Performance Management

setting, mid-yer review and the annual review).

90 Day Probationary Review for New Employees

New employees should receive regular feedback throughout the 90-day probationary period. The probationary period should include a 90-day review with the employee.  Managers will be asked to provide Human Resources with feedback on the new employee via an automated process generated by my.SMU.  

Click on the 90 Day tab above to learn more about the process.

Ongoing Performance Management to include Goal Setting, Mid-Year Review and Annual Performance Review
Employees should be given feedback throughout the year culminating in an annual performance review, which summarizes the year. The Annual Review process takes place in the fall semester, from mid-September to mid-December.

Click on the Annual Performance Review tab above to learn more about the process.

Ongoing Performance Management to include Goal Setting, Mid-Year Review and Annual Performance Review

Employees should be given feedback throughout the year culminating in an annual performance review, which summarizes the year. Check with your leadership to understand the expectations for your area regarding Annual Reviews and to confirm timelines. 

Click on the Annual Performance Review tab above to learn more about the process.


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90 Day Probationary Review for New Employees

Online Review Process

All employees benefit from regular and timely feedback. New employees are in need of clear expectations and regular feedback throughout their first 90 days on the job. Managers should be scheduling frequent one-on-one meetings and taking opportunities to provide feedback on a more informal basis during this time.

90 Day Review Process 
The new employee's manager will be prompted via automated emails to submit the review within my.SMU. Automated emails to the manager will begin on day 60 of the new employee's probationary period and continue on a regular basis until the online review form is completed or until the employee reaches his or her 86th day of employment, which is the last day a performance review will be accepted in my.SMU.  Please note these emails will come from - check your junk mail account if you think you are not receiving these emails.

Human Resources Support
The manager will receive an automated confirmation email after completing the online review form . A member of the Employee Relations team will review the document and contact the manager to help address any identified performance issues. If performance issues arise early in the probationary period, managers are encouraged to contact Human Resources immediately for support.

Probationary Review Due Date
The probationary review is due by the employee's 86th day of employment. This enables Human Resources to provide any needed assistance prior to the conclusion of the probationary period. Unless action is taken, such as an extension to probation, an employee who passes the 90th day on the job is considered a regular employee. Subsequent performance issues are typically handled through coaching and the Correction Action process. See Policy 7.24 Corrective Action for Staff.

Additional information may be accessed using the links below including: instructions on accessing and completing the online form, review questions regarding employees who are not meeting expectations and the types of options managers may request, holding a review discussion and retaining probationary period documents.

SMU Strategic Plan for 2016-2025


Managerial Options During Probation:

Performance Management is an ongoing process between manager and employee to include transparent communication, feedback, coaching, and mentoring. While much of the process occurs informally, SMU utilizes the ePerformance module within my.SMU to formally track and manage employee performance. The performance management cycle occurs on an annual basis starting with the employee and manager setting goals and culminating with an annual review.

Each August, performance documents are created for all benefits-eligible employees for the upcoming performance management year.  Employees starting after this date will have documents created for them on a daily basis (dependent on the input of employee data in my.SMU).  In both cases an email notification will be distributed from my.SMU announcing that the documents are available under Self Service or Manager Self Service>Performance Management>Performance Documents.  Notify HR is you do not receive an email notification or if the documents are not visible within my.SMU.

There are 3 formal checkpoints in the ePerformance system:

  1. Goal Setting:   Employee and Manager create goals and share information regarding progress toward goal.  Included in goal setting is a description of "what" is to be accomplished, clearly defined metrics so the employee knows when they have been successful as well as a discussion of strategies to get to goal accomplishment.   The conversation should also include "how" the employee will achieve success, or the competencies and associated behaviors that will support goal achievement.  Goal setting and editing is available from document creation up to the Annual Review Evaluation step.

  2. Mid-Year Review:  During the Mid-Year Review, employee and manager share comments about individual goals and overall performance to date.  This step should include a formal conversation to ensure feedback is provided and coaching ,mentoring, and obstacle removal opportunities are identified.

  3. Annual Review.  During this step of the cycle, the shared performance document generates two documents, allowing for a Self Evaluation and Manager Evaluation, neither of which is visible to the other until the documents are shared.  Employee and Manager complete their respective evaluation and the employee shares their evaluation with the manager.  A formal conversation is scheduled and evaluation feedback is discussed.  After this in-person meeting, the manager may update their evaluation and share it with the employee.  The employee then logs into the system to acknowledge receipt of the manager's evaluation.  Once acknowledged, the Performance Document moves to Historical status where it may be reviewed in future years, but is no longer editable.

During the same timeframe when current documents move to the Annual Review step, the next year's performance documents are created.  Incomplete goals may be copied from the current year to the next year's documents to continue to monitor progress toward goals, ensuring a smooth transition from one performance year to the next.  Any new goals should be documented in the upcoming year's documents from this point forward.        

