Frequently Asked Questions

Get answers to your PATHways questions. 

FAQs: Top 5

How many performance goals are recommended?

The number of performance goals recommended is three to five, although it could be appropriate to have more in order to align with specific tasks and timeframes. 

Who do I contact if I do not see an employee that I supervise on my performance management home page?

You must be listed as the employee's supervisor on his or her position description and/or user account in PATH to be able to view available or completed tasks in the performance management module. Your departmental HR Liaison can assist you with making sure the position description has the correct supervisor listed. Otherwise, please contact the HROE Professional Development Department at HRPATHways@tamu.edu for assistance.

Will I be able to access historical online evaluations?

Yes, past evaluations can be accessed from within PATH Performance Management. To access evaluations created in TAMU Jobs please contact HRPATHways@tamu.edu with your requests.

To access evaluations from previous years in PATH, access the Performance Management home page and do the following:

  1. Click on “My Reviews” or “My Employees’ Reviews.”
  2. Select the corresponding evaluation program from the navigation pane Program drop-down.
  3. Select “Completed” from the navigation pane Open/Closed drop-down.
  4. Click on the “View Review” button for the evaluation.
  5. Click on the “Supervisor Evaluation” link on the navigation pane or “Supervisor Evaluation” icon. This will display the evaluation.

Can I request a report that shows the status of performance plans for my department?

HR Liaisons, Department Head/Director or delegated authority, may request a Performance Plan Status Report by sending the request to hrbusinessservices@tamu.edu. This report will show the completion status of performance plans for each employee in their department by ADLOC.

What is the Other User function in PATH?

A supervisor can delegate certain PATH functions by adding an Other User.  The Other User has all the functionality that the supervisor has for the specified employee except entering progress notes (i.e., an Other User is able to Create a Plan, Create a Performance Evaluation, and Close a Performance Evaluation as the supervisor’s delegate for the specified employee). While the Other User can add Progress Notes, the Other User cannot read Progress Notes that were entered by the Supervisor, and vice versa. Detailed step-by-step instructions and video for Other User can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.

FAQs: General

What period of time is covered in the annual performance review period?

The standard performance review period is April 1 to March 31 each year.  Departments may request alternate dates to the standard review period through HR Employee and Organizational Development at HRPATHways@tamu.edu or 845-4153. 

My employee is not listed under "My Employees' Reviews" - What do I do?

If an employee is displaying an incorrect supervisor in the Performance Management module, an HR Liaison may use the Add/Change User action under the Position Management module to update the supervisor tab on the Position Description. For more information on how to do this, access the Add/Change User Access Position Management Section of the PATH Help webpage or send an email to HRComp@tamu.edu. This change takes place overnight.

Do we use PATH Performance Management for research employees?

The PATH Performance Management system does apply to research employees.   However, an Alternative Performance Evaluation Form for research staff is available on the Division of Research Research Titles and Staffing webpage.  If approved by your Department Head and Dean, this form may be used in accordance with Standard Administrative Procedure 33.99.03.M0.01 to meet the requirements for position description review and acknowledgement, for creating a performance plan, and to assess employee performance. Certain information from the form must be uploaded into the PATH system by the supervisor or other user.  

For more information on performance reviews for research employees, please contact Martha Tackett in Research Enterprise Business Services in the Division of Research.

Is spell check available?

Yes, spell check is available in PATH if you open the program using Internet Explorer 11, Internet Explorer 10, Chrome, Firefox or Safari.  However, it is not available at this time if you open the program using earlier versions of Internet Explorer (IE).

Do we use PATH Performance Management for student employees?

The PATH Performance Management system does not apply to student employees.   For more information on performance reviews for student employees, contact the Student Employment Office at 845-0686. 

Will I be able to access historical online evaluations?

Yes, past evaluations can be accessed from within PATH Performance Management. To access evaluations created in TAMU Jobs please contact HRPATHways@tamu.edu with your requests.

To access evaluations from previous years in PATH, access the Performance Management home page and do the following:

  1. Click on “My Reviews” or “My Employees’ Reviews.”
  2. Select the corresponding evaluation program from the navigation pane Program drop-down.
  3. Select “Completed” from the navigation pane Open/Closed drop-down.
  4. Click on the “View Review” button for the evaluation.
  5. Click on the “Supervisor Evaluation” link on the navigation pane or “Supervisor Evaluation” icon. This will display the evaluation.

