Table of Contents

Preface ..................................................................................................................2

Overview ........................................................................................................3
Timelines and Reporting Requirements ...................................................4
Statutory Requirements and Penalties .....................................................4

II. Planning Process ............................................................................................6
Performance Planning Process ..................................................................7
Statewide Core Competencies ...................................................................7
Writing Goals and Objectives .....................................................................9
Objective Assessments ............................................................................ 10
Subjective Assessments ........................................................................... 11
Examples .................................................................................................. 11
Planning Section ....................................................................................... 14

III. Coaching and Feedback .............................................................................. 15
Tips for Supervisors .................................................................................. 15
Performance Progress Review Meetings ................................................. 16

IV. Performance Evaluation Process ................................................................. 18
Purpose of the Evaluation Process ........................................................... 19
Evaluation Preparation ............................................................................. 19
Some Evaluation Concepts ...................................................................... 20
Form Completion and Evaluation Narratives ............................................ 21
Prior Review ............................................................................................. 22
The Evaluation Session ............................................................................ 23

V. Dispute Resolution Process ......................................................................... 25

VI. Transfers ...................................................................................................... 28

Glossary of Terms ........................................................................................ 29

Revised October 1, 2012


The Colorado School of Mines Performance Management System and this associated
Performance Management User Guide, and performance forms were created in
accordance with State of Colorado statutes, Performance Management guidelines, and
Rules and Procedures of the State Personnel System. They were developed with input
from employees and managers, approved by the administration of the Colorado School
of Mines, and are intended to be dynamic and flexible to meet the diverse work
situations of the employees of the Colorado School of Mines. This User Guide has
been revised to include state personnel rules changes effective in April 2007.

Performance management is critical to success at all levels within the organization. A
good performance management system should link employee goals and behaviors to
the organization’s strategic focus and program directions. If goals are developed
properly, their achievement may be more easily associated with employee
accomplishments – which then may be recognized and rewarded. To this end, the
Colorado School of Mines performance management system has been designed to
encourage collaborative efforts between supervisors and employees, with emphasis on
continuous feedback and improvement.


I. Overview

As a planning and communications tool, performance management helps align
employee efforts with department and school priorities. It is a fluid process built on
open, ongoing communications in order to foster trust and develop a work environment
that focuses on service, improvement and productivity. Done well, performance
management provides valuable feedback, identifies contributions, and helps employees
strengthen job-related knowledge and skills.

Successful performance management systems include the following characteristics:

♦ Campus-wide responsibility and accountability for the success of the process.
♦ Alignment of individual and team efforts with departmental objectives.
♦ Employee and supervisor collaboration and communication during all phases of the
♦ Managers, supervisors, and employees consider and define what needs to be
accomplished and how to accomplish it. These “what and how” elements are
interdependent and combine to represent an individual’s performance objectives.
♦ Managers, supervisors, and employees develop qualitative, quantitative, or other
measures to assess how well these “what and how” elements are accomplished.
♦ An overall work environment that focuses on service and improvement, and is
supportive and nurturing.

The Mines Performance Management system was developed with these characteristics
as basic values. It is divided into three components: Planning, Coaching and Feedback,
and Evaluation. The process should be used throughout the year to enhance employee
performance. Planning is discussed in Section II, Section III covers Coaching and
Feedback, and Section IV explains Evaluation.

Three factors are critical to the success of the performance management process:

1) Careful consideration given to planning and priorities.
2) Ongoing communication between supervisor and employee.
3) Documentation of planning, decisions, communications, reviews, and evaluations.

Supervisors are responsible for performance management. To do this, communication
should be open and frequent. It can be initiated by either the supervisor or employee.
Employees need to know about job expectations and supervisors need to know about
problems and new situations. Both should document events that affect the performance
plan, evaluation, and what is being evaluated. The Performance Management Plan and
Evaluation form has narrative sections for these purposes.

Performance Management should be collaborative; that is, employee and supervisor
work together on developing the performance plan. However, supervisors are ultimately

responsible for the use of the performance management systems, the establishment of
performance plans, and conducting timely performance reviews.

To start the performance planning process, supervisors may decide to do some work
without the employee’s input. For example, a supervisor of three employees who have
essentially the same duties could develop the initial objectives and draft narrative
sections. However, the supervisor must have individual meetings with each employee,
and all employees need to understand the terms of the plan and how each objective will
be evaluated.


• For new hires, supervisors are to create a performance plan within 30 days of the
new employee’s hire date.

• Supervisors and employees are to create annual performance plans each April.

• Supervisors are not required, but are strongly encouraged, to give an evaluation
to new employees who begin employment January through March. If the
supervisor does not give a rating, the default rating of Meets Expectations will be
assigned to the new employee.

• The same annual planning and evaluation cycle must be used for all Classified
employees of the Colorado School of Mines – April 1 through March 31.

• Each supervisor is required to hold and document at least one coaching/progress
review meeting (not later than October) for all permanent, classified employees.

• The final annual performance evaluation and review meeting occurs in March of
each year.

• Employees who have received promotions, or have been assigned different
duties, should have performance plans created or modified as soon as possible
after the change of duties, but not later than 30 days after the changed

Performance management relies heavily on continuous, frequent communication and
feedback, especially when there is a need for improving job performance.


If a supervisor fails to meet the March deadline to complete the annual performance
evaluation, Mines will grant the supervisor a 30-day grace period. If the supervisor fails
to complete the evaluation within the grace period, Mines will invoke the State
Personnel Board Rule 6-5:

Designated raters shall be evaluated on their performance management
and evaluation of employees. Absent extraordinary circumstances, failure
to plan and evaluate in accordance with the department’s established
timelines results in a corrective action and ineligibility for achievement pay.
If the individual performance plan or evaluation is not completed within 30
days of the corrective action, the designated rater shall be disciplinarily
suspended in increments of one workday following the pre-disciplinary
meeting. (7/1/07)

A reviewer must sign the rater’s evaluation of an employee. If the rater fails to
complete an individual performance plan or evaluation, the reviewer is
responsible for completion. If the reviewer fails to complete the plan or
evaluation, the reviewer’s supervisor is responsible, on up the chain of command
until the plan or evaluation is completed as required. If a rating is not given, the
overall evaluation shall be “meets expectations” until a final rating is completed.

