Writing for Performance Appraisals (Supervisors)

Overseeing performance and providing feedback is not just an annual event, but rather an ongoing process that takes place throughout the year and culminates in an annual performance report or appraisal.


UC Davis Principles of Performance Management

  • UC Davis carries out its mission through the individual and collective contributions of its employees.
  • To encourage excellence, staff members need to know that those contributions are recognized and acknowledged.
  • To highlight employee contributions, the University policy requires that supervisors conduct a written performance appraisal of each employee at least once annually.  
  • The performance appraisal process is an essential communication tool that triggers discussions between employees and their supervisors that should ultimately result in an enhanced delivery of performance and competency.
  • Throughout the performance appraisal period, supervisors may “check-in” with employees by scheduling periodic meetings to discuss objectives, contributions, accomplishments, review/modify goals, provide feedback and identify ways to improve performance (if applicable).

The Employee's Self-Assessment

To assist with the annual performance appraisal process employees are asked to write and submit a Self-Assessment (referred to as a “Summary of Accomplishments” or SOA on the Davis campus)

A self-assessment is important because it can:

  • Be a written tool that fosters and encourages communication between employees and supervisors to ensure work/goals are in alignment with organizational and campus missions and goals
  • Clarify essential functions and job standards to enhance employee performance and/or correct deficiencies
  • Help supervisors understand how employees view their strengths and weaknesses
  • Remind or inform supervisors of employee accomplishments, growth and challenges during the year
  • Describe goals that were met during the year and provide the opportunity for employees and supervisors to discuss an employee’s professional development and future career goals
  • Identify where there may be discrepancies between the employee’s and supervisor’s point of view regarding overall performance
  • Allow employees to make early corrections.

Questions to Consider when Rating Employee Performance at "Exceptional":

  • What exemplary behaviors did you observe?
  • What significant impact did the individual’s accomplishments or goal achievement have on your unit/division/college/school or the university?
  • What significant accomplishments or goal achievement went above and beyond the individual’s daily work expectations?
  • What unusual circumstances took place during the past year that presented an opportunity for excellence?

Appraisal Definitions



The process by which a manager reviews and evaluates an employee's work performance.

Behavior Observable activities of a person
Competencies Measurable or observable knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors critical to successful job performance
EPAR system Davis campus online system for performance appraisals
ePerformance UC Davis Health online system for performance appraisals
Job Function Basic duties for which an employee is responsible; usually aligns with the employee’s position description
Knowledge Information a person has in a specific content area 
Motives Things a person consistently thinks about or wants that cause action
Non-represented Staff Employees in the workforce not represented by a collective bargaining unit but generally guided by organizational policy
Represented Staff Employees in the workforce represented by a collective bargaining unit 
Self-Assessment/Summary of Accomplishments An employee’s description of his/her major accomplishments related to their job functions and performance standards
Self-Image A person’s attitudes or self-concept
Skills A person’s ability to perform certain physical or mental tasks
Supervisor A person who monitors and regulates how employees perform assigned or delegated tasks 
Traits Characteristics; consistent responses to situations or information
Values Principles that define behavior as right, good, proper