Employee Tuition Benefit Request and Manager Approval: Process Update

Under University Policy 7.11  SMU will cover the cost of tuition for up to 18 credit hours per academic year under the following guidelines:

  • Full-time, benefits-eligible employees must meet all of the standard requirements for admission to the University and be admitted to the University in a credit-bearing, degree-granting program.
  • Full-time, benefits-eligible employees are eligible for 100% tuition and a waiver of the general student fee for part-time undergraduate or graduate study.  Admission deposits, travel, materials and lab fees, or other costs of attending SMU are not covered by the benefit.
  • Tuition benefits may result in taxable income.  Employees are encouraged to seek advice concerning possible tax liabilities they may incur as a result of participation in the Tuition Benefits program.
  • No more than 18 semester hours of study for academic credit may be taken using this benefit during an academic year (fall through summer terms).
  • Supervisor approval is required in order for an employee to attend class during regular working hours.  Upon the supervisor’s approval, an alternative work schedule should be established.
  • The staff supervisor or head of the division for faculty appointments is notified of approval for each academic term of the employee’s eligibility and enrollment.
  • Staff must be employed in a position which requires at least nine (9) months of full-time service each year and must work at least 35 hours per week in order to be eligible for tuition benefit

To ensure clarity around work expectations during the term, managers are strongly encouraged to have a conversation with their employee about balancing work and academic responsibilities. 

How the New Process Works

Managers will now receive an email once the employee submits a Tuition Benefit request via my. SMU.  The email will contain instructions on how to electronically approve or deny the employee’s request.

Approvals must be submitted within 10 business days of notification in order for the employee’s tuition benefits to be processed in a timely manner.

Instructions on the approval process can also be found below.

  1. Log in to SMU.edu.
  2. Navigate to Manager Self Service by clicking on the Home Page drop-down at the top of the page.
  3. Click on the Tuition Benefits Mgr Approval Tile.
  4. This page will provide a list of all current Tuition Benefit requests from your direct reports that require your approval.
  5.  Select Approved or Denied in the drop-down box under the “Approval Status” column for each employee who has requested Tuition Benefits and click Save.

Any questions or concerns should be directed to TuitionBenefits@smu.edu


Learning, Growing, Developing…at your Fingertips

Does your team have a specific need that you aren’t sure how to address?

Are you looking to spend meaningful time creating shared knowledge and culture?

Perhaps you just want to spend some quality time with your team learning and growing together?

We now have the option of providing several Franklin Covey courses as self-paced, on-demand learning opportunities.  These micro-learning courses can be used for skill reinforcement, leader-led training or as a standalone learning option.

Courses are short and  self-paced, and many contain interactive activities, assessments and tools.   All may be completed in person or virtually!


Topics fall under these general themes:

  • Communication
  • Conflict Management
  • Execution
  • Innovation/Creativity
  • Managing Change
  • Performance Management
  • Personal Productivity
  • Problem Solving
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Talent Development
  • Trust/Integrity
  • Vision/Purpose

Email us at developu@smu.edu  to learn more about these new learning options and how they can become part of your team’s strategy for success!

A Supervisor’s Guide to Ensure a Healthy Return to Campus for SMU Employees  

Welcome Back SMU Employees

This is a supervisor’s guide to ensure a healthy return to campus for SMU employees, prepared to supplement – not replace – the “Welcome Back to Campus” packet. It is designed to help supervisors prepare for the return to campus and respond to questions from their employees. We expect there may be questions you cannot answer and the Human Resources staff is ready to help you, as needed. Please start your conversations with HR by emailing returntowork@smu.edu.