What kind of training is available for me to learn more about the performance management process?

The HROE Professional Development Department has both online and classroom training options available for employees and supervisors.  Detailed information can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways

Can I add attachments in the PATH system?

Documents can be attached to the Progress Notes, Self Assessment, and Performance Evaluation.  The types of files that can be attached include text files, PDF, spreadsheets, and images. 

When should supervisors review position descriptions with their employees?

Before creating the performance plan, the supervisor should go to the PATH Position Management module to read the position description.  If changes are needed, then the supervisor will need to update the position description.  If changes are not needed, the supervisor initiates the review of the position description, which is sent to the employee for acknowledgement.  For information on how to complete the position description review process, please visit PATH Help

If an employee receives an overall rating of In Development or Improvement Needed (I) or Unsatisfactory(U), are they still eligible for a merit increase?

To qualify for a merit increase, an employee must have an overall rating of Achieves or higher. 

Who can access completed evaluations in PATH?

Completed evaluations can be accessed in PATH by the employee, the employee’s current supervisor, and the next higher level supervisor. 

How can HR Liaisons request a copy of a completed evaluation?

HR Liaisons who have a business need to view an evaluation can request the evaluation from the HROE Professional Development Department. An example is a request from a hiring supervisor to view an employee’s personnel file to include past evaluations. 

If an employee changes positions, will the new supervisor be able to view prior evaluations?

Yes, the evaluation continues to be associated in PATH with the employee. The employee’s new supervisor will have access to all previous evaluations, and the previous supervisor will no longer have access. 

Who do I contact if I do not see an employee that I supervise on my performance management home page?

You must be listed as the employee's supervisor on his or her position description and/or user account in PATH to be able to view available or completed tasks in the performance management module. Your departmental HR Liaison can assist you with making sure the position description has the correct supervisor listed. Otherwise, please contact the HROE the Professional Development Department at HRPATHways@tamu.edu for assistance. 

Can I request reports for my department?

Yes, HR Liaisons, Department Head/Director or delegated authority, may request reports on the completion status of the performance plan and evaluation for employees within their department (by ADLOC).  Please contact HR Business Services at hrbusinessservices@tamu.edu for more information.

How can I print out the comments?

A user can print out all of the comments by accessing the evaluation using the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari.

To Print:

  1. Access the Supervisor Evaluation.
  2. Click on the Actions button.
  3. Click on Print.

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.  If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact us at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

FAQs: Performance Management Process

As a supervisor, what am I required to complete within the PATH performance management module?

The supervisor is required to complete the review of position description, performance plan, and complete and close the annual performance evaluation.

If an employee is supervised by two supervisors, who has final responsibility for the evaluation and ratings?

When an employee’s work is directed by more than one supervisor, one supervisor will be assigned as the primary supervisor, as indicated on the position description. Best practice recommends that at the beginning of the review year the supervisors discuss and agree on how their individual feedback will be incorporated into the evaluation. However, the primary supervisor has final responsibility for the evaluation. 

When should supervisors review position descriptions with their employees?

Before creating the performance plan, the supervisor should go to the PATH Position Management module to read the position description.  If changes are needed, then the supervisor will need to update the position description.  If changes are not needed, the supervisor initiates the review of the position description, which is sent to the employee for acknowledgement.  For information on how to complete the position description review process, please visit PATH Help.

Who should be contacted if an employee's performance evaluation is not conducted annually?

Contact the HROE the Professional Development Department at HRPATHways@tamu.edu for assistance. System Regulation 33.99.03 provides that the performance of nonfaculty employees of the system, except graduate assistants, student workers, and temporary employees, will be evaluated each year. The department or unit head is responsible for ensuring the evaluation is completed. If it is not being done, the HROE Professional Development Department should be contacted.  

How do I ensure that direct reports of a vacant supervisor position are evaluated using the Performance Evaluation module in PATH?

If a department has a vacant supervisor position in PATH, the HR Liaison first needs to identify the designated interim for that position or an alternate supervisor for the purposes of the evaluation process for the direct reports of the vacant position. The HR Liaison will then need to change the supervisor on the position description of the vacant position's direct reports through the Add/Change User Access function in the Position Descriptions module. Refer to the step-by-step instructions or the video snippet for detailed instructions. The newly selected supervisor will receive any pertinent tasks for the employee evaluation process the next day after the system has fully processed the change.

