Staff Personnel Manual (SPP)

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Effective: 7/1/2013

Revised: 1/1/2019

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SPP 808: Performance Management for University Staff

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To provide information about performance development tools and performance review processes for university staff and non-faculty administrators

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Arizona Board of Regents Policy Manual - 6–510
University policy

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University staff, non-faculty administrators, and their supervisors

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Advisory Notice

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This policy does not require management to utilize any particular tool, step, or series of steps in the performance management process.

Nothing stated in policy or verbally by any supervisor is intended to create an employment contract or to modify the at-will employment status.

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ASU seeks to promote a culture where staff contributions are recognized and rewarded, staff development goals are articulated and supported, and effective supervisory coaching leads to a high performing workplace. ASU believes that such a workplace encourages employee engagement, improves service to students and faculty, and greatly aids in the recruitment and retention of the most talented employees.

Accountability and Scope

All ASU administrative and university staff and non-faculty administrators, especially those who lead others, are expected to be familiar with these performance management tools. Supervisors are accountable for understanding and implementing the university’s performance management program.

Office of Human Resources (OHR) will maintain performance evaluation tools and provide training and consultation in support of the program.

Performance Development Tools

OHR recommends the following tools to assist employees in taking pride and ownership of their work experience consistent with ASU’s policies, to remediate performance issues, and to address employee conduct.

All relevant facts, including prior performance history and length of service/experience to the university, should be considered when using these performance development tools. Notwithstanding the use or initiation of any performance development tools, ASU and/or the employee may decide to terminate the employment relationship at any time.

Annual Performance Review

All university staff and non-faculty administrators should receive an annual performance evaluation prepared by the immediate supervisor.

Performance evaluations serve as a constructive tool to identify and review performance against university-defined core expectations, as well as specific job responsibilities. In addition, performance evaluations may be tied to performance-based increases. For these reasons, OHR highly recommends that the annual performance evaluation be completed with care and include the following elements:

  1. an evaluation of the employee’s performance against the university core expectations as they relate to the job
  2. a brief narrative summary of performance, accomplishments, and/or deficiencies in the evaluation period, focusing on the employee’s specific job responsibilities
  3. an overall rating based on a five-point rating scale:

    • Rating level 1—Fails to meet performance expectations
    • Rating level 2—Inconsistently fulfills performance expectations
    • Rating level 3—Performance expectations fulfilled
    • Rating level 4—Frequently exceeds performance expectations
    • Rating level 5—Consistently exceeds performance expectation

  4. a brief summary of job-related goals for the upcoming evaluation period


  5. a brief summary of individual development opportunities for the upcoming evaluation period.

OHR maintains performance evaluation templates that include definitions of the university’s core expectations for staff and management and the five-point rating scale.

Supervisors should be evaluated, in part, based on whether they have provided accurate and timely feedback to their direct reports. The use of timely annual performance evaluations is evidence of performance in that area.


A fiscal year is recommended as the performance evaluation year (July 1 – June 30); a department may use another twelve-month period for business reasons. Evaluations should be completed, delivered, and entered into PeopleSoft no later that the end of the first quarter of the performance year.

Although formal evaluations occur once a year, supervisors should be holding informal discussion with their employees throughout the year, especially when performance improvement is needed.


The original signed evaluation is forwarded to OHR for the employee’s official personnel file with a copy given to the employee. A copy of the evaluation should also be maintained in the departmental personnel file.

Final performance ratings are to be entered into PeopleSoft by the department representative for all employees who receive a performance evaluation.


An employee who disagrees with his or her performance evaluation may request, in writing, a review by the second-level supervisor (i.e., the immediate supervisor’s supervisor) within three working days after the evaluation has been delivered.

The second-level supervisor will schedule a meeting to discuss the evaluation with the employee promptly, normally within five working days of receiving the request for review. The second-level supervisor will conduct additional inquiry including modifying the evaluation ratings and/or comments if considered appropriate. The second-level supervisor is responsible for communicating the decision, in writing, to the first-level supervisor and the employee.

The second-level supervisor’s decision is final unless unlawful discrimination is alleged to have influenced the evaluation. If unlawful discrimination is alleged, the employee may file a complaint with the Office of University Rights and Responsibilities.

Additional Performance Improvement Tools

The following performance improvement tools may be used if, during the annual performance evaluation process, the employee receives a final rating of a 1 or 2 and/or any time during the year when an employee’s performance or conduct falls below acceptable university or unit standards.


When appropriate, an initial performance improvement action should be coaching. The discussion should be specific, honest, and respectful to ensure the employee clearly understands the established standards and expectations with respect to his or her performance or conduct.

A written record of the date and content of the coaching should be maintained in the appropriate files of the supervisor. A fully executed and signed annual performance evaluation can substitute for or otherwise be considered as a written record of coaching, as long as the area of concern is properly documented in the evaluation.

Memo of Expectations

A written Memo of Expectations may be appropriate when coaching or the annual performance evaluation has not resulted in the needed improvement, or if a situation indicates a need for stronger action. The written Memo of Expectations should outline the performance or conduct issue(s) and state expectations needed to improve performance. The Memo of Expectations should be discussed with the employee.

OHR is available to assist department management with the Memo of Expectations. Copies of this memo should be maintained in the appropriate departmental file.

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For additional information, see:

  1. SPP 403–08, “Salary Administration”


  2. the Academic Affairs Policies and Procedures ManualACD 401, “Prohibition Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation.”

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