SECTION 1: Returning to Work Preplanning

An Important Conversation – Questions to Consider

Work Responsibilities

Return to Work Expectations


SECTION 2:  Work Spaces

Inserting Distance into Your Work Space

Common Areas


Work Space Resources

SECTION 3: Work Schedules

Phased-In Scheduling

New Hires

Unable to Return

Addressing Employee Concerns

SECTION 4: Health, Wellness, & Safety

Social Distancing Guidelines

Options for High Risk Employees


Face Coverings

Preventative Measures


    1. An important conversation


It is important for managers to discuss with  employees their plans to return to campus before their arrival on campus. Some points to cover:

  • Confirm the date the employee will return to campus.
  • Are there elements of the employee’s office environment that should be altered to make the workplace more secure prior to their return?
  • Would the employee be able to accommodate alternate days working from campus and from home, if necessary, to support safe spacing in the workplace?
  • Would the employee consider evening or weekend work hours, if necessary, to support safe spacing in the workplace?
  • Does the employee have any suggestions that would enhance working from campus while maintaining social distancing and adhering to other elements that ensure employees’ health and safety?
  • Is there anything SMU can do to assist with concerns the employee may have upon returning to campus?
    • If childcare is an issue, please discuss whatever options are practical for returning the employee to the office while maintaining office productivity, such as alternative work hours, working nights and/or weekends, etc. Child care centers have the ability to continue to operate to care for children of essential workers. As an essential business, all SMU employees meet this designation so have the ability to access child care centers as available. If you are unable to resolve childcare issues, please refer the employee to returntowork@smu.edu


  1. Work Responsibilities

Think about what work responsibilities may need to shift in response to the changing environment.

  • Where else can work be assigned among team members, if necessary?
  • Prepare a priority list for what must be accomplished by June 1 and beyond to return the campus to full operation and start planning your execution.
  • Review the strengths of team members and involve others to collaborate on how to redistribute work and create teams as necessary.
  • Will some workloads be decreased for a period of time or increase? Set reasonable goals and prepare to be flexible.
  1. Return to Work Expectations

Some employees may be nervous about returning but, starting June 1, employees will be expected to return to work on campus. As employees are expected to return to campus June 1, 2020, all previously completed telecommuting arrangement forms will expire May 31, 2020.


Employees who believe they may be at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions as defined by CDC guidelines are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. At-risk employees as defined by the CDC and others who may have additional health conditions to consider should work with their supervisor to discuss the possibility of alternate work arrangements for a specific period of time.


If an employee is at risk for complications from COVID-19 and enhanced social distancing in the workplace is prudent, the employee should contact their supervisor and/or HR to request an alternative work arrangement through SMU’s process for seeking disability-based accommodations. A doctor’s note or other appropriation documentation will be required to support the request.


Except for employees who request a change in job circumstances due to underlying health conditions, employees will generally not be reassigned to new duties, locations, or roles or be provided with paid sick/release time solely to address concerns about the potential for COVID-19 infection.


Employees will need to use accrued leave time for absences starting June 1, 2020.

  • If employees are absent from work due to an illness or taking care of someone who is ill, they will need to report sick leave.
  • If employees are out for any personal reasons, they will need to report vacation leave.
  • Employees who do not have accrued sick leave or vacation leave will need to report unpaid leave.



  1. Training

All employees returning to work are required to complete “COVID-19 Return-to-Work Training” before returning to campus. Please encourage your employees to access this required training on Canvas here. The training covers the following topics:

  • COVID-19 Basics
  • Social Distancing and Face Coverings
  • Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Proper Hand Hygiene
  • Respiratory Etiquette
  • Medical Self-Screening and Reporting
  • Human Resources Elements
  • Meeting and Meal Etiquette

Employees training specific to your department can be requested through the Office of Risk Management.

Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that their staff members have taken the required training before returning to campus.


    1. Inserting distance into your work space

Before employees return to SMU, managers should evaluate how their departments and offices are physically arranged. There are several measures that can be put in place to ensure a socially distant working environment.

Open Offices:

  • If your office is currently set up as an open space with long tables and multiple chairs removing every other chair (or more) to ensure that they can be kept at least 6 feet apart from each other.
  • If your open office space consists of several desks in one open area, adding partitions or separating desks (if possible) can further minimize contact and maximize distance between desks.
  • If not all employees in your department can work safely at one time, you may have to move to an alternating work schedule with cleaning in between rotations.