SMU Strategic Plan for 2016-2025

my.SMU Resources

Professional Development Resources:

SMU Resources:

SMU has identified the following core competencies and behaviors which lead to success at the University.  These are included in the Performance Management process via my.SMU.

In addition to the core, other competencies and behaviors may apply to certain job responsibilities or projects.  These may be added in the Performance Management process in my.SMU: Additional Competencies



Building Trust This competency reflects the ability to be honest and committed and to value other’s positions equally as own:
  • Communicates an understanding of the other person's interests, needs and concerns.
  • Remains open to others' ideas and opinions even when they conflict with their own.
  • Identifies and communicates shared interests and goals.
  • Identifies and communicates differences as appropriate.
  • Makes and meets commitments that contribute to addressing the other person's interests, needs, and concerns.
  • Addresses perceived harm to the other person by fully acknowledging any harm done, clarifying intentions, and finding a suitable remedy that affirms the value of the relationship.
  • Uses an approach to resolving conflicts or conducting negotiations which lead to positive outcomes success for all involved.
  • Shares thoughts, feelings, and rationale so that others understand personal positions.
  • Develops, maintains, and strengthens partnerships with others inside or outside the organization who can provide information, assistance, and support.
Communication This competency reflects the ability to give and gather information and to actively manage the communication process:
  • Listens to and considers other’s views
  • States own views clearly and concisely
  • Asks questions to find out other’s real views and check understanding
  • Tackles disagreement constructively
  • Conveys complex information in plain language
  • Has a manner, style and presence in written and oral communication that makes a positive impression
  • Ensures that information is passed on to others who should be kept informed
Conflict Management This competency reflects the ability to manage interpersonal relationships, both between self/other and other/other:
  • Recognizes differences of opinion, brings them out into the open for discussion, and looks for win-win solutions
  • Establishes a clear and compelling rationale for resolving the conflict
  • Uses appropriate interpersonal styles and methods to reduce tension or conflict between two or more people
  • Finds agreement on issues and follows through on implementation
  • Deals effectively with others in an antagonistic situation
  • Manages relationships and builds trust in the process
Development Oriented This competency reflects the ability to focus on own development and to take action to learn:
  • Understands self-development if important to organizational success
  • Is able to accurately identify own development needs
  • Takes responsibility for setting up their own learning opportunities
  • Reflects and consciously learns from experience
  • Evaluates own performance
  • Actively seeks feedback to assist with continuous self-improvement
  • Open to learning

Initiative This competency reflects the ability to:
  • Responds appropriately on own to improve outcomes, processes or measurements, including anticipating student/customer reactions and gathering information or planning accordingly
  • Assumes responsibility and leadership when asked
  • Accomplishes goals independently, with little need for supervision
  • Takes ownership and accountability for own performance
  • Seeks out and/or accepts additional responsibilities in the context of the job.
Problem Solving - Decision Making This competency reflects the ability to evaluate or judge the best course of action and to make decisions at the appropriate speed:
  • Can make considered decisions quickly when necessary
  • Develops solutions that are considerate for all involved
  • Applies common sense when making decisions
  • Seeks expert advice or objective opinions before making decisions
  • Is prepared to be influenced by sound arguments and new information or evidence
  • Is prepared to make tough decisions and is prepared to see them through
Relationship Management This competency reflects the ability to get on well with a wide range of people and build long term trusting relationships:
  • Is good at resolving people issues before they get out of hand
  • Builds rapport with people
  • Notices when others need help and support
  • Goes out of way to develop trust in relationships
  • Is sensitive to the unspoken feelings of others
  • Brings tensions to the surface, helps to resolve conflicts and produces a positive outcome
  • Looks for common ground and builds co-operation even in difficult circumstances
Resource Management This competency reflects the ability toidentify, prioritize, and manage resources (physical, financial and human) to foster productivity and achieve organizational goals:
  • Identifies resources available to the organization
  • Effectively and efficiently manages the use of existing resources
  • Ensures the appropriate amount of resources are available at the appropriate time in order to accomplish the business goals (not too much and not too few)
  • Assigns the appropriate people to tasks that will keep them busy without overworking them or providing too much downtime
  • Cooperatively work with others to share resources
  • Follows all policies and procedures for tracking, submitting, and accounting for resource utilization
Student/Customer Focus This competency reflects the pursuit of the highest level of customer service:
  • Shows respect and friendliness to customers
  • Develops and maintains effective student/customer relationships
  • Anticipates future customer needs and trends
  • Focuses on identifying opportunities to benefit customers
  • Talks and listens to customers to clarify their real needs and expectations
  • Strives to resolve customer concerns
  • Offers advice and guidance in responding to customer inquiries
Teamwork This competency reflects the ability to contribute to teams and to improve their effectiveness through personal commitment:
  • Supports less experienced colleagues
  • Encourages a strong sense of team spirit
  • Focuses the team on what will contribute to success in the long term
  • Develops ideas and solutions jointly with others
  • Gives fair and constructive feedback to team members
  • Takes responsibility for team's actions
  • Develops a wide network of productive relationships around the business