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02.01.04 – Staff Performance Appraisals

Section: Human Resources

Area: Compensation

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This document sets forth uniform guidelines for evaluating the performance of regular University of Houston staff employees. This document is prepared in compliance with applicable state and federal laws and court rulings and with University of Houston System Administrative Memorandum (SAM) 02.A.11 .


The University of Houston recognizes that the quality of 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 manager's expectations and continuous feedback about the employee's job performance. There is a need, however, to periodically conduct formal performance appraisals as described within this document.

All regular staff employees of the University of Houston shall receive a formal performance appraisal at least once a year. New employees hired on or before September 1 must receive a formal performance appraisal. Performance appraisals shall include (1) a written appraisal of the employee's performance by the immediate supervisor and (2) a personal meeting between the employee and the supervisor to discuss the appraisal.

System-mandated training is considered a minimum job expectation of all employees. Those who do not complete annual mandatory training by the published deadline will not have met their minimum job expectations and will therefore not be eligible for potential merit increases, in accordance with SAM 02.A.11 and SAM 02.A.26 .

Performance appraisals are confidential.

The policy of the University of Houston System and its components is to ensure equal opportunity in all its educational programs and activities, and all terms and conditions of employment without regard to age, race, color, disability, religion, national origin, ethnicity, military status, genetic information, or sex (including gender and pregnancy), except where such a distinction is required by law. Additionally, UH System prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment and educational programs on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. For the UH System's Official Non-Discrimination Statement, see SAM.01.D.05 – Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement .


A. College/division administrator: The chief business manager within each college or division.

B. Manager: The faculty or staff member who directly supervises the employee's day-to-day work activities and who is responsible for assigning and evaluating the employee's work.

C. Performance appraisal: A formal appraisal by the manager of the employee's performance during a period of time using the appropriate forms, including electronic methods and procedures as designated by Human Resources and within this document.

D. Probationary employee: A probationary employee is a regular non-exempt staff employee with less than six months of continuous employment or re-employment following a break in service for any reason other than a recall to work after an approved reduction in force, or a regular exempt staff employee with less than 12 months of continuous employment, or re-employment following a break in service for any reason other than a recall to work after an approved reduction in force.

E. Regular staff employee: A university employee who 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 students employed in positions for which student status is required as a condition of employment and those employees holding teaching and/or research positions classified as faculty.

F. Senior Manager: The faculty or staff member responsible for reviewing the validity and integrity of the manager's evaluation of the employee's work performance. The senior manager may be the next higher official over the employee's supervisor or may be a departmental or college/division administrator.


A. Among the objectives of the appraisal process are:

1. To provide clearly defined performance standards based upon the employee's current job description to ensure that employees know what is expected of them.

2. To encourage managers and employees to have face-to-face discussions and provide employees feedback about their job performance.

3. To express appreciation for meritorious contributions and performance; conversely, to discuss performance areas where improvement is possible or needed and to outline plans for improving performance.

B. Additionally, performance appraisals are a valuable management tool to assist in making personnel decisions related to promotions, reclassifications, merit increases, training needs, career development, and so forth. Merit salary adjustments will not be approved unless a current performance appraisal indicating meritorious performance has been conducted and is on file in Human Resources.


A. Completed Performance Document: All performance appraisals must be done on an official Performance Document provided by Human Resources unless an alternate form has been reviewed and approved in advance by Human Resources. These forms are available through PeopleSoft HRMS.

B. Face-to-face meeting between the employee and manager to discuss the performance appraisal.

C. Approvals, review, and acknowledgement as defined in this document.


A. All regular staff employees shall receive a performance appraisal annually within the time frame published by Human Resources.

B. If an employee has not completed their probationary period or has transferred or been promoted to a new position on or before September 1, the manager who supervised the employee for the greater amount of time during the performance year shall complete the performance appraisal during the annual performance appraisal process. However, staff employees without a performance appraisal conducted during the annual performance review process will not be eligible for a potential merit increase during the subsequent budget cycle in accordance with SAM 02.A.11 .

