Revised

Human Resources Management Policy

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

POLICY 16

NOTE: THIS POLICY, LIKE ALL OTHER MUSC HUMAN RESOURCES POLICIES, IS NOT A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED UPON AS SUCH. THIS POLICY MAY BE CHANGED AT ANY TIME BY THE MEDICAL UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

  1. POLICY
    1. It is the policy of the Medical University of South Carolina to appraise the performance of covered employees annually, probationary employees prior to the end of the one-year probationary period and employees in a trial period prior to its completion.
    2. A covered employee is a full-time or part-time employee occupying a part or all of an established full-time equivalent (FTE) position who has satisfactorily completed the one-year probationary period.
    3. The objectives of the Employee Performance Management System (EPMS) are to:
      1. Provide an accurate and objective method for evaluating employees;
      2. Improve work performance and encourage growth and development of employees;
      3. Support the accomplishment of organizational goals;
      4. Assist management in assigning work and delegating responsibilities;
      5. Provide documentation to support salary increases promotions, reassignments, demotions and terminations.
    4. Performance appraisals should be conducted and documented by the employee’s manager/supervisor (the rater) who had direct experience or knowledge of the work performed. The appraisal should then be reviewed by the next higher level manager/supervisor (the reviewer) prior to the appraisal being discussed with the employee.
    5. Employees will be rated on job duties, objectives and performance characteristics using the four rating levels of Substantially Exceeds, Exceeds, Meets and Below Performance Requirements (See Section II.D., Pg. 9).
    6. Performance appraisal training will periodically be made available to employees. New employees will be briefed on the performance appraisal system during orientation.
    7. Performance appraisals shall become a permanent part of the employee’s official personnel file.

  2. INFORMATION AND PROCEDURE
    1. Frequency of Performance Reviews
      1. Annual Performance Review
        1. The performance of all covered employees will be appraised annually. This appraisal must be completed prior to the performance review date, but no more than 90 days prior to the review date. Additionally, the performance of employees not covered by the State Employee Grievance Procedure Act should be evaluated.
        2. The performance appraisal should be conducted by the manager/supervisor (rater) who has firsthand experience or knowledge of the work performed.
        3. The annual review date marks the beginning of a new review period. If an employee does not receive an appraisal prior to the annual review date, the employee shall receive a rating of Meets Performance Requirements by default.
        4. Prior to receiving an overall rating of Below Performance Requirements, a covered employee must receive an Official Warning Notice of Substandard Performance. (See Section II.E., Pg. 9)
        5. Employees may receive periodic reviews with multiple sources of feedback which may be used by the manager/supervisor (rater) to conduct the annual performance appraisal. Team evaluations or a committee review may also be conducted to assist the manager/supervisor (rater) in conducting the annual appraisal.
      2. Probationary Period Review
        1. A probationary employee shall be rated prior to the completion of one year of employment. This initial year of employment is called a probationary period. The performance review date marks the beginning of a new review period.

