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Process for Reviewing Performance Concerns

Throughout the year, supervisors may have performance concerns that begin to escalate. It is the practice of Colorado College to provide a review of supervisory recommendations related to a staff member's employment. In most cases, Human Resources (HR) staff will discuss and review the supervisor's concerns and recommendations before a performance improvement plan (PIP) is implemented or corrective action taken. Should an improvement plan or corrective action be necessary, below is the process for coordinating such activities through HR.

Performance Improvement Plans (PIP)

A PIP provides an opportunity for a staff member to address specific concerns regarding performance by outlining those concerns and through identification of expected performance/behaviors. The immediate supervisor initiates a PIP with an ensuing conversation between the supervisor and HR to understand the concerns and plan for improvement. In some circumstances, HR may determine that a conversation with the staff member is necessary or may require a joint meeting with the supervisor and staff member. In all cases, the staff member may initiate a conversation with HR to discuss their concerns related to the PIP should they seek confidential counsel with HR.

Human Resources reviews the draft PIP and offers feedback and guidance to the supervisor related to the document itself and the conversation between the supervisor and staff member. The supervisor reviews the final PIP with the staff member and signs it to indicate their discussion. A signed copy of the PIP is filed in the staff member's personnel file.

The supervisor will inform the respective department director/division head and division cabinet member of the PIP before finalization. Human Resources may also discuss the PIP with the next management levels.

Corrective Action Process

In situations where a staff member's performance and/or behavior concerns have risen beyond a PIP or are of a higher level of concern to the college, the college may choose to address the concerns through corrective action. Corrective action may include a verbal warning, a written warning, suspension, or termination of employment. At no time does the college commit to following a level of progressive discipline but looks to the nature and severity of the staff member's performance and/or behavior concerns to determine the most appropriate level of action.

When corrective action is considered, HR is consulted to review the concerns presented by the immediate supervisor. HR may require further discussions with the staff member, department director/department head, or cabinet member. In situations where the recommendation is to suspend or terminate an employee, HR will also meet with the staff member to gain insight into their perspective. In all cases, the individual staff member may initiate a conversation with HR, Staff Council, the ombudsperson, the Title IX coordinator or deputy coordinator, cabinet members or the president, depending on the nature of the concern if they believe they are being treated unfairly.

Following HR's review of the recommendation to suspend or terminate employment, the Senior Vice President of Finance and Administration may consult with the President to provide a final review and decision regarding the employment action.

Employment Release

While Colorado College is an at-will employer, it strives to maintain open and honest communication with staff regarding performance and provide an opportunity to be heard regarding any performance concerns. The Staff Handbook has a section on expectations, and if a staff member does not meet expectations of the college, his/her supervisor, or violates College Policy, the staff member's employment may be affected and corrective action may be imposed. As all separations involve confidential and personal information, specifics cannot be discussed in detail, and practices can differ based on circumstances.

The college does not have a formal appeals process for someone who is released from employment. The president supports the college's processes for addressing performance issues that could lead to termination of employment and believes those processes are sufficient in determining employee release.

Report an issue - Last updated: 03/05/2021