C. Unscheduled manual performance appraisals may be conducted at any time, if deemed necessary by college or division management and with prior review of the situation and circumstances by Human Resources.


A. Human Resources will create ePerformance documents in PeopleSoft HRMS, as well as instructions for completing the documents and for conducting the performance appraisal meeting. Additionally, Human Resources will conduct manager training sessions regarding performance appraisals.

B. College/division administrators are responsible for ensuring that all regular staff employees in their college or division are evaluated in accordance with this document. Toward that end, administrators are responsible for distributing all necessary communications and coordinating PeopleSoft HRMS security access for managers.

C. The manager is responsible for completing and conducting the appraisals of all immediate subordinates.

1. The manager will establish criteria on the ePerformance document within the time frame established by Human Resources and make it available to the employee for review. If the responsibilities delineated in the criteria are substantially different from the duties and responsibilities documented on the employee's job description, the manager will notify the department director so that the job description may be revised in coordination with Human Resources. Whenever a job description is revised, a copy should be given to the employee.

2. The manager will complete the evaluation as defined and within the time frame established by Human Resources for each employee they directly supervise. In those cases where the employee has more than one manager, the manager who reviews most of the employee's work will complete the evaluation. The primary manager should seek written input from all other managers to coordinate a comprehensive review of the employee's work.

3. Except for staff employees who are evaluated with an executive document template, upon completion of the evaluation by the manager, the ePerformance document is forwarded to the senior manager for review and approval prior to its discussion with the employee.

4. Upon approval by the senior manager, the manager will make the ePerformance document available for review by the employee.

5. The manager will conduct an interview with the employee to discuss the performance appraisal. The appraisal interview shall be scheduled in advance and with only the manager and employee in attendance. After the performance appraisal interview has been conducted, the manager will indicate on the ePerformance document that the review has been held and make the document available for the employee to acknowledge.

The employee shall electronically sign the ePerformance document, acknowledging that the employee had the opportunity to comment and discuss the appraisal.

The signature of acknowledgment indicates only that the employee received the appraisal; it does not necessarily indicate agreement with the appraisal itself.

6. If the employee refuses to sign the appraisal, the manager will submit an overriding acknowledgement and note on the document that the "employee refused to acknowledge."

D. Department directors or chairs are responsible for ensuring that all managers conduct performance appraisals on all regular staff employees in their respective departments in a timely manner.

E. College/division administrators are responsible for monitoring the completion and electronic submission of ePerformance documents to Human Resources for all regular staff employees within their college/division.

F. Human Resources will monitor the process to ensure that all required appraisals are completed. Human Resources representatives will contact college/division administrators when it is noted that staff performance appraisals have not been submitted to Human Resources. If the completed appraisals are not provided by the established date, the appropriate dean or associate vice president will be notified.


Regular staff employees who are rated in the two lowest performance-rating categories shall be placed on a Performance Development Plan which, at the minimum, will include all of the following components:

A. Clear identification of the problem(s) to be corrected or the standards to be met;

B. Identification of the remedial action and expected time frame for improvement;

C. Statement of the results of failure to take the specified remedial action;


A. An employee who disagrees with the performance appraisal may file a written rebuttal to the appraisal within five working days of receiving it. The rebuttal should be directed to the senior manager or designee. The rebuttal should include an itemized list of the employee's objections to the appraisal that the employee believes warrants further consideration. The employee has the option of requesting a meeting with the senior manager to discuss the objections to the appraisal.

B. The senior manager has five working days to review and respond to the employee's objections to the performance appraisal. The senior manager should contact the manager for clarification. The response shall be in writing and directed to the employee. If a meeting has been requested, the senior manager will schedule and meet with the employee within the five working days.

C. The employee's written rebuttal and senior manager's written response shall be included in the employee's personnel file.


SAM 02.A.11 – Staff Performance Appraisals
SAM 02.A.26 – Employee Development and Training
MAPP 02.04.01 - Employee Grievances
Performance Development Plan


Issued: 02/03/1995
Last Reviewed/Revised: 01/13/2024
Responsible Office(s): Human Resources