          Should a probationary employee be promoted, demoted, reclassified, experience an unclassified State title change, or be reassigned or transferred to a new class or unclassified State title prior to the end of the probationary period, the employee’s performance review date shall be established as 12 months from the effective date of the personnel action.
        2. If an employee is not evaluated prior to the completion of the probationary period, the employee will receive a Meets Performance Requirements rating by default and obtain covered status as a state employee.
        3. The probationary period may not be extended. If an employee is not performing satisfactorily, the employee must be terminated before the completion of the probationary period.
        4. A probationary employee who is terminated is not subject to the "Substandard Performance Process" (See Section II.E, pg. 9) and has no grievance rights under the State Employee Grievance Procedure Act. However, a probationary employee who is terminated may request a review of the termination by the Director of Human Resources Management or his/her designee.
      3. Trial Period Review
        1. The performance of a covered employee, who has been promoted, demoted, reclassified, reassigned or transferred to a position or experiences an unclassified State title change in which he/she has not held permanent status, shall be appraised prior to the completion of six months of service in the new class. This six-month period is called a trial period. Once an employee has completed a successful trial period and obtained permanent status in the class, an employee retains permanent status in that class throughout the employee’s continuous service.
        2. If an employee does not receive a performance evaluation prior to the completion of the trial period, the employee will receive a Meets Performance Requirements rating by default and obtain permanent status in the new class.
        3. The new annual performance review date of an employee who has successfully completed a trial period shall be established as 12 months from the completion date of the trial period unless the department uses an approved universal review date.
        4. The trial period may be extended up to 90 calendar days upon approval of the Department of Human Resources Management and a written notice to the employee prior to the end of the trial period. When the trial period has been extended, the performance review date will be advanced one calendar day for each calendar day the extension is in effect, not to exceed 90 days.
        5. An employee who is promoted and, prior to attaining permanent status in the classified or unclassified position with a higher State salary range, is subsequently demoted to the same class or unclassified State title from which promoted, shall retain the original performance review date which existed prior to the change in status.
        6. The Substandard Performance Process is not required to demote or reclassify downward an employee in a trial status to the same classification from which promoted or to a class of equal or higher payband from which promoted, provided the demotion or reclassification occurs before the end of the trial period. However, the employee in a trial status may not be terminated or demoted for performance reasons to a lower classification than previously held without following the "Substandard Performance Process."
      4. Transfers/Reassignments
        1. A transfer is defined as the lateral movement to a different agency by an employee from one position to another position having the same State salary range or the movement of a position from one agency to another which does not require reclassification. A reassignment is the movement within an agency of an employee from one position to another having the same State salary range or the movement of a position within an agency which does not require reclassification.
        2. A covered employee who is transferred or reassigned to a position in a different class shall have the performance review date established six months from the date of the transfer or reassignment.
        3. An employee who is reassigned to a position in the same class shall not have the review date reestablished, but instead shall retain the current review date. Prior to an employee being reassigned, the losing department should perform the employee’s performance appraisal if the reassignment occurs within 90 days of the employee’s review date.
        4. A covered employee who transfers to the same class from another State agency, within six months or less of the employee’s review date, shall have the performance review date advanced six months from the date of the transfer to the new agency.
      5. Universal Review Date
        With approval from the State Office of Human Resources, clearly separate organizational units of the Medical University may adopt a universal review date for all performance appraisals within the unit. Requests for a universal review date must be justified and submitted to the Department of Human Resources Management for approval prior to implementation. Requests will require a separate EPMS policy be developed for the separate organizational unit requesting a universal review date. Each separate EPMS policy must be approved by the State Office of Human Resources.

        Employees in probationary status shall be subject to an initial year of probationary review. The performance of covered employees who have been reclassified, promoted, demoted or transferred to a different classification will be appraised prior to the completion of a six-month trial period. A new review date will be established in accordance with the department’s universal review date policy. Refer to the department policy for additional information.
    2. An Employee’s Review Date Shall Change for the Following Reasons:
      1. Leave of Absence Without Pay
        An employee on an approved leave of absence without pay for more than 30 consecutive workdays shall have the performance review date advanced one calendar day for each calendar day the employee is on leave without pay in excess of 30 workdays. Any day for which an employee is paid will not be counted in determining the number of workdays the employee is on leave without pay.
      2. Warning Notice of Substandard Performance
        A covered employee who within 30 calendar days of his performance review date receives a "Warning Notice of Substandard Performance," shall have the performance review date advanced one calendar day for each calendar day the "Warning Notice of Substandard Performance" is in effect.
      3. Changes in Personnel Status
        An employee’s performance review date may be adjusted due to promotions, demotions, reclassifications, reassignments, transfers, or unclassified State title changes.

        An employee who is promoted or reclassified upward, prior to attaining permanent status in a class with a higher State salary range, or unclassified State title with a higher State salary range or level of responsibilities, and is subsequently demoted to the same class or unclassified State title from which promoted or reclassified, shall retain the original performance review date established with the position from which promoted or reclassified.
      4. A covered employee who, within six months or less of his/her review date, transfers from a State agency to a position at MUSC in the same class shall have the performance review date advanced six months from the effective date of the transfer.
      5. An employee’s annual performance review date will be adjusted when a department adopts an appropriately approved universal performance review date policy. Employees whose departments have a universal review date should refer to the department’s university review date policy for additional information.
    3. Preparation and Maintenance of the EPMS Form
      1. Planning Stage
        1. The Planning Stage should take place no later than six weeks after the employee has begun to work or following the completion of the most recent review. Prior to meeting with the employee, the reviewing officer and the rater should discuss the requirements for the upcoming rating period.
        2. With participation from the employee, the manager/supervisor (rater) should discuss the essential job duties indicated on the position description. This information is to be typed or written under Section I of the EPMS form. (If the position description is not up-to-date or there is no position description, one should be prepared and submitted to the Department of Human Resources Management.)