Office Cubicles: 

  • Partitions between cubicles need to be adequate to block transmission of respiratory droplets through talking, coughing or sneezing.
  • If cubicle partitions are low or nonexistent, consider alternating work schedules so all employees are not present at one time. You may also consider moving every other employee to an alternate workspace (unused meeting rooms and conference rooms, etc.)
  • The Office of Facilities Planning and Management may be consulted for construction of temporary partitions if no other options are workable.
    • If aisles between cubicles are narrow, consider staggering work start times to lessen the flow of traffic during high-traffic times.
    • If able, also consider one-way aisles to limit crossing paths with another employee.

Hotel Suites and Shared Work Spaces:

If your office has shared workspaces in the form of hotel suites, with multiple employees using the same workstations at varying times, consider using a scheduling system for employees that will allow time for proper cleaning protocols in between shifts and ensure minimal traffic.


  1. Common Areas (copy rooms, lobbies, break rooms, etc.)

For common areas and high-trafficked areas, employees and managers should take note of all the high-touch areas and work to minimize traffic to those areas and/or increase cleaning and sanitizing of those areas.


Many workrooms are meant for use of multiple persons to access printer/copy machines, mailboxes, extra supplies, etc. Exercise care when using these areas and place disinfecting wipe containers, to the extent they are available, near commonly used equipment.

  • For common areas and high-traffic areas, employees should take note of all the high-touch areas and work to minimize traffic to those areas and/or increase cleaning and sanitizing of those areas.
  • Printers/Copiers: Eliminate printing and copying as much as possible to reduce the number of times you must touch the printer. Going paperless might be a good alternative to consider. If you must print, use the secure print function, allowing you to store your print jobs and collect all at one time by typing in your SMU ID number.


If your lobby does not have to be open to the public, you may consider keeping your door locked to control walk-in traffic and require keys and/or card access to control the number of people coming into and out of your office. Schedule visitors, whenever possible.

If your lobby is open during business hours, use these strategies to enforce social distancing:

  • Store away and/or eliminate all equipment and/or supplies meant for common use by the public. This includes communal coffee pots (and accompanying sugar, cream, straws, etc.); pens left in cups for public use; candy jars; magazines; etc.
  • Reduce the number of lobby chairs and spread them out.
  • Increase signage indicating that your office and lobby are following social distancing guidelines.
  • Consider use of floor markers to indicate an appropriate 6-foot distance, should a line or queue form.
  • Have a backup waiting area – unused conference rooms, etc. – to reduce lobby crowding.
  • Frequently wipe down common areas and surfaces – tables, doorknobs, etc.
  • Control the flow of traffic by designating one door as an entrance and one as an exit.
  • Schedule visitors, whenever possible.

Break Rooms:

  • Use of break rooms for group lunches should be discouraged.
  • Coffee stations, water dispensers and ice machines should be turned off or disconnected to limit touch points. If they cannot be disconnected and are still made available, users should wash their hands and clean touch points before and after usage.
  • Use of common refrigerators and microwaves should be limited, and touch points cleaned before and after using. Meals brought from home that do not need to be chilled or heated, food delivery services, etc. are encouraged.


  • When possible, the continuation of virtual meetings is recommended using OIT-supported options such as Zoom, Skype for Business, Microsoft Teams, etc. Training can be found on OIT’s website under the “Keep Working” section.


  • In-person meetings deemed necessary should be scheduled in advance in a space where people can remain at least 6 feet apart.


  1. Work Space Resources


As employees return to campus, many resources may be limited or backordered.  Please act responsibly when requesting supplies to ensure that the campus wide community can be served.


  • Webcams, Speakers, Technology: As meetings move virtually, please reference the Office of Information Technology Purchase Site for information on how to order headsets and webcams.  This is particularly helpful for individuals who work in more open environments.


