Human Resources

Goal Setting and Planning

At the beginning of a review period, set performance priorities with each employee for the annual period, reflecting Reed’s goals as well as departmental initiatives. Be as specific as possible, and identify measurements and outcomes as well as logical checkpoints to help the employee understand their role and deadlines involved. Review the Goal Development Review process, including tips for how to write SMART goals. Helping employees connect their own goals to the shared goals of the team and the shared goals of the college will help create a connection between their individual work and how it contributes to the success of the team and the college. This connection can lead to higher employee satisfaction.

Ongoing feedback and coaching

Establish routine check-ins with employees throughout the review period (at least quarterly and preferably monthly) to discuss progress and aid in removing obstacles to successful performance. Discuss any emerging or shifting priorities and provide corrective coaching where necessary.


Seek input from the employee to aid in recognizing accomplishments for the review period. Combine employee input and your own assessment to complete the written performance evaluation form. Meet with the employee and share your observations of performance.

Addressing performance concerns

  • Partner with HR in all cases where you have an employee not meeting performance expectations. We will help you determine the best next steps and work with you on planning and documenting your future discussions.
  • Approach corrective measures in an objective manner.
  • If the employee's performance of assigned tasks is an issue, confirm that proper instructions, appropriate orientation, and adequate training have been given and that the employee is aware of job expectations. Both single incidents and patterns of poor performance are concerning.
  • If misconduct is the issue, take steps to ensure that the employee is aware of the college’s community policies regarding employee conduct.
  • If appropriate instruction or information has not been communicated, immediately develop a plan for delivering such instruction or information and review the content with the employee. Document acknowledgement by the employee.

Tips for supervisors

Be aware of these common biases: 

  • Recency Effect – The tendency to rate someone based on their most recent contribution, rather than their performance over the whole review period. To mitigate this bias, consider the employee's performance over the entire review period. 
  • Central Tendency – The tendency to avoid rating at the high and low extremes and instead cluster all employees in the center. This is sometimes motivated by a supervisor’s desire to be equitable. To mitigate this bias, evaluate each employee for their individual performance. 
  • Leniency – The tendency to use a less stringent set of standards. To mitigate this bias, remind yourself that "clear is kind" when providing feedback regarding your employee's performance and that sugarcoating the message or not addressing issues is not in the employee's best interest for succeeding in their role. 
  • Halo Effect – The tendency to base an employee’s entire review on evaluation of a single performance objective, either positive or negative. To mitigate this bias, review and offer feedback on each of the employee's goals to ensure a more complete review of their performance over the entire review period.

How to ensure a successful review process:

  • Remind the employee that the goal/development review process is a collaborative effort between the supervisor and the employee that will require the employee to self-reflect on their progress and performance. 
  • Ensure that the goal/development review captures the employee's performance over the course of the entire review period. To meet this goal, the supervisor will need to ensure they are completing documentation on the employee's performance throughout the year. 
  • Be straightforward and honest when providing feedback to the employee to ensure that the expectations are understood.
  • Be as specific as possible when giving feedback and reviewing expectations. Provide examples.
  • Provide your employee with your written draft the day before you are scheduled to meet to review it.
  • Foster an environment where feedback, both positive and constructive, is normal and expected.