What is the performance cycle?

Phase 1 - Planning:  Creating goals and expectations between the employee and manager for the current year.

Phase 2 - Check-Ins:  Giving ongoing feedback throughout the year; identifying acomplishments, areas for improvement and adjusting the goals/expectations as necessary.

Phase 3 - Review:  Reviewing the year at the end of the performance period.

The intent of this process is to identify the key parts of each employee’s job, identify what it looks like when that is done well (meets your expectations as a manager), and how both you as manager and your employee will know when that is achieved (measurements).

Phase 2 – Check-in

What happens when goals change?

It is quite likely that the goals/outcomes will change during the year. When they do, the manager and employee would discuss the new goals, and both agree to the expectations going forward. They would document the changes by updating the PPR document, and initial and date the new form to indicate understanding and alignment.

Phase 3 - Review

How does an employee provide feedback on their review?

An employee is welcome to add comments as a separate attachment. If they prefer to write a self-review, the employee is always welcome to request that their self-review, or other comments, be attached to the performance review form.

What do I do with the comment section?

Comments under each of the goals will be added when the goal is reached, or when the review period is completed. Overall comments are included towards the end of the document, covering those areas not addressed in the comments from the goals.

Is there a correlation between “meeting goals” and a “meets expectations” overall rating?

Not necessarily.  Clearly, one aspect of performance is whether the goals were met or not -- but which goals were met and how they were achieved matters as well.  Here are two examples.

  • Two employees each met their goals.  However, one employee performed in ways that exemplified one or more of the Operating Principles, while the second performed in ways that undermined one or more.  Depending on the circumstances, a manager might determine that a higher rating is appropriate for the first employee and a lower rating appropriate for the second.
  • Two employees each met some but not all of their goals.  However, one employee focused on the most critical or demanding goal, while the second focused on the least critical or demanding.  Depending on the circumstances, a manager may determine that a higher rating is appropriate for the first employee and a lower rating appropriate for the second.

How do I quantify the overall performance if there is no number system (similar to previous reviews)?

The review discussion and overall rating is not intended to be a numerical scoring system, but rather an overall assessment on the manager’s part of the performance of the individual over the past review period.

What if employees meet goals, but don't do well in other responsibilities?

The 3-5 goals should cover 80% or more of the job responsibilities. For the performance of other job duties, they can be identified and covered in the overall comments section. This section completes the narrative if the year.

How do I get others’ feedback in creating a performance review document?

This has not changed. You may continue to use feedback from others just as you have in the past.

How do I review performance if goals weren’t established for the year?

The process requires that you set goals at the beginning of the year. Since we have simplified the form to focus entirely on goals, if you do not get goals established, you will want to sit down right away with your employee and get agreement on outcomes expected for the year. Without goals established, there will be nothing to discuss during the review phase.

Why is there a limit on individuals who can be rated Exceptional performances by unit?

Exceptional performance is intended to acknowledge the accomplishments and delivery of results that are well beyond expectations. As such, at the unit level, monitoring the frequency of those ratings helps insure that we are being accurate and rating the overall performance. Each unit has established calibration requirements regarding the exceptional ratings. By achieving an exceptional rating in a given year, individuals are being recognized for that ‘over and above’ performance for that particular year, and not in comparison to other years or other contributor’s in their unit.

Phase 1 – Planning

How do I set goals?

  • Meet with your employee.
  • Identify and agree on major pieces of the job.
  • Use that list to determine performance for the year.
  • Start the next period by identifying the major pieces of the job, what success looks like, and how that might be measured.

What are the components of a goal?

Each goal will represent a major portion of the job, with a statement of what success looks like (meeting the manager’s expectations). Ideally, goals would include specific, measurable, realistic and time bound elements (SMART). Visit the HR tips on SMART goal writing.

What happened to the competencies?

We heard from many of you that the requirement to assess all staff along each individual competency was burdensome and not always useful.  Based on your feedback, we have shifted the focus of the PPR process to goal setting. By aligning individual performance goals with your organization’s strategic priorities, you are helping your staff actively engage in moving your unit toward its operational objectives.

The competencies are still important to managing your employees, because they support how the goal was accomplished. You will likely still use them in coaching your staff toward improved performance.  In doing so, you may find The Behavioral Anchors to be a useful resource.

Will there be training on goal setting for Managers and Supervisors?

Yes! Our KEYS class, ‘Communicating Goals and Expectations,’ provides detailed support on how to set goals. This program is offered twice a year based on the timing of the performance cycle (sign-up on blu). There is a online course (sign-up on blu) titled "UC Setting Expectations and Individual Performance Goals." Additionally, Staff Learning and Development offers training for work teams upon request. Check out our Training resources for more information.

What happened to the development planning?

It’s still part of the process. When you discuss goals with your staff at the beginning of the cycle, it will be particularly important to include a discussion of success measures - i.e., how you will both know that the goal has been met.  As part of that conversation, together you should identify needed knowledge, skills, or abilities that will enable the employee to achieve the goal.  The discussion may result in an agreed upon Individual Development Plan, which you can complete as you have in the past (though it is no longer linked to the PPR form).

Alternatively, for some employees you may want to include a professional development goal as one of the 3-5 annual goals you establish at the beginning of the PPR cycle.

What do I do if I’ve supervised someone for less than a year?

You would review their performance for that period of time that you supervised them. The goals will be those you established for the employee during her/his onboarding process.

How do I use this form for very transactional jobs?

Goals can be either transaction based (e.g., produce 8 widgets each week) or strategic (e.g., redesign the production process so that the team can increase widget production by 10%)

Do we use this form to evaluate staff during their probation period?

Yes, the same form should be used for both career and contract employees during the annual review, and for probationary employees at any point in their probation cycle, as well as the end of the probationary period.

Why is there no section for evaluating responsibilities?

Goals should cover the broad areas of responsibility for a particular role, written as outcomes or results.