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Workplace Practices: Performance Evaluations

SECTION: HR - Workplace Practices NEXT REVIEW DATE: June 2017
APPROVED: May 2011 REVIEWER: Director of Human Resources
APPROVED BY: William C. Rickle, S.J. REVISION DATE: June 2016

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Wheeling Jesuit University evaluates the performance of its employees regularly to improve communications and to reinforce mutual understanding between supervisor and employee regarding performance expectations, job requirements, priorities, and future goals.


2.1 Policy
Performance should be discussed informally as frequently as possible during the year with a formal evaluation meeting scheduled annually per the Compensation Policies.

2.2 Definitions

2.2.1 "Performance management" - an ongoing process designed to assist employees to perform their jobs at the highest possible level and thereby contribute to the achievement of the university's strategic goals.

2.2.2 "Objectives" - Focal points established for employees to improve their skills.

2.2.3 "Competencies" - Behaviors deemed necessary by the University for employees to exhibit in the performance of their job duties.

2.4.4 "Essential Functions" - The area on every job description delineating general day-to-day tasks which the incumbent employee is tasked to perform; separate from Objectives, these are the assigned job’s roles and responsibilities which the employee is expected to be able to satisfactorily perform.

2.2.5 "Personal Improvement Plan" (PIP) - an outline of corrective actions specifying training and professional development for an employee complete with measurable expectations.

2.3 Procedure

2.3.1 All employees are formally evaluated at the conclusion of their initial review / probation period (designated by the position but generally no later than six (6) months after start) and annually thereafter by their supervisors.

2.3.2 Annual evaluations for full time employees who work 12 month schedules should be held during the months of July and August. Employees who work part time or whose work is less than twelve (12) months will be evaluated annually at the conclusion of their work assignment / work year.

2.3.3 The performance management process includes:

  • Objectives: Performance evaluations assist the employee in continuing professional development. Consequently, there should be an annual plan to focus the efforts of the employee on activities that simultaneously benefit both the employee and the University; and
  • Competencies: Performance evaluations assist the employee in modifying behavior to reflect the University's values. Employees should be coached to exhibit behaviors which the University believes are appropriate; and
  • Essential Functions: Performance evaluations ensure that each employee is capable of completing the full scope of duties of the assigned job and that the job description accurately reflects the employee's day to day activities. Each employee should receive training to meet the evolving demands of the position assigned.

2.3.4 Employees will be given an opportunity to review and self-assess their performance on Objectives assigned.

2.3.5 During the annual evaluation meeting, supervisors will discuss with each employee both their assessment and the employee's self-assessment on Objectives achieved, adherence to University Competencies, and performance relative to the Essential Functions of the job.

2.3.6 After discussing the job description with the employee, the supervisor will submit any requested updates or modifications to the Human Resources department for review and approval.

2.3.7 The employee and the supervisor will mutually establish and prioritize objectives for the upcoming year.

2.3.8 At the conclusion of the evaluation meeting the supervisor will email the performance evaluation to HR to be submitted for electronic signatures from the employee, the supervisor and the supervisor's superior.

2.3.9 An employee who disagrees with the performance evaluation may comment on the specific areas in which he / she disagrees with his / her immediate supervisor, the reasons why, and cite any specific documentation or facts to support his / her position. Because all performance evaluations are reviewed by the immediate supervisor's superior (the ‘Reviewing Manager') and the Director of Human Resources, material or significant errors in the performance evaluation process, as noted in the employee's attachment, will be read and, if necessary, the employee will be contacted.

2.3.10 The signed copy of the form, with the additional comments of the employee, is filed in the employee's official personnel file in the Office of Human Resources. The supervisor should give a copy to the employee.

2.3.11 Many non-exempt positions (in Physical Plant and Security) do not have individual objectives. They are simply assessed on Competencies and Essential Functions in a "non-exempt general" evaluation form. However, the same process requirements apply and the supervisor must submit the form to HR for electronic signatures.

