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.

Benchmark Scale

The Benchmark Scale are used to look back at the prior year and provide a reflection on work performed. 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 introduced 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:

  • Although the Annual Reflection will not be directly linked to compensation in 2024, participation is still required since the goal-setting included in this year’s Annual Reflection will drive the Performance Management Process going forward.
  • 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

Image depicting the Performance Management Process Cycle. In the center are the words
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 15, 2023
    • Annual Review - April 1 to June 28, 2024
      • Self Reflection: April 1 to April 19, 2024
      • Manager Reflection: April 22 to June 28, 2024
  • The Performance Management Process (PMP) is completed using Workday. Employees will receive a Workday inbox task to complete their Mid-Year Check In Self-Reflection and Annual Review Self-Reflection which both include a short series of questions related to their goals. 
    • 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 reflection 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 discussion. 
  • 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 reviews from 2019 and before, please visit the previous online performance management system.
  • Supervisors must complete a review 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.

Annual Review Support Workshops

The purpose of these workshops is to offer support for staff and supervisors engaging in several aspects of the Annual Review Process. There are sessions on engaging in Annual Review conversations, setting goals, supporting staff in setting goals, and general overview of the Annual Review process.

Engaging in and Facilitating Annual Review Conversations: These workshops address how to prepare for the conversation, how to bring forward and highlight accomplishments and discuss areas of opportunity, and discussing mutual goals for the year ahead from the perspective of either staff or supervisor.  These sessions are not intended to be overviews of the Workday process. 

Setting Annual Review Goals (for staff): These workshops are intended to support staff in creating SMART goals for their annual review. The session will cover types of goals to set, how to frame them, and how to follow up on them. 

Supporting Your Staff in Setting Goals (for supervisors): These workshops are intended for supervisors and will provide an overview of how to aid staff in creating goals which meet the needs of both the individual and the team. We will discuss types of goals, how to regularly check in on goals, and how to collaboratively develop goals as part of the Annual Review process. 

Annual Review Logistics: For support with Workday, please participate in an Annual Reflection Form and Annual Review Process (for Staff and Supervisors) workshop or visit the Workday Live Help & Training Sessions page or use the Annual Performance Review Workday How-To Guide

Workshops for Staff and Supervisors

The Annual Reflection Form and Annual Review Process

Tuesday, April 2, 2024, 1:00 - 2:00 PM

Thursday, April 11, 2024,11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Learn more and register


Workshops for Staff

Setting Annual Review Goals


Thursday, April 4, 2024, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuesday, April 9, 2024, 9:00 - 10:00 AM


Learn more and register

Engaging in Annual Review Conversations


Thursday, May 9, 2024, 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Tuesday, June 11, 2024, 1:00 - 2:00 PM


Learn more and register


Workshops for Supervisors

Facilitating Annual Review Conversations


Thursday, May 2, 2024, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuesday, June 11, 2024, 10:00 - 11:00 AM


Learn more and register

Supporting Your Staff in Setting Goals


Monday, May 20, 2024, 1:00 - 2:00 PM


Learn more and register

Workday Assistance


Workday technical trainings and information about live help sessions can be found on the Workday Live Help & Training Sessions page

Annual Performance Review Workday How-To Guide


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:

SSpecificThe more specific a goal, the more likely the success. This clarifies the what, how, how well, and how much of the goal
MMotivatingFramed so that individuals involved understand the purpose, context, and the “what’s in it for me” of the goal.
AAttainableProperly scoped - not too big, not too small, reasonable but also a stretch.
RRelevantContributes meaningfully to individual, departmental and College results.
TTrackableTakes 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 Goals Resource

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

Instructions for creating SMART goals

  1. Staff members identify goals they would like to work on, including opportunities for professional development, using the self-evaluation form.
  2. The evaluation includes a required goal for all staff members: Perform job duties and responsibilities as described in the job description.
  3. The supervisor/chair identifies up to four (4) individual goals for the coming evaluation period, including:
    • Contribution(s) towards department goals
    • Area(s) for professional growth (for example: leadership, public speaking, communication, technology, specialized skills, etc.)
    • Activities to support areas for professional growth (e.g. training, conferences, LinkedIn Learning, workshops, certifications, participation in committees or special projects, etc.)
    • Goals identified by the staff member in the self-evaluation form 
  4. The supervisor/chair and staff member discuss the goals and expectations during the evaluation discussion, and set a frequency to discuss progress.
  5.  Goals will be developed using the SMART criteria: 

    S – Specific
    M – Motivating
    A – Attainable
    R – Relevant
    – Trackable

  6.  Examples of SMART goals include:
    • Research best practices for orientation programming and develop a schedule of events by the end of March.
    • Ensure a smooth transition to the new building by coordinating moving services and related communications for staff, faculty and students.
    • Increase the number of visitor tours by 20% by the end of the academic year.
    • Meet weekly with staff members to discuss the status of projects and share information.
    • Attend training on creating pivot tables using Microsoft Excel by the end of March.
    • Evaluate current inventory and use of supplies, and create a plan to reduce costs and minimize waste.
    • Proactively prepare materials in advance of committee meetings, and make sure that the room is ready for the meeting at the designated time.
  7. Tips for goals assessment and monitoring:
    • Make sure goals are clear - You may find that you have more clarity after goals are outlined and discussed. Thinking about the big picture is important, especially with long-term goals. If you are not clear about a goal or specific action item, seek clarification.
    • Keep track of progress - Just as it is important to put the goals in writing, it is equally important to track progress. This can be done by using a goal tracking worksheet, an outline or a checklist. The key is to regularly check-in on progress and take note of current status vs desired end result.  Consider establishing a frequency, for example, weekly, monthly, every three months, etc.
    • Break them down – We can make goals more attainable and realistic by breaking them down. A set of five smaller actions that will get to the goal can be more manageable and less overwhelming.
    • Get/provide support – Sometimes we need help to accomplish our goals. This could be training, resources or guidance.  If you need help, support, or just a cheerleader, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
    • Revisit and revise as needed - The mid-year check-in is the perfect time to discuss progress and consider revisions, as appropriate.
    • Stay positive - Positive thinking is a great motivator for achieving our goals. Take time to celebrate every milestone, no matter how big or small. It will build confidence and commitment, and make it easier to keep pushing to reach future goals.