Performance management

Performance evaluation process for staff employees

The Workday Performance Management system helps elevate overall performance in service of USC’s mission and goals, as managers evaluate employees based on specific competencies:

See our helpful tip sheet for developing goals; also, see our Workday user guides page for step-by-step help with specific performance management tasks.

All schools, divisions and departments are expected to use the Workday Performance Management system; units wishing to use an alternative evaluation method must consult with Human Resources Administration. Managers should visit the Manager Gateway for help with all aspects of the performance management cycle.

Performance management occurs throughout the year – it is not a one-time annual event. For training purposes, four phases comprise the performance management cycle (although some units follow a different cycle due to business considerations):

performance management cycle graphicPhase 1:  Plan

Signals the beginning of the cycle

  • Set performance goals
  • Review expectations
  • Set development goals: Individual Development Plan (optional)

Phase 2:  Develop

Focuses on the identification of training and development opportunities to improve individual performance

  • Review development goals and targets
  • Carry out Individual Development Plan (optional)

Phase 3:  Monitor

Prepares and conducts a quality evaluation during the annual evaluation period

  • Conduct year-end performance management reviews
  • Determine merit increases
  • Set performance goals for next cycle

Phase 4: Evaluate

Involves how and when to use different types of feedback and coaching, and coincides with the mid-year check-in

  • Conduct mid-year performance check-in
  • Continue performance accountability and tracking

It’s an everyday process

Performance management is an everyday process wherein regular coaching discussions provide ongoing opportunities for employee growth and development. We strongly encourage managers and employees to think about the performance management cycle as a yearlong opportunity to give and receive performance feedback. Our aim is to broaden the conversation to highlight how skill development and learning are tied to individual and organizational performance improvements.

Our performance management system is designed to cultivate Trojan talent by:

  • Supporting a high performance, talent-centered culture
  • Establishing an institution-wide framework for delivery of performance reviews
  • Creating community around strategic initiatives that support efficiency
  • Maintaining a central repository for USC performance data

What’s in it for me?

  • Staff – by engaging in open conversations with your manager, you are better able to target new skills and areas for improvement, identify strengths and align development to performance goals, as well as future career goals.
  • Managers – you can access online training (via TrojanLearn) to equip you in confidently guiding your employees in goal-setting, recommending developmental opportunities, giving feedback, coaching, monitoring performance, and conducting a successful performance review. Our performance management program is designed help you optimize your team’s effectiveness and success. See performance management on the Manager Gateway.
  • Executive leaders – a unified performance management system drives consistency across the institution, improves executives’ ability to generate insights into performance across the schools and administrative units, decreases liability for the university, enhances productivity, and increases employee engagement. As executive leaders, you are poised to more readily identify trends and opportunities for improvements across USC.
  • USC – a consistent performance management process enables the university to realize its aspirations by upholding USC’s strategic vision as a performance culture is shaped that optimizes employee engagement and contributions.

How can I learn more?

More detailed information about USC’s performance management program, as well as a wealth of training resources, are available in TrojanLearn within the Performance Management curriculum.

More questions?

For more information, contact the HR Service Center at