internal step, you may need to complete your reviews earlier so that your division can meet the deadline.

What documents do I send to the Department of Human Resources?

The ORIGINALS of The Expectations - Staff Member's Perspect, The Expectations - Supervisor's Perspective, and The Plan should be sent to the Department of Human Resources. If you use a different approved form, send the original signed documents to Human Resources. Keep a copy of all documents for your own files and provide a copy to the employee.

What happens to the review paperwork once I submit it?

Performance reviews are placed in the employee's personnel file.

Do I need to give a copy of the review to the employee?

Yes, we ask that you give a copy of the review to the employee and keep a copy for your own files.

What if my employee wants to add comments to the review?

An employee may submit a memo to be included in his/her Human Resources file at any time. As the supervisor, you should inform the employee that s/he has the right to add documentation to the file if desired.

What do I do if I encounter difficulties with this process?

Email employeerelations@smu.edu or call Human Resources at 214-768-3311.

How can I find training opportunities to help develop my employee professionally?

Many opportunities for professional development exist on campus. Some opportunities are free, while others charge a nominal fee. See Learning & Development for information about a variety of opportunities available at SMU.

How does my employee's participation in the Progressive Discipline Program affect the annual review process?

The annual review is not to be considered as a step within Progressive Discipline. The two processes are distinctly different, yet should not contradict one another. The annual review process should reflect challenges and performance issues, but also note areas of growth and achievement. We encourage supervisors to use the annual review process as an opportunity to help the employee establish a developmental plan for professional growth.

How does the performance review process connect to merit increases?

Although we encourage a developmental, future-focused approach to conducting performance reviews, there is still an element of historical reflection regarding the employee's performance over the past year. This information can be helpful when making decisions regarding merit increases. We do not utilize any type of formula or numerical system for merit increases in relation to the performance review process. The information yielded by the performance review is subjective and is to be taken into consideration along with other performance indicators. We encourage supervisors to allocate their merit increase resources in a strategic fashion by rewarding high performers accordingly. Likewise, if an employee's performance is below your standards, this situation should also be addressed with a lower increase or even no increase at all.

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