Performance Development

Performance Development is an ongoing process that is used for supporting and developing employees.  This section discusses the main component of performance development at NDSU, the Responsibility Review, and also provides information on giving constructive feedback.  

Responsibility Review Process

Responsibility Reviews are conducted by the supervisor to discuss an employee's past performance, and to serve as a guide for development of future performance and refinement of organizational processes and systems. They are conducted at the completion of an employee's probationary period and at least annually thereafter.

The Responsibility Review consists of three main components. 

  • The employee’s position description should be reviewed, and possibly updated, to accurately reflect the employee’s responsibilities. 
  • A thorough review of prior goals and analysis of feedback should be completed.
  • The employee and the supervisor should set new goals, as well as identify resources that will be necessary to accomplish the goals.

After this process has been completed, the employee will be asked to sign the form. The signature does not signify agreement with the contents of the review, but that they have seen it. If the employee does not agree with the supervisor's review of his/her performance, then the employee may submit a written response regarding the review, which will be attached to the Responsibility Review form. The responsibility review and written responses are a permanent part of the employee's official personnel file in Human Resources and Payroll.

Probationary Period

New broadbanded employees are in a probationary status for the first six months of University service, which may be extended at the discretion of the department. During such period, the employee may be terminated with one week's notice with no right to appeal. One week's pay may be given in lieu of notice.

The supervisor may make a written request to extend the original probationary period for a specific period of time, not to exceed 6 months.  This request should be submitted to the Director of Human Resources and Payroll along with a completed responsibility review for this employee.


“Good communication tops most people’s lists of important workplace skills.  Though business offices, retail establishments and shop floors are relying more and more on complex electronic equipment, not all of the information employees need is found on-line and in databases.  Effective person-to-person communication is more important than ever as teams ‘form and storm,’ management becomes more egalitarian, and employees learn to work cross-functionally.”

“One of the most important person-to-person communication skills is the ability to give and receive feedback effectively.  It is also one of the most challenging.  No amount of sophisticated technology can diminish the anxiety supervisors, team leaders and team members can feel when faced with a feedback session.”

“The good news is that feedback doesn’t have to be painful.  By learning proven techniques, you can develop your feedback skills.  With practice, you’ll be able to turn feedback session into tools that can help you and your coworkers improve your job performance and meet important goals.”

Giving Feedback Examples


  • Be objective and accurate
  • Provide specific, detailed examples about the employee's behavior
  • Explain how behavior affected the work group and achievement of goal
  • Give feedback in a style that matches the receiving employee's style


  • Words that display emotion
  • Vague comments
  • Stating observations in a manner that will be viewed as critical or destructive by the employee
  • Saying nothing; it can be misinterpreted

Work Examples


  • "Your quick response in making these repairs ourselves, saved both down-time and money."
  • "You have missed the last two project deadlines."
  • "At the last 3 committee meetings, you have not given an update on your project."
  • "On February 3rd, 6th and 10th, you were late arriving to work."
  • "Lack of proofreading leads to doing work over again and undermines our professional image when items with errors are distributed."
  • "I've noticed that whenever someone brings up a new idea, you immediately tell them it won't work. That inhibits others in your team to express ideas that may help us work more efficiently."


  • "You do a good job."
  • "You never meet deadlines."
  • "You're never prepared for meetings."
  • "You're always late in the morning."
  • "With your lack of ability, I can't imagine you ever being successful in this line of work."
  • "You have a lousy attitude."

Poertner, Shirley and Karen Masetti Miller. The Art of Giving and Receiving Feedback.
West Des Moines: American Media Publishing, 1996.

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