  • Cleaning Supplies: While our current contract with Staples is still active, they have limited their sale of cleaning supplies to medical professionals only.  Due to this, the Purchasing Department in the Office of Budgets and Finance is actively working with other suppliers for cleaning supplies.  If additional cleaning products are needed for employee use, building managers may request items through the work order process and they will be provided, as available.


  • Partitions, Sneeze Guards, etc.: Should your department be in need for partitions, sneeze guards, or other type of plastic guards, the Office of Facilities Planning and Management requests that you submit a Facilities Work Order.  They can then determine if they need to reach out to a third party supplier, or if they will be able to create what you need from their workshop.


    1. Phased-In Scheduling

The goal of all areas on campus is to provide a safe campus workspace where the important work of SMU is carried out. All employees are asked to return to their SMU campus workplace by June 1, 2020. Some employees may return beginning May 18, 2020 based on guidance from their supervisor.

Managers should consider the following:

  • Who are considered essential personnel?

Because of the nature of their responsibilities, these may be the first employees asked to return to the workplace beginning May 18, 2020.

  • Are there employees who are in a high-risk category?

Employees who are older or have health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, or auto-immune disease are considered to be at higher risk for contracting COVID19 and should not return to campus until June 1, 2020.

  • Are there employees who are responsible for the care of family (children, elders)?

These employees should begin now making care arrangements and be prepared to return to work June 1, 2020.

  • Are there employees with extenuating circumstances such as reliance on public transportation? These employees should follow appropriate protocols for utilizing public transportation. If the employee would not like to commute to campus and park their vehicle on campus, they should contact parking and id services.


  1. New Hires

New employee orientation will be a virtual session or a hybrid, virtual and in–person, dependent on the number of employees attending orientation. New hires will be minimal due to the hiring delay currently in place.  HR will communicate details of the new employee orientation to the new employee and hiring manager.

Zoom is required for the virtual orientation. It is important for departments to ensure new employees have a dedicated work-space, as well as the required hardware and software to attend a virtual orientation session.

Beginning on May 18, new hires will be expected to schedule an in-person meeting with HR to complete their Form I-9.  New hires have three days from their initial start date to complete their Form I-9 to remain in compliance.  HR will reach out to the new hires before their start date with information of how to schedule their meeting.

  1. Unable to return

After  consulting with Human Resources to review all potential options, if an employee must stay home to take care of a child in response to school or daycare facility closures due to COVID-19, they need to coordinate any time off with their manager; all efforts should be made to cover critical work, including alternative work hours. If time must be taken off from work, sick leave and/or vacation leave must be used beginning June 1, 2020.  If employees do not have any sick leave, they will be required to report unpaid leave.

Employees who believe they may be at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions as defined by CDC guidelines are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. At-risk employees as defined by the CDC and others who may have additional health conditions to consider should work with their supervisor to discuss the possibility of alternate work arrangements for a specific period of time.

Employees should report sick leave for the time period employees are not at work due to symptoms or illness. They should stay home if they have symptoms and remain home until instructed by their doctor.

Employees caring for ill family members should report sick leave.


  1. Addressing Employee Concerns

Some employees may have concerns about the return to campus. Supervisors  should have a conversation with the employee to actively listen and address the employees’ specific concerns. Managers can communicate to the employee that the University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. Managers can also share the specific measures the University is taking to maintain a safe work environment.

Additionally, managers should make employees aware of the resources on the HR COVID-19 webpage, which includes information on how to protect themselves and their families, as well information on the Employee Assistance Program. The Employee Assistance Program is a free and confidential service for employees and their dependents.

Employees who are concerned about returning to work are encouraged to follow CDC recommendations to wash their hands frequently, avoid touching their faces and practice social distancing. Sharing the enhanced cleaning protocols that will be followed by ABM, the University’s custodial services company, can also be helpful.

    1. Social Distancing Guidelines

Social distancing should be implemented at all times when on the University Campus.  Social distancing means avoiding large gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible (e.g., breakrooms and cafeterias).

