Dear Faculty Relations – I know performance reviews have to be done next month for my university staff and research faculty. What does a successful year-end review look like? - Anxious Supervisor 

Dear Anxious Supervisor – Here are helpful tips for preparing and conducting effective final evaluation meetings: 

  • Review the employee's performance for the entire performance cycle, not just the last few months. Recognize that goals may have shifted substantially since the start of the year: 

  • It was a challenging year personally as well as professionally. 

  • Consider how the employee demonstrated resilience and an ability to lean into challenges and shifts in responsibilities. 

  • Consider how the employee's accomplishments contributed to department goals and the university's mission. Focus on how they stepped up and helped out. How did the employee: 

    • pivot and show agility to changing work demands? 
    • advance our campus values? 
    • demonstrate leadership and sound judgment? 
    • demonstrate the department or university's core competencies?  
  • Review any notes you have kept throughout the year regarding the employee's performance. 

  • Speak with departments or individuals with whom the employee works closely to capture feedback on the employee's performance (360-degree reviews). 

  • Schedule the evaluation meeting in advance and ensure that your meeting is free of interruptions and distractions by securing a quiet space. 

  • Consider sending the final evaluation to the employee 24 to 48 hours before the final evaluation meeting. This will allow the employee to prepare and creates a more mutually conducive and effective meeting.  

  • Acknowledge there were unanticipated challenges this year and take those challenges into account when considering final ratings.  

  • Consider including the employee's self-evaluation in completing your assessment of their performance. Please see the Cornerstone FAQ regarding how to complete self-evaluations.  

  • We urge you to give this process the time it requires and remind you of the benefits of supervisors and employees having conversations together. These evaluation conversations are meant to prepare employees better to develop as professionals and to be able to address the work ahead.  

For the most current Boulder campus performance management program forms and as well as the comprehensive, visit the Cornerstone Knowledgebase. For general campus guidance, visit HR Performance

Written by Kelly Leandro, Assistant Director of Employee Relations, and Natan Tuchman, IT Program Manager, Department of Human Resources