The Catholic University of America

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HR Focus


The CUA Annual Staff Performance Evaluation Process

By Christine Sportes, Associate Vice President/Chief Human Resources Officer


Each year, staff employees are asked to participate in the annual performance evaluation process. Those of us who are staff at CUA are assessed by our supervisors and many of us also are reviewers for staff who report to us. Although the staff evaluation process does not include reviewing the annual performance of faculty, many CUA faculty members supervise CUA staff members and, as a result, are involved in this annual process. In the past, the annual staff performance evaluation process has commenced May 1 each year. This year, to allow for more time, the annual evaluation process will kick off on April 1.

The annual staff evaluation process is a collaboration between the manager and the staff member being reviewed. There are many purposes and benefits of conducting this annual exercise.

What is the purpose of reviewing the employee’s job performance over the prior 12 months?

  • It provides an opportunity for enhanced communication, thus providing a forum for guidance and counseling to promote the growth and development of the employee.
  • The process offers a means of constructively analyzing the efforts of the employee as well as identifying those areas where improvement is necessary.

What are some of the benefits of this annual process?

It serves as:

  • An opportunity to clarify responsibilities and expectations
  • A formal process to stop and take stock of how the employee is doing
  • An opportunity to seek and share professional development and growth opportunities

How can a staff member prepare for the performance evaluation meeting?

  • Gather any documentation regarding your performance that you have collected throughout the year.
  • Review any feedback from others (customers, peers, etc.) relevant to your performance.
  • Review your job description and goals that were set during the prior 12 month period.
  • Write down questions that you want to ask your supervisor.
  • Be prepared to talk about your performance, including what you do well, how you could improve, and what you would like to learn.
  • If your supervisor asks you to complete a self-evaluation, share the document with your supervisor before the meeting.

How can the reviewer improve the quality of communication during the performance evaluation meeting?

Remember, most individuals want to know:

  • How am I doing?
  • How does my role, overall, contribute to CUA and my office's priorities?
  • What is expected of me?
  • How will I know if I am doing it right? Doing it well?
  • What authority do I have?
  • What do I need to improve?
  • Are there any consequences I need to be aware of?
  • What support can I expect from my supervisor?
  • What are my opportunities for advancement?

Lastly, use the annual performance evaluation process as an opportunity to express your appreciation for the individual’s contributions during the prior 12 months. Likewise, if you are being reviewed by your manager, let that individual know what you appreciate about his/her supervision and the overall work relationship. The process is intended to provide constructive feedback and a positive approach in doing so usually leads to a stronger, well-balanced work relationship.