Completing the Annual Performance Review in e-Performance – Rating Descriptions

Selecting Performance Ratings during the Evaluation Phase of the Annual Performance Review

Employees are asked to self-rate their performance for each of their goals under the Goals tab, as well as each of the SMU core competencies under the Competencies tab.  Managers will also select a rating for each of the employee’s goals and each competency.

A description for each rating is provided in the Performance Document so that employees and Managers are using a consistent definition when making a selection.

As you prepare for your Annual Performance Review, it will be helpful to understand the rating definitions.  The rating options are:

  • Not Meeting Expectations
  • Meeting Expectations
  • Exceeding Meeting Expectations

These descriptions are available in the Self Evaluation and the Manager Evaluation forms.  Next to each rating drop-down is the following icon:


(The Manager Evaluation form reads Manager Rating.)

Click the pop-out icon to review the rating descriptions within the system.









For clarity in this message, the rating options are defined as:

 Meeting Expectations
Performance was consistently below expectations in most essential areas of responsibility, and/or reasonable progress toward critical goals was not made.  Significant improvement is needed in one or more important areas.  A corrective action plan either should or has been outlined and monitored to measure progress.  If a corrective action plan has been implemented, it should be attached in the system and goals should be documented in the system.
Meeting Expectations
Performance consistently met expectations in all essential areas of responsibility, at times possibly exceeding expectations, and the quality of work overall was very good.   The most critical annual goals were met.
Exceeding Expectations
Performance consistently exceeded expectations in all essential areas of responsibility, and the quality of work overall was excellent.  Annual goals were met.

Both the manager and the employee should use these descriptions when selecting a rating for each goal and each competency.

Completing the Goals Summary and the Competencies Summary Sections

The Goals tab and the Competencies tab include a Summary Section at the bottom.  Click the calculator icon at the bottom of each tab to average your ratings for Goals and for Competencies.  Comments may also be added in the text box field under tab.



The next step will average the Goals and the Competencies section for an overall rating of the Goals and the Competencies sections.  Just above the Goals and the Competencies tabs, click the “Overall Status” button.

Questions?  Email us at

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Supervisor Checklist for Hiring Student Workers

The beginning of the fall semester signifies the end of summer and, for anyone supervising student workers, is also the time to confirm your new and returning student workers are on-boarded and prepared for the upcoming academic year in your department.

Verify Your Student Worker is Authorized to Work

Hiring managers must provide each new student worker the New Student Employment Packet and ensure he/she is authorized to work by verifying his/her Form I-9 is appropriately completed.

Supervisors should not assume their student worker already has a Form I-9 “on file” OR that a Form I-9 completed previously is acceptable. To confirm your student is I-9 compliant, supervisors should verify directly with HR or verify that HR has signed off that the student is I-9 compliant on his/her Student Worker Employment Checklist 

Supervisors hiring International Student Workers must follow the instructions provided by the International Scholars & Students Office (ISSS) to confirm the student’s work eligibility. The student’s ePAF start and end date must stay within the ISSS-authorized dates and scheduled work hours. Failure to do so could endanger your student worker’s ability to remain within the U.S. to complete his/her education and/or to work in the U.S. after graduation.

Complete the ePAF to Ensure Your Student Worker is Paid On Time

As employees of the University, it is essential for each student worker to be set-up correctly in the payroll system in order to receive timely pay.

  • Supervisors must initiate a new hire/rehire ePAF for each student worker as the employment offer is accepted by the student
  • Start date for ePAF:   employment start dates should commence on or after August 18, 2018
  • End date for ePAF:  financial aid work-study student employment must end on or before by May 10, 2019.  Non financial aid work-study students must have an employment end date on or before May 24, 2019.
  • Student workers whose start date was before August 18, 2018 must have two (2) separate ePAFs forms submitted: to ensure they are paid for work before the fall start date of August 18:
    1. A temporary staff or student worker ePAF, depending on summer classification, for work prior to August 18, 2108 and
    2. A student worker ePAF effective date on or after August 18, 2018

Manage Student Worker Schedules to Remain Within Weekly Limits

The tax benefits student workers are eligible to receive are contingent on SMU limiting these recipients to no more than 20 hours of work per week.

Hiring managers must ensure each student worker’s schedule abides by the 20 hour per week limitation. This applies to any student being paid under a student worker ePAF.

Training for Student Workers

Upon employment, student workers are automatically assigned two (2) training tutorials via Lawroom (SMU’s vendor for e-learning training).  They are:

  • SMU’s Program for the Protection of Minors, course titled Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse
  • Data Security and Privacy

Student workers will receive an email notification to the SMU email address announcing the assignments with a link to access the training.  As with regular employees, students should use the SMU ID and password to log in via the single sign on portal.   Additional training may be assigned based on job responsibilities; for example FERPA for those requesting access to student records or golf cart safety if they will have access/use.

