ePerformance FAQs

The FAQ’s below are divided into four sections:  Performance Appraisal Process; ePerformance Components & Terminology; Administrative Tasks; Function Buttons & Actions.

I. Performance Appraisal Process

A. What is effective performance appraisal process?
The University of Houston recognizes that the quality of the university services depends upon its employees.  An effective performance appraisal process requires on-going communication between employee and manager to ensure that the employee has a clear understanding of the supervisor’s expectations and continuous feedback about his or her job performance.  Periodic formal performance appraisals are required to document contributions and performance; any required improvements or adjustments; and future goals.

B. What is ePerformance?

The term ePerformance refers to the annual staff performance appraisal process at UH. The document used to formally evaluate staff performance is an electronic on-line document within the PeopleSoft System and is referred to as the ePerformance document.
The ePerformance process refers to the formal performance appraisal process of regular staff employees. The performance appraisals shall include (1) a written appraisal of the employee’s performance by the immediate manager, and (2) review and approval of the appraisal by the senior manager, and (3) a personal meeting between the employee and the supervisor to discuss the appraisal, and (4) final approval by HR.

C. What employees are required to have an ePerformance document completed?
All regular staff employees of the University of Houston who have completed their probationary period shall receive a formal performance appraisal at least once a year.  A regular staff employee is defined as an employee that is appointed for at least 20 hours per week on a regular basis for a period of at least four and one-half months, excluding student employed in positions designated for students and those employees holding teaching and/or research positions classified as faculty.

Formal performance appraisals are required for employees to be considered for potential merit increase during the subsequent budget cycle in accordance with SAM 02.A.11.

D. What time period is evaluated?

The annual performance appraisals are for the calendar year January 1st to December 31st of any given year.  

E. Where are ePerformance documents located?

Managers that have the responsibility to complete documents on employees that report to them can find the employee documents in the PeopleSoft System within the HR & Campus Solutions→ Manager Self Service→ Performance Management.  The manager should see a document for each of their direct reports.  If documents are missing or if there are documents listed that do not belong please contact your Business Administrator.

Once a manager makes an employee document available for the employee to view the document will be located in the employee’s PASS account under →My Performance Documents→ Current Documents.  

II. ePerformance Components & Terminology

A. What components are included in the ePerformance documentation process for employees?

The ePerformance documentation process includes four stages:

Stage I:  Establish and Weight Criteria (within the first 3 months of the evaluation year)

Establish criteria including goals, job responsibilities and competencies.

Weight each of the sections: Goals, Job Responsibilities, Manager Responsibilities (for Managers only), Customer Service, and Competencies.  Note: Each section has minimum weight assigned. Additional weight can be added so that the combination of the sections equal one hundred.

Weight each of established criteria within the each section, so that the combination of    items within each section equal one hundred.

Complete and make available for employee to review the criteria that they will be evaluated on during that year. This is a great opportunity for a meeting with your employee to discuss expectations.

See Training Video on Establishing Criteria

Stage 2: Rate the employee (within 3 months following the end of the evaluation year)

Rate each of the established criteria items in each section of the ePerformance document by determining the level of performance based on rating definitions.

Complete document and make available for senior manager approval.

Once the senior manager approves, the document will return to the manager.

See Training Video on Rating the Employee

Stage 3: Manager sets a formal meeting with the employee to discuss their performance

This is an opportunity to discuss performance, contributions and ratings with the employee and get feedback.

Once manager has completed meeting and discussion with the employee, indicate meeting complete within the ePerformance document.

Then the document will go to the employee for electronic signature and comments.

Stage 4: Finalize ePerformance document for HR approval

The employee will electronically sign and complete the document.

The document will go back to the manager to complete and send on to HR.

HR will review and approve or deny.  HR will give special attention to overall ratings that fall into “Needs Improvement” which requires a Performance Plan, or “Outstanding” which requires justified documentation that meets the definition of outstanding.  Any documents that do not have qualifying documents supporting these ratings will be denied by HR and rerouted back to the manager for further action.

B.  What does establishing criteria mean?

Establishing criteria for an employee includes creating goals (2-5); reviewing and editing job responsibilities (5-10); and identifying competencies (2-3) that the employee will be evaluated on during that review period.

Goals - Most employees will have new goals each year and this should be an opportunity for managers and employees to work together to determine project goals, service or team goals, or individual performance improvement goals that should be targeted. Target 2-5 goals for the ePerformance document.

