Performance Appraisal Instructions for Supervisors

I. Overview

These instructions are designed to assist supervisors with completing their online performance appraisal.

UC Santa Cruz utilizes a standardized on line performance appraisal for use by all Managers and Supervisors who supervise staff employees.

New Online Appraisal Form

An online form was created to replace the four previous paper-based forms. The online tool efficiencies with an electronic workflow. It is an interim tool for the campus to use until the implementation of the ePerformance module of UCPath, which will launch in April 2020.

Please note: All staff (represented and policy-covered) should be appraised using the new electronic form. This includes academic supervisors (Department Chairs, Principal Investigators, etc.) who will need to use the online appraisal form to assess their staff employees.

Managers and supervisors are encouraged to keep appraisals succinct. It is not necessary to report each and every detail of performance. The appraisal is a summary of performance of key expectations including goals and core job responsibilities. It should focus on the impact of performance with a few examples and explanation of the overall rating.

  • Access to the online form:
  • Log in with your CruzID and blue password.
  • Please review the “help and tutorials” linked in the left-hand navigation for step by step instructions designed to guide employees through the process.
  • Help is available by emailing

The form includes a section for assessing the performance of managers and supervisors in the areas of:

  • functions / goals / accomplishments
  • behavioral standards (optional)
  • principles of community
  • diversity

II. Employee Self-Appraisal

Completing the Performance Appraisal

  • The performance appraisal process begins with a dialogue between the supervisor and the employee in preparation for the written performance appraisal and to provide direction to the employee on completing an employee self-appraisal.
  • The self-appraisal provides an opportunity for the employee to reflect upon their actual work, functions, goals and accomplishments over the previous appraisal period.

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III. Completing the Performance Appraisal

A.    Cover Sheet

  • The cover sheet contains the supervisor’s name, department, job title (working title) and appraisal period covered. The summary pages that follow contain the overall rating, signatures and employee comments.
  • The employee and immediate supervisor must sign the completed appraisal. Signatures should be completed within the online system or, as necessary, using wet ink signatures. The employee’s signature indicates neither agreement nor disagreement with the appraisal, but is an indication that they have reviewed or discussed the appraisal with their supervisor.

B.    Performance Appraisal Content

The purpose of performance management is to effectively engage teams in the mission of the university. The key to effective performance management involves a few key elements:

  • Crafting goals that are specific, important (mission-based) and measurable.
  • Frequent and candid feedback to all team members about their performance.
  • Coaching and support for staff to enable them to achieve their goals.

When goals are well formed and feedback is occurring frequently, the annual performance appraisals become a time to summarize communications that have been occurring throughout the year. It is expected that all employees have an appraisal every year.

C. Goals and Expectations for Upcoming Year (Development Plan)

  • This section is used to identify development that sustains, improves and builds performance, and enables the employee to contribute to strategic organizational objectives and foster employee growth.
  • This section should be used to identify goals, objectives, and career development activities and should be completed in collaboration with the employee.

D. Employee Comments (Optional)

  • At the completion of the final appraisal discussion between the supervisor and the employee, this section may be used by the employee to provide comments on aspects of the appraisal.

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IV. Performance Appraisal Ratings and Definitions

The Rating System:

The five rating categories are aligned with the campus merit rating system:

The five categories are:

  • 5 = Exceptional
  • 4 = Consistently exceeded expectations
  • 3 = Met expectations
  • 2 = Improvement needed
  • 1 = Unacceptable



  • Surpassed all goals (Including stretch goals)
  • Performance far exceeded expectations in all key areas of responsibility with exceptionally high quality of work and exceptional or unique contributions to organizational objectives
  • Behavior consistently exemplified the highest values of the organization
  • This rating is not given frequently (approx. top 10% across campus)

Consistently Exceeded Expectations

  • Generally exceeded goals. (Essential and any stretch goals)
  • Performance consistently exceeded expectations in key areas of responsibility, and the quality of work was generally excellent
  • Exhibited model behavior that reflected the values of the organization

Met Expectations

  • Met essential goals.
  • Performance consistently met expectations in key areas of responsibility; at times may exceed expectations. The overall quality of work was good
  • Is dependable, highly reliable, follows through on assignments
  • Exhibited behavior consistent with the values of the organization

Improvement Needed

  • Did not consistently meet essential goals
  • Performance did not consistently meet job requirements
  • Behavior may not consistently reflect the essential organizational values
  • This performance rating would typically follow on-going counseling and coaching for improvement.
  • Repeated overall annual ratings of “Needs Improvement” should not be tolerated. Aside from counseling and coaching, progressive discipline may be used for performance improvement. A plan to improve performance must follow and include clear expectations, deadlines, and formally scheduled one-on-one reviews for measuring the expected improvements


  • Failed to meet essential goals
  • Performance egregiously failed to meet expectations
  • Lack of improvement would likely be previously documented through progressive discipline
  • Behavior may be contrary to essential organizational values
  • Repeated overall annual ratings of “Unacceptable” should not be tolerated. Improvement is essential for continued employment. Progressive discipline is likely being  used for performance improvement. A plan to improve performance must follow and include clear expectations, deadlines, and formally scheduled one-on-one reviews for measuring the expected improvements

V. Forms/ Resources


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