Performance Evaluations Policy

Effective Date

June 12, 2017

Last Revision Date

June, 2023 

Responsible Party

Human Resources


Staff and Administrative Employees


Marymount University’s (“University”) performance appraisal process provides guidance to managers for planning, assessing performance, and making performance pay increase recommendations for non-faculty and non-student employees. Performance evaluations are an important component of employee development and are used to help managers communicate expectations, set goals, recognize accomplishments, and used to inform personnel actions such as promotion, transfer, demotion, retention, separation, and merit increases (including bonuses).

1.0 Definitions

1.1 Introductory (Probation) Period

Each new hired employee and current employees who move into a new position, is appointed in an introductory status for the first ninety (90) days of his/her employment. A period in which managers monitor and evaluate the new employee’s performance.  

1.2 Goal Setting

The development of an action plan that guides an employee, a manager or a team to the target or objective they wish to achieve.  Goal setting is the process of identifying and assessing goals that the supervisor and the employee want to achieve.

2.0 Schedules

2.1 Introductory Period

A performance evaluation will be conducted before the employees’ Introductory Period has ended. In most cases, the Introductory Period will last for ninety (90) days from the date of hire, but it is subject to one ninety (90) day extension at the discretion of the university.

2.2 Annual Performance Evaluation

The annual performance appraisal process for staff and administrative employees is July 1st through June 30th following the fiscal year calendar. The appraisals should be conducted during the months of July and August and are due to Human Resources by September 1st.

2.3 Other Reviews and Evaluations

Informal quarterly or mid-year performance reviews are optional.

3.0 Introductory (Probation) Period Evaluation

3.1 General Principles

  1. The new employee uses this period to determine whether MU fits his/her career goals.
  2. During the Introductory Period the manager monitors and evaluates employee performance. 
  3. Employment may end at the option of the employee or the university at any time before the end of the Introductory Period. 
  4. The manager must complete a 90-day Evaluation prior to the end of the introductory period about granting extended employee status, extending the introductory period or terminating the employment relationship. 
  5. During this introductory period, as with any other period of time that an employee works for the university, the “employment-at-will” policy is in place, meaning that either party may terminate the employment relationship with or without notice and with or without cause.
  6. Completion of the introductory period neither guarantees an employee continued employment, nor implies an employment contract. 
  7. Until the introductory period is successfully completed, the provisions regarding the staff grievance procedure do not apply. 
  8. Faculty probationary periods and introductory assessments are discussed in the Faculty Handbook.

3.2 Extension of Introductory Period

  1. An employee’s introductory period may be extended when the employee is absent from work for a minimum of one full week due to a serious illness or the illness of an immediate family member during such introductory period. The introductory period shall be extended by the amount of time lost due to such absence. 
  2. Any manager wishing to extend the introductory period shall communicate this desire in writing, including the reason(s) for this decision, to his/her manager and Human Resources four (4) weeks prior to the end of the introductory period. This includes extensions due to performance concerns as well as absence extensions.
  3. The manager shall be responsible for informing the employee regarding any extension of the introductory period. This shall be done after the manager has consulted with Human Resources.

3.3 Termination of “Introductory” Employee

  1. During or at the end of the introductory period, the university may terminate any such “Introductory” employee at will and such termination shall not be subject to the grievance procedures. 
  2. Any manager wishing to terminate an employee during his/her introductory period shall communicate this desire to his/her manager and Human Resources

3.0 Annual Performance Evaluation

All university employees are to be made aware of the expectations for their job performance as well as how they will be evaluated for the coming year. The performance management process also identifies the employee’s developmental needs for the job, and develops a performance improvement plan. The process requires regular and on-going feedback and coaching conversations between a manager and an individual contributor. The focus of the conversations is to communicate performance expectations, discuss performance around those expectations, and jointly establish performance goals.

3.1 General Principles

The performance evaluation process should ensure that:

  1. Employees perform work that accomplishes the business needs of the University;
  2. Employees clearly understand the quality and quantity of work expected;
  3. Employees receive ongoing information about how effectively they are performing relative to expectations;
  4. Awards and salary increases are consistent with employee performance and the University’s merit plan for the year;
  5. Opportunities for employee development are identified and provided when possible;
  6. Employee performance that does not meet expectations is addressed; and
  7. Management applies performance ratings in a fair and consistent manner.

3.2 Requirements

  1. Supervisors who evaluate employees should complete training on the performance evaluation process. Online performance management process training is accessible through the Human Resources website.
  2. Performance evaluations should be conducted by the immediate supervisor and discussed with the evaluated employee who should be allowed to submit written comments regarding the evaluation.
  3. Supervisors are required to manage performance on a consistent basis; this includes timely completion of performance evaluations for all staff employees under their direct supervision.
  4. The performance evaluation should be reviewed by the supervisor’s supervisor or the head of the department who may, prior to completion, refer the evaluation back to the supervisor for modification. Once an evaluation has been approved by the supervisor, the employee, and other applicable reviewers, it may not be changed unless the change is the result of a problem solving dispute resolution.
  5. The performance evaluation must be reviewed by Human Resources if the overall rating is lower than a 3, “Satisfactory”. 
  6. An acknowledgement by the employee on the evaluation indicates only that the evaluation was discussed with the employee, not agreement with the evaluation’s content. 
  7. An employee’s failure to meet established performance standards may be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. 

3.3 Special Evaluations

  1. Employees who are on leave without pay, leave of absence, continuous FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act), short term disability, and military leave are not considered to be actively at work. Staff who are on leave without pay, leave of absence, continuous FMLA, short-term disability, and military leave during the annual appraisal review process, will receive an annual appraisal upon returning to active employment status. 
  2. If an employee’s overall rating is “Needs Improvement” or “Unsatisfactory,” a special evaluation may be required to document any improvement, continued problems, or new problems. Supervisors should contact Human Resources for assistance with special evaluations.
  3. An immediate supervisor can request an evaluation at any time for use to correct a particular problem or acknowledge situations involving an employee’s performance.
  4. An employee who is expected to receive a “Needs Improvement” or “Unsatisfactory,” performance expectations appraisal, should be given at least eight (8) weeks notice that the unsatisfactory rating will occur. The eight (8) weeks will provide the employee an opportunity to improve performance. If an employee is on a Performance Improvement Plan, the appraisal process can be temporarily suspended until the employee successfully is removed from the Performance Improvement Plan.

4.0 Rating Scale

4.1 Outstanding = 5

Consistently exceeds performance objectives and is recognized by peers and/or customers as a leader and positive example for others.  Makes significant contributions well beyond normal job responsibilities on a consistent basis.

4.2 Exceptional = 4 

Consistently meets and occasionally exceeds job performance objectives on a regular basis, making valuable contributions to the company.

4.3 Satisfactory = 3  

Consistently meets but does not exceed performance objectives.  Fully competent and is performing the job as expected.

4.4 Needs Improvement = 2

Does not adequately accomplish objectives nor fulfill all responsibilities; must improve within a designated period of time.  Or, new to the position and tasks presently assigned are adequately performed as expected.

4.5 Unsatisfactory = 1

Results are unacceptable, well below expectations, and require immediate improvement.  Does not accomplish most or all position objectives.

4.6 N/A

Unable to evaluate.  This may apply if a goal was delayed, or you are a new supervisor and cannot reasonably rate your employee.

Goal Setting

  1. The annual performance review includes setting and documenting 2-3 goals.  
  2. The employee and supervisor agree on and set specific, attainable targets for the employee or the department. 
  3. Goals are to be clear and concise whilst still being realistic. Plan and document well-defined steps to formulate the specifics of each goal.