For supervisors who are exempt from the state classified system including faculty who
supervise classified employees, Colorado Revised Statute 24-50-104 (c.5)(II) will be
followed which states:

A supervisor, including a supervisory state employee not within the state
personnel system, who does not evaluate subordinate employees in the state
personnel system as required by this paragraph (c.5) on at least an annual basis
shall be suspended from work without pay for a period of not less than one
workday. The provisions of this subparagraph (II) shall only apply to supervisors
who are state employees.

As required by Colorado Revised Statute 24-50-104 (c.5)(III), the President “…shall
determine annually on May 1 whether each supervisor in the [School] has completed
the mandatory performance evaluation required for each [Classified] employee …
during the preceding twelve months. If any evaluations have still not been completed by
July 1, the supervisor may be subject to demotion. If a supervisor has not timely
completed annual performance evaluations for two consecutive years, the supervisor
shall be demoted to a nonsupervisory position.”


Performance Planning Steps (to be completed in April):

Supervisor and

employee review

PDQ together

Is the PDQ a
Revise PDQ and send

complete and
revised copy to Mines
accurate job
Human Resources
Identify the goals,
objectives, measurement
methods, and standards
Document the goals and
objectives in the Plan and
describe measurement
methods of progress and
Identify critical skills needed
for success, and write
employee development
objectives as required
Write the Overall
Performance standard

Supervisor and
employee initial plan, the
employee gets a copy,
and file original in
Supervisor’s files, send
certification to HR


Planning should consider elements such as the alignment of the position’s work results
with departmental and strategic goals, the need for working as part of a team or multi-
stage process, the relative importance of each responsibility or task within the position’s
array of duties, the methods of completing the work, the knowledge and skill
development required, and so forth.

An important source of job responsibilities and tasks upon which much of the planning
can be based is the official job description, a Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ).
There should be one on file in the department where the position resides and in the
Office of Human Resources.

The PDQ serves the following purposes:

1) It designates the essential functions of the position,
2) Describes the duties and responsibilities,
3) Is the primary document for determining job classification, and
4) Is a basis for developing an employee’s performance plan.

Before any performance planning can be done, the employee and supervisor should
carefully review the PDQ to ensure that it accurately describes the duties and
responsibilities of the position. They need to understand the work assignment.


In addition to the PDQ, the employee and supervisor should review the Statewide Core
Competencies. These competencies are Accountability, Communication, Interpersonal
Relations, Job Knowledge, and Customer Service. The competencies overlap to some
degree. They are measurable patterns of skills, knowledge, behaviors and other
characteristics that employees need to successfully perform in their work roles at Mines.
Their general descriptions are below. HOWEVER, THESE DESCRIPTIONS SHOULD

Accountability -- The degree to which the employee’s work behaviors
demonstrate responsible personal and professional conduct, contributing to the
overall goals and objectives of Mines. The employee knows and adheres to
attendance, leave and other relevant policies, procedures, rules and regulations;
displays a positive attitude, conveys a positive image of Mines, and encourages
others to do well; takes the initiative to improve professional growth; is motivated,
flexible, and committed to performing high quality work; demonstrates high
standards of ethical conduct; etc.

Interpersonal Relations -- The degree to which the employee interacts
effectively with others to establish and maintain smooth working relations. The
employee develops and maintains effective, professional relationships; gains

confidence and trust; considers and responds tactfully to the needs of others;
takes personal responsibility for own words and actions, respects the opinions of
others, etc.

Job Knowledge: The degree to which the employee is skilled in job-specific
knowledge that is necessary to provide the appropriate quantity and quality of
work in a timely and efficient manner. Because of his or her knowledge of the
job, meets work standards, schedules, and deadlines; demonstrates efficiency in
completing duties; sets priorities, is motivated; makes sound, well-informed,
objective decisions; resolves problems; makes continuous improvements and
takes on additional duties as needed.

Customer Service: The extent to which the employee works effectively with
internal and external customers and/or clients to satisfy their service/product
expectations. The employee demonstrates a knowledge of products and
services; gets the customer’s input; assesses their needs; focuses on finding
solutions and/or offers alternatives; responds to requests for information,
products, or services promptly, courteously, and effectively; etc.

Communication: The degree to which the employee effectively communicates
by actively listening and sharing relevant information with co-workers,
supervisor(s) and clients so as to anticipate problems and ensure the
effectiveness of Mines. The employee keeps co-workers, supervisors, and
customers informed; actively listens; provides clear instructions and
expectations; and communicates effectively orally and in writing in a manner that
is well organized, appropriate, and courteous; etc.

Classified employees who are supervisors also will be evaluated on the
Supervision/People Management core competency as well as on those above.

New employees will receive a copy of the Statewide Core Competencies during New
Employee Orientation, but the supervisor and employee should discuss their content,
revising as appropriate to the job, and the associated standards when establishing the
performance plan.

Important components of the planning process are the planning meeting and completing
the Performance Plan Certification Form. The performance planning process may be
broken down as follows:

1. Prepare for the meeting by gathering the necessary materials—a copy of the
Position Description Questionnaire (PDQ), the User Guide, Statewide Core
Competencies, and the Mines Performance Management Form.

2. Prior to the meeting, both supervisor and employee review the PDQ for accuracy
and adequacy, review the User Guide, Statewide Core Competencies, and the

form, consider the past performance period, and think about goals and objectives
for the future.

