Performance Management

Performance Appraisal Process

TCU’s performance appraisal process is designed to encourage supervisors to focus on the future as well as the past and the present. It is a way to assess achievements, build relationships and incorporate the principles and strategies that encourage both individual and departmental success.
This is a time to evaluate last year’s goals, establish new goals for the future and identify training opportunities. Using this formula, supervisors can initiate discussions with their staff regarding the goals of the department and how individual goals play a major role in supporting the University’s strategic plan Vision in Action: Lead On.
Often it is difficult to find time to sit down with each staff member and discuss work issues. Interruptions to daily routine frequently interfere with this process. Performance appraisals provide a structure to encourage this discussion to happen. This is the time to identify if there are any outstanding issues and to change direction where appropriate. Gathering feedback from staff on a continuous basis – at least quarterly – leads to improving routine operations and enhances both the supervisor and staff members’ awareness of departmental projects and procedures.

When are appraisals completed?

Performance appraisals are completed by supervisors annually during the month of January. The appraisal period is from January–December of the previous year. Supervisors are to complete the appraisals prior to awarding merit increases as they provide valuable information for a supervisor when determining pay adjustments during the annual salary planning.

Recent Staff Transitions

Staff who transferred to another department will proceed with the normal appraisal process and goal setting with the new supervisor. In the instance where a staff member remains in their current role but there was a supervisory change during the appraisal period – and the previous supervisor remained a TCU employee – the current supervisor should conduct the appraisal but with input from the previous supervisor.

Preparing for the Evaluation

The supervisor will decide the most effective method of completing and reviewing the appraisal forms. A quick reference guide follows on the recommended tasks the supervisor and employee should do to prepare for evaluation process.

Provide year-round, constructive feedbackMaintain or adjust performance/behavior based on feedback
Review job description (independently)
Provide at least five business days to submit self-appraisal and proposed professional goals for new yearSubmit self-appraisal (performance towards goals and job description) and proposed professional goals by deadline to supervisor
Evaluate performance of essential duties & accomplishment of goals and job description objectively (independently)
Review documentation (independently)
Complete the appraisal assessing performance towards goals/job description and include written counselingPrepare for meeting by reviewing self-appraisal and prioritizing questions and comments for discussion
Schedule meeting in advance

Appraisal Tips for the Supervisor and Appraisal Tips for the Staff Member will assist both in preparing for a productive discussion.

Appraisal Tips For Both the Supervisor and the Staff Member

  • What are the major areas of responsibility for this position?
  • Which are most important and why?
  • Review the job description. Is it up-to-date and accurate?
  • Review the activity of the period in which the performance will be reviewed.
  • What are the performance expectations of the job?
  • What were the agreed-upon goals of the job? How were they measured?
  • Review the criteria to be used in the appraisal.
  • Be sure that both parties have copies of all the performance appraisal materials to be referenced in the discussion. As part of the discussion, the supervisor should note any key similarities/discrepancies between the supervisor’s evaluation and the self-appraisal submitted by the employee.

Appraisal Tips for the Supervisor

Prior to the appraisal meeting, review the following questions:

  • How did you communicate the performance expectations of the job?
  • How did you support the employee’s efforts in meeting the goals?
  • What documentation do you have on file to provide more acceptable and meaningful feedback, both positive and negative?
  • What areas were done especially well? Why?
  • In what areas would you like to see improvement? Why?
  • How did you influence your employee in contributing to further the goals of your department during this period?
  • How have you influenced your employee’s effectiveness and job satisfaction?
  • Ensure comments relate to actual job requirements and are not based on personal attributes or other irrelevant matters that have little or no connection with actual productivity.
  • Ask for your supervisor’s feedback of your proposed appraisal prior to issuance.
  • Arrange a time and place to have the appraisal discussion in a private setting.

Appraisal Tips for the Staff Member

  • In what areas of your job have you done especially well during the time period to be reviewed?
  • How did your contributions further the goals of your department during this period?
  • Were the performance expectations clearly indicated to you by your supervisor?
  • Did you meet your performance expectations? If so, what supported you in this effort? If not, in what areas would you like to make improvements?
  • How has your supervisor influenced your effectiveness and job satisfaction?
  • What changes in this job, work procedures or interpersonal communication would you suggest to improve your performance, increase the effectiveness of the position, and provide greater job satisfaction?

During the Appraisal Meeting

  1. Affirm the purpose of the meeting.
  2. Relax and create a climate for a productive meeting.
  3. Be respectful, candid, and constructive.
  4. Allow for two-way discussion.
  5. Maintain your sense of self and sense of humor – you’re speaking with the same person you work with every day.
  6. Ask open-ended questions that will allow the other person to share their thoughts clearly and thoroughly. If necessary, set aside additional time to continue the discussion.
  7. Listen and then give thoughtful responses.
  8. Discuss accomplishment towards job description and established goals.
  9. Begin to formulate constructive ideas for future goals and training for the next year.
  10. Allow time for reflection and further comments. Use this discussion as the opening/continuation of fruitful dialogue throughout the year.

Concluding the Performance Appraisal

At the conclusion of the formal review, the appraisal form is signed by both the supervisor and staff member. The employee should receive a copy of the signed appraisal for their records.  Then it is submitted for review to the department head.

The supervisor and the staff member should continue discussing and planning for the primary activities and support required for the staff member to perform his/her work effectively in the review period ahead.

Appraisal forms are submitted to Human Resources for review and are included in the staff member’s personnel record.  Supervisors may submit their completed appraisals to Human Resources electronically (preferred method) to: or, when necessary, via campus mail in a sealed envelope marked “confidential” addressed to the Director of Employee Relations, Kristen L. Taylor.

*Retain a copy in a secure location (hard copy or e-copy)


In preparation for the appraisal review process, training will be offered to both supervisors and individual contributors. Employees may register through, click on “Employee Center” then click on “Training” and search for the appropriate codes. Remaining training for 2019 follows –

  • Performance ManagementBest Practices (PERF01)

December 11, 9-11:00 a.m., Kelly Center – Cox C

December 16, 2-4:00 p.m., Kelly Center – Murphy

  • Make Difficult Conversations Easy (COMM01)

December 12, 2-4:00 p.m., School of Medicine

December 13, 1-2:30 p.m. TCU Campus Store Room 209


A copy of the presentation is available here.


All forms may be found on the Forms and Publications page under Quick Links or by clicking here.