The Performance Development process offers significant opportunities for staff to achieve personal and professional goals which are aligned with the strategic and operational plans of Faculties/Schools/Institutes/Divisions and UTAS. This process supports the integration of a continuous learning and performance improvement culture across the University and is essential input into academic recognition and promotion.
To be fully effective the process is not a single end of year event, but a year long process to ensure that performance and development expectations are on track. This requires an active partnership between staff members and their line managers. The cycle culminates in the end of year formal performance development meeting where there should be no surprises in relation to agreed outcomes.
These regular conversations and the annual Performance Development meetings involve:
Staff members want ongoing feedback from their supervisors. They want to know how they are doing and how they can improve.
Note: The performance discussion should contain no surprises. Any problems or difficulties should be dealt with as they arise or in regular informal feedback. Regular informal feedback between staff and their line manager is strongly encouraged.
Note: Where resourcing issues are involved Head of Budget Centre approval may be required before Performance Plans can be signed off.
and informs the following processes:
The performance discussion should contain no surprises. Any problems or difficulties should be dealt with as they arise or in regular informal feedback. Regular informal feedback between staff and their line manager is strongly encouraged.
Note: Due to potential resourcing implications, final agreement on the Performance Plan cannot be reached until the Head of School/Section reviews all plans/proposals and signs off the resourcing issues.
Objective setting is at the heart of the Performance Development process. Key objectives are to be aligned with UTAS expectations and personal career aspirations. They should be agreed at the annual PD meeting and revised if and when appropriate through the year. The agreed key objectives set the agenda for the review in a year's time.
Performance objectives are agreed in order to:
The objective setting process provides focus. It helps everyone to understand what is expected of them and how they will achieve it.
The objective setting discussion focuses on objectives that:
Objective setting is not an exact science and will depend on the supervisor and staff member using a common sense approach in line with the guidance provided here:
Well-defined and effective objectives are:
Objectives must express the action and results required so that both the staff member and the line manager can see clearly whether or not the objective has been achieved.
|Measurable||When setting objectives, there must be some way of measuring and verifying whether the objective has been achieved and to what level.
Although they should provide challenges, objectives need to be achievable.
|Realistic / within the staff member's control||
The objectives must be relevant to the level at which the staff member is at in their career and to the priorities and workload of their particular area. They must include only actions or outcomes that the staff member is responsible and accountable for.
|Time bound||Objectives need to have clear time frames attached to them. Though the performance development and review process is annual, objectives can be set for longer time frames. This may be particularly appropriate for research-based work where objectives may be set for longer periods but reviewed at least on an annual basis.|
For individual staff members this offers an opportunity to:
All staff members who are employed in full or part-time continuing positions, or are employed on fixed term contracts for a period of greater than 12 months.
Participation is not mandatory for:
The Performance and Career Development process operates on a cycle that will normally operate over a 12 month period. It provides an opportunity for staff members and line managers to meet formally at least once a year to:
A generic template has been developed to support the line manager and the staff member through the process. Whilst it is important to complete the paperwork to record what has been agreed to during the discussions, a sign off of the paperwork should not be the focus of the yearly meeting. The major focus is on the constructive conversation between the staff member and the line manager.
The paperwork is completed to keep a record of what has been agreed between the staff member and the line manager. Signed copies of the paperwork are kept by the:
This will depend upon the work being undertaken. However, the University has an expectation that staff members meet with their line managers on a formal basis at least annually at the end of the period under review.
Ongoing informal conversations as good people management practice are to be undertaken to ensure that objectives agreed at the beginning of the review period remain appropriate and performance is on track. There should be no surprises at the time of the formal performance and career development meeting.
Recommendation for incremental advancement can only be made if a staff member has:
There is no formal direct link between academic staff promotion and the Performance Development process. However, there is a strong informal link between the mentoring, coaching and professional support provided by a line manager to a staff member and successful academic promotion outcomes.
There is no formal direct link between professional staff career development and the Performance and Career Development process. However, there is a strong informal link between the mentoring, coaching and professional support provided by a supervisor to the staff member and professional staff career development.
Supporting staff in continuous performance improvement is part of the standard role of a line manager. If at any stage of the Performance Development cycle a line manager believes that an individual staff member needs support to improve performance, they should meet with the staff member to:
The formal performance improvement process is generally commenced immediately after Step 1 has been worked through and the outcomes have been unsuccessful. This formal performance improvement process is undertaken in conjunction with the Employment Advisor responsible for the area.
The aim always is to support the staff member to reach the expectations agreed in Steps 1 and 2 before any disciplinary action for unsatisfactory performance is contemplated.
The University has disciplinary procedures in place where a staff member's performance consistently falls below the expected standard. These procedures in most instances are used only after a formal performance improvement process has been worked through (briefly set out above).
Line managers and the Employment Advisors responsible for your area are also able to answer questions about the process
Prior to undertaking the Performance and Career Development conversations line managers are strongly encouraged to undertake training in the process and the skills involved in providing effective feedback.
Authorised by the Director, Human Resources
8 October, 2012