3. During the meeting, supervisor and employee discuss the duties and
responsibilities, future goals and objectives, methods of measure, and what
distinguishes exceptional, exceeds expectations, and competent levels of
performance. It is also important that the supervisor and employee identify what
might cause performance to be less than competent so that those behaviors can
be avoided.

4. All employees should have at least two specific Individual Performance
Measures incorporated into their plans. These are duties, responsibilities, and/or
behaviors that are specific to the employee and/or position. During this time the
supervisor and employee should discuss any training and development activities
that might occur during the appraisal period.

5. Following the meeting, the supervisor is responsible for refining the discussion
and preparing the performance plan. A summary of the performance plan should
be entered in the planning section of the Performance Management Plan and
Evaluation Form.

6. The performance plan is finished with a meeting between the supervisor and the
employee when the performance plan is completed, signed, and dated. Later
changes can be written on the plan, if needed, and initialed by both the employee
and supervisor. The supervisor files the original signed plan in appropriate
departmental files and the employee is given a copy.

7. The Performance Plan Certification Form should be completed, signed and sent
to the Human Resources Office.


Mines Performance Management revolves around identifying job relevant outcomes,
results, behaviors, knowledges, and skills. This is accomplished by writing goals and
objectives. Performance goals are targeted levels of activity (job duty and/or
competency) expressed as tangible, measurable objectives. They should be specific
and defined in terms of results that can be measured against the actual achievement.
When written effectively, they are challenging, attainable, observable, and
measurable. Individual, department, and school goals should be linked to each other.
However, they should also be flexible and changed as conditions warrant.


When writing goals and objectives, keep in mind the following model:

Specific – they clearly define the work involved
Measurable – quantitative, qualitative, and timely
Agreed – both supervisor and employee are committed
Realistic – an acceptable but stretching challenge
Timed – specify completion and review dates

Goals and objectives are written to achieve five basic outcomes: to achieve day-to-day
assignments; to resolve identified problems; to support innovation; to encourage
professional development; and to accomplish specific projects and activities in support
of institutional and departmental goals.

After performance objectives have been identified, the next part of the planning
discussion should be devoted to identifying how achieving the objectives is to be
measured. This discussion likely will focus on both objective and subjective
assessments. Both supervisors and employees need to understand the importance of
these two types of assessments and how they are used in performance management.

Objective Assessments rely on counting, measuring, or using some form of non-
disputable observation. These assessments often involve quantity of work
(productivity), timeliness (meeting deadlines), accuracy, completeness, or any
combination of any of these. Examples of clear, understandable, objective
assessments include:

1) Requiring an employee to enter 50 transactions per day.
2) Returning phone calls within a 24-hour period.
3) Mopping 500 square feet in a 5-minute time period.

But remember, whenever objective measures are used, they must be measured and
consideration must be given to how the measurements will be made, how often the
measurements will be made (sampled vs. all), and how well the measure relates to the
purpose of the work. For example, measuring keyboarding speed can be achieved, but
for most positions that use computers, this element is not among the more important or
pertinent components of good performance.

In the best of all worlds, it would be desirable if all aspects of performance evaluation
could be based on objective measures that are easily observed and relevant to good
performance. Certainly, there may be objective methods for evaluating performance for
many assignments. The reality is that few positions exist that can be totally evaluated
using objective measures. There is also a danger, however, in striving to find
objectively measurable performance indicators -- many things can be measured, but
such indicators must not fail to be relevant to truly successful performance of the job.


Subjective Assessments rely on the interpretation of an observer or are based on the
description of desired behaviors or competencies. These judgments focus on ‘how well’
work is done. The Statewide Core Competencies are behaviors that are critical to
success for all Mines employees. For example an employee's professional demeanor,
communication style, or interpersonal interactions may result in a negative reaction by
an observer or customer.

Supervisors provide observations, feedback and evaluations based on these observed
behaviors. An outcome of these observations may be that the employee needs to
improve communications, customer service, or interpersonal relations abilities and
interactions. An employee may believe that s/he did nothing wrong and has the opinion
that everything was done or said appropriately or properly. Yet, the effect on the
observer or customer was real to that person. This is a subjective evaluation. The
supervisor is responsible for making subjective decisions about a subordinate
employee's performance; it is required and a necessary part of evaluating job
performance. To augment the direct observation, the supervisor may use other sources
for information, such as customer feedback and co-worker input. While prior notice to
the employee whose performance will be surveyed is not required, it is good practice to
make the data collection methods part of the planning discussions.

Examples: Below are examples of performance statements for an Administrative
Assistant and a Maintenance Mechanic. Below each statement is an example of the
how a performance standard might be constructed to measure success.

Administrative Assistant

The following is a task or responsibility statement for an Administrative Assistant (from
the PDQ):

Uses word processing and spreadsheet software to compose correspondence,
teaching materials, grants, schedules, letters, reports, budget summaries, etc.
Edits and reviews documents as appropriate.

A Performance Statement for this task might be:

Demonstrates knowledge of MS Word and Excel as it relates to creating
documents and financial reports. This knowledge includes the use of tables;
applying colors, borders, graphics; formula calculations; and other techniques.

An example of the performance measure (Objective) might be:

A “Meets Expectations” rating will be achieved by creating documents and
financial reports that are properly formatted and grammatically correct,
demonstrating knowledge of outlines, tables, text boxes, and mail merge. (A
QUALITY indicator) The work will be timely in most cases and final documents

will only include an occasional error. These skills should be demonstrated within
three (3) months of the performance plan date. (A TIMEFRAME indicator)

An “Exceptional Performer” rating will be given if, in addition to the above, it is
demonstrated how these and other MS software products are linked and can be
utilized together. The monthly financial reports are updated in advance of the
deadline for ease of data entry and summary total calculations. Documents will
be prepared in advance of the deadlines and final copies will be error free except
in rare instances and where the error is not material.

Another task or responsibility statement for an Administrative Assistant might be:

Greets incoming visitors, answers and directs incoming phone calls, and answers
questions from students, faculty, and staff about departmental programs.