What period of time is covered in the annual performance review period?

The standard performance review period is April 1 to March 31 each year. Departments may request alternate dates to the standard review period through HR Employee and Organizational Development at HRPATHways@tamu.edu or 845-4153.

If there are extenuating circumstances, is it possible to get an extension on the performance evaluation for my employees?

Texas A&M expects all evaluations to be completed by May 31, 2016 unless there are extenuating circumstances. Requests for exceptions/variations to this timeframe for departments or units must be approved by the HROE Professional Development Department. Exceptions to the timeframe for an individual because of extenuating circumstances must be approved by the appropriate department or unit head (e.g., an employee who is out on long-term leave).  To request a department or unit extension, complete the Request for Date Extension or Variation form and email to HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.  If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact PD at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

FAQs: Performance Plan

Can I request a report that shows the status of performance plans for my department?

HR Liaisons, Department Head/Director or delegated authority, may request a Performance Plan Status Report by sending the request to hrbusinessservices@tamu.edu. This report will show the completion status of performance plans for each employee in their department by ADLOC. 

When should supervisors create the performance plan for employees?

The plan should be created at the beginning of the performance review period or within the first 30 days of employment. 

How many performance goals are recommended?

The number of performance goals recommended is three to five, although it could be appropriate to have more in order to align with specific tasks and timeframes. 

As a supervisor, how do I revise the performance plan?

The Performance Plan can be revised during the review period as performance goals change. Detailed step-by-step instructions and video can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.

If an evaluation is started and saved as draft and the performance plan gets updated, will the performance goals update accordingly?

Yes. As long as the supervisor evaluation is saved as draft, the plan may be updated as needed and the new performance goals will populate into the evaluation. (Please note that if a performance plan is revised, the employee will not receive a system notification email; therefore, the supervisor should be sure to communicate to the employee whenever he or she revises the employee’s performance plan.)

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.  If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact PD at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

FAQs: Progress Notes

Can I attach progress notes from quarterly or monthly reviews in PATH?

Supervisors can track and record private notes on employee performance during the review period using the Progress Notes in PATH. The progress notes can be used at the end of the review period to “jog” the supervisor’s memory when completing the year-end evaluation. Detailed step-by-step instructions and video for Progress Notes can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways. For mid-year evaluations, see the answer to: "How do I conduct mid-year evaluations?"

What are Progress Notes?

Supervisors and employees can track and record their own private notes during the review period using the Progress Notes function in PATH. The progress notes can be used at the end of the review period to “jog” their memory when completing the year-end evaluation. The supervisor’s Progress Notes are not considered part of an employee’s official personnel file and should not be used as a substitute for documents generally found in an employee’s personnel file. Detailed step-by-step instructions and video can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways

How long will Progress Notes remain in PATH?

Individuals can delete their Progress Notes at any time during the current performance review period; once the review period is complete, they can no longer be revised or deleted.  Employees will always have historical access to the Progress Notes they entered, even after the performance review period has ended.  Supervisors will have historical access to the Progress Notes they entered for their respective employees only as long as they continue to be their supervisor of record (i.e., when an employee terminates or changes positions, the supervisor’s Progress Notes are no longer available in PATH). 

Who can enter and view Progress Notes?

Progress Notes can be entered by the supervisor, employee and Other User. They can only be viewed by the person who enters them. While they are intended to serve as “private memory joggers” throughout the year, they are subject to an Open Records request. Care should be taken they be written objectively and appropriately, as for any other employee documentation. 

I accidentally deleted a progress note. Is there a way to recover it?

At this time there is no way to recover deleted progress notes. When you delete a progress note, the system requires you to verify the deletion by clicking on the OK button. 

Can progress notes be edited?

Progress notes are not editable. Users may create and delete progress notes, but not edit a progress note once created. 

Can progress notes be accessed after the evaluation is completed?

Progress notes may be accessed after an evaluation for an employee has been completed as long as the supervisor/employee relationship is not broken. If the employee leaves the university or gets a new supervisor, the progress notes entered for that employee will no longer be accessible by either the current or previous supervisor. 

