Performance management & recognition
General guidelines for supervisors
Student employees differ from regular university employees in that, their primary purpose for being at NAU is to be a student. Supervisors will want to appropriately balance the academic needs of a student employee, the development approach to student employment, and the practical need to have work completed in an accurate, timely, and professional manner.
Setting expectations Accordion Closed
It’s important to provide student employees with the information and support they need to do their jobs well. Some crucial items to ensure are covered:
- Orientation to the department: key functions of the department, tour of physical space, staff and leadership team introductions, payroll process, emergency procedures, use of office equipment, office etiquette/practice regarding break room or coffee maker.
- General work/behavioral expectations: schedule, breaks, call-out procedures, dress code, adherence to all applicable NAU policy, communication and customer service expectations, how to handle problems at work, communicating with a supervisor when there’s a conflict between academics and work, and how to plan ahead to avoid those
- Job-specific training: training on job duties using peer trainers, written instructions/procedure manuals, job shadowing, and coaching; providing clarity about processes and procedures, frequency of tasks, expected standards, and where they can get help with questions (written manuals, web information, peers who also do the work, direct supervisor or other department supervisors)
- Ongoing feedback and coaching: feedback and coaching should be provided regularly to help correct or confirm performance and behavior as people are learning their jobs or learning new tasks
Performance appraisals Accordion Closed
Give your student employees the gift of feedback.
The above link will provide the submitter with a receipt/report of answers that can be shared through discussion or email, as appropriate.
Instructions for supervisors
The Student Employment Performance Appraisal at NAU is intended to facilitate a developmental conversation between student and supervisor. Performance appraisals for student employees at NAU have two parts: 1) the student’s own self-appraisal and 2) the supervisor’s appraisal of the student employee. To preview these appraisals prior to submission we have provided samples of the Self-Appraisal and Supervisor Appraisal.
Please distribute the self-appraisal link after initiating to your student employee(s), complete a supervisor appraisal of the student employee(s), and meet with the student employee(s) to provide them with feedback. The minimum expectation is an annual performance appraisal for student employees on a timeline that works for your program or department – though many programs do this each semester to promote student growth and development.
We have also compiled important information (such as deadlines, links to forms, etc.), as well as training videos, to help you understand your role and responsibilities when it comes to performance appraisals of student employees.
Recognition and awards Accordion Closed
Outstanding student employees should be recognized. Whether you have an internal recognition program or not, you can nominate your student employees (individuals and teams) for the annual Student Employee of the Year Award each spring semester.
Performance concerns Accordion Closed
There are times when supervisors have provided training, ongoing feedback, and clear expectations, yet a student employee still fails to meet performance expectations or adhere to policy or procedures. It may then be necessary to provide performance improvement feedback that makes clear what has to change in order for the student employee to continue working in their role.
From a developmental and due process standpoint, it’s recommended that supervisors meet with a student employee whose performance fails to meet standards and provide an opportunity for improvement. However, this is not required. The nature and circumstance of the issue or infraction should be taken into consideration when determining how to address the concerns. Some issues may warrant immediate termination.
Performance improvement feedback options include:
- Performance concerns discussion: This discussion makes clear to the employee that there is an aspect of their performance that must improve or expectations/policies that must be complied with if they are going to be successful in their role. Discussions should be a cooperative attempt at identifying issues, hearing the employee’s perception of the issue, and clarifying expectations on correcting performance. Supervisors should keep notes of such discussions and the best practice is to provide the employee with a brief follow-up email summarizing what was discussed and what agreement was made for moving forward.
- Written warning: A written warning can be used for continued failure to meet job requirements, violations of rules or policies, or when performance improvement feedback has not produced satisfactory results. A written warning shall specify the performance concerns/violations and what action is required to correct them. It can include language regarding possible consequences- including termination- if the issues are not corrected and sustained.
Terminations Accordion Closed
The employment of student employees may end under several circumstances:
- Voluntary termination (resignation): A student employee may resign from their position. Resignations should be submitted in writing (via email or memo) to the supervisor. It is a common professional practice to provide two weeks’ notice prior to the last day worked, but it is not required.
- Involuntary termination:
- Administrative reasons: A student’s dismissal may be the result of the lack of departmental funding, a seasonal reduction in hours, changing business needs, or when a student has used their entire federal work-study (FWS) allocation and the department is not in a financial position to transfer the student to Student Wage (SW) funding. Student employees in this situation should be provided as much notice as possible given the circumstances. IF the termination is administrative in nature, it is a recommended best practice that the supervisors provide a reference for the student’s continued job search process.
- Performance reasons: Student employees may be terminated for reasons which include (but are not limited to):
- Failure to perform at a level that meets the requirements of the job
- Failure to follow supervisor instructions
- Failure to adhere to policies concerning work schedule, attendance, dress code, call out procedures or other NAU policies or Student Code of Conduct
- Failure to return to work following the end of an academic break or absence
- Any other good and just cause
Termination notice: A supervisor may determine that termination is necessary. The best practice is to provide a brief written memo or email to formally inform the student employee of their termination, final day at work, and general explanation for the termination.
- The supervisor should ensure that a final time-sheet is completed and a termination ePAR is initiated.
- By law and by policy, an employee who is dismissed on the same day as the termination notice is given shall be paid all wages within seven business days following the termination date. The employee may waive that right and receive their final check on the next regular paycheck. Supervisors should contact the HR payroll team for assistance with a 7-day check.
Student employee concerns
A student employee who has a concern regarding their work or their workplace is encouraged to first address the concern with their supervisor. The supervisor should communicate and consult with their supervisor or others in leadership or the chain of command to find a resolution to the student employee’s concern. The student employee may bypass the supervisor when the concern involves allegations of sexual, racial, or other prohibitive harassment by that supervisor. These allegations should be referred to NAU’s Equity and Access Office.
Resources to help students and supervisors
At times, because of what student employees may share with a supervisor, it will be most appropriate to also refer students directly to some of these offices for assistance (especially Counseling Services, Equity and Access, Disability Resources). Below are resources available to help supervisors appropriately navigate student employee issues and concerns.
Regarding stress, emotional concerns Accordion Closed
Accommodations in the workplace Accordion Closed
Reported discrimination, harassment, or retaliation Accordion Closed
Equity and Access Office, 928-523-3312: Concerns regarding reported discrimination, harassment, or retaliation against those in protected categories such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, etc.; mandatory reporting for those issues, as well as Title IX concerns. Learn more on the EAO website.
Payroll concerns, employee rights, complaints & claims Accordion Closed
Human Resources, 928-523-2223: Payroll concerns not already addressed by department timekeeper, policy violations, employee rights, report of injury, or worker’s compensation questions/claims. Learn more on the Human Resources website.