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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Guide to Effective Staff Performance Evaluation

Download a print version of this guide.

“The research is clear. The outcome is consistent. We know with certainty that the most powerful leadership tool for improving productivity and increasing employee satisfaction is regular, frequent, and balanced performance feedback. Emerging data shows that feedback is a key driver for continuous learning, creativity, and, ultimately, customer satisfaction. ” (Tom Coens and Mary Jenkins)

Timeline for Annual STAFF Performance Evaluations

The annual review period is July 1 through June 30. NOTE: Staff who are serving in probationary periods are not included in this Timeline. Probationary evaluations must be done according to the provisions of respective collective bargaining agreement.

  • May — Spreadsheets of staff members sent to Administrative Services Managers†
  • June through July — Staff Human Resources available for consultation for staff and managers
  • August 31 — Spreadsheets and completed evaluations due to Staff Human Resources

Staff who are serving in probationary periods are not included in this timeline. Hourly intermittent employees who have been employed since January 1 and whose term of employment will continue for at least six more months should be evaluated.

Introduction

The contributions made by each of us are key to the success of our University. Performance evaluations play a significant role in integrating organizational assessment, planning, and goal setting with individual performance planning, goal setting, and measurement. They also provide a framework for professional development and recognition of the quality of work provided by individuals and their commitment to mission and goals of the University. Successful performance management is an ongoing and continuous process involving interactive and open communication between the evaluator and the staff member whose performance is being evaluated.

Ideally, the performance management process continues throughout the year with regular communication and feedback between the evaluator and staff member. Doing so encourages a higher level of performance and ensures compliance with collective bargaining agreement requirements and campus practices concerning preparation and delivery of written performance evaluations at regular intervals. Written performance evaluation serve as a resource for documenting these communications and as a reference document to guide future performance as the year progresses. In as such, performance evaluations provide:

  • A regular focal point to measure individual progress
  • A mechanism for developing and communicating new goals for the upcoming year
  • An opportunity to motivate achievement of increased performance
  • A framework for communication regarding expectations, performance, and personal development
  • An opportunity for staff to share their own performance and goals for the upcoming year and suggest how they could make improvements through their own work.
  • Written recognition of work performance that may also be used as the basis for performance-based salary increases and/or advancement opportunities when these are available.

A well-written performance evaluation clearly communicates performance standards and expectations to the staff member. A well-written performance evaluation also functions as a written framework for recognizing good performance and providing constructive guidance for future achievements. A well-written performance evaluation documents what the staff member has accomplished and provides tangible examples of how performance could be improved. Finally, well-written performance evaluation reflects how the staff member has contributed to the accomplishment of personal and organizational goals.

Although evaluations should address performance as it occurs, there are established minimum intervals in which written evaluations must be prepared and delivered.

  • Permanent staff — Receive a minimum of one Performance Evaluation annually.
  • Temporary staff — Receive a minimum of one Performance Evaluation annually.
  • Probationary staff — There are a variety of collective bargaining requirements regarding the frequency of Performance Evaluations. When there is no language in a specific agreement regarding the frequency of probationary Performance Evaluations, the campus practice is to conduct at least two evaluations during the probationary period. This guide is intended to be a resource for individuals responsible for evaluating staff job performance. It may also assist staff who are being evaluated to better understand the staff evaluation process.

NOTE: This guide does not apply to the evaluation of management positions.