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performance management

Performance Management is a process that begins immediately upon hiring and continues throughout employment. It helps managers and their direct reports:

  • Reach a shared understanding of expected behavior and results
  • Encourages mutual feedback about progress
  • Supports individual achievement

The process also helps all staff understand the University’s core values because it’s not just what we accomplish that’s important, but how we accomplish it.

Done well, the Performance Management process helps employees:

  • Clarify and prioritize expectations
  • Focus on behaviors that are consistent with University values
  • Align their goals with the mission of the University

Performance Management also helps managers and supervisors:

  • Recognize and reward employees for good performance
  • Encourage professional development and growth

At West Virginia State University, we believe that how we treat others in our interactions is as important as the results that we achieve. During the Year-End Review, employees are assessed not only by what they accomplish but also how they reflect the University’s values while accomplishing it. Each employee rates his or her performance taking into account: 1) how well s/he accomplished the agreed-upon goals; and 2) to what degree s/he demonstrated the University’s core values. Each of these two areas is equally important to the year-end rating.

The University’s intent is for all staff to receive clear expectations, periodic feedback, and annual performance conversations. In doing so, the University also strives to help all staff do the best job they are capable of doing, enjoy a high level of job (and personal) satisfaction, and live the University’s core values every day.

Process Overview

The annual evaluation is a performance conversation where both parties participate in the discussion and is designed to promote open communication between supervisors and staff members concerning the staff members’ strengths and/or areas of improvement related to both position-specific responsibilities and general performance. It is also an opportunity for both the supervisor and staff member to reflect on the previous year’s achievements and to determine goals for the future.

Effective performance evaluations include employee self-assessments, performance discussions, written evaluations, and collaborative goal setting. The Performance Management process is divided into 7 steps:

  1. Employee self-evaluates and rates self. Each employee reviews their progress on expectations and development plan, enters comments, and rates their level of achievement. Each staff member should be asked to do a self-assessment of his/her performance prior to the performance evaluation meeting that occurs with the supervisor. When completing their self-assessment, the employee should use one of the three forms listed below: clerical/technical, professional/managerial, or probationary; whichever best fits their role. 
  2. Performance discussion. Both the supervisor and staff member should come to the meeting prepared to discuss the staff member’s performance related to key job responsibilities and general performance areas, along with factors which may have affected performance. There should be a discussion of whether or not goals identified the year before were attained, still remain as goals or no longer apply, and whether new goals should be identified. The discussion should include ideas for how performance can be improved and the job made more satisfying/rewarding. During this discussion it is important that the employee and supervisor also discuss and establish the employee’s expectations and goals for the future. The objective is for the employee and manager to understand and agree on what the employee is expected to accomplish and what goals the employee will pursue over the course of the next rating period. 
  3. Review job description. In addition to reviewing the employee’s goals, and the progress and feedback provided throughout the year, the supervisor and employee should discuss, review, and update the employee's job description. Duties on the job description are basic job requirements and should accurately represent the duties actually performed and the level of responsibility. This review is important because meeting job requirements listed on the job description represents at least satisfactory performance for purposes of the evaluation. Any changes regarding the duties and responsibilities of a job should be made on the Job Description Form and sent to Human Resources so that it can be placed in the employee's personnel file.

  4. Manager reviews, comments and determines final rating (after meeting with employee). The supervisor must formally document the staff member’s performance using one of the three performance evaluation forms located on the bottom of this page: clerical/technical, professional/managerial, or probationary; whichever best fits the employee's role. When completing the performance evaluation form, the supervisor should take into consideration the employee’s self-assessment, comments/information from the performance discussion, any notes from the employee’s administrative file, and the employee’s performance during the rating period. The overall performance should be assigned to one of the three categories indicated on the form. Information supporting those evaluations and/or corrective action steps that need to be taken can be entered in the comments section below the appropriate section.
  5. Vice President signs off. The VP/AD over each area is expected to review and provide their signature approval for each employee’s performance evaluation that falls under his or her department. The VP/AD may add comments or supporting documentation as they deem appropriate. 
  6. Employee signs off. After the supervisor and VP/AD has reviewed and completed the performance evaluation form, the supervisor should sign the form and share it with the staff member who should also sign it (after adding comments, if desired) as acknowledgement of receipt. If the staff member disagrees with the evaluation, an addendum of the staff member’s concerns may be attached or included in the employee comments section on the last page.
  7. Make copies and send to HR. After the employee, the employee’s supervisor and the VP/AD has had a chance to review the employee’s performance evaluation, copies of the completed, signed evaluation are retained by both the supervisor and staff member. The original written evaluation and any accompanying documents (i.e. performance improvement plans, attendance improvement plans) should be sent to the Department of Human Resources  to be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

During the middle of the year, the employee and their manager should meet to review progress, make adjustments if needed and have feedback conversations. It is recommended that this be done on a regular basis. This usually occurs during one on one meetings, or when a work observation is complete.


Performance Evaluation Form - Clerical/Technical
Performance Evaluation Form - Professional/Managerial
Performance Evaluation Form - Probationary Employee
SMART Goals: A How to Guide

Human Resources

Phone:                        304-766-3156
Fax:                             304-766-4156
Campus Address:    105 Cole Complex
Hours:                        Monday - Friday
                                     8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


Human ResourcesFrequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
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