Defining ratings for staff performance evaluations

Virginia Tech identifies four possible ratings for staff employees, explained below. Remember that evaluating performance means comparing actual performance to the performance standards outlined in the Performance Plan. A performance evaluation must be based on the employee’s performance and job-related behavior, and not on the employee’s personal traits or other factors unrelated to the job. The logic behind a four-point system is that it helps eliminate the temptation to generalize employees as average, into a “middle of the road” category. There is no formula used to calculate how many goals and competencies equate to each overall rating. Please review these explanations and contact me with questions or clarifications.

Model Performance: Very few employees at the university will meet this standard for the overall rating. This rating is reserved for performance that is truly exemplary. The accomplishments and behavior of these individuals consistently and considerably surpass established standards and significantly contribute to the goals of the department, Senior Management Area, or the university. Supervisors should recognize and document extraordinary performance as it occurs throughout the performance review year to support this rating at evaluation time.

Strong Performance: Most employees at the university will meet this standard for the overall rating. This rating represents good, solid performance. Goals are met and may, on occasion generate results above those expected.

Developing Performance: Some employees at the university will be rated at this level. Employees in this category may partially meet performance expectations but need improvement. Probationary employees should not automatically be rated at this level unless they are not learning the job at the expected rate. Please outline the specific steps to achieve needed improvements in the Career Development Plan section of the evaluation.

Unacceptable Performance: Very few employees at the university will be rated at this level. The supervisor should contact CALS Human Resources. This rating is used when the performance of an individual fails to meet minimum position requirements. Performance deficiencies should be addressed and remedied as they are identified throughout the year. Therefore, in accordance with state policy, an employee cannot be rated Unacceptable on the evaluation if the deficiency has not been properly documented with a Notice of Improvement Needed (P142) or Written Notice during the performance period. CALS Human Resources will work with you on a re-evaluation plan and timeline.

Download ratings definitions in a PDF

Related: Performance evaluation timeline

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