A Performance Statement for this responsibility might be:

Demonstrates knowledge of departmental programs and operations including
application processes and entrance information. Greets visitors and provides
them with the necessary information.

An example of the performance measure (Subjective):

A “Meets Expectations” rating will be achieved by satisfying visitor requests
providing what they requested, providing help soon after their arrival, and not
making unnecessary referrals to someone else. Greetings will be professional
and interactions will occur in a business-like manner. This is documented
through supervisor observation and customer survey.

An “Exceptional Performer” rating will be given if, in addition to the above, it is
demonstrated that when appropriate the customer received more than they
asked for and were offered viable alternatives for satisfying their requests.
Additionally, visitors were greeted in a warm, friendly and courteous manner as
soon as possible after their arrival. Exceptional performance implies that
conflicts do not arise from the actions of the employee, that the employee often
approaches visitors who are upset or concerned in a manner to diffuse virtually
all situations, and that the employee provides consistent, timely and correct
follow-up as needed. Multiple positive compliments are received by the
supervisor during the evaluation period; however, complaints are very rare.


Structural Trades

The following could be a duty statement for a Maintenance Mechanic:

Performs repairs, renovations, and remodels building structures and rooms at

A Performance Statement for this duty might be:

Demonstrates knowledge of carpentry and general maintenance when installing
and/or repairing floor covering and counter tops. This includes ordering supplies,
scheduling jobs, and seeing job through to completion.

An example of the performance measure (objective not subjective) might be:

A “Meets Expectations” rating will be achieved by arriving at the project site on
time, follows safety procedures, completes 90% of the projects on time, and
ensures the area is clean when finished. No code violations are present in the
finished work. (A log is kept or a report is generated from completed work orders
to verify completion)

An “Exceptional Performer” rating will be given if, in addition to the above, it is
demonstrated that all projects are completed within deadlines outlined in the
work orders. All projects are completed within the materials scope budgeted.
Compliments on craftsmanship are common for each project and often received
by the supervisor; presents alternatives when unforeseen circumstances arise
and is still able to meet the completion deadlines.

Another Performance Statement might be:

Provides two (2) ideas of significance per year that are implemented to improve
the department’s service or how to reduce occasional down time.

An example of the performance measure might be (Subjective and Objective):

A “Meets Expectations” rating would occur by meeting the performance goal.

A “Exceptional Performer” rating would given when the idea has a significant
effect on the department or a substantial dollar savings to the department and
the mechanic leads the implementation of the idea, or multiple useable ideas are
presented and implemented achieving substantial dollar savings or significant
effect altogether.

Both of these examples include all of the components of the S.M.A.R.T. model. They
are specific; they include methods of measurement; they establish achievable goals,
yet they clearly expect the employees to have to put forth quality effort towards

achieving the objectives for the different types of positions; they are realistic; and they
include time constraints.
The Office of Human Resources has access to a number of resources to aid in setting
performance objectives and standards. Managers and employees who want assistance
in linking duties and competencies as well as develop goals and establish
measurements are encouraged to contact Human Resources.

Planning Section

The end product of developing performance objectives and standards should be the
annual performance plan. A brief summary of this plan should be entered on the
Performance Management Plan and Evaluation Form, recorded in Section III., Planning
Section. Once the annual plan is complete, the Performance Plan Certification Form
needs to be completed and sent to Human Resources. The planning phase is not
complete until this annual performance plan is complete and the certification form sent
to Human Resources.

Training plans can also be included into the planning section of the Performance
Management Plan and Evaluation Form. Some employees will be learning and
applying knowledge and skills necessary for success on the job. Careful consideration
should be given to any new assignments for the position that require orientation or
training, any areas of weakness in the preceding evaluation, or any areas that would be
appropriate for developmental training. When using a training plan, the supervisor is
agreeing that time or opportunity will be made available for the employee to attend the
program, and the employee is agreeing to learn and apply the skills or knowledge. The
training plans can be incorporated into a goal or objective.


Coaching and feedback are vital components of performance management. These
activities bridge the time between the performance plan and the evaluation. They are
achieved through regular communication regarding performance and identification of
developmental needs. When used properly, good coaching and feedback help to
assure good performance and will prevent surprises at evaluation time.

While the manager/supervisor is responsible for providing performance feedback and
coaching, the individual employee is responsible for actively requesting feedback and
using the data to improve performance, eliminate potential problems, and identify
training needs.

Tips for Supervisors
Below are some coaching and feedback tips that can be used by both employees and

• While supervisors and employees may interact frequently as a natural part of
performing their responsibilities, supervisors should periodically set aside time to
review with their employees how they are progressing with respect to their
performance objectives. Do not limit performance-oriented interactions to the annual
planning and evaluation meetings.
• Establish a check-list to review on a monthly basis.
Acknowledge good performance immediately.
Address problems timely and do not postpone addressing them until the
annual evaluation meeting.
• Observe and record specific examples of performance whenever they occur.
Provide specific feedback, not vague, general observations. Document both good
performance as well as poor performance.
• Keep communication open and frequent. Supervisors should ask employees about
their perceptions regarding their performance and respond to their input.

