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Performance and Feedback


We are pleased to share that Human Resources and the Office of Information Technology have partnered to move our 2020 UTK Annual Performance Review for Staff process to an online format. This will streamline the staff review process and make it easier to manage no matter where we are working!

The online annual performance review tool is now available and all UTK staff reviews are to be submitted in the online system beginning with the 2020 review. The form is in the same format you are familiar with, including the five areas of evaluation and goal setting for 2021. Supervisors initiate a review, and employees continue to meet with their supervisors to discuss and then sign their reviews. Comment fields are available for both the supervisor and employee.

To learn more about the new online performance review process, visit K@TE and search for the “Online Performance Reviews” training session.

Performance and Feedback

Monitoring performance and providing ongoing feedback throughout the year is an incredibly important leadership responsibility. Think about performance and feedback as part of a yearly continuum of communication that you have with those around you.

The first step in the performance cycle is setting expectations. No matter the level of the position, it is critical that each new employee (whether newly hired or new to your supervision) understands what is expected from them in their role. Setting expectations includes clear dialogue around Position Description and performance expectations. This includes setting goals for the work period and adjusting those goals as priorities change throughout the year. The annual Online Performance Review (OPR) is both a reflective and planning meeting, looking back over the previous year and setting goals for the next year.

NOTE: Beginning in 2021 staff will be evaluated on Diversity and Inclusion as part of the performance review. Managers and employees are encouraged to make diversity and inclusion part of your 2020 discussion as you set goals for 2021 and plan for the year. This new performance evaluation category will replace the category of Adaptability and Flexibility for the 2021 review. 

Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity – The extent to which the employee treats others with fairness, dignity and respect, fosters inclusion, values individual and group differences, makes efforts to enhance inclusion, diversity, and equity, and contributes to departmental and organizational unit diversity strategic goals.

IDE Resources

UTK is committed to providing an environment that is welcoming to all and hostile to none. As part of this commitment, each employee (beginning in CY 2021) will be evaluated on a new Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity category. One way to approach goals for this new evaluation category is to consider related educational opportunities that may make you stronger in your professional role and/or deepen your knowledge of how to create an inclusive work environment.

Click the link below to view a list of resources, development programs, and community events to help in meeting goals for 2021. This list will be regularly updated so feel free to check back often for new offerings.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resources List

Need help with sparking ideas for SMART goals associated with Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity? Remember, SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound


SMART Goal 1: Attend a STRIDE for Staff Workshop by end of Q2 of 2021.

Next Actions:

  • Schedule workshop through K@TE
  • Utilizing workshop, assess current departmental search practices
  • Share findings with supervisor and propose areas for improvement
  • Communicate search process changes and rationale to departmental team
  • Implement changes by end of Q4 of 2021

SMART Goal 2: Complete at least 4 self-paced, eLearning modules focused on inclusion, diversity, and equity by Q4 of 2021.

Next Actions:

  • Identify 4 courses in K@TE, LinkedIn Learning, or other learning platform
  • Schedule times to participate. Once per quarter would be a good timeline
  • After each session, reflect asking Start-Stop-Continue questions. “What should I start doing?” “What should I stop doing?” “What should I continue doing?” Write these down in a notebook or a Word document.
  • Share what you learned with a colleague or a manager
  • Focus on one item in which you can improve

SMART Goal 3: Start a “lunch and learn” book club with colleagues by end Q1

Next Actions:

  • Pick a book that promotes diversity, inclusion, and/or equity
  • Send an invitation to everyone in your office and select a good day to meet (i.e. every other Thursday, every 3rd Friday)
  • Have a different colleague facilitate a chapter each meeting
  • Create challenges for participants to partake in between meetings

In addition, be sure to check out the Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Resources List for other educational opportunities that may support your goals for 2021.

Performance coaching means having conversations about performance throughout the year, not only during the annual Online Performance Review (OPR). In fact, one common error supervisors make is waiting until the APR to discuss performance issues that arose during the year. Staff and supervisors should be checking in during the year to so that any concerns or issues can be addressed immediately. These check-in conversations should not just be corrective; supervisors should provide ongoing positive feedback!

For support and assistance with performance and feedback, please call Human Resources at 865-974-6642.