Job Responsibilities – This section of the ePerformance document comes directly from the job description.  If the job duties in this section have changed or are not specific enough, managers should edit by adding and deleting criteria to fit the employee’s actual job duties. If a manager changes more than 50% of the job duties, they should contact HR Compensation to discuss.

Competencies – At the beginning of the ePerformance design 10 to 12 competencies were identified for each job.  The goal is to choose 2-3 competencies from that list to work on and delete the rest for that evaluation period.  Competencies can be changed each evaluation period.
For a complete list of competencies go to ePerformance Competencies.

C. What is the difference between a goal, a responsibility and a competency?

A goal is an objective or plan of action that a person or organization plans to achieve.  A SMART goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.  A goal is tangible.

Example:  Employee will increase service call satisfaction rating from 65% satisfied to 80% satisfied within annual review period.
A responsibility is a job task, action, or obligation that is part of your specific position or assignment and most often has a frequency and quality associated with it.

Example: Employee is responsible to provide front line customer service daily by answering the phone, directing customers and taking messages.
A competency is the specific behavior, knowledge, and motivation that an employee must demonstrate in order to be effective in a given job or role. 

Example:  Employee demonstrates collaboration by working effectively and cooperatively with others; establishing and maintaining good working relationships.

D. Why is Customer Service a competency for everyone?

Customer Service continues to be a big focus at the University and for that reason it is an area that will be evaluated for every employee.   Each employee has an opportunity to provide excellent internal or external customer service that will increase a sense of community and care.

In each area managers should identify specific service excellence behaviors and requirements for your employees.  Based on your operation, identify behaviors that exemplify great Customer Service.   If you need assistance please contact the HR training team for assistance at ulearn@central.uh.edu.

E. What is the difference between weighting and rating?

Weighting is determining what percentage of time and effort is spent on a particular area in relation to other areas.  Rating is how well a person performs that particular task or set of tasks.

F. What is the difference between weighting and rating the sections and weighting and rating the individual criteria items?

You will weight and rate sections of the ePerformance (goals, responsibilities and competencies) based on how critical each section is to the position.

Typically the responsibility section will be weighted the most.

You will weight and rate the individual items or tasks based on how critical each item is to that section.

G. Will criteria have to be input each year or will it be transferred to next year’s document?

Each year HR will copy the current document into a new document for the next year.  This will typically take place at the beginning of the year.  Current documents with completed criteria (goals, job responsibilities and competencies) and weighting, will copy over to the new document.  Managers can then edit, delete or add new criteria or weights based on the upcoming year’s expectations.

H. How can managers ensure that they are rating employees consistently?

First managers can help to ensure consistency by making sure that the criteria and the weighting given for each employee is accurate. Second, by understanding the rating scale and applying it based on the definition to each employee. Third, managers should identify specific examples that justify the rating given for each employee.  Following these three steps will help managers provide consistent evaluation of employees.

I. Why is there a rating of “Outstanding” if it cannot be achieved by people?

As you read the definition of the “Outstanding” rating (below) it is evident that this rating will be very rare as an overall rating for most employees.  To achieve this standard an employee would have to receive an “Outstanding” rating on over 80% of the criteria they are being evaluated on. While it will be rare for employee’s performance to reach this standard, there may be occasion for individual criteria to reach this standard and we want to make sure that those individual instances are identified.

Outstanding Performance (4.8- 5.0)

This rare superior performance is beyond what other high achieving performers would produce and is seldom equaled by peers or colleagues. The individual is widely regarded as innovative or expert in their field by external and internal contacts. The employee made individual contributions within the review period well beyond goals set for their role and achieved outcomes that were widely recognized as having significant impact that produced a measurable fiscal or physical enhancement to the University. The contribution may be recognized, externally to the organization such as regionally, state-wide or nationally or system-wide as establishing a new standard or business improvement that would be adopted by other higher education institutions or moves the University closer to Tier One status. The achievements or accomplishments of the individual must be documented and verifiable.

J. What documentation is required to support an “Outstanding” job performance rating?

To substantiate an overall rating of “Outstanding” the manager needs to provide detailed documentation and examples that align with the definition.  They should be looking at examples of “significant impact that resulted in measurable enhancements to the University” and were recognized at a system-wide, regional, state or national level or adopted by other institutions.  Any ePerformance documents received that does not contain adequate support documentation will be denied by HR and rerouted to the manager for review.  To access forms go to ePerfomance Ratings Support Documentation Forms.