Feedback can be positive or corrective; acknowledge both. Key elements of effective
feedback are:
• Timely -- It is as immediate as possible.
• Specific -- It is detailed and descriptive.
• Behaviorally based -- It addresses behavior, not character, motivation, or
• Balanced -- It acknowledges positive behavior as well as opportunities for

• Actionable -- It is something upon which the receiver actually has the ability to effect

Some feedback tips:
• Present constructive feedback as a portion of the larger context rather than alone.
• Avoid the use of global statements such as “always/never” and “everyone/no one”.
• Use “and” rather than “but.” “But” tends to negate what came before.
• Replace “should” and “have to” with reasons why.
• Own your feelings. Describe emotions with “I feel” rather than “You make me feel.”
• Be very careful about projecting feelings onto others. “You make John angry…”
• Stick to what happened and the results of what happened with a clear focus on
future performance. “This is what happened, this was the result, what can we do to
improve on it?”
• Direct the feedback toward behavior that the employee can control. Frustration is
increased when an employee is faced with an issue over which s/he has no control.
• When dealing with defensiveness, re-focus on the commitment. Don’t get caught in
the accusations, blame, and defense loop.
• Asking clear and concise questions and using active listening skills are often good
ways to move past strong emotions.
• Give concrete examples of what the employee has done -- positive and negative.
Provide evidence that you are paying attention and committed to recognizing their
positive as well as negative results.
• Review your approach before you speak to the employee. First, how would you feel
or respond if you heard this news.


Performance progress review meetings consist of four steps:

1. Prepare for the Meeting. Gather the performance plan, personal notes and records,
letters and memos from others, and examples of work. Schedule the meeting with
the employee at an available time and in an appropriate meeting room that is private
and uninterrupted.

2. Review the Plan. The supervisor and employee must meet not later than the month
of October to review the employee’s mid-year performance. (Meetings may be held
more frequently depending on the desires or needs of the supervisor and/or

employee.) During this meeting the performance plan is reviewed and performance
objectives are discussed to determine where the expectations have been met,
exceeded, or need improvement.

3. Adjust the Plan. Adjustments can be made to the performance plan, if necessary,
and the supervisor and employee can clarify the expectations.

4. Document the Discussion. Enter written documentation of the progress review
meeting in Section IV of the Performance Management Plan and Evaluation Form
along with narrative observations of performance or other relevant comments as
appropriate. The supervisor maintains the original form and a copy is given to the


Performance Evaluation Process – after obtaining prior approval of the draft evaluation.

Supervisor and employee

discuss employee’s results

in relation to objectives in

performance plan

Describe and assess employee’s
job performance using the
measurement methods in the
performance plan
Discuss results of the
measured goals and
objectives outlined in the
performance plan
Complete evaluation form,
according to rating levels: Needs
Improvement, Meets
or Exceptional Performer
Performance evaluation is
reviewed and signed by next
level supervisor.
Employee and supervisor
Is the
develop a performance
improvement plan that
includes specific actions,
Expectations or
consequences, and
checkpoint dates. A

corrective action may be
Employee, supervisor, and
reviewer sign evaluation
form. Begin performance
planning for next year.
Send original signed copy of
evaluation to HR, employee
receives copy, and 1 copy is
retained for work unit files

Performance evaluation is the process of assessing and summarizing the work
performance of an employee. Every classified employee must receive an annual written
performance evaluation (March).

The evaluation session is the culmination of a well thought-out, documented, and
understood performance plan. When done correctly, the evaluation provides a detailed
and accurate picture of the employee’s performance during the evaluation period.

Supervisors are responsible for obtaining training in Performance Management
and for using the Performance Management System with their employees. All
employees need to understand their roles and responsibilities in the process.


• Assess and Document Employee Performance

• Provide a Basis for Salary Adjustments

• Provide a Basis for Future Coaching

• Provide Feedback and Input

• Provide Basis for Employee Training and Development


This section advises supervisors how to effectively prepare for the employee evaluation
process: preparing to write the evaluation, writing the evaluation, and notifying the
employee of the upcoming evaluation session.

Review PDQ and Work Record
Before meeting with the employee, review the PDQ and work record for the evaluation
cycle. Obtain performance feedback from people with whom the employee has worked,
including direct reports, if appropriate. Where customer service is a key part of the job,
feedback from customers may be solicited. Gathering information from these other
sources should be discussed with the employee as part of the planning process.
Review prior performance evaluations, along with the interim progress reviews that
were conducted. Construct a draft evaluation and obtain prior authorization to proceed
from the Reviewer.

Meeting Schedule and Expectations
Schedule the performance review meeting with the employee in advance and
communicate what you expect the employee to bring to the meeting (written self-
assessment, examples of work, notes, etc.). It is acceptable and a good idea to ask

the employee to complete a copy of the Performance Evaluation form and the
Classified Employee Performance Evaluation Supplement form as a means of self-
evaluation; obtain feedback from key co-workers and/or customers; identify specific
examples of when they’ve been successful; to identify methods to utilize skills,
strengths and talents; and to consider how to improve skills and weaknesses.

If the employee reported to more than one supervisor or manager during the evaluation
period, consult with the other supervisor or manager for input on the evaluation. Before
including any information in an evaluation that indicated there was a performance
problem, ask the previous supervisor or manager if the information about the problem
has been shared with the employee and obtain any documentation about the issue.

Two general principles to keep in mind when assessing an employee’s performance

• Supervisors should exercise due diligence and reasonable judgment in collecting
information from other sources to assist in assessing an employee’s performance.
This allows supervisors to base the evaluation on more than just their perceptions of
the employee’s performance. More sources of information may create credibility in

• Supervisors must determine what level of influence to give each piece of
information. Some sources are more credible, valid, and consistent than others, and
it is up to the supervisor to determine the credibility and reliability of each source of

Some Evaluation Concepts to Consider:

Impressions vs. Data – Ask yourself: “Do I have specific information on
behaviors or instances to justify my ratings?”

Compatibility vs. Non-compatibility – Ask yourself: “Am I giving a more
positive evaluation because this employee is more like me, agrees with me,
doesn’t “make waves”, etc?”

Halo vs. Horn – Ask yourself: “Am I inflating or deflating all the ratings because
this person has performed well or poorly in one particular area?”

Clarity vs. Fogginess – Ask yourself: “Can the written comments stand on their
own and be understood as I intend them? Will the person being evaluated
understand them?”

Recency – Ask yourself: “Am I rating performance based on the entire rating
period rather than something that happened recently?”


