Performance Excellence ProcessPerformance Excellence Process Graphic

The Performance Excellence process was designed to be a collaborative effort between supervisors and employees to increase communication and development throughout the year. As a supervisor, use these steps to help you understand what you need to do during each stage.

Step One:   Performance Planning

At the beginning of every cycle, and within 30 days of the Annual Review, meet with your employee to plan their performance/development goals for the coming year. At least a month before the discussion, ask the employee to think about what goals or development items interest them. You should come prepared with ideas as well. The planning meeting should include:

  • Unit needs for the coming year (preferably tied to departmental strategic goals and university initiatives) and the employee's perspective on them.
  • Employee career development interests.
  • Goal setting and development planning.
  • Performance goals must be set, along with a development plan to clarify skill building that will occur during the year. Both your perspective and employee's should be considered in finalizing these plans.
Tips, Tools and Forms
For New Employees:
  • New employees must complete the online training before the meeting.
  • Conduct a Performance Planning Meeting within 30 days of their start date.
  • Be aware of the type of probationary period that is required for the position.

Step Two:   Continuous Feedback, Coaching and Development

Throughout the performance year, there should be ongoing conversations between you and the employee regarding how expectations are being met, including:

  • Recognition for areas in which the employee is performing well.
  • Coaching around areas that need additional improvement or when learning a new skill.
  • Check-ins regarding progress on goals and the development plan.
  • Questions that the employee may have regarding his or her progress.
  • Idea sharing regarding changing needs within the unit or department.
Tips, Tools and Forms

Employees should have opportunities during the year to enhance their skills through formal training, coaching, peer support, etc.

Step Three:  Annual Performance Review

This is the formal assessment of employee performance over the past year. You will get a reminder of the Annual Review one month prior to the due date. Hold the meeting prior to the due date so there is ample time to finalize documents, get signatures and forward to MSU HR by the due date. This meeting is a two-way discussion which provides an opportunity to review the following:

  • accomplishments
  • goals achieved
  • development opportunities completed
  • areas in need of additional improvement
Tips, Tools and Forms

Once the Annual Review is completed a new cycle begins. A Performance Planning meeting for the coming year needs to occur within 30 days of the Annual Performance Review due date. Planning meetings that occur outside of this time frame will appear as completed late in any related reporting.

Performance Improvement Plans

If an employee receives a Does Not Meet Expectations on their annual review, it is required that a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) be completed, signed and submitted to HR along with the Annual Review. The review period for the PIP lasts 90 days, with required feedback at 30 and 60 days. Supervisors should contact their unit HR representatives and/or Employee Relations as needed for assistance with PIP goal setting. Once the PIP timeframe is complete, the supervisor and employee then resume the cycle and complete the Performance Planning meeting in looking at the remainder of the year ahead.


Annual Review Dates and Timeliness
  • It is important the reviews and planning meetings are completed on time. If a review is received 10 or more months past the scheduled Annual Review date, it will be counted toward the next year and the previous will be considered incomplete. You can complete the review early, as long as it is not more than 2 months prior to the due date.
  • Employees will be provided a new Annual Review date whenever a situation arises that causes a change in responsibilities or expectations, this includes a new position within the same unit.
  • Review date changes can be requested for special circumstances, such as a leave of absence for the employee or supervisor, a new supervisor who needs more time to assess, or a clear business need to change the timing. Probationary employees need to complete their probation before a unit can change their review date.

Probationary and Interim Reviews

If the employee has a 12-month probationary period (APA, APSA) use the regular Annual Performance Review formNo special probationary form is needed at this point.

For all other employees who have a probationary period that doesn't align with an annual review: