The Performance Management Process (PMP) is a critical part of developing staff and supervisors at the College. Regular developmental feedback supports growth and development, and aids staff in having a clear understanding of expectations and strengths. Engaging in the Annual Review Process, in addition to consistent one-on-one check-ins and the Mid-Year Check-In assists in establishing a mutual understanding of the responsibilities and performance expectations associated with a position. It provides a mechanism for clarifying how staff can best contribute to Amherst College’s strategic goals and mission. This process is also an opportunity to recognize accomplishments, highlight areas requiring improvement, and establish goals and development plans for the coming year.

Supervisors will be required to complete an annual review for each of their direct staff members.

What is new for 2023?

This year, you will see a shift in how to look back at the prior year and provide a reflection on work performed. In order to more accurately consider the purpose of the Annual Reflection and encourage a growth mindset, we have removed the “annual rating,” which was not focused on the work of the prior year, and have replaced it with a Benchmark Scale, that will more accurately provide feedback on work performed in the prior year.  

The Benchmark Scale is as follows:

Unsatisfactory YearImprovement ExpectedSuccessful YearExceptional Year

Did not meet performance goals and/or expectations for the year.


Did not fulfill responsibilities, or responsibilities were performed at an

unsatisfactory level.


Needs additional support to develop skills and/or knowledge to meet established standards and goals.

Inconsistent performance during the year.


Critical objectives were only partially met. 


May need additional support to succeed in the role in the future.

Solid, consistent performance results during the year.


 Achieved expectations on most critical objectives needed for success. 


Shows positive change,

progress in ability, and



Contributed to the larger mission of the College through their work.

Achieved all goals and met or exceeded all expectations during the year. 


The year resulted in notable high impact results, and excellent contributions to the larger mission of the College.

In 2022, we piloted eight Staff Core Competencies. Throughout the year, we convened focus groups and gathered feedback to better understand how these competencies might be honed to best meet the needs of staff and the College. This year, you will see seven updated Staff Core Competencies: Accountability, Collaboration, Communication, Continuous Learning, Inclusiveness, Position Specific and Technical Knowledge and Supervisory Skills (where applicable). To familiarize yourself with these competencies, please visit the Staff Core Competencies webpage.

We also are introducing new Benchmarks with which to reflect on how the competencies were demonstrated in the prior year. Remember, competencies are how work was done, not what work was completed. The new competency Benchmarks are as follows: 

Does Not DemonstrateFoundationalStrongAdvanced
No understanding of the competency, does not apply the competency in the workplace. Basic understanding of the competency, sometimes demonstrates the ability to apply it in the workplace. Demonstrates an understanding of and consistent ability to apply the competency in most situations in the workplace.Thorough understanding of the competency, demonstrates the ability to apply the competency creatively in the most complex and challenging situations 

Please keep in mind the following:

  • For 2023, the Annual Review will not be directly linked to compensation. However, participation is still required since the goal-setting included in this year’s Annual Review will drive the process going forward and will provide the foundation for the 2024 Annual Review.
  • We will be utilizing Workday to complete the on-line performance management process, which provides an opportunity to review progress, modify and implement goals and celebrate accomplishments.

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Performance Management Process Overview

Performance Management Process

PMP Annual Review

The Performance Management Process (PMP) Annual Review provides an opportunity for supervisors and staff to engage in intentional conversation about growth, goals, and development.

PMP Mid-Year Check In

The Performance Management Process (PMP) Mid-Year Check In provides an opportunity for supervisors/chairs and staff to have a conversation and review the goals created during the Annual Review. For staff new to their roles, and for those who did not complete the Annual Review the previous spring, the check in provides an opportunity to identify goals.