Central Tendency vs. Distribution – Ask yourself: “Am I rating performance
based on the employee’s areas of strength and areas for improvement as they
match the performance plan or am I taking a “middle of the road” approach?”


Rating Levels:

Exceptional Performer: This is the highest overall rating. This rating should be
unique and difficult to achieve because it represents consistently exceptional
documented performance or consistently superior achievement beyond the
regular assignment. Employees make exceptional contribution(s) that have a
significant and positive impact on the performance of the unit or the organization
and may materially advance the mission of the organization. The employee
provides a model for excellence and helps others to do their jobs better. Peers,
immediate supervision, higher-level management and others can readily
recognize such a level of performance.

Meets Expectations: This rating is given to an employee who meets all
aspects of the expectations, standards, requirements, and objectives of the
position. This rating level encompasses a range of expected performance. It
includes those employees who exhibit competency in the work behaviors, skills,
and assignments for the job as well as those employees who are successfully
developing in the job. These employees are meeting all the expectations,
standards, requirements, and objectives on their performance plan and, on many
occasions, may exceed them. This is the employee who reliably performs the job

Needs Improvement: The lowest overall rating. This rating is given to an
employee who exhibits a pattern of failing to meet the expectations of the job.
This rating level encompasses those employees whose performance does not
consistently and independently meet expectations set forth in the performance
plan as well as those employees whose performance is clearly unsatisfactory and
consistently fails to meet requirements and expectations.

Marginal performance requires substantial monitoring to achieve consistent
completion of work, and requires more constant, close supervision. Though
these employees do not meet expectations, they may be progressing
satisfactorily toward a Meets Expectations rating and need to demonstrate
improvement in order to satisfy the core expectations of the position.

If an employee receives an Overall Needs Improvement rating, a performance
improvement plan or corrective action must accompany the evaluation form. The
supervisor must meet with a Human Resources representative prior to
proceeding with this action.

The written portion of the performance evaluation process includes completing the
Performance Evaluation Form and completing the Classified Employee Performance
Evaluation Supplement form for narrative that provides context to the evaluation
ratings. When completing the performance evaluation for each goal, objective, or
behavior consider these questions:

1. How does the level of performance compare with performance
standards/measures for this performance goal, competency or objective?

2. How was the level of performance confirmed? What did you see the
employee doing or not doing? What do analytical reports or work products
show? What information or feedback did you get from co-workers,
customers, or other sources?

3. Has the employee been evaluated using both objective and subjective

4. What were the consequences, results, or impact of the performance?

5. Is there a gap between your evaluation and the employee's? What
significance is placed on the employee's self-evaluation? How do you
account for the difference, if any?

The feedback, data and observations collected during the course of the review period
should substantiate the performance rating for each performance factor.

The narrative comments are critically important to the evaluation form. Narratives
describe the basis for the evaluation decisions, provide feedback to the employee, and
provide a basis for performance planning for the next evaluation cycle.


No performance evaluation should be given to an employee before the supervisor
has consulted, at a minimum, with the Reviewer. Additionally, the Vice President
with overall responsibility for the area may issue additional directives to managers and
supervisors. The primary purpose of review prior to giving performance evaluations to
employees is to help assure consistency across the organization in performance ratings
and to assure that any “needs improvement” or “exceptional performer” ratings are
properly justified and documented.



Below are some guidelines for supervisors to consider before conducting the formal
performance evaluation meeting:

Plan what you will say. Determine the best way to present your thoughts. The
emphasis should be on problem solving and future actions.

Select a meeting place that is comfortable, free from interruptions, and quiet.
Allow adequate time.

Create a positive, communicative atmosphere. Be sensitive to the employee’s
feelings, concerns, and questions. Try to put the employee at ease.

After a few minutes of general talk, begin the meeting by letting the employee
know how the meeting will progress. At this point, it is a good idea to briefly
discuss how the employee’s work supports department, division and school goals
and plans.

Review both your draft and the employee’s draft of the Performance
Management Plan and Evaluation Form with the employee. Either may go first,
but it is a good idea to gain agreement on each section prior to moving forward. If
possible, begin by providing positive feedback. Point out specific accomplishments,
noting how they have contributed to the group or department’s efforts.

Discuss areas that need improvement. Ask the employee for suggestions about
how to improve performance. Introduce your ideas, as well. Emphasize problem
solving and concentrate on future actions for any areas that need improvement.

Avoid discussing motivation or personal issues. Concentrate on the employee’s
behavior (including the consequences of that behavior to the individual and the
department) and work product.

Always allow the employee the opportunity to discuss feelings and reactions
to your input and feedback. Listen to the employee. Encourage suggestions –
allow the employee to say what needs to be said.

If the employee disagrees with you, allow him or her to state feelings honestly.
Listen without arguing or defending your perspective. Be prepared to adjust your
viewpoints, if appropriate.

If the employee’s OVERALL performance is rated as “Meets Expectations” or
“Exceptional Performer,” begin to discuss and set goals and objectives for the
next review session.


If the employee’s OVERALL performance is rated as “Needs improvement,” at
a minimum, work together to create a performance improvement plan. (A corrective
action can be issued if appropriate. If the supervisor wishes to use this tool, Mines
policy requires that the supervisor consult with the Associate Vice President for
Human Resources PRIOR to issuing the corrective action.) The performance
improvement plan should include the following:

1. Very specific actions and behaviors that the employee is expected to
2. Consequences for failing to meet these expectations.
3. Specific checkpoint dates.

After any necessary changes have been made to the Performance Evaluation
Form, ask the employee to check the “agree” or “disagree” box, sign and date
the form. The employee’s signature indicates that he or she has read the
evaluation and a discussion has taken place. It does not signify that the employee
agrees with the evaluation.

If the employee refuses to sign the form, the supervisor should note that the
employee refused to sign the form, date it, and sign it.

