Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Rather than rating and commenting on several job functions and competencies, the new evaluation includes just three rated areas and two unrated areas for most a/p faculty and staff.
- JOB KNOWLEDGE and EXECUTION: Demonstrates knowledge, skills and ability to fulfill the essential functions of the job. Understands and follows established policies and procedures for their role and shows commitment to the mission and goals of the University by engaging to align performance with strategic, change, and growth initiatives and priorities. Seeks new skills and opportunities for self-development while taking responsibility for achieving results.
- ORGANIZATIONAL CITIZENSHIP/RELATIONSHIPS: Efficiently performs work that meets expectations of quality, accuracy, timeliness, ethics, professional conduct, and service to the university community. Helps others be successful, establishes and maintains productive and harmonious relationships with colleagues to create a collegial, collaborative environment. Demonstrates civility when engaging with faculty, staff, and students. Adheres to and actively supports the university’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Is accessible to others and responsive to their questions, needs and concerns.
- GOALS, OBJECTIVES, & RESULTS: Provide the status and results of previously agreed-upon performance objective(s) and goal(s). If performance objective(s) and goal(s) were not previously discussed, identify achievement of measurable outcomes from projects and assigned work.
- Operational Leadership (Supervisor Only): The supervisor develops and implements efficient and effective operational processes and procedures. Creates and maintains a goal-oriented and engaging team environment, providing day-to-day support, resources and information to faculty and staff to conduct the business of the university, free from bias and favoritism. Employees supervised demonstrate productivity, competence, and active engagement. Conducts effective performance management planning and evaluations for employees in compliance with communicated timelines and throughout the year. Develops goals, objectives, and deadlines and communicates them verbally and in writing to employees.
- Mentoring and Coaching (Supervisor Only): With a growth mindset and developmental focus, the supervisor recognizes and acknowledges strengths in others and actively works to provide opportunities for others to practice their strengths in their current role or cross-functional opportunities. Provides supervision and timely guidance, feedback and development opportunities to help others increase knowledge and skill areas to accomplish tasks or solve problems.
The new evaluation process includes a section called Growth Capabilities. In the Reflection summary, employees will identify significant accomplishments, successes, and challenges that are worthy of celebration or discussion. In the Development summary, employees will identify performance and professional development objectives and goals for the next year. The supervisor should then work with employees to provide development opportunities while aligning goals to business unit or institutional needs.
Most evaluations will be completed online for the 2022-2023 cycle. For those who requested an exception from email@example.com and have been exempted from this process, electronic forms may be submitted. Performance evaluation forms can be found on the Forms page.
- Administrative/Professional Faculty evaluations must be submitted to HR by May 1. See the A/P Faculty timeline for more information.
- Classified Staff evaluations must be submitted by May 8. See the Classified Staff timeline for more information.
Beginning in 2023, evaluation timelines are being realigned to a new evaluation cycle of April 1 – March 31. Evaluation cycles will look different during this transition.
Performance Dates to Be Evaluated
- A/P faculty: July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2023*
- Classified staff: October 25, 2022 – March 31, 2023
* The majority of Mason A/P faculty did not complete evaluations during the 2021 – 2022 evaluation cycle, which typically would have been completed in fall 2022, so the upcoming evaluation should include evaluation of performance from July 1, 2021 – March 31, 2023. For University Life A/P faculty who did participate in the fall 2022 evaluation process, the spring 2023 evaluation should include evaluation of performance from July 1, 2022 – March 31, 2023.
Self-evaluations are required for Classified Staff and A/P Faculty. The self-evaluation step is critical to start the evaluation process workflow and provide a foundation for the supervisor’s review. It allows you the opportunity to document your accomplishments and strengths, address any concerns and challenges you may have that relate to the job, and to highlight any obstacle you overcame to improve your performance.
You must have an annual performance evaluation on file for the current performance cycle if you are:
- Administrative/Professional Faculty hired prior to December 31 of this year; or
- Classified Staff hired prior to December 31 of this year.
If an employee is still under their probation period during the annual evaluation process, supervisors must complete the evaluation in MasonLEAPS. Please note: The Progress Review Form should be used for the 3-, 6- and 11-month progress review. An 11-month Progress Review Form is still required even if an evaluation is completed in MasonLEAPS since it is used to end the probationary period.
Instructional/Research Faculty evaluations are not coordinated by HR. Please contact your academic unit for guidance in accordance with the Faculty Handbook.
No, performance evaluations are not submitted to HR for these employee classes.
If there was a recent evaluation completed and it is within the evaluation cutoff period, then an additional evaluation is not required.
If an employee moves into a new position or department at any point during the performance cycle, a performance evaluation is required from the new department if the previous department did not complete an evaluation.