2.4 Objective Setting
Supervisors will use the S.M.A.R.T. process to establish goals and objectives for employees and these will apply to the annual performance appraisal process as well as the Performance Improvement Plan; the acronym stands for:

  • Specific - The goals has a specific outcome or a precise objective to be accomplished. That outcome is stated in numbers, pounds, percentages, frequency, reach, scientific outcome, etc., and is clearly defined;
  • Measurable - This means that the objective can be measured and the measurement source is identified. If the objective cannot be measured, the question of funding non-measurable activities is discussed and considered relative to the size of the investment. All activities should be measurable at some level;
  • Achievable - The objective or expectation of what will be accomplished must be realistic given the market conditions, time period, resources allocated, etc.;
  • Relevant - This means that the outcome or results of the program directly supports the outcomes of the University;
  • Timely - This means stating clearly when the objective is to be completed.

2.5 360 Degree Evaluation
To obtain additional feedback from other individuals who are peers and who work with the employee, the supervisor may initiate a 360 degree evaluation. Plans should be discussed with Human Resources prior to issuance.

2.6 Performance Improvement Plan

2.6.1 As Part of the Performance Evaluation:

  • An employee who receives an assessment of "Achieved Some Expectations; Needs Improvement" on select items will be provided developmental plans to achieve in the subsequent year's goals and objectives. If the employee fails to improve, the subsequent year's evaluation will note the repeat of "Achieved Some Expectations; Needs Improvement" as a "Did not Meet Expectations / Did Not Achieve Objectives."
  • An employee who receives an assessment of "Did Not Meet Expectations / Did Not Achieve Objectives" should be immediately placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (P.I.P.) by his / her immediate supervisor. The P.I.P. will be according to the format noted and must be subsequently reviewed and approved by the Executive Administrator with overall responsibility for the department and the Director of Human Resources.
    • The P.I.P. should identify the areas of concern which the supervisor has discussed with the employee and the proposed training or programs whose completion is necessary to rectify each of the areas. The employee and supervisor should work together to identify the training or programs; however, the supervisor may elect to mandate a specific course of action. The specific requirements for acceptable performance as well as dates of expected completion must be clearly stated.
    • The P.I.P. is to be completed within the time frames noted but not less than thirty (30) and not more than ninety (90) days. The days to completion may be extended with the approval of the Executive Administrator responsible for the department.
    • Once the P.I.P is discussed with the employee, both the supervisor and the employee will sign the P.I.P acknowledging the P.I.P. as the employee's requirements for continued employment.
    • Satisfactory completion of the P.I.P. now becomes a condition of employment.

2.6.2 An employee on a P.I.P.:

  • Whose behavior improves by the time limits prescribed will be taken off the P.I.P and the P.I.P. will be dismissed. The employee will then follow the normal process for performance evaluation with the balance of the University's employees;
  • Whose behavior improves in at least 2/3 of the areas noted may be placed on a continuation of the P.I.P for the remaining area. Once that area improves the employee will be taken off the P.I.P.
  • Whose behavior fails to improve per the requirements of the P.I.P may be demoted, transferred, or terminated.

2.7 Performance Improvement Plan - Outside the Performance Evaluation Process

2.7.1 An employee whose performance deteriorates or fails to meet standards / expectations of the position may be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (P.I.P.) outside the performance evaluation process. If that occurs, the process will begin at 2.4.2 above.

2.8 Performance Evaluation Process
The process will be completed electronically according to the program developed by ITS; when the performance evaluation period opens the supervisors will receive notification via email.


The Director of Human Resources has the authority to change, modify or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice and with the approval of the University President or his designee.


Compensation Policies - Perfomance Evaluation
Form - Performance Evaluation Instrument (Administration)
Form - Performance Evaluation Instrument (Staff)
Form - Personal Improvement Plan (P.I.P.)
Corrective Discipline Policy
Performance Improvement Plan Form

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