If an employee disagrees with the performance plan or evaluation, s/he is
asked to attach written comments. These must be forwarded along with the form to
the reviewer. An employee may disagree without appealing the evaluation.
However, if the employee wishes to appeal the evaluation, the employee must
complete a Dispute Resolution Form and follow the instructions for that process.
Any appeal must be filed within three (3) business days of the evaluation.

The supervisor may attach work standards, supplemental performance
information, work samples, and additional comments. Inform the employee that
comments can be added or attached to the Performance Evaluation Form.

After the evaluation is signed by the Reviewer, the original signed form must
be forwarded to the Office of Human Resources to be included in the
employee’s personnel file. A copy is to be given to the employee, and a copy
retained for the work unit’s files.

Note: all employees must be made aware of how to dispute an evaluation rating
and where to obtain the Dispute Resolution Form.



Employees and managers may have differences of opinions related to the application of
performance standards and evaluation ratings. Employees may question certain
matters regarding performance plans and ratings through the dispute resolution
process. The purpose of the dispute resolution system is to create an open, impartial,
and non-confrontational opportunity that allows the parties to have issues heard.
Retaliation against any person involved in the dispute resolution process is prohibited
and will be dealt with according to Mines policy.

Employees may only dispute the following issues:

Their own performance plan (or lack of a plan);
Their own final performance evaluation or the lack of a final evaluation;
Application of Mines Performance Pay Program, policies, or processes to
the individual employee’s performance plan or final evaluation; or
Full payment of a performance salary adjustment.

The following issues are NOT disputable*:

The content of Mines Performance Pay Program;
Matters related to the funds appropriated;
The performance evaluation and salary adjustments of other employees;
The amount of a performance salary adjustment unless the issue involves
the application of Mines Performance Pay Program.

*Although these issues are not disputable, supervisors and managers are encouraged to make sincere
efforts in responding to, and/or addressing any concerns raised by their employees.

There are two stages within the Dispute Resolution Process – the Internal Stage and
the External Stage. Only the issue(s) as originally presented in writing shall be
considered throughout the dispute resolution process. Mines believes in resolving
concerns as quickly as possible and at the lowest level possible. Therefore, Mines will
attempt to solve all issues related to performance management at the Internal Stage.

The Internal Stage will address issues concerning the individual’s performance plan (or
lack of a plan) and the individual’s performance evaluation or lack thereof. These
issues will be addressed at the institution level, and employees will have no further
recourse for resolution of these matters.

The External Stage addresses disputes concerning the application of the Mines
Performance Pay Program, policies or processes to the individual employee’s
performance plan or final evaluation, or full payment of a performance salary
adjustment. Discussions about these disputes should begin at the Internal Stage. If

there is no resolution at the Internal Stage, the issue may proceed to the State
Personnel Director.

Performance evaluation disputes that allege discrimination must be referred to:

Appeals Processing
1313 Sherman Street, First Floor
Denver, CO 80203

The Colorado School of Mines Performance Dispute Resolution Form and instructions
for the process will be given to Mines employees annually. An employee wishing to
initiate the Dispute Resolution Process, regarding the appropriate issues identified
above, will advise his/her supervisor within three working days of the event. The
employee must complete the Performance Dispute Resolution Form and provide a copy
of the form to the immediate supervisor, Division and/or Department Head of the
employee’s work unit, and to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.

The supervisor will have five working days upon receipt of the Dispute Resolution
Form to schedule a meeting with the employee, the supervisor, and the next level
supervisor (or reviewer) to discuss the issues. Extension of this time frame is allowed
only if both parties agree, or in the event that the reviewer is away from campus (in such
a case, the meeting must be scheduled within five working days of the reviewer’s return
to campus).

Three working days following the meeting, the supervisor will provide the employee
with a written response to the employee’s concerns. The written response shall include
the issues discussed, possible resolutions, and the collective decision of the supervisor
and the reviewer. A copy of this response must be provided to those who took part in
the meeting and to the Associate Vice President for Human Resources.

If the employee is not satisfied with the initial decision, he/she can request a second
review, submitted in writing, to their appropriate Vice President. This request for a
second review must occur within three working days of receipt of the initial decision.
The Vice President will have five working days to meet with the employee and the two
supervisory employees.

The Vice President will review the facts surrounding the current action but shall not
substitute his or her judgment for that of the rater and/or reviewer. The Vice President
will issue his/her decision within three working days of the meeting. This decision
shall be binding on all issues except those that allege that the Mines Performance
Management Program was not followed or that complete payment of the approved
performance salary adjustment was not made. For those that allege that the plan was
not followed or payment of an approved performance salary adjustment was not
received, the employee may proceed to the External Stage.


No party has an absolute right to legal representation, but an advisor may accompany
the employee at any step within this process. The role of the advisor is to assist the
employee in the process but the employee is expected to present his/her issues in
these meetings. The Director of the State Department of Personnel and Administration
administers the External Stage. Only original issues involving the application of the
performance management program or full payment of an award may advance to this

Within five working days from the date of the Mines’ final decision, an employee may
file a written request for review with the Director addressed to:

Colorado State Personnel Board
Attn: Appeals Processing
633 17th Street, Suite 1320
Denver, CO 80202

The request shall include a copy of the original issue(s) submitted in writing and the
written decision at the final internal review stage. All requests for review are subject to
an initial screening to determine if the review is warranted. Such screening is based on
specific criteria published by the Director. If a determination is made that further review
is not warranted, it is final and binding and the employee will be notified accordingly. If
further review is warranted, the Director or designee may select a qualified neutral third
party to review the issue(s). The Director has 30 days to issue a written decision, which
is final and binding.

Throughout the dispute resolution process, the scope of authority of those responsible
for making final decisions is limited to reviewing the facts surrounding the current
issues, within the limits of Mines’ programs. For an issue being reviewed at the external
stage, individuals responsible for making decisions shall not substitute their judgment
for that of the rater, reviewer, or Mines’ dispute resolution decision maker at the internal
dispute stage.