  1. Options for High Risk Employees.

Employees who believe they may be at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions as defined by CDC guidelines are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. At-risk employees as defined by the CDC and others who may have additional health conditions to consider should work with their supervisor to discuss the possibility of alternate work arrangements for a specific period of time.


  1. Travel

Travel restrictions remain in place for both domestic and international University-sponsored and University-sanctioned travel.


  1. Face Coverings

SMU will provide a  face covering for each of its employees if needed.  Face coverings can be picked up in Hughes Trigg in the mail distribution area.

Out of concern for others, all employees should wear face coverings to the greatest extent possible when they are in public spaces on campus. You will not need to wear a face covering if you are alone or in your office. Employees should wear face coverings if they cannot properly socially distance themselves from others. If you cannot put on a cloth face covering (because of trouble breathing, for example) cover your coughs and sneezes in some other way and limit your time in public spaces and maintain proper social distancing.

In line with recommendations from the CDC and other state and local authorities, SMU is strongly recommending the use of cloth face coverings at all times by employees in positions that interact with the campus in a face-to-face, service-oriented capacity. Some examples of these positions include facilities technicians, circulation librarians, OIT technicians and help desk personnel. Some positions on campus are subject to a stricter standard and require face coverings be worn, such as health care providers, first responders and food service employees.

All visitors to campus should also wear a face covering. However, offices should not refuse service to any visitor if they choose not to wear a face covering. Requesting social distancing is appropriate.

  1. Preventative Measures.
    • Employees are encouraged to clean all “high-touch” surfaces they use every day, multiple times a day. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, keyboards, and tablets.
    • Use of household cleaners and disinfectants. Clean the area or item with soap and water or another detergent. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet for several minutes to ensure germs are killed. Many also recommend precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product. Most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective. If additional cleaning products are needed for employee use, building managers may request items through the work order process and they will be provided, as available.

Online Separation Form for Employees Exiting the University

Announcing a New Process for Employees Separating from the University

We are pleased to announce the implementation of the new online Separation Form.  The new online form will replace the paper Termination Form, making obtaining signatures and processing more efficient.

The form will be used for submitting an employee separation through the automatic approval workflow process for benefits-eligible faculty, staff and post-doctoral fellows.

Access the Online Form in  

The electronic form is available in the Separation Form WorkCenter via my.SMU> Manager Self Service> Modify Employee/Separation.   All benefits-eligible staff and faculty are automatically granted security access to the Separation Form WorkCenter.


The following resources are available to assist users with this implementation:

  • The Separation Process webpage has information for managers, staff, faculty and post-doctoral fellows, including FAQs and checklists to help all involved experience an efficient, smooth transition.
  • Instructions to assist in completing/submitting the new online Separation Form are available on wiki.smu and are linked in the Separation Form WorkCenter.

Questions should be directed to smuhr@smu.edu.

View Performance Documents for In-Direct Reports

ePerformance provides access to Performance Documents for those employees who report directly to the Manager with the ability to add/edit goals, approve goals and provide feedback.  The system also enables the Mid-Year and Annual Review process.

A list of direct reports may be reviewed in my.SMU under Manager Self Service>Performance Documents.  Managers who have direct reports managing in-direct reports have access to view Performance Documents for those in-direct reports.

Access to Performance Documents for In-Direct Reports

Managers who have multiple levels of employees who report up through the org structure to their position may access view-only documents for those who do not directly report to them but do report to managers who report to them.

Managers may access these documents to review goals for those who in-directly report to them (but may not edit them) and to  know where their teams are in the performance management cycle.   They may also encourage teams to stay on schedule for the 3 annual checkpoints:

  • Set Goals
  • Mid-Year Review
  • Annual Review

Reviewing Performance Documents for In-Direct Reports

There are two ways to view document status:
• A list of employees with status update in written form
• A graphic representation of status with accessible detailed information

Written Form

1. From the Manager Documents section, click View-Only Documents.

2. Edit the “As of Date” field as needed and click Refresh.

3. Click the Select button for the employee whose Performance Document you would like to review.

4. To access a direct report click Select. To access an employee reporting to one of your direct reports, click the Plus (+) button to expand the list of employees. Then, click Select.