Those supervising student workers should manage training completion within the allocated timeframe.  This may be confirmed by asking the student to provide a copy of their training summary in my.SMU  or by emailing with the student’s ID number and name.

Engage Your Student Worker

Student workers are a vital resource to the University.  Students should be on-boarded and orientated to work expectations similarly to the on-boarding our regular employees experience.  Introduce your student workers to the work team, make sure they understand the role your team/department plays in achieving the Universities goals.  Share dress codes and culturally specific information so they feel included.  Set clear expectations for the work they will do as well as how and when to notify you when they are ill or have conflicts with their work schedule.  Provide regular feedback about the work they are doing and the impact they are having.  Doing so will ensure your student is engaged and providing maximum support to your team.



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Important Reminder Regarding Overtime Pay

The following information was sent to all faculty and staff on August 29, 2018, via  email from SMU Information . 

As the new academic year begins, SMU Human Resources reminds faculty and staff members about federal regulations regarding overtime pay for non-exempt (hourly) employees.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt employees must receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours a workweek. The overtime rate is one and one-half times the regular rate of pay. This overtime requirement may not be waived.

Non-exempt employees and their managers should be aware of this requirement and accurately record and submit any overtime hours or fractional hours. Employees and managers are urged to discuss in advance the need for overtime work and to adjust workloads to maintain a regular workweek, if possible. If an employee works overtime, it must be recorded and properly compensated.

For more information

If you have questions about the overtime requirement, please contact Human Resources at

Learn more about University policies regarding wages and overtime, Policy 3.64 and Policy 9.18, in the University Policy Manual.

The U.S. Department of Labor has information about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at, including frequently asked questions about overtime pay,


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The Form I-9 Overview

The Form I-9 can be a confusing requirement, so we want to provide some clarity on key objectives and expectations.

What is the Form I-9?

The Form I-9 (also known as an “I-9”) is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of all individuals hired for work in the United States.

Who needs to complete an I-9?

Any individual hired for work in the United States. If an individual is paid through SMU payroll, then they need to have a valid I-9 on file. This includes U.S. citizens and non-citizens as well as individuals working remotely for SMU.

When does the I-9 need to be completed?

There are 2 parts to the Form I-9, and they have different deadlines. The employee needs to complete Section 1 by the end of your first day of employment.  Section 2 is completed with an HR Representative no later than 3 days after you’ve started employment. Additionally, an I-9 should not be completed before an offer of employment has been made and accepted.

How do you complete the Form?

A Form I-9 must be completed, in person, at the SMU HR Office, and new employees must provide documents to verify their identity and work authorization (more on these below). These documents must be original, no copies or scanned images, and they cannot be expired.

What documents do you need to bring?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) provides a list of documents that can be used to complete the I-9, and examples can be found here: For International Students, HR also requires that the student bring their On-Campus Work Eligibility Form when they complete their I-9, so we can confirm for their supervisors that they’re I-9 compliant.  Contact the International Student Scholar Services office for more information on the On-Campus Work Eligibility Form.

How often does it need to be completed?

An I-9 needs to be completed at the start of employment and after a break in service where an individual was not actively employed by SMU.  Employees with a break is service may need to complete a new I-9.   International Students and other non-citizen employees need to regularly reverify their I-9 status to show that their work eligibility documents are always current.  Whenever they receive a new work eligibility document (for example, a new I-20), they need to come to the HR office and update their I-9.

If a manager or employee has any questions about the I-9 or their I-9 status, you should  call the HR main line at 214-768-3311 or email us at

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Enrolled in the SMU Medical Plan?  MDLIVE is Now Available!

Getting sick is never convenient and finding time to get to the doctor can be difficult.

MDLIVE enables you and your enrolled family members to visit independently contracted, board-certified doctors when you need care.  Access to MDLIVE doctors is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week via online video, mobile app or phone.

You can speak to a doctor immediately or schedule an appointment based on your availability.   They can help treat non-emergency medical and pediatric health issues. Plus, they can write and send prescriptions to a nearby pharmacy when appropriate.  Visit the MDLIVE page on the HR website for additional information!





Please refer any questions to

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Refer a Friend – and Get Paid!

Employee referrals are a vital source of new employees for SMU.

Current regular (benefits-eligible) employees can receive a cash reward after the successful hiring of a referred friend or colleague.

For more information on the Employee Referral Program visit:

For a listing of current staff openings, visit Working at SMU, and click on Staff Openings.

For further assistance, email:

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October 29, 2017 is World Stroke Day!

Stroke is the #2 cause of death in the world. Someone on the planet has a stroke every two seconds. The good news is that prevention and treatment work together to end stroke. And, together, stroke heroes are helping.

Stroke heroes are everyday people fighting to end stroke. Whether it’s a survivor determined to prevent another stroke, a healthcare professional who educates the public, a caregiver who works tirelessly to facilitate recovery or a student who learns how to spot a stroke F.A.S.T., we salute these courageous and compassionate individuals.

