Performance Development

Performance development conversations help managers and employees communicate with one another, providing an opportunity for discussion, exchanging ideas, assisting with individual growth and development aligned with the organizational goals, and ensuring that both the employee and the manager have a common understanding regarding performance expectations for the role.

We are also beginning to make a conscious shift to a place where the traditional model of “performance review” is evolving to become part of a thoughtful and productive two-way conversation about an employee’s career development, where both supervisors and employees can discuss what has occurred and how career developments may be fostered and supported over the coming years.

We encourage managers and department heads to hold performance conversations rather than doing a one-way evaluation. Performance development is about helping an employee to grow in his or her career, and taking a look ahead, tapping into the employee’s strengths and adding new skills. The underlying purpose of the development is to enrich the existing job, expand an employee’s capabilities within the organization, help foster the working relationship between supervisors and employees, provides an opportunity to clearly identify performance expectations, as well as improve job satisfaction.

In conversations about performance, both the supervisor and the employee can identify areas for growth and goals to move toward. Associated action plans should have set goals, defined outcomes and time lines. The performance development process is ongoing and largely driven by the employee, with the supervisor as coach and partner.

Human Resources also has performance development tools for use to help in performance conversations. See below for templates.

If managers have questions or concerns about upcoming performance reviews with any of your staff, please contact your HR Advisor in advance.

Performance Conversations

The Performance Conversation model of employee performance review has a three-part approach: Preparation, Conversation, and Reflection. Both supervisors and employees have a role to play in these performance conversations.

Download: Supervisor’s Conversation Guide (PDF) | Employee’s Conversation Guide (PDF)

Supervisor

Preparation

  • What do you want to achieve from this conversation?
  • What do you think is important to this person?
  • What pre-conceived notions or assumptions might you have about the person and or his/her performance?
  • What approaches have worked in the past with this person?
  • What does a good resolution (or ideal outcome) look like?
  • What opportunities will open up for you once you have this conversation?
  • What will help you stay curious and present?

Conversation

Questions to ask your staff during the conversation:

  • How do you think your performance has gone over these past [months/quarter/year]?
  • What examples can you share with me?
  • What you were most proud of?
  • What I appreciated about your performance was [provide details].
  • What have been your biggest challenge(s)?
  • What I observed as challenge(s) was [provide details].
  • How did you try to overcome/mitigate these challenge(s)?
  • What would you have done differently, if anything?
  • What support could I / the team / the University have given you?
  • What are your performance goals moving forward?
  • What are your measures of success?
  • What I would like to see you continue/focus on moving forward is [provide details]
  • How can I / the team support you to achieve these goals?

Reflection

  • What did you learn?
  • What were the benefits of having this conversation?
  • What surprised you in the conversation?
  • What aspects were challenging?
  • What would you do differently next time, if anything?
  • How will you maximize the possibilities of this conversation?

Tips

  • Performance is owned by the person so ensure she/he talks more than half of the time.
  • Encourage dialogue by asking open-ended questions such as “Tell me more about …”, “Why do you think…”, “How can we…” etc.
  • Provide constructive feedback that focuses on the work performed.
  • When ending the conversation, ensure the person is leaving with a sense of achievement, clarity and purpose.

Employee

Preparation

  • What do you want to achieve from this conversation?
  • What pre-conceived notions or assumptions might you have about this conversation?
  • What approach would you like to take in this conversation and why?
  • What does a good resolution (or ideal outcome) look like?
  • What opportunities will open up for you once you have this conversation?
  • What will help you stay curious and present?

Conversation

To consider sharing with your Manager during the conversation:

  • Considering your role, share your thoughts regarding your performance over the past [months/quarter/year].
  • Inform your Manager on what were you most proud of and share some examples.
  • Share the challenges you experienced.
  • Tell your Manager how you overcame and/or are resolving these challenges.
  • Identify and share the learning opportunities these challenges presented.
  • Share what you would have done differently, if anything.
  • Tell your Manager about your performance goals moving forward.
  • Describe how you would measure your success.
  • Share what additional resources you may need to be more effective in your role (e.g. training, job shadowing, etc.).
  • Share how you plan to keep your manager apprised of your progress/success.
  • Share what else you would like your Manager to know about you (personal and/or professional).

Reflection

  • What did you learn?
  • What surprised you in the conversation?
  • What were the benefits of having this conversation?
  • What aspects were challenging?
  • What would you do differently next time, if anything?
  • How will you maximize the possibilities of this conversation?

 

Other Performance Development Tools

Strength-Based Model for Performance Development & Review

The Model for Performance Development and Review at UBC (PDF) reflects a strength-based approach, designed on the principles that engaged employees have a direct impact on the level of client / customer engagement, on the nature of peer/staff relationships, and finally, on the degree to which bottom line business results of the organization are achieved. The tools include both a self-assessment and section for the manager’s feedback.

Competency-Based Model for Performance Plan & Review

Competencies are the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform a job. UBC does not have a university-wide competency based program but you will find parts of the university that have adopted a competency base approach.

The Performance Plan and Review is designed to assess, evaluate and document the performance of your employee; provide an opportunity for the employee and supervisor to discuss progress; align employee and organizational goals; assist with employee growth and development and clearly articulate performance expectations to the employee.

  • Probationary Performance Plan and Review Document: PDF | DOC
  • Non-Probationary Performance Plan and Review Document: PDF | DOC

The Self-Assessment document provides an opportunity for the employee to self-reflect and respond to a few questions to provide you some further insight into your staff members’ preferred work style and environment. In addition, the self-assessment questions allow the employee to consider their competencies that focus on their strengths as well as developmental areas. Goals and objectives are also included to determine some specific work / career goals and / or training objectives with timelines for achievement.

  • Self-Assessment and Goal Setting Document for Probationary Employees: PDF | DOC
  • Self-Assessment and Goal Setting Document for Non-Probationary Employees: PDF | DOC

We hope you find these tools of assistance when holding performance conversations. You may wish to revise these tools to suit the needs of your operations.

Assistance with Performance Reviews

The following documents provide some practical tips, guidelines and considerations regarding holding performance conversations

  • Considerations for Managers/Reviewers when conducting a Probationary Review: PDF
  • Considerations for Managers/Reviewers when conducting a Non-Probationary Review: PDF

If you require further assistance with performance review process, please contact your Human Resources Advisor or Associate.

Okanagan Campus BCGEU & Executive Administrative Staff

The following tool has been developed for BCGEU staff and Executive Administrative staff at UBC’s Okanagan Campus.

Recommended Performance Review Schedule

M&P (AAPS)

  • At least two performance reviews during an employee’s probationary period, prior to the final month of probation.
  • Once per year after the successful completion of probation.
  • See Article 6 in the AAPS agreement for more information.

BCGEU (Okanagan)

  • One performance review is recommended during the six-month probationary period.
  • Once per year after the successful completion of probation.

CUPE 2950

  • At least two performance reviews are recommended during the probationary / orientation period (preferably at the ends of month one and month two).
  • At least once per year after the successful completion of probation.

CUPE 116

  • At least two performance reviews are recommended during the probationary / trial period (preferably at regular intervals).
  • At least once per year after the successful completion of probation.

Non-Union Techs

  • At least two performance reviews are recommended during the probationary / trial period (preferably at regular intervals, for example at the end of month two and the end of month four).
  • At least once per year after the successful completion of probation.

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