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.  If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact PD at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

FAQs: Self Assessment 

Do I need to complete a self assessment?

Completion of a self assessment in the PATH system is an available option.   Speak with your supervisor to determine if this is a required step. 

Am I required to have employees complete a self assessment?

No, PATH does not require the self assessment, though some departments require that this is done.  We recommend that supervisors utilize the self assessment option as a way for their employees to provide them with meaningful input about their job performance.  Please check with your HR Liaison to determine if this function is required or optional in your department. 

Can an employee go in and attach a form we will be using in our department without selecting a rating on the Self Assessment?

The only rating required on the self assessment is the Overall Rating. The user has the ability to go in and attach any documents, but in order to complete it and submit it to the supervisor so that the supervisor may view it, an overall rating must be selected by the employee. 

How can I print out the comments?

A user can print out all of the comments by accessing the evaluation using the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari.

To Print:

  1. Access the Supervisor Evaluation.
  2. Click on the Actions button.
  3. Click on Print.

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.  If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact PD at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

FAQs: Supervisor Evaluation 

Can I request a report that shows the status of evaluations for my department?

HR Liaisons, Department Head/Director or delegated authority, may request a Performance Evaluation Status Report by sending the request to hrbusinessservices@tamu.edu. This report will show the completion status of evaluations for each employee in their department by ADLOC. 

How do I change an employee's supervisor for the performance evaluation?

If an employee is displaying an incorrect supervisor in the Performance Management module, an HR Liaison may use the Add/Change User action under the Position Management module to update the supervisor tab on the Position Description. For more information on how to do this, access the Add/Change User Access Position Management Section of the PATH Help webpage or send an email to HRComp@tamu.edu. This change takes place overnight.

How do I conduct mid-year evaluations?

PATH only allows one evaluation per employee per performance period, so it should be reserved for the year-end evaluation (referred to as “Supervisor Evaluation”) that is created and conducted at the end of the performance review period (typically, April and May).  Mid-year evaluations and/or progress review discussions can be created using the Performance Feedback Form for Non-Faculty Employees, which is a fillable Microsoft Word form. If desired, copies of mid-year evaluations can be attached to the final Supervisor's Evaluation.  The Performance Feedback Form can be found under the Resources section of employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.

What ratings are used in the Performance Evaluation?

The rating scale for the Performance Evaluation has five levels:  Exemplary (E), Exceeds Expectations (EE), Achieves (A), In Development or Improvement Needed (I), Unsatisfactory (U).  Detailed definitions for all ratings can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.

Why can't I start an annual performance evaluation?

First, check to ensure you have created the performance plan and the employee has acknowledged it.  If these tasks have been completed and you are still unable to start an evaluation, contact the HROE Professional Development Department at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

As a supervisor, how do I close the performance evaluation?

The evaluation is closed by completing the “Supervisor Acknowledges Comments/Closes Review” action item.  Detailed step-by-step instructions and video can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.

When should supervisors create the performance evaluation for employees?

The performance evaluation is completed at the end of the performance review period between April 1 to May 31.

If I don't agree with my performance evaluation, am I required to acknowledge it?

Yes, acknowledging your performance evaluation indicates your supervisor has provided you the information and you have had the opportunity to discuss it.  Your acknowledgement does not mean that you agree with the comments or ratings by your supervisor. If you do not agree with the ratings or comments in your evaluation, you have the opportunity through the Acknowledgement step to add comments in response.

If my employee does not agree with the performance evaluation and does not want to acknowledge it, what do I do?

Remind the employee that acknowledging the evaluation means he or she was provided the information and has the opportunity to respond with comments. Acknowledgement does not mean that the employee agrees with the comments or ratings provided by the supervisor. For further questions, contact the HROE Professional Development Department at HRPATHways@tamu.edu or 845-4153.

If an evaluation is started and saved as draft and the performance plan gets updated, will the performance goals update accordingly?

Yes. As long as the supervisor evaluation is saved as draft, the plan may be updated as needed and the new performance goals will populate into the evaluation. (Please note that if a performance plan is revised, the employee will not receive a system notification email; therefore, the supervisor should be sure to communicate to the employee whenever he or she revises the employee’s performance plan.)

Who should be contacted if an employee's performance evaluation is not conducted annually?