Join millions around the world on Oct 29 in spreading the word about secondary stroke prevention and treatment:

Visit the World Stroke Day website for more information.

Credit: American Heart Association|American Stroke Association

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A Change Is Coming To Your Mail Order Pharmacy Vendor

Prime Therapeutics PrimeMail Combines With Walgreens Mail Service

Prime Therapeutics PrimeMail recently combined with Walgreens Mail Service. Your PrimeMail prescription(s) will now be filled by Walgreens Mail Service. The mail service phone number (877-357-7463), Customer Service hours of operation (24/7) and refill reminders will not change.

You will now see the new name on your bill bottle(s) and pharmacy benefits communications. When it’s time to refill a prescription, it will be refilled by Walgreens Mail Service. If you don’t have refills, or if your prescription expires, ask your doctor to fax a new prescription to Walgreens Mail Service at 1-800-332-9581.

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Update Your Personal and Business Information in my.SMU by Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The 2017-2018 Directory of Students, Staff, and Faculty will be published soon. Please ensure that your business address, telephone number, and preferred name are correct in my.SMU no later than Wednesday, August 16, 2017.

Visit the HR website for information on how to update your contact information.

Questions?  Email SMU HR

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Announcing the Implementation of ePerformance in my.SMU

HR and OIT have partnered to design and implement a system within my.SMU  for employees and their managers to set goals, track progress toward goal accomplishment, host an informal mid-year and finally an annual review within the my.SMU system.

In addition to the work by HR and OIT, a cross-University group of your peers served on a Focus Group to review the system and provide feedback, which was incorporated into the design.

Performance Documents have been created in my.SMU

Benefits-eligible employee may now access their Performance Document within my.SMU by navigating to Self Service>Performance Management>Performance Documents>Current Documents.  The online system supports best practices in creating and tracking performance goals, allowing for feedback and on-going communication in one location accessible to both employee and manager.

 Changes to the Performance Management Annual Review Cycle

The annual performance review period will shift from spring to fall, with this year’s review period beginning September 15, 2016 and ending September 14, 2017.

Managers and their direct reports should begin to use the system to enter performance goals and track progress toward goal completion.  Starting August 15, 2017, employee and manager may begin the annual review step of the performance management cycle which involves completing individual evaluations, hosting an in-person review meeting, and finally sharing the manager’s evaluation with the employee to close out the performance year.   Annual Reviews must be completed no later than December 15, 2017 and will be used for merit considerations with a June 2018 implementation.

As you continue to read the information in this post, it will be helpful to download and follow the steps outlined in the Employee Training Guide to understand how to access and use the ePerformance system.

What should I do if I had a Review in the Spring of 2017?

Optional review meetings in Spring 2017 were conducted by some departments to inform merit considerations with a June 2017 implementation.

Employees who met with their manager this spring should copy and paste the review information into the online system and continue to enter goals and updates on progress until August 15, 2017 when the Annual Review step kicks off.  Those who have been using the interactive Word document (the “Year Ahead” form) to document goals and track progress toward completion will find that the online form very closely mirrors the paper form.

I did not have a review in Spring 2017 however I have been tracking my goals and progress in a document  (whether you used the interactive word form provided by HR in the Spring 2016 or not).  What should I do?

You should copy and paste this information into the ePerformance system and continue to track progress and share information with your manager via the system through August 15, 2017, when the Annual Review step will commence.  You may not have tracked all the information on the form you used, and if not, you should recreate as much as possible within the online form.

I did not have a spring 2017 review and I have not been creating and tracking goals  – What should I do?

If you have not been creating goals and tracking progress, you should access the online form, begin to recreate the work you have been doing in the goal format, and continue to track progress until the Annual Review step in mid-August.s you have been working on since Spring 2016.  It will also be helpful to add goal setting as an agenda item to discuss with your manager to get started on creating future goals.

Resources to Support You!

While  a paper form was provided in January 2015 that closely mirrors the online form, the transition to an online form and the change in the performance cycle time-frame will require time to incorporate into processes.

HR, OIT, and the IT Training Team, have created several resources (print, video, job aids, and in-person computer lab time) to support you as you become fluent with the process, the system, and the transition to hosting annual reviews in the Fall.  Read more in a blog post dedicated to these resources.  

If you have questions, please have a conversation with your manager and/or reach out for support.  The following list of contact information to direct you to the appropriate resources:

  • Hardware issues (your computer):  OIT Help Desk at 8-4357 or
  • Issues with the following should be directed to
    *accessing your Performance Document in my.SMU
    *the process of setting goals, metrics, or strategies
    *any other concerns related to the performance management process or the online

Questions?  We will continue to provide information on the system and the process of on-going performance management via the HR Headlines.  If you have questions please contact us via one of the following:

  • Email us at
  • Call us at 8-3311 and you will be redirected to the appropriate person

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