Important Dates and Reminders
  • 2023-2024 Performance Evaluation Period: April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024
    • Mid-Year Check In - October 30 to December 15th, 2023
  • The Performance Management Process (PMP) is completed using Workday. Employees will receive a Workday inbox task to complete their Mid-Year Check In Self-Evaluation and Annual Review Self-Reflection which both include a short series of questions related to their goals. 
  • We encourage supervisors/chairs and staff to complete the review together.  
  • To help support the Mid-Year Check In and Annual Review processes, learning workshops will be provided for Staff and Supervisors/Department Chairs to prepare for a productive and engaging dialogue, and set SMART goals.  See dates below.
  • To access evaluations from 2019 and before, please visit the previous online performance management system.
  • Supervisors must complete an evaluation with an overall rating for employees who have completed or are expected to complete their probationary periods before June 30th of the current performance evaluation period.
  • Employees who have completed six months of service, between January 1st and June 30th of the current evaluation period, and who have demonstrated acceptable performance will be eligible for a salary increase, if applicable.

Performance Management Process Resources


SMART goal setting provides structure to the specific tasks, projects or ideas we want to accomplish.  It creates a path to accomplish objectives with clear milestones and action items that can be tracked and measured.  SMART goal setting also creates transparency throughout the process of creating goals, making sure that both supervisor/chair and staff member are clear on expectations and ways in which success in accomplishing a goal will be assessed.

The SMART acronym stands for:



The more specific a goal, the more likely the success. This clarifies the what, how, how well, and how much of the goal



Framed so that individuals involved understand the purpose, context, and the “what’s in it for me” of the goal.



Properly scoped - not too big, not too small, reasonable but also a stretch.



Contributes meaningfully to individual, departmental and College results.



Takes the guesswork out of determining whether a goal was actually achieved or not. Defines the when of the goal as well as expectations related to progress updates and milestones.

SMART goal setting provides structure to the specific tasks, projects or ideas we want to accomplish.

Performance Discussions Tips

The performance discussions provide the opportunity for a two-way dialogue between supervisor and staff. The purpose of the discussions is to:

  • review and acknowledge progress towards a goal
  • review and acknowledge completion of a goal
  • identify any goals that have not been fully achieved and develop a plan to complete them
  • foster an open exchange and dialogue between supervisors and employees
  • recognize and celebrate accomplishments!

Remember, Workday is the tool, not the process. The dialogue between the staff member and supervisor is the most important part of this process. The dialogue should focus on the staff member’s strengths and contributions, areas for improvement, and development plans. The conversation occurs after the supervisor has submitted their evaluation and the staff member has had an opportunity to look at it. However, there are multiple points for possible conversation throughout the process, and supervisors and staff members should not feel limited to only one. 

For Staff Members

Confirm the date, time, and location of your Annual Review or Mid Year Check In conversation with your supervisor.

Log in to Workday and look over your Self Evaluation form from the year prior. Look at the questions on this years self evaluation form.

Consider your responses to each of the questions, for example, what you did well in the past year, progress towards your goals, areas of growth, etc…

Look over the competency areas and consider your current skill level in each and how you might continue to grow in them over the next year.

Complete the Self Evaluation/Reflection Form in Workday.

Once your supervisor completes their Manager Review Form in Workday, look over their comments and use them to shape the conversation you will have with them.

After you and your supervisor meet and any adjustments have been made based off of the conversation you have together, acknowledge receipt of the completed annual review form in Workday. 

For Supervisors

Review the self evaluation/reflection from the staff member. Compare it to your own notes from meetings or other performance evaluation, and consider your reflection of the staff members performance from the past year including their accomplishments and potential areas for growth.

Reflect on the competency areas, considering successes and areas for growth, as well as on the goals they have proposed for the coming year, asking if they are aligned with your expectations and hopes for the staff member. 

After reviewing the employee evaluation/reflection form, complete the Manager Review Form in Workday. Your comments should be a reflection of feedback you have given the staff member throughout the year, there should be no “surprises” when the staff member reads it.

After submitting the form and allowing the staff member time to review it, schedule a time with for a performance conversation, we recommend an hour. Ensure that there will be no distractions during the meeting.

In the meeting, reflect on the staff members self evaluation, adding where you saw them doing well, and where you see opportunities for future growth. Explain your hopes for their goals and growth along the competency areas for the next year. 

After the conversation, you are able to return to the form and edit it or add additional comments based on what was discussed. Once you have done so, the employee is able to confirm receipt and the process is complete.