Contact the HROE Professional Development Department at HRPATHways@tamu.edu for assistance. System Regulation 33.99.03 provides that the performance of nonfaculty employees of the system, except graduate assistants, student workers, and temporary employees, will be evaluated each year. The department or unit head is responsible for ensuring the evaluation is completed. If it is not being done, the HROE Professional Development Department should be contacted.

Are there any required actions when Unsatisfactory (U) or In Development or Improvement Needed (I)ratings are identified on the Performance Evaluation?

It is recommended that a supervisor make comments for any rating of Unsatisfactory (U) or In Development or Improvement Needed (I). Your department may require additional approval or review prior to discussing with the employee.

If there are extenuating circumstances, is it possible to get an extension on the performance evaluation for my employees?

Texas A&M expects all evaluations to be completed by May 31, 2016 unless there are extenuating circumstances. Requests for exceptions/variations to this timeframe for departments or units must be approved by the HROE Professional Development Department. Exceptions to the timeframe for an individual because of extenuating circumstances must be approved by the appropriate department or unit head (e.g., an employee who is out on long-term leave).  To request a department or unit extension, complete the Request for Date Extension or Variation form and email to HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

How do we do a “next level supervisory review”?

The next level higher supervisor automatically has “view only” access in PATH to an employee’s completed evaluation since supervisors can view their own reports as well as the “reports of their reports.”  If signed documentation is required, here are a couple of procedural suggestions:

1.  Online: The evaluating supervisor could designate the next level supervisor as “Other User.”  This will allow that supervisor to view the evaluation, and to enter comments.  Note that the system will not record who made which comments, so the next level supervisor should indicate his/her comments (for example, next level supervisor could type, “Joe Supervisor: I approve this evaluation”). There would need to be an internal communication process (e.g., email) to alert the next level of the need to check the evaluation in question.

2.  Paper: The evaluating supervisor (or “Other User” delegate) could print the evaluation and route it to the next level to sign, who would then route it to the next level again, and return.  The signed document could be scanned (by supervisor, next level supervisor, or supervisor’s designated Other User) and added in PATH as an attachment to the evaluation.

This process should be completed prior to sending the evaluation to the employee, since adding supervisor comments and attachments will no longer be an available option once the evaluation has been submitted to the employee.

Is “next level supervisor review” required for certain ratings?

HR does not have a requirement of a next level supervisor signature, nor is this a requirement in PATH. However, departments/divisions/colleges certainly have the latitude to add their own internal procedures.

How can I print out the comments?

A user can print out all of the comments by accessing the evaluation using the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari.

To Print:

  1. Access the Supervisor Evaluation.
  2. Click on the Actions button.
  3. Click on Print.

I completed the evaluation and my employee acknowledged it. Why is the evaluation still open?

After the employee acknowledges the evaluation, the supervisor must view the comments and acknowledge them prior to completing the evaluation.  This is done through the “Supervisor Acknowledges Comments/Closes Review” action item. Detailed step-by-step instructions and video can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.  If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact PD at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.

FAQs: Other User

What is the Other User function in PATH?

A supervisor can delegate certain PATH functions by adding an Other User.  The Other User has all the functionality that the supervisor has for the specified employee except entering progress notes (i.e., an Other User is able to Create a Plan, Create a Performance Evaluation, and Close a Performance Evaluation as the supervisor’s delegate for the specified employee). While the Other User can add Progress Notes, the Other User cannot read Progress Notes that were entered by the Supervisor, and vice versa. Detailed step-by-step instructions and video for Other User can be found at employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.

Will PATH show what changes or additions were made by the Other User in an employee’s evaluation versus what the supervisor entered?

PATH does not differentiate between Other User and the supervisor of record, nor does it track who made entries (e.g., if a supervisor asks her assistant to enter comments and/or submit an evaluation for one of her direct reports, it will appear in PATH that the entries/submission were made by the supervisor, with no record of which entries were made by the Other User). Therefore, it is suggested that anyone who makes entries as an Other User should add his/her name in a comment field indicating that the entries were made on behalf of the supervisor.

Additional Information

For additional information, please visit employees.tamu.edu/PD/PATHways.  If you have additional questions or need assistance, please contact PD at HRPATHways@tamu.edu.