Performance Management

The practice of retaining high-performing staff involves fostering strong working relationships between managers and employees, wherein performance management is approached as an ongoing dialogue, to create an engaged, focused, and productive work environment.

University policy requires that staff receive a written performance assessment by their manager once a year within the Performance Appraisal System. An assessment serves as a mechanism for providing feedback and documenting an employee’s performance over a defined time period. It offers clear communication of job expectations and help in setting goals. Additionally, an assessment can be a constructive tool for mentoring employees, identifying areas for development, and facilitating improvement.

Staff Performance Management and Merit Pay Program 

Merit pay wheel

Human Resources is pleased to announce a new Staff Performance Management and Merit Pay Program that will leverage various talent management strategies to develop capabilities across the organization.

We have revamped the program with a focus on simplicity without compromising effectiveness, ensuring the assessment process is transparent and straightforward.

Key features include:

  • A new appraisal form that prompts specific observations and insights, facilitating meaningful discussions focused on annual contributions and individual development.
  • A new rating scale will feature statements accompanied by descriptors to standardize assessments and minimize ambiguity.
  • Allocation of merit funds to align salary increases with performance.
  • Robust training that supports leaders, managers and staff to navigate the program effectively.

The appraisal form is now available for staff to begin the first step in the process. 

The annual cycle will measure performance from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. Completed appraisals are due back to HR by May 3, 2024.

Timeline of activities

Date Activity
March-April 2024 Training for managers and staff
March 11, 2024 Staff appraisal forms available
April 12, 2024 Staff appraisal forms due to manager
May 3, 2024 Completed appraisal forms due to HR


Questions? Contact the Talent and Organizational Development team at

Resources: Staff Performance Management and Merit Pay Program 

Performance and professional development goals are set at the beginning of the performance cycle to align individual goals with annual team and organizational objectives. The specific timeline and process for goal setting are at the discretion of college/unit leaders. Managers should establish a collaborative process with employees to monitor and manage goal progress throughout the year. 

Clear, collaborative and productive conversations between employees and managers are the foundation of performance management. Coaching occurs through regular and informal conversations, rather than being reserved for the annual formal assessment. Feedback is a powerful mechanism that supports individual development. To be effective, feedback needs to be timely and specific, descriptive and constructive.

Managers assess staff performance annually and record it in the University’s performance appraisal form.  

The primary focus is the performance discussion, which includes reflection on past performance and its impact on employee, team and organizational success. Agreements about performance and professional development priorities are noted and then carried forward to the goal-setting process, which takes place at the beginning of the new performance cycle.  

Appraisal forms must be submitted by the deadline for the employee to be eligible for merit pay.  

  • UD’s merit program is based on a pay-for-performance philosophy and anchored in the performance management process. Our merit program aims to reward and recognize the work performed during the performance cycle and supports UD’s commitment to compensate our staff competitively.
  • Staff performance will be assessed annually by managers through the performance management process and documented in the appraisal form. 
  • Individuals will summarize both their accomplishments and professional development achievements on the appraisal form before routing to their manager for their assessment discussion. 
  • Appraisal forms must be completed to be eligible for merit.