UT Dallas Monogram

The University of Texas at Dallas

Performance Appraisals

Performance Communication

Effective performance management is first and foremost about communication. Supervisors cannot manage or direct employee performance if they fail to practice good communication skills. Likewise, employees who do not practice good communication skills toward their supervisors place themselves in a situation ripe for misunderstanding. Effective communication is critical to the success of the University, to every department and to every employee. Solid performance communication benefits everyone. Given appropriate attention, effective performance communication:

  • Fosters good working relationships.
  • Provides opportunities to discuss and clarify performance expectations.
  • Establishes a baseline to measure how well an employee is performing.
  • Creates a plan of action for monitoring and providing feedback on performance.
  • Recognizes the efforts and accomplishments of others.
  • Develops effective supervisors and productive employees.

Check for training to help supervisors and managers develop and expand their communication skills.

Annual Performance Appraisals

According to the UTD Performance Policy, “all classified and administrative and professional (A&P) staff will have their job performance evaluated on an annual basis.” Annual reviews are conducted during the first quarter of each calendar year to assess performance from January 1 to December 31 of the prior calendar year. Annual reviews are due into the Office of Human Resources by the last working day in May.

The purposes for the annual performance appraisal include but are not limited to the following:

  • To align the responsibilities of each job with the mission of UT Dallas and the mission of the employee’s department.
  • To encourage open communication between the supervisor and their staff.
  • To assess progress towards meeting established goals, and to establish goals for the next appraisal period.
  • To identify areas where development is needed, and discuss resources to support development.
  • To document employee growth and development needs as well as achievements.
  • To support analysis and decisions related to staffing, compensation and training.

Fundamentally, the annual appraisal is designed to serve as a tool that helps supervisors increase productivity, communicate expectations, establish goals for the coming year, and report the employee’s success in meeting the past year’s performance expectations. One of the most common mistakes supervisors make with regard to the appraisal process is that they fail to treat it as a process.

The completion of the Annual Performance Appraisal form is a small part of the appraisal process. In its most productive form, performance appraisal is actually a continuous, year-round practice of exchanging information between the supervisor and employee that begins and ends with the formal annual performance appraisal meeting. The most highly motivated, productive employees are those who know what they are supposed to do and how well they are doing it, who participate in planning how their work will be accomplished and who have an open, honest rapport with their supervisor. Supervisors are strongly encouraged to make the annual review meetings participative and collaborative, and to solicit input from employees.

Another common mistake is treating the Annual Performance Appraisal as a corrective action. If the employee's performance, behavior, or attendance requires corrective action, the supervisor should address the action as soon as possible and not wait until the annual performance appraisal. If the past performance documented on the appraisal form is ongoing, it may be appropriate for the supervisor to administer a corrective action either with, or within a short time-frame (e.g., 4 weeks) of, the annual performance appraisal. Supervisors should consult with Employee Relations staff to discuss.

All employees who receive an annual review should sign the review to indicate they have read it. The employee’s signature does not indicate agreement, only that the employee has read and received the annual review from their supervisor. If employees have questions or concerns about the review they received, they should communicate with their direct supervisor to address their concerns. If there is no resolution, or the concern is related to the immediate supervisor, employees are encouraged to contact their next-level supervisor for resolution. If the issue persists, or there is no resolution, employees should contact Employee Relations staff.

Probationary Appraisals

Supervisors should complete probationary appraisal forms (i.e., at 30-, 90-, and 180-days following the date of hire) for employees who are newly hired to UT Dallas, or UT Dallas employees who transferred to a new position.

Probationary appraisals assessing performance in the last quarter of the calendar year will meet the requirements for the annual appraisal process.

Resources

Appraisal forms provided by the Office of the Provost:

Appraisals for teaching assistants (TAs), research assistants (RAs) and graduate research assistants (GRAs) are overseen by the Office of Graduate Education. Please see the links to these forms below.