The position held when the evaluation process begins is the one for which an employee should be evaluated. If an employee recently moved into a new position, their supervisor should consult with the prior supervisor to obtain and document performance information during the supervisor review process.
- If the employee is Classified Staff AND under a probationary period, the new department should submit either the progress review form, one of the standard evaluation forms, or an evaluation in MasonLEAPS.
- If the employee is A/P faculty or Classified Staff NOT under a probationary period, the new department should submit one of the standard evaluation forms if an evaluation was not submitted by the previous supervisor.
What if a supervisor is on leave when evaluations are due OR the supervisor's position is vacant?
If a supervisor returns from leave during the evaluation process, they should not participate in the process if the co-planner has already conducted the review. If the supervisor co-planner is also the reviewer, they can still be the reviewer or a reviewer co-planner can be appointed.
If there is no supervisor present when the evaluation is due, the reviewer (or whomever the reviewer appoints as a co-planner) should conduct the evaluation on behalf of the supervisor.
Please contact the Performance Management team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to help!
Please work directly with your supervisor or your department’s HR liaison to get a copy of your EWP or position description.
MasonLEAPS receives organizational structure information from Banner, HR's information system. Any updates in Banner will update the performance management system the next day. If a supervisor or reporting staff is incorrect, please work with your department's HR liaison to request an update in Banner.
If you disagree with an evaluation rating or comments and cannot resolve the disagreement with your supervisor, you should add comments during the evaluation employee sign-off step to explain your disagreement and provide clear examples for not agreeing with the feedback received.
Classified employees may appeal to the reviewer within 10 workdays of receiving the evaluation. The reviewer will provide a response within 5 workdays. The reviewer can uphold, revise, or rewrite the evaluation. An employee may also file a grievance if they feel the evaluation is arbitrary or capricious.
Admin/Professional Faculty may appeal to the reviewer in writing within 10 workdays of receiving the evaluation. The reviewer has 10 workdays to review the appeal, meet with the employee, and provide a written response to let it stand or be revised as the reviewer, in their sole discretion, determines to be appropriate. The performance evaluation cannot be the subject of a grievance.
Please contact the Employee Relations team directly at email@example.com or 703-993-3878 for additional guidance.
Yes. There have been instances where the performance management system does not always function as intended and data may be lost. Therefore, it is strongly encouraged for the self-review to be saved so the data is captured and retained.
Once your supervisor completes and submits your review in the system, it goes to the indirect manager (typically your supervisor’s supervisor) for review, additional comments, and approval. After that step is completed, your supervisor should provide you with a copy of your review prior to your review meeting. After that meeting takes place, your supervisor will sign the review in the system, which then makes it visible for your final review and electronic signature. You will be able to print a copy of your review at that time.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Yes, the university is realigning evaluation cycles to April 1 – March 31, which will result in many classified staff and A/P faculty experiencing multiple evaluations and ratings in a 12-month period. We view this as a positive since employees will experience increased communication and understanding about job expectations and performance.
Interim evaluations should be documented and maintained by the receiving agency, meaning that your prior supervisor should have completed an evaluation and forwarded a copy to your supervisor at Mason. Because Mason follows a different classified evaluation cycle than most state agencies, this may result in a classified employee having more than one evaluation in a calendar year.
The self-evaluation is required, although it may not be completed if an employee is on leave during the evaluation process. If an employee is unable to participate in completing the self-evaluation or fails to do so, your supervisor will complete the evaluation of your performance without your input.
Self-evaluations automatically move forward to the supervisor review after the self-evaluation deadline has passed. This allows supervisors to start the review since they also have a deadline to submit the evaluation to their reviewer. If you still need to complete your self-review, you will need to ask your supervisor to re-open the self-review step. Supervisors can view this tutorial video (How to Re-Open a Step)if they are not sure how to re-open a step in MasonLEAPS.
For Supervisors and Managers
A supervisor can reopen an evaluation for an employee for any reason, including but not limited to the following reasons: the employee was out of the office during the self-evaluation period, failed to complete their evaluation on time, or would like to add more information to their evaluation.
To learn how to reopen a step, watch this tutorial video.
It is an annual performance summary so the focus should include the entire year’s performance. Please take the opportunity to contact the previous manager and obtain feedback. If the previous manager is no longer with Mason, refer to the indirect manager who has knowledge of the employee’s performance. Include their input in your evaluation – do not use the co-planner function for this purpose.
All annual performance evaluations must be completed using the electronic LEAPS system unless an exception is approved by the Performance Management team. The Progress Review Form should be used for the 3-, 6- and 11-month progress reviews unless the annual evaluation process is underway. An 11-month Progress Review Form is still required even if an evaluation is completed in MasonLEAPS since it is used to end the probationary period. Please contact email@example.com if you have questions about which process to follow.
