What Does "Exceptional Performance" Look Like?

An inside look at performance ratings from employees and supervisors.

The annual performance review program contains five rating levels, leaving many people wondering: what puts an employee above "Fully Achieved Expectations" and into "Exceptional"?

As a review, these are the five performance ratings:

  • Exceptional: Performance far exceeded expectations
  • Exceeded Expectations: Performance consistently exceeded expectations
  • Fully Achieved Expectations: Fully achieved and at times may have exceeded expectations
  • Some Expectations Met: Performance occasionally met expectations but was inconsistent
  • Expectations Not Met: Immediate improvement is needed

While Fully Achieved Expectations is expected for all UC Davis employees, it's not as easy as showing up for work. To reach this rating, employees must satisfy high expectations, consistently demonstrate their skills and abilities, and uphold university values and positive organizational culture.

It's not unusual for an employee to receive Fully Achieved Expectations even when they exceed expectations at times. However, if an employee consistently outperforms their outlined role and responsibilities and demonstrates extraordinary skills for their position, they may achieve an Exceptional or Exceeded Expectations rating.

So how do you show your supervisor that you have earned an exceptional performance review?

  • Highlight your successes
  • Use measurable figures
  • Illustrate your contributions to the unit
  • Demonstrate how you overcame challenges