          All employees whose duties involve evaluating others are to be rated on conducts evaluation(s)/EPMS timely, properly and fairly. This is preprinted on the form.
        3. Success criteria should be defined for each job duty and objective and should describe in clear and concise terms how a job is to be done. Success criteria establish a level of performance required to obtain a Meets Performance Requirements rating and should be measurable in qualitative or quantitative terms.
        4. The Objective(s) Section under Section II of the EPMS form enables supervisors to document special projects, initiatives, or programs. It should be discussed during the Planning Stage and success criteria included. This section is optional.
        5. Performance characteristics directly related to the employee’s job, and their definitions, should be written or typed on the EPMS form. (A sample listing of performance characteristics and definitions is available through the Department of Human Resources Management.)
          1. All employees, including supervisors, are to be rated on the characteristic "Exhibits a spirit of service and cooperation." This performance characteristic is preprinted on the standard form.
          2. All supervisors and managers must be rated on "Promoting equal opportunity." This performance characteristic is preprinted on the standard form.
        6. Managers/supervisors should ensure appropriate objectives are indicated when needed to comply with DHEC, OSHA, and other regulatory guidelines.
        7. The Planning Stage document should be signed by the reviewing official and the rater before it is signed by the employee. The document should remain in the department until the performance review is completed.
        8. If the duties and responsibilities assigned to an employee change significantly during the review period, the Planning Stage should be revised to reflect the changes.
        9. It is recommended that the manager/supervisor (rater) and employee review the employee’s performance periodically to assess progress to date and to foster open communication.
        10. Additional sheets may be added to the Planning Stage document to enable listing of additional duties and objectives when necessary.
      2. Evaluation Stage (Performance Review)
        1. The Evaluation Stage should be completed prior to the end of the review period. The rater should circle/indicate the appropriate rating levels for the duties, objective(s) (if applicable), and performance characteristics or competencies. (See Section II.D, pg. 9, for performance level ratings.)
        2. In addition to circling/indicating the rating levels, written comments should be made in the designated area(s) to summarize the actual performance of the employee relative to job duties and the objective(s) (if applicable).
        3. The Summary and Improvement Plan is used to identify major accomplishments, comment on performance strengths or areas in need of improvement, and to recommend steps to prepare for an improved performance in the future.
        4. The appraisal should be reviewed and signed by the next higher level manager/supervisor (reviewer) prior to the appraisal being discussed with the employee. The reviewer may change the appraisal rating completed by the rater.
        5. The completed EPMS form should include signatures of the rater, reviewer, and employee and be forwarded to the Development and Performance Management Section of the Department of Human Resources Management prior to the end of the review period. If an employee refuses to sign the appraisal, the manager/supervisor should note on the document that the employee refused to sign. Another manager/supervisor should sign as a witness. The witness’ signature verifies that the employee was given the opportunity to sign and received the document.

          If the manager/supervisor fails to complete the appraisal by the review date, the employee will receive a Meets Performance Requirements rating by default.
      3. Employee Comments
        This section provides the employee with an opportunity to comment on the appraisal. The employee should be asked to complete this section at the conclusion of the review session. Additional sheets may be attached and the employee should sign each additional sheet.

