In accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia Policy 1.40: Performance Planning and Evaluation Policy, employees are provided with performance expectations on the PeopleAdmin position description and in the Performance Plan and defined in the online performance management tool.

In accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia Policy 1.60: Standards of Conduct, Virginia Tech utilizes a progressive disciplinary process which:

Provides an opportunity for employees to be successful.

Allows managers to effectively discipline or terminate employees whose behavior or performance does not improve.

Allows managers to proceed with immediate termination when the misconduct or unacceptable performance is persistent or is so serious that a first offense justifies termination.

Probationary employees are expected to conform to the expectations outlined in Commonwealth of Virginia Policy 1.60: Standards of Conduct, but are not issued written notices. For disciplinary and performance issues related to probationary employees, managers should contact Employee Relations, their Human Resources consultant, or their director.

Progressive disciplinary process

Timely, appropriate, and effective feedback is essential to effective performance and the progressive disciplinary process. While the process below is described as progressive, at times an offense may be so severe that the appropriate response is to move directly to a written notice.

The first step in the progressive disciplinary process is a private discussion between the supervisor and the employee in which:

  • The supervisor identifies the performance/conduct problem, its impact on the operation of the business unit and the performance/conduct expectation.
  • The employee is offered an opportunity to provide information as to any factors that may have contributed to the problem.
  • Any resources that might be helpful are identified, including coaching, skills training, mediation of workplace conflict, voluntary referral to the Employee Assistance Program, etc.
  • An action plan to access any identified resource is developed.

A notation that a discussion has occurred should be kept in the supervisor’s file.

If, after an informal discussion of a performance/conduct problem, the problem continues, the supervisor and employee may meet again privately to discuss the problem.

  • The supervisor identifies the performance/conduct problem, its impact on the operation of the business unit, the performance/conduct expectation.
  • The employee is offered an opportunity to provide information as to any factors that may have contributed to the problem.
  • Potential resources are identified and an action plan for accessing those resources is established.

This time, however, following the discussion, a counseling memo is issued to the employee.

The counseling memo should be a summary of the discussion between the supervisor and the employee. It should include sections in which:

  • The problem is identified (including the impact of the problem on the business unit).
  • Any factors that contribute to the problem are defined.
  • The action plan to address those factors is explained.
  • The expected performance/conduct is defined and the plan for follow up communication is outlined.

Counseling memos are retained in the supervisor’s files. They do not become a part of the employee’s personnel file unless the performance/conduct problem continues and the counseling memo becomes an attachment to a subsequent performance/disciplinary action.

A Notice of Improvement Needed/ Unsatisfactory Performance (form P142) may be issued in lieu of a counseling memo. The form contains:

  • A section in which the problem is identified (including the impact of the problem on the business unit).
  • A section for a performance improvement plan .

The performance improvement plan should include:

  • A review of performance expectations.
  • An action plan to address factors impacting the employee’s performance.
  • The plan for follow up monitoring of performance.

The performance improvement period will vary depending upon the performance problem but should allow adequate time for the employee to demonstrate improvement.

The form is retained in the supervisor’s file. It does not become a part of the employee’s personnel file unless it is used to support an overall rating of “Unacceptable Performance” on the annual performance evaluation or unless it is used to support a written notice.

Supervisors should contact Employee Relations, their Human Resources consultant, or their director before issuing any written notice. Written notices may not be issued to probationary employees.

Written notices may be issued:

  • If less formal attempts to correct either conduct or performance have been unsuccessful.
  • If the performance/conduct problem is so significant or serious that an immediate formal action is warranted.

Commonwealth of Virginia Policy 1.60: Standards of Conduct groups conduct and performance offenses according to severity. Group I offenses are least serious; Group III offenses are most serious and usually warrant termination of employment. Written notices have an active life which varies according to the level of the offense. Employees may be suspended for offenses categorized as Group II or Group III offenses. Refer to Attachment A: Examples of Offenses Grouped by Level of Policy 1.60: Standards of Conduct or contact Employee Relations for additional information.

Written Notices are retained in the employee’s personnel file with all supporting documentation including previously issued counseling memos and/or P142s. Written Notices may be used to support an overall rating of “Unacceptable Performance” on the annual performance evaluation.

Contact

North End Center, Suite 2300 (0318)
300 Turner Street NW
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Hours
8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Phone
540-231-9331
540-231-3830 (fax)

Email
hrservicecenter@vt.edu

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