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PS-02.B.06 - Staff Performance Evaluation Policy

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EFFECTIVE DATE: April 10, 2020

ISSUE #: 9

PRESIDENT:  Juan Sánchez Muñoz


This PS outlines the process by which annual staff performance evaluations shall be conducted at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD). Staff performance evaluations highlight employees’ strengths and areas in need of improvement as well as the employees’ compliance with policies, procedures and work rules. They also provide the tools for establishing appropriate goals and objectives to achieve job gratification, personal growth and satisfactory job performance. Performance evaluations provide a periodic opportunity for communication between supervisors and employees to discuss expectations, goals and objectives of job performance and how well these are being met. Performance evaluations are the determining factor in merit raises and may be a consideration also in making personnel decisions including, but not limited to, promotions, demotions, transfers, initiation of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), and terminations, or continued employment for probationary employees. 


2.1 Staff Employee (or Staff): An employee employed on a regular basis for a period of at least four and one-half months, excluding students employed in positions that require student status as a condition for employment and those holding a teaching and/or research position classified as faculty. 

2.2 Administrative Staff: Staff who hold administrative positions and report to the President, a Vice President, or a Dean 

2.3 Probationary Staff: Employees in their initial employment period; six months for nonexempt or hourly staff, and 12 months for exempt or monthly employees. Police Officers, though non-exempt, serve a 12 month probationary period.

2.4 Staff Process: Evaluation process for non-temporary employees who are employed in staff positions. Students, employed in positions for which student status is required as a condition of employment, are excluded from this process. 

2.5 Administrative Process: Evaluation process for employees who hold administrative positions. Department chairs are excluded from this process and evaluated according to PS 10.A.17, Department Chair Policy

2.6 Performance Improvement Plan (PIP): A Performance Improvement Plan is required of employees whose overall rating on their annual performance evaluation is less than “2.5” or when expected behaviors and/or expected job responsibilities are not being met. The purpose of the PIP is to help the employee succeed in improving unacceptable performance. Each performance expectation not being met will require a description of the improvement required and a timeline for resolution. When necessary, performance improvement plans may be implemented throughout the year – not just at the time of the annual evaluation. 

2.7 My TalentSpace: An interactive cloud-based talent management system used to evaluate the job performance of UHD staff and establish annual goals and professional development activities. My TalentSpace also incorporates the following features: 

  • Professional Development Learning Library (more than 3,000 titles) 
  • Kudos, an Employee Recognition Program 
  • Employee Journal Notes 
  • Manager Notes 


3.1 Performance evaluations shall be conducted annually for all non-probationary staff employees. Performance evaluations shall be completed for all probationary employees approximately one month prior to completion of the employee’s probationary period. The probationary evaluation shall serve as a medium for managers to recommend continued employment beyond the employee’s probationary period. When continued employment is not recommended, managers must consult with Human Resources. Evaluations are based on lawful, job-related and non-discriminatory criteria. 

3.2 The performance evaluation process must include: 

3.2.1 Assessment of employee’s job performance in his/her assigned job-related competencies throughout the evaluation period and compliance with policies, procedures and work rules; 

3.2.2 Communication between supervisors and employees to discuss job performance; 

3.2.3 Establishment of job-related goals and learning activities. A minimum of one job-related goal must be established by the manager for the employee to complete during the upcoming year. A due date for completion may be designated by the manager. Managers are also encouraged to assign a minimum of one learning activity for the employee to complete during the upcoming year that focuses on areas/competencies in which the employee may develop personally and/or professionally. Employees will be assessed during the following year’s evaluation process on how well the assigned goal(s) or learning activities were met. 

3.2.4 Self-Evaluation. All staff employees participating in the staff performance evaluation process must complete a Self-Evaluation form, as prompted by My TalentSpace. 

3.2.5 General Comments. General Comments must be provided in the Self-Evaluation Form and the Performance Evaluation, as required in the evaluation form instructions. The comments should justify or support the rating given. 

3.3 Ratings Scales. Each competency in the employee’s performance evaluation form must be assigned a rating that best describes the employee’s performance during the evaluation period. The rating scales are different for Staff and Administrative Processes. 