K. What is the manager’s responsibility if they have an employee that is rated as “Needs Improvement”?

The manager is responsible to communicate clearly what needs to change in terms of behavior.  This communication should be a two way conversation and must be followed with written documentation. To support a “Needs Improvement” job performance rating managers need to attach a detailed Performance Improvement plan that includes specific actions and behaviors; training and support; timelines and deadlines; and consequences.  This helps ensure that employees have details on how to improve their performance and when it will be reviewed again.  To access forms go to ePerfomance Ratings Support Documentation Forms.

III. Administrative Tasks

A. What resources are available to departmental ePerformance administrators?   

To assist with administering ePerformance documents, an ePerformance sub-menu has been created under UHS HRMS HR to create a “tool-box” for departmental ePerformance administrators.  The following UH custom pages have been moved under the new submenu: View Reports To Positions; EP Documents Status Report; and EP Ratings Report.

B. What if I can’t log in? 

You can request a new password or User ID from the PeopleSoft Sign On screen.

C. What do I do if get an alert that reads “You are not authorized to access this component…Contact your system administrator.”? 

Send an email to the system administrator Sandra Armstrong at SGArmstrong@uh.edu

D. What If I don’t have the correct documents in my queue? 

The Report to Maintenance set up page is what ensures that you have the proper documents in your queue.  The Business Administrators for each college or department maintain this page and keep up with changes in personnel assignments. If you see documents for employees that you do not manage or missing documents for employees that you do, first contact your Business Administrator to determine if changes have been made on the Reports to Maintenance Page.  If that has been completed and you still do not see the documents contact Sandra Armstrong at SGArmstrong@uh.edu or 713-743-1962.

E. Where do I go to change reporting structure when needed? 

Reporting changes should be communicated to the Department Business Administrator or College/Division Administrator.  The Reports To Maintenance page is managed by each department.

F. How  and when do I transfer a document?

This managerial function is located under “Administrative Tasks” in the Performance Management section of Manager Self-Service. A manager can transfer a document when an employee transfers to a new manager; when the manager goes on extended leave and transfers supervisory duties; or when the employee has more than one supervisor that needs to provide input.

G. How and when do I reset the document status?

This managerial function is located under “Administrative Tasks” in the Performance Management section of Manager Self-Service.  A manager may need to change a performance document back to “In Progress” for example after the performance discussion with the employee, edits need to be made.

H. How and when do I cancel a document? 

This managerial function is located under “Administrative Tasks” in the Performance Management section of Manager Self-Service.   A manager may need to cancel a document when an employee leaves the university.  The document will be removed from the manager’s queue but will be archived and available for retrieval by HR.

I. What is the Reports to Maintenance Page? 

This set up page is what ensures that you have the proper documents in your queue.  The Business Administrators maintain this page and keep up with changes in personnel assignments. If there are documents for employees that you do not manage or missing documents for employees that you do, first contact your Business Administrator to determine if changes have been made on the Reports to Maintenance Page.

IV.    Function Buttons and Actions

A. Save: Works like a bookmark to save changes you have made.  Save often to avoid the document timing out.

B. Edit Details:  Within the criteria you create you will have the option to edit the details of the text.

C. Complete: Ends the section you are in and routes the document to the next reviewer in the workflow.

D. Cancel:  Erases any input or edits you have made during the session.  For more information on Canceling Document refer to Administrative Tasks in V.

E. Delete:  Any of the criteria items that are rated (except Customer Service) can be deleted if they do not apply to the employee’s current job.  You can then replace with more accurate criteria descriptions.  Note: In the job responsibilities section the criteria is taken from a general job description (unless updated ) if changes are made to a large percentage of the responsibilities it may be time to review the job description.  In terms of competencies, concentrate on having 2-3 for each employee and delete the rest.

F. View:  Once the manager “completes” the criteria stage, workflow will place the document in the employee’s P.A.S.S. account under “My Performance Documents” – Current Documents for the employee to “View”.

G. Notes: The manager has an option to enter performance notes under the Maintain Performance Notes section in the Performance Management area.  These notes are private and do not transfer to the document for the employee to see unless the manager transfers.

H. Attachments: At the end of the ePerformance document you will see a button named “Attachments” click on the button and upload saved support documents.  Document Forms are provided for employee rated “Outstanding” or “Needs Improvement” at ePerformance Ratings and Attachments.

I. Notify:  Allows you to email employee without accessing  Outlook (Tip: Copy Yourself)

J. Reopen or Open:  Once you have completed the criteria, the “Reopen” function will appear allowing you to enter the document and make edits.