Managing Performance FAQs

Q: Where can I find the online performance appraisal form?

A: The CUHR online performance appraisal form is located here.

Q: What are the benefits of the online performance appraisal form?

A: The online performance appraisal form has the following benefits to both managers and staff:

  • Simple, clear, easy to use with drop-down menu options
  • Online so managers and staff can access anytime, anywhere
  • Section for clarifying main job duties and responsibilities
  • Section for goal setting for the upcoming performance year
  • Choose from a performance attributes library (also known as competencies library) that the University has selected based upon best practices. Therefore, performance can be described in terms of how the job duties and goals were achieved, and not just what was achieved
  • Section for developmental planning for staff members for upcoming year
  • Sections built in for staff and manager comments throughout the   form
  • Simplified overall performance rating scale

Q: Do I have to use the online performance appraisal form this year?

A: The online form is the recommended format. There is also a MS Word version of the form which you can access from the home page of the online form.

Q: What if my school or department uses a different performance appraisal form?

A: As in previous years, schools and departments may elect to use their own performance review forms that they have developed internally.

Q: How do I use the online performance appraisal form?

A: CUHR has created online tutorials for both managers and non-managers. These tutorials are available once you log in to the form by clicking the Form Instructions button. 

Q: Do I have to fill in every section of the online performance appraisal form?

A: No. The form has been designed so managers can easily build the sections of the form that are applicable to the jobs in their area. For example, managers may elect to use the section of the form that outlines job duties and responsibilities for the position or not by simply clicking on a button to add details to that section of the form.

CUHR strongly recommends that managers use the goals, performance attributes, and developmental plan sections of the form. For more information on how to use the form, see the online performance appraisal form job aid.

Q: Can I transfer information that I was already using from another form into the new online performance appraisal form for this year?

A: Yes. You can easily copy and paste the appropriate information you wish to select from another form into the online performance appraisal form.

Q: Can I use the online performance appraisal form to set goals for next year?

A: Yes. The online performance appraisal form can be used to either wind up the current performance year, or for goal setting for the upcoming fiscal year. The goals you create are saved and can be revisited at any time if changes are needed.

Q: Does Columbia University have a separate staff self-appraisal form?

A: The form allows either the manager or staff to start the process. Therefore, the staff member can open the form and start the process, then release to their manager to edit and review. However, both manager and staff edit the same document.

Q: What are performance attributes (also known as competencies)?

A: Performance attributes are a part of the online performance appraisal form. A performance attribute is defined as a skill, knowledge, ability or behavioral characteristic that is associated with job performance.

Simply stated, performance attributes assist both managers and staff in defining what job success looks like in terms of how the work is performed, not just in terms of what was achieved. For example, performance attributes such as adaptability, collaboration, communication, decision-making and valuing diversity may be used to describe how a staff member needs to perform in their position along with their main job duties and stated objectives for the performance year.

These attributes can be used in various ways and at different levels:

  • School/Department level - What skills, knowledge, abilities or behavioral characteristics are required for success across the entire school or department for the performance year?
  • Position Level - What skills, knowledge, abilities or behavioral characteristics are required for success across all Staff members in the same position for the performance year?
  • Individual Level - What skills, knowledge, abilities or behavioral characteristics are required for individual staff member success for the performance year?

The online performance appraisal form has a library of 54 performance attributes that managers can select from built into the form. As described above, these performance attributes can be used in various ways and at different levels at the choosing of the school/department or the manager.

For more information on performance attributes and how to use them, please contact your CUHR Client Manager or the local HR representative in your school or department. 

Q: Who is eligible to use the online performance appraisal form?

A: The online performance appraisal form is for Administrative Officers only. Academic Officers and staff members who belong to a union group do not use this form. 

Q: Is there any training available?

A: Yes. Online training is available through Lynda.com. Click here to access the Performance Review Fundamentals course.

Q: What training is available to me if I am not a manager?

A: If you are not a manager, the online training tutorial accessed via logging into the online form provides an overview of the performance management process, as well as steps to complete the form.

Q: Do I have to attend the training before completing my year-end reviews?

A: You are not required to attend training in order to close out the year.

Q: Who can I contact if I have further questions?

A: Please contact your CUHR Client Manager or the local HR representative in your school or department for more information that is not covered in these pages.

If you experience any technical issues in completing this course, please contact the HR Service Center.  You can log an incident or request a service by using a self-service web form, or you can contact the HR Service Center by phone: (212) 851-2888.