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Understanding performance ratings in STEP

As we complete the Staff Talent Evaluation Process (STEP) for the FY 2020/2021 performance cycle, it’s a perfect time to refresh ourselves on how UCOP employee performance is rated, especially since there have been some updates.

Ratings and what’s changed

Rating levels and definitions: Starting with this performance year, there are expanded definitions for the five ratings levels, and two have been renamed to better reflect their intent. The five levels are now:

  • Outstanding
  • Exceeds Expectations
  • Solid Performance
  • Needs Development | New & Learning
  • Needs Attention

Number of ratings: We will receive one overall, year-end rating instead of separate ratings for each goal and competency.

Using the performance ratings

UCOP performance ratings are grounded in results and behaviors, with Solid Performance as the standard benchmark. To determine differences in ratings, we start by defining Solid Performance; from there, we identify positive or negative results and behaviors that would raise or lower this rating.

UCOP performance rating levels and definitions

Outstanding Exceeds Expectations Solid Performance Development Needed / New and Learning


Needs Attention
• Consistently role models and exhibits mastery of core job knowledge and functions, responsibilities, and continually proposes enhancement recommendations in current job and new work opportunities.

• Consistently produces exceptionally high-quality work exceeding expectations on all goals within control, in planned timelines. Consistently seeks value-added opportunities for new responsibilities and challenges.

• Demonstrates superior interpersonal skills, is respected by others, and is sought after to participate in or lead projects and workgroups.

• Very high level of contribution.

• Consistently performs above and beyond all defined expectations.


• Consistently demonstrates core job knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively perform job functions. May occasionally exceed expected performance.

• Consistently achieves all goals within control, in planned timelines.

• Shares ideas, information, skills and knowledge; listens and is responsive to manager and others; maintains a positive attitude.


• Performance expectations partially met.

• Moderate level of contribution.

• Some critical goals completed.

• Achievement below expectations.

• Improvement needed in the position.

• New in position, developing appropriately.

• Performance was good given time in the position.


• Does not consistently demonstrate core job knowledge and competencies required to perform job functions effectively.

• Fails to consistently achieve expected goals, within control, in planned timelines.

• Does not consistently demonstrate interest in or ability to collaborate and share information with others to deliver results.

• Additional training or commitment is required.


Receiving your rating

HR plans to notify managers and supervisors soon about sharing ratings with staff. Once the ratings may be shared, your manager will meet with you to discuss your rating and evaluation comments, including any multi-rater feedback. This conversation, and your acknowledgment of receipt, must be completed by June 30.

For questions regarding STEP or performance ratings, talk with your manager, supervisor or HR business partner.

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