3.3.1 Rating Scale for Staff Process:

  • Distinguished 
  • Exceeds Expectations 
  • Meets Expectations 
  • Improvement Needed 
  • Unsatisfactory 

3.3.2 Rating Scale for Administrative Process: 

  • Exceeds Expectations 
  • Meets Expectations 
  • Does Not Meet Expectations 

3.3.3 Rating Scale for Probationary Process 

  • Meets Expectations 
  • Does Not Meet Expectations 

3.4 Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). Employees whose performance evaluation overall score is less than “2.5,” or who have had critical deficiencies in performance and/or behavior shall be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan. 

3.4.1 HR shall be responsible for initiating the PIP process in collaboration with the employee’s manager, once these employees are identified at the completion of the performance evaluation cycle. 

3.4.2 This process requires a commitment to improvement. Failure to achieve the expected improvements will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

3.4.3 Once the plan has been implemented, supervisors should have ongoing dialogues (weekly or bi-weekly) with the employee until expectations are at an acceptable level of performance.

3.4.4 The Performance Improvement Plan shall last for a maximum of six months from the effective date of implementation. 

3.4.5 Prior to the end of the PIP, both the employee and his/her supervisor will complete a Performance Improvement Plan Progress Assessment, which will assess the employee’s progress throughout the PIP period, and substantiate whether or not the employee has achieved the required improvements. The PIP Progress Assessment will be reviewed by the Vice President, Human Resources (HR) prior to the meeting between the employee and manager at the conclusion of the PIP. 

3.5 Staff employees supervised by more than one supervisor must be evaluated by the designated supervisor directly involved with the employee's responsibilities, with appropriate consultation with all other supervisor(s). 

3.6 Only the approved performance evaluation forms/tools may be used in conducting performance evaluations. 

3.7 Merit salary increases will not be approved for any employee not having a current annual performance evaluation in the official personnel file. Merit salary increases will not be approved for supervisors who failed to meet the overall published deadline for the evaluation process and for supervisors who have not conducted current annual performance evaluations for their employee(s) as required by this policy. 

3.8 System mandated training is considered a minimum job expectation of all employees. System employees who do not complete annual mandatory training by the published deadline will not have met their job expectations and will therefore not be eligible for merit increases. (See PS 02.B.12, Staff Training and Development Policy and SAM 02.A.26, Employee Development and Training.) 

3.9 Merit salary increases are subject to availability of funds. 

3.10 HR will produce a list of personnel, and their supervisors, for whom performance evaluations have not been completed. The list will be distributed to the President and respective Vice Presidents for follow-up. 

3.11 Confidentiality of performance evaluations shall be maintained to the greatest extent possible. If copies of the performance evaluation are maintained within the employing department, they will be secured in a confidential location for the duration of the employee’s assignment in that department. 

3.12 Nothing in this policy shall be used to discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran’s status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. 


4.1 HR representative assigns forms. 

4.2 Employee completes self-evaluation. 

4.3 Manager completes employee evaluation and reviews employee’s self-evaluation. 

4.4 Second-level manager, and third-level manager, when appropriate, reviews and approves employee evaluation after consulting with manager on areas of the performance evaluation that may be questionable or need adjustment. If the designated step is not completed by the step’s published deadline, the evaluation will be advanced to the next step in the process. 

4.5 HR reviews evaluation for compliance and consults with managers to address any issues resulting from the evaluation. 

4.6 Manager meets with employee and conducts in-person meeting to discuss evaluation. 

4.7 Employee makes final comments and signs-off. 

4.8 Manager notes final comments and signs-off. 

4.9 HR reviews final comments and meets with managers to address issues that may have resulted from the evaluation process. 

4.10 HR meets with employees who do not agree with their evaluation. 

4.11 HR works with managers in implementing a Performance Improvement Plan when an employee’s overall rating is less than “2.5.”


Responsible Party: (Reviewer): Vice President for Human Resources

Review: Every three years on or before September1 st .

Signed original on file in Human Resources 


Issue #1: 09/01/94 

Issue #2: 10/25/00

Issue #3: 04/18/07 

Issue #4: 03/18/14 

Issue #5: 08/15/16

Issue #6: 11/11/16

Issue #7: 05/17/19

Issue #8: 10/10/19 


PS 02.B.12

UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.A.11

UH System Administrative Memorandum 02.A.26