5. The employee will display with status updates noted.

Graphic Representation

The status summary report allows the manager to view the status of the document process for their team.

  1. Click Manager Self Service.
  2. Under the Performance Management section, click View Status Summary.
    The Status Summary displays as a pie chart.
  3. View where employees fall in the annual cycle by clicking the pie chart. A list of employees will display.





A new summary may be generated by selecting Change Parameters and entering the desired criteria and selecting Save & Return. To return to the current review period select Use Default Settings.

Learn more by viewing the Manager Training Guide for ePerformance.

Access the Employee Training Guide to share with your team.

Questions regarding on-going performance management and the ePerformance process may be forwarded to smuhr@smu.edu.

It’s Performance Review Time – Who Should Receive a Review?

Annual Performance Reviews are to completed in the ePerformance module of my.SMU no later than December 14, 2018.  Your senior leader may have communicated an earlier deadline and if so, you should adhere to their guidelines.

As a manager you should be guiding your team through the process to ensure that the review is timely, engaging and productive.

Who Should Receive a Performance Review?

All regular, benefits-eligible staff, including Post-Doctoral Fellows, should have the opportunity to discuss their goals and progress toward completion, as well as receive feedback on their accomplishments.  This is also a time to course correct when performance is nwork during the annual review with their manager.

If you have employees who do not fall into this category (i.e. temporary staff, student workers, non-benefits-eligible staff) and would like for them to engage in goal setting and track progress toward completion, we can provide you with an interactive word document which mirrors the on-line goal setting process.  Email us at DevelopU@smu.edu to request the document.

Learn about goal setting in ePerformance  – attend the Performance Management -Goal Setting Workshop October 9 from 1:00-3:00 pm in the HRTR.  Enroll via my.SMU>Learning and Development>Request Training Enrollment.

Questions about Performance Management?  Email us.

The Manager’s Role within ePerformance to Prepare for Annual Reviews

Managers move their direct reports through the annual cycle of  performance management at three (3)

  • Checkpoint 1:  approval of goals
  • Checkpoint 2: mid-year review
  • Checkpoint 3: finalize goals (in preparation for the annual review)


Next Steps for Teams Who Have Been Entering and Tracking Goals During the Performance Year 

If your team has been entering goals and tracking progress throughout the performance year of September 15, 2017 through September 14, 2018 including conducting the mid-year review, there are two (2) steps to prepare the employee’s performance document for the evaluation phase.

  1.  Give your employees time to update any information in the system and include a due by date.
  2. Once the employee has updated their goal information, you will open that person’s Performance Document and  click the “Complete” button in the top right hand corner of the document.  Clicking complete locks the document  and it is no longer editable.  You will be prompted to confirm that you want to finalize goals for this employee.  Click “Yes” to confirm.  Clicking “Complete” also generates the self-evaluation form for the employee and the Manager evaluation form.

Next Steps for Teams Who Have Not Been Tracking Goals During the Performance Year

Employees who have not yet entered goals and/or had them approved by their Manager should follow these steps in preparation for the Annual Performance Review.  Note that after each step, the employee and Manager must exit the Performance Document and re-open it in order to document the updates.  You may do this by clicking the home (house) button on the top right of the screen and navigating back to the employee’s Performance Document.

Reference the Employee and Manager Training Guides for additional information.  See the Resources section.

  • Employee: enter past year’s goals in the Performance Document with a period beginning 9/15/2017 and ending 9/14/2018.  All information should be up to date and include what the employee would like to discuss in the review conversation.
  • Manager: Review, edit as necessary, and approve goals
  • Manager: the Mid-Year Review is scheduled to occur in mid-April and because we are past this timeframe you should click “Skip Checkpoint”
  • Manager: Click “Complete” (top right corner) to finalize the criteria (goals) and advance the Performance Document to the Self and Manager Evaluation step.   The Performance Document will be locked and no future edits can be made.

