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How to Conduct a Performance Appraisal

Managers should give a written performance appraisal to every career employee at least once a year.

The goal of a performance appraisal is to assess and summarize past performance and develop future work performance goals and expectations.

1. Consult resources and obtain needed training.

2. Prepare for the next performance appraisal at the beginning of the performance management cycle.

The beginning of the performance management cycle is typically after the last performance appraisal.

  • Determine which Performance Management Procedures and Model(s) your department or unit uses for specific job classifications.
  • Review the employee's job description and update as needed.
  • Meet with the employee to review, develop, or revise position standards or goals and clarify your expectations for the employee during the coming year. (See Guide to Performance Management, page 15.)
  • Plan for achieving the desired outcomes. (See Guide to Performance Management, page 35.)
  • Conduct feedback sessions with the employee to discuss progress toward goals and expectations.
  • Consult with Employee Relations in the Human Resources Department as needed.

3. Begin to prepare for the final performance appraisal meeting 30-60 days prior to the meeting.

  1. Review and update, if appropriate, the employee's job description to ensure that it reflects current assigned duties.
  2. Review the employee's work performance for the current appraisal period, including any supporting documents.
  3. Meet with the employee to
    • Discuss the department or unit’s performance appraisal process
    • Prepare the employee to participate in the process
    • Review and discuss essential job functions and strategic goals to be addressed in the current appraisal
  4. With the employee, identify possible training and development opportunities.
  5. Explain to the employee how to prepare an employee self-appraisal, if you plan to use one as part of the appraisal process.
  6. Schedule the second performance appraisal meeting to discuss the initial draft of the performance appraisal, which you will be preparing.

4. Write an initial draft of the performance appraisal using the department or unit's model.

  • See the performance management procedures and models section of the UC Personnel Policies for Staff Members.
  • Either:
    • Prepare an initial draft of the Performance Appraisal and Development Model after the employee returns the completed Employee Self-Appraisal Form
    • Prepare your initial draft of the Performance Appraisal and Development Model and ask the employee to bring the completed Employee Self-Appraisal to the second meeting for discussion of both.

5. Conduct the performance appraisal meeting.

  1. Plan for a private and uninterrupted performance appraisal meeting with the employee.
  2. Review and discuss the draft Performance Appraisal and the Employee Self-Appraisal.
  3. Resolve performance appraisal issues, if any.
  4. Discuss and establish goals, development opportunities, and performance expectations for the coming appraisal cycle.

6. Complete the performance appraisal process.

  1. Produce a final version of the Performance Appraisal and Development Model.
  2. Provide a copy of the final document to the employee for review, comments, and signature.
  3. Follow your department or unit's procedures, e.g., consulting with department head as appropriate.
  4. Acquire all required and appropriate signatures.
  5. Give a copy of the signed document to the employee.
  6. File a signed copy of the document in the employee’s departmental personnel file.
For more information, contact Employee Relations, (858) 534-4115.
Notice: The information on this page summarizes provisions of university policies and/or collective bargaining agreements. Refer to the Personnel Policies for Staff Members (PPSM) and local implementing procedures or applicable collective bargaining agreement for full text of referenced information.