        Employees may also submit a written rebuttal to a performance appraisal. The rebuttal should be signed by the employee and manager/supervisor and be attached to the completed performance appraisal.
      4. Distribution of Copies
        The original appraisal is to be sent to the Department of Human Resources Management and will be maintained in the employee’s official personnel file. A copy of the completed appraisal should be given to the employee and another copy placed in the departmental personnel file.
    4. Levels of Performance
      All employees shall be rated on job functions, objectives and performance characteristics using the following four levels of performance:
      1. Substantially Exceeds Performance Requirements
        Work that is characterized by exemplary accomplishments throughout the rating period; performance that is considerably and consistently above the success criteria of the job.
      2. Exceeds Performance Requirements
        Work that is above the success criteria of the job throughout the rating period.
      3. Meets Performance Requirements
        Work that meets the success criteria of the job.
      4. Below Performance Requirements
        Work that fails to meet the success criteria of the job.
    5. Substandard Performance (Consult with Department of Human Resources Management prior to proceeding.)
      To ensure that employees are given adequate notice of substandard performance and the opportunity to improve performance prior to the formal evaluation, the following procedures are to be followed:
      1. If during the performance period an employee is considered Below Performance Requirements in any essential job duty or objective which significantly impacts performance, the rater shall provide the employee with a written Warning Notice of Substandard Performance. The Warning Notice shall provide for an improvement period of no less than 30 calendar days and no more than 120 calendar days prior to a covered employee receiving an overall rating of Below Performance Requirements. The Warning Notice must be signed by the employee.

        The warning period may not extend beyond the employee’s review date into the next rating period. However, if the Warning Notice is issued less than 30 days prior to the employee’s review date, the review date will roll forward a calendar day for each calendar day the warning period is in effect.
      2. The Warning Notice will include a statement indicating that a rating of Below Performance Requirements will result if performance is not brought up to expected requirements within the specified period of time. A copy of the current Planning Document must be attached to the Warning Notice. The manager/supervisor should confer with the Department of Human Resources Management before initiating this procedure.
      3. Official Warning Notice
        An Official Warning Notice must be in writing and should include the following:
        1. Addressed to the employee;
        2. Labeled as a Warning Notice of Substandard Performance;
        3. List job duties/objectives from the planning stage which are considered Below Performance Requirements with an explanation of the deficiencies for each job duty/objective;
        4. List ways of improving deficiencies (the rater and employee should participate in drafting the work improvement plan, which should include a list of ways to improve the deficiencies and other appropriate performance related recommendations);
        5. Establish a plan for regularly scheduled meetings during the warning period when the manager/supervisor will counsel the employee on the status of his/her performance. (An example would be once a week on Tuesday afternoons);
        6. Indicate a time frame for expected improvements (no less than 30 days and no greater than 120 days);
        7. List consequences if no improvement occurs (i.e., termination, demotion or reassignment);
        8. Include signatures of the manager/supervisor and employee. (If the employee elects not to sign the letter, a notation should be made at the bottom of the letter and signed by a witness. The witness is not privy to the contents of the letter.) A copy of the Warning Notice should be given to the employee and another copy sent to the Department of Human Resources Management for inclusion in the employee’s official personnel file.
      4. During the warning period, the manager/supervisor is to meet regularly with the employee and provide appropriate training or information that will help the individual to improve. These meetings are to be documented and signed by the employee and manager/supervisor. The original signed documents should be forwarded to the Department of Human Resources Management to be included in the employee’s official personnel file. A copy should be given to the employee and another copy placed in the departmental personnel file.
      5. If, at the end of the warning period, the employee earns at least a rating of Meets Performance Requirements on all essential job duties/objectives, which significantly impact performance as noted in the warning notice, employment will continue.

        If the employee, at the end of the warning period, is rated Below Performance Requirements on any essential job duty or objective which significantly impacts performance as noted in the official warning notice, the employee will be removed from the position immediately (i.e., terminated, reassigned or demoted).
      6. Once a specific time frame for improving substandard performance has been given, the employee must receive a written appraisal within the specified time or the employee will receive a Meets Performance Requirements rating by default.
      7. If an employee has been issued two warning notices within a 365 day period and performance drops to a substandard level on any essential job duty/objective, which significantly impacts performance for a third time within a 365 day period, the employee shall be removed from the position upon the third recurrence by issuing a Below Performance Requirements appraisal. A warning notice is not required on the third occurrence.

  3. Establishing and Maintaining Performance Review Dates for Employees in the Executive Compensation System
    Upon the completion of a probationary or trial period, the performance review date of a covered employee in the Executive Compensation System shall be established as July 1.

Approved by

Information Contact

Revised

Office of Human Resources SC State Budget & Control Board

Human Resources Development, Performance and Records Management

May 15, 2002