Completing the Employee and Manager Evaluation

The employee and the Manager should simultaneously complete their respective evaluations.

Note: The employee cannot see the Manager’s evaluation and vice versa until the document is shared in the system.  Once shared by either, no further edits may be made to the evaluation document.

Important:  both the employee and Manager should rate performance on each goal AND each competency with options being:

  • Exceeding Expectations
  • Meeting Expectations
  • Not Meeting Expectations

For a description for each rating, click on the rating icon.

Each goal and each competency also have text boxes where comments specific to that goal or competency may be documented and feedback summarized.

The Goals and Competencies sections each also have summary areas at the bottom on the page.

Note:  the calculator icon on the screen will average the ratings assigned for each area.

Employees are not required to submit a rating for each goal and each competency and may advance to the next step if selections are not made.

Note: if an employee misses a rating and has shared their Self-Evaluation with their Manager, they will not be able to go back to update a rating or add additional comments.

Managers however must, at a minimum, rate each goal and each competency and complete the summary ratings.  They may not advance without being prompted to finalize their evaluation.  The Manager evaluation is considered the evaluation of record, therefore must be fully completed.

The Annual Review Process

Once the employee has completed their Self-Evaluation, they should share it with their Manager.  The employee may export and save/print their evaluation at any time before the review meeting.

Note:  The Manager does not share their evaluation until after the review meeting.

After the Review meeting, the Manager should update their Evaluation for the employee, as necessary, based on the conversation with the employee.  When complete, the Manager should share their evaluation with the employee.

The final step is for the employee to review the Manager’s evaluation and then click the “Acknowledge” button at the top right of document.  They are acknowledging that they have been provided with a copy of the Manager’s evaluation.

When clicked, the document is re-routed to the Historical Folder where it may be viewed by both the Manager and the employee going forward.  The document may not be edited once in the Historical folder.


Manager Training  Guide SMU Box
Employee Training Guide SMU Box
Manager Calendaring Tool SMU Box
Goal Setting Job Aid SMU Box
ePerformance FAQ SMU Wiki

Resources to Support Managers with ePerformance

ePerformance, SMU’s new online performance management system, located in my.SMU, is now available!  ePerformance supports ongoing collaboration in goal setting, communication, and feedback between managers and employees.

To help you get started, and to provide on-going support,  HR , OIT, and the OIT Training Team have prepared several resources to support you as you learn the process and the my.SMU system:

Print Training Guide
ManagerTraining Guide (pdf format)

Video Tutorial Guides:

  1. Introduction and Accessing Documents
  2. Creating Goals
  3. Mid-year Review
  4. Finalize Goals
  5. Annual Review-Self and Manager Evaluations
  6. Acknowledge Manager Evaluation-Close Out Current Performance Document
  7. Goal Setting Job Aid (pdf format)
  8. Additional Competencies (pdf format)

Drop in Computer Lab Time:
Stop by Fondren Computer lab and ask questions about the process and the system.  IT and HR will be available to walk you through the process and answer your questions.

Please let us know you plan to attend by enrolling in the desired session via my.SMU>Self Service>Learning and Development>Request Training Enrollment. to ensure there is a computer available for you.     Search for course name “ePerf Comp Lab”.

Sessions will be held in Fondren Library computer lab # 110 on the following dates and times:

  • Tuesday, May 23 from 9:00-11:30
  • Wednesday, May 31 from 3:00-5:00
  • June 15 from 10:00 – noon
  • July 14 from 10:00-noon
  • August 2 from 1:00-3:00

Additional sessions will be scheduled as needed.

In-Person Session:
HR staff are also available to come to your team meeting or retreat to provide an overview of the process and best practices for goal setting, feedback, and utilizing the system.  Email DevelopU@smu.edu for more information or to schedule a time.