Edits to the ratings and comment sections can only be made prior to the employee sign-off. Once the employee signs the evaluation, no changes can be made. The reviewer or the HR Performance Management team (firstname.lastname@example.org) can assist to reopen steps.
Each section must include a comment to explain and support the rating for that section. Be specific in your comments and be sure to link behaviors to results.
- No. The system generates generic emails that cannot be customized to leave situations. Emails sent by the HR Performance Management team (email@example.com) are sent without regard for current leave status since the team does not track individual employee status.
Obtain feedback from the previous manager or indirect manager when possible.
Supervisor training is not mandatory as of January 2023. Supervisors, especially new supervisors, are strongly encouraged to attend the following trainings: Performance Management for Supervisors, Engagement in Action: Strategies for Supervisors, and Supervisor Boot Camp.
Yes. The Impact Award is a form of recognition at Mason, while the Acknowledgment form is required by the state for classified staff who receive an “extraordinary contributor” rating, which is Mason’s equivalent to an “outstanding” rating. Additionally, the Acknowledgment form is required to be on record in the employee’s personnel file prior to receiving an overall “outstanding” rating on their performance evaluation.
The LEAPS evaluation system receives information from Banner, our HR Information System. When Banner identifies that your position has subordinate positions, meaning there are positions that report to yours, then Banner knows your position is supervisory. When evaluations are launched, the system assigns the supervisor evaluation, which includes additional rated performance capabilities, based on your position/role as a supervisor.
The Job Knowledge and Execution performance capability is an appropriate place to document performance concerns and achievements. The Organizational Citizenship/Relationships capability is the appropriate place to discuss and document workplace behaviors.
Several resources are available online to assist with setting goals, documenting work efforts and accomplishments to assist with the annual self-evaluation, and facilitating 1:1 conversations between a supervisor and staff.
If an employee is on leave when their evaluation is due, the department should submit an evaluation without the employee's signature. This can act as a placeholder until the employee returns from leave. Please note on the evaluation that the employee is on leave and another signed version will be submitted upon the employee's return.
Individual consultations may be scheduled by contacting the Employee Relations team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-993-3878. General questions about the performance management process and evaluation form may be submitted to the Performance Management team at email@example.com. Performance Management for Supervisors training is also offered throughout the year and can be found by searching that title in MasonLEAPS.
Employees should be evaluated on the position they hold when evaluations launched. For example, if an employee moved to a new role (or new classification) in December and evaluations opened in February, the employee should be evaluated on their current position from December through the end of March (the current evaluation cycle). Since the employee is new in the role, their rating for Job Knowledge and Execution may appropriately be “developing” since they’ve had limited time performing new responsibilities.
The current supervisor can have conversations with the prior supervisor about the employee’s work contributions, but the Job Knowledge and Execution performance capability should evaluate the current role. Where this may differ is the rating for Organizational Citizenship/Relationships. Since that rated area includes workplace behaviors such as professional conduct and service to the university community, this rating may be informed by the prior supervisor’s comments since the employee is not new to Mason and they may have relationships and service to the university that continue in the new role.
Pay-for-performance, or outcomes-based pay, refers to a compensation philosophy where employees are rewarded for achieving goals or objectives, based on measurable outcomes and outstanding contributions which have a significant and positive impact on the business unit or that may materially advance the mission of the institution. An outcomes-based pay model creates accountability for goal achievement at all levels.
Every employee has the ability to achieve great things from their role and position within Mason. Each individual’s contributions will be different, and the expectations and goals should be discussed and documented with their individual supervisor. Evaluations will take into account how an individual performed against their given roles and responsibilities and the contributions made towards their unit and Mason.
As of March 15, 2023, no decisions have been made about FY23 pay increases or a potential bonus in December. If the state budget is approved by the General Assembly in the spring and if compensation increase funding is provided, a portion of the potential increase may be Across the Board (ATB). An ATB increase is not considered a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA). Mason’s pay-for-performance adjustment would be in addition to any ATB increase from the state. Additional details will be shared when available.
Across the Board (ATB) increases: Overall ratings of “developing,” “successful,” and “outstanding” are eligible for an ATB increase. Employees with an overall rating of “unsuccessful” are not eligible for any increase.
Pay-for-performance increases: Overall ratings of “successful” and “outstanding” may be eligible for an outcomes-based performance increase, determined by business unit leadership, which is in addition to an ATB increase.
In July 2022, the state approved a 5% salary increase for benefitted faculty and staff with satisfactory performance who were hired on or before April 10, 2022. In December 2022, benefitted faculty and staff hired by August 10, 2022, received a $1,000 bonus (pro-rated for part-time). In January 2023, the university provided targeted increases based on market competitiveness, retention and internal alignment.