External decision makers have the authority to instruct the rater to:

• follow Mines’ program;
• correct an error; or
• reconsider an individual performance plan or final overall evaluation.

Additionally, other processes, such as mediation, may be suggested.



There are three types of transfers available to classified employees: (1) transfer to
another supervisor in the same department, (2) transfer to another campus department,
and (3) transfer to another state agency or university campus. Each type of transfer
involves performance management and performance pay issues.

1. Transfer to another supervisor in the same department. The previous supervisor
should close out the performance plan that had been previously established, and a
new plan should be created with the new supervisor. At the end of the evaluation
period, the two supervisors should jointly determine a recommendation for a
performance award, if any.

2. Transfer to another campus department. The supervisor from the previous
department should close out the performance plan and complete an interim
performance evaluation before the transfer date. The new supervisor must create a
new plan within 30 days of the effective transfer date. No performance pay
obligation is transferred to the receiving department.

3. Transfer to another state agency or university campus. The supervisor of the
previous agency closes out the performance plan before the transfer date. No
performance pay obligation is transferred to the receiving agency or campus.


Glossary of Terms

Advisor: An individual who assists a party during the dispute resolution process in
explaining the process, helping identify issues, preparing documents, and attending
Base-building award: A sum of money earned by an employee that increases base pay.
Base pay: Salary, excluding any premiums, paid on a fixed, non-variable basis.
Benchmark: A standard or a point of reference used in measuring and/or judging
quality or value.
Bonus: A sum of money, or other compensation, given to an employee in addition to
the employee’s base pay. It is a form of extra payment over the job rate and must be
re-earned annually.
Classified employee: An employee of Colorado state government required by the
Constitution of the State of Colorado to be covered by the Rules and Procedures of the
State Personnel System.
Dispute Resolution Process: Under Mines’ Peak Performance, the process used to
resolve issues with (1) an employee’s performance plan or rating, (2) the application of
the agency’s performance management and evaluation plan, policies, or processes to
the individual’s plan or evaluation, or (3) the full payment of an award.
Downward movement: For compensation purposes, changing a position, class, or
employee from a class or grade to another with a lower job rate (e.g., job evaluation,
system maintenance study including class placement, total compensation survey
adjustments, and non-disciplinary or disciplinary demotions).
Goal: A target level of an activity expressed as a tangible measurable objective, against
which actual achievement can be compared.
Incentive: A monetary or non-monetary reward that is given to employees based on
performance. The purpose of incentives is to promote high productivity and quality.
Lateral movement: For compensation purposes, changing a position, class, or
employee from a class or grade to another that is the same or has the same job rate
(e.g., job evaluation, system maintenance study including class placement, total
compensation survey adjustments, and transfer).
Mission: An enduring statement of purpose; the organization’s reason for existence.
The mission describes what an organization does, who it does it for, and how it does it.
Non-base building award: A monetary or non-monetary award earned by an employee
that must be re-earned annually.
Non-base pay: An amount of pay that is not added to an employee’s base pay and that
must be re-earned.
Non-monetary award: A non-cash reward that is given based on performance.
Occupational groups: Ten groupings that contain all of the job classes within the State
Personnel system: (1) enforcement and protective services, (2) financial services, (3)

health care services, (4) labor/trades/crafts, (5) medical, (6) management, (7)
administrative support services, (8) professional services, (9) physical sciences and
engineering, and (10) teachers. The ten groups are developed based on job evaluation
and compensation processes.
Open range: A salary range with minimum and maximum salaries and no intermediate
Pay plans: The listing of all pay grades and salary ranges for a specified group of
classes in the State Personnel system. Each occupational group has a unique pay
Pay range: The spread of salaries between minimum and maximum rates for a specific
class. A pay range is established based on the annual Total Compensation Survey.
The width of pay ranges varies by occupational groups.
Performance-based pay: Pay that is tied directly to an employee’s performance
evaluation. Agencies may exercise discretion in administering the amount of
performance-pay awards under the general guidelines.
Performance management: A collaborative process between the manager and
employee that is created and implemented to ensure that employee performance is
identified, selected, developed, and rewarded. The structure of this process is based on
three elements: (1) mission and guiding principles of the Colorado School of Mines, (2)
goals and strategies of the work unit, and (3) performance required for success of the
employee and the Colorado School of Mines.
Performance Measure: A quantitative or qualitative characterization of performance.
Prevailing wage: As defined by statute, employees in the State Personnel system are
to be compensated according to comparable salaries and fringe benefits prevailing in
other places of public and private employment.
Professional exempt employee: State employees legally exempt from the State
Personnel system.
Rating levels: Three performance rating levels exist in Mines Performance
Management System (1) Needs improvement, (2) Meets Expectations, and (3)
Exceptional Performer.
Salary survey: See Total Compensation Survey.
Saved pay rate: Temporary means of maintaining current base pay during certain
situations in which employees are reduced in grade. Such saved pay rates are any
amount of base pay above the traditional maximum amount of the grade for the class,
up to the statutory lid.
Strategic Goal: A long-range target that guides an organization’s efforts in moving
toward a desired future state.
Strategic Planning: A continuous and systematic process whereby guiding members of
an organization make decisions about its future, develop necessary procedures and
operations to achieve that future, and determine how success is to be measured.

Total Compensation Survey: Also known as salary survey. An annual process required
by law to establish prevailing wages for employees in the State Personnel System.
Third-party survey publications are collected and matched with state classes in order to
compare the pay and benefit rates between the labor market and the state.
Upward movement: For compensation purposes, changing a position, class, or
employee from a class or grade to another with a higher job rate (e.g., job evaluation,
system maintenance study including class placement, total compensation survey
adjustments, and promotion).
Variable pay: A compensation component that varies with an employee’s performance
and is not part of base pay.
Vision: An idealized view of a desirable and potentially achievable future state where or
what an organization would like to be in the future.

Document Outline