Read about ePerformance in other blog posts:

ePerformance is Now Available in my.SMU

HR recently announced enhancements to the performance management process including the launch of SMU ePerformance, an electronic performance management system. The changes will support managers and team members in sharing feedback and progress on performance goals throughout the year.

Performance Documents for Your Team are Available

Performance Documents have been created within my.SMU and are available for you to access.

Employees have already been notified via an HR Headlines email and should be starting to enter goals in their personal Performance Document.

Managers may access these Performance Documents for their direct reports by navigating to my.SMU>Manager Self Service>Performance Documents>Current Documents.

From this location, a list of all employees reporting to the Manager is viewable.  Click on the appropriate person to access their individual Performance Document.

Please notify HR at smuhr@smu.edu should you have questions about your list of direct reports.

Revised Performance Management-Annual Performance Review Schedule

Earlier this year, Managers were notified of a revised Annual Performance Review schedule (email dated 2-14-17 from smuhr@smu.edu).  The Annual Review time-frame will move from the Spring to the Fall, in order to coincide with the annual budget period .   Performance Reviews were not mandatory during Spring 2016 due to the  revised timeline.   Performance Reviews completed in the my.SMU system will be required in the Fall 2017.

The current performance year started on September 15, 2016 and will end on September 14, 2017.  Annual reviews are to be completed within the system no later than December 15, 2017.  

Merit Information

Merit allocations provided to HR in Spring 2016 went into effect as of June 1,  2017.   Fall performance review information will inform merit allocations for a June 1, 2018 implementation.  Additional information will be shared regarding this in the Fall.

Start Using ePerformance to Track and Monitor Goals

Managers are encouraged to begin to work with their team to use the online system to document goals in preparation for the revised Annual Performance Review schedule.   Managing goal creation and tracking progress toward completion on regular intervals ensures that impactful conversations about occuring and that employees:

  • know what is expected of them
  • understand what success looks like
  • are communicating with their Manager regularly about the strategies they are using to achieve goals
  • understand behaviors (competencies) which will lead to success.

In addition to the above, another benefit of regular goal tracking within ePerformance is that the Annual Review will require less time and energy as documentation will already be entered, requiring only the completion of the evaluation step and the in-person conversation.

If you  have been using the interactive Word document (The Year Ahead form) the employee and the manager may simply copy and paste the information into the system and then continue to document progress within the online system.

Resources to Support You 

There are several resources to support you as you learn the new system.  In addition, you may schedule a session for your team where an HR representative will come review the process within my.SMU and best practices for goal setting.  Email us at DevelopU@smu.edu.

Note:  resource documents are located in SMU Box.  You will need to login with your SMU credentials to access these documents.  Video tutorials are located on YouTube.

Training Materials:

Professional Development:

Visit the Performance Management and the Performance Review webpages under Manager Resources on the SMU HR website for more information.

Questions?  Email us at smuhr@smu.edu or call 8-3311 and your call will be redirected to the appropriate person.

5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace

According to the Gallup Organization’s latest report the numbers for employee engagement have barely moved since they started tracking engagement numbers in 2000.

Engagement is defined as being involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to the employee’s work and workplace.  Gallup goes further to suggest the world is in a state of crisis with employee engagement and that in the United States, employee engagement is only at 32%!

The connection between engagement and appreciation

Employees need to know that the work they do is important and that it is appreciated by those around them.
Without a sense of feeling valued engagement decreases, negativity increases, and general apathy sets in.  You may have observed the resulting behaviors:

  • arriving late to work
  • calling in sick repeatedly
  • increased complaining
  • negative conversations with others
  • delivering less than stellar work
The Five Languages of Appreciation Training

Do you recognize these behaviors with your team or want to prevent them from getting there?

Contact HR about bringing the 5 Languages of Appreciation training to your team!

You will learn the 5 languages, how to deliver authentic appreciation, and ways to ensure that appreciation, when shared, hits the mark as intended, instead of falling short.

Email us at DevelopU@smu.edu or call Mary Stall directly at 8-2194.

Read the full engagement report:  The Worldwide Employee Engagement Crisis