Performance Management FAQ

Performance Management

What is performance management?
Performance management is the process of managing, coaching, developing, and evaluating employees in order to cultivate relationships and create plans for future success.

What are the components of performance management?
Goal setting, continuous coaching and feedback, and a formal review are all components of the performance management cycle. At the beginning of the cycle, employees and managers meet to set goals for the coming year. Throughout the year, dialogue should occur between managers and employees to determine progress. At the end of the year, managers and employees meet to have a formal review of achievements and areas of opportunity based on the goals set at the beginning of the year.

What is the purpose of conducting a performance review?
The performance review provides a formal documented account of each Georgia Tech employee’s performance during the review cycle. It is an essential component of the performance management process.

How does performance management link to career planning?
Performance management is the foundation of career planning. Through this process, employees work towards goals that support the needs of the business and their professional development. The purpose is to build relationships and facilitate conversations between employees and managers throughout the year with regards to performance goals, career goals, and career planning.

What are the dates of the Performance Cycle?

2016 Performance Cycle

January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016

2016 Performance Evaluation Period

January 3, 2017 – March 31, 2017

2017 Goal Setting Period

January 3, 2017 – March 31, 2017

Are classified employees required to receive a performance review?    
Yes. Every non-probationary Georgia Tech classified employee should receive a performance review.

How do I know if I am considered a professional, administrative, or classified employee?
Classified employees shall consist of professional and administrative personnel who are not identified as Academic Faculty, Research Faculty, Academic Professionals, or Post Doc Fellows.

Do probationary employees receive a performance review?
Probationary employees are reviewed after successful completion of their probationary period using the designated probationary review form. For guidance on evaluating probationary employees, please refer to OHR Policy 4.6, Performance Review Following Probationary Period. The policy can be found online at:http://www.policylibrary.gatech.edu/performance-review-following-probationary-period.

Do Academic Faculty, Research Faculty, Academic Professionals and Post Doc Fellows have a performance management process?
Academic Faculty, Research Faculty, Academic Professionals, or Post Doc Fellows are annually reviewed by the appropriate designee. They are not required to use the forms or processes that are designated for classified employees.

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Help

Who do I contact for help?
Questions concerning the process should first be directed to your unit/department’s HR Representative or HR Contact. You may also contact the Performance and Talent Management Team or call 404-894-9410.

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Goal Setting FAQ's

What are goals?
They are assignments, projects, and/or responsibilities for a particular year. They could be routine job responsibilities as well as special projects and/or assignments.

What is the difference between Performance and Career Development goals?
Performance goals help to define what is expected of you in your current position in relation to the department and/or unit’s overall goals. Career development goals outline opportunities for professional development and/or career growth. Together these goals help us manage and assess the work to be done as well as identify opportunities for ongoing professional growth and development at Georgia Tech.

Are Career Development goals required?
No, but they are strongly recommended since they are critical in helping to further enhance our skills, knowledge, and abilities.

What is the deadline for entering goals?
Goals must be discussed and documented by March 14, 2014.

Are goals required for all classified employees?
Goals are strongly recommended for all regular classified employees as part of the performance review process.

Are goals required for new hires?
All regular classified employees who begin employment during the goal setting cycle should have goals for the year. Probationary employees would still receive the usual six month evaluation, but would also get the standard evaluation at the completion of the performance review cycle. Employees who are hired after the goal setting period would only receive the probationary evaluation at the end of six months.

What is the recommended number of goals for an employee?
The recommended range is 2-4 goals.

What if one employee is being rated on 2 goals and another employee is being rated on 4 goals?
The number of goals may vary based on the position. However, we encourage consistency in the type and number of goals for those employees whose job is similar in nature within that department/unit. Additionally, an individual’s day to day job responsibilities and duties may be addressed in other sections of the review.

What if I disagree with a goal my manager set for me?
We encourage both parties to collaborate with one another to determine agreed upon goals that are aligned with achieving the department or unit objectives. Conversations between the manager and employee should occur to determine the reasons for the gaps in communication and edits can be made to the goal, if appropriate. If there continues to be a high level of disagreement, please consult your unit’s HR Representative, HR Contact, HR Business Partner, or Performance Consultant.

Can employees have the same or similar goals?
Yes. There may be situations where a group of employees with the same job title, responsibilities, duties, etc. have the same or similar goals.

How do I set goals for someone on a Performance Improvement Plan?
Yearly goals should still be discussed for this employee. Although the employee is on a Performance Improvement Plan and expected to achieve results within a specified timeline, new goals should still be implemented for the upcoming performance cycle.

What if I have more than one supervisor?
Supervisors should collaborate with one another to set goals with the employee and to provide feedback.

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Competencies

What are the competencies?
All classified staff will be rated on the following competencies:

Decision Making Able to analyze situations fully and accurately and reach productive decisions. Consults appropriate parties when necessary and identifies the key concerns and/or issues that need to be addressed in order to make the best decision possible.
Effective Communications Able to express ideas in a clear, concise, and effective manner, whether speaking or in writing. Uses correct grammar and sentence structure in communications. Is a good listener, even when differing viewpoints are expressed. Openly shares information and keeps all relevant parties updated.
Honesty & Integrity Adheres to the highest ethical and professional standards of conduct. Exemplifies commitment to the USG core values of integrity, excellence, and accountability.
Interpersonal Relationships Builds and maintains effective working relationships with others- both internal and outside the organization. Takes a positive and productive approach to resolving any conflicts which may arise. Exemplifies commitment to the USG core value of respect- treating everyone with fairness, compassion, and dignity.
Job Knowledge Demonstrates the professional, administrative, supervisory, and/or technical knowledge required to perform the job successfully. Continuously strives to further improve job knowledge. Serves as a reliable resource for other employees regarding areas of expertise.
Producing Results Assignments/projects are consistently completed in a timely manner with the desired level of quality and quantity. Follows up on the outcome of work efforts to ensure desired results.
Service Excellence Makes excellent customer service a top priority and constantly seeks to improve customer service. Is responsive to changes in what customers want and need. Delivers on promises made to customers and follows up appropriately.

All classified staff managers/supervisors will also be rated on the following three competencies:

Cultivating Workplace Diversity Ability to understand, appreciate, and use the unique contributions of associates in various cultures, nationalities, ethnic backgrounds, genders, ages, points of view, etc.
Leadership Ability to work with a group to set its objectives and agenda, generate allegiance to those objectives, and guide and motivate their achievement. Articulates the end results needed and allows people to exercise initiative and discretion without micromanaging. Enforces standards/rules fairly and consistently and leads with courage.
Staff & Career Development Addresses learning, training, and career development needs of individuals, teams, or organization. Works with employees to establish job and career development goals. Provides accurate, timely feedback including annual performance evaluation.

How do we rate competencies?
Like performance goals, competencies are rated on a five point scale (Exceptional, Strong, Satisfactory, Needs Development, and Unsatisfactory) with the exception of Honesty/Integrity which will be rated as Meets or Fails to Meet. Supervisors/Managers determine whether or not employees demonstrate competencies through the review of overall performance, performance goals, customer/client feedback, and employee input. SMART performance and career development goals are excellent examples of how you demonstrate particular competencies.

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Managing Performance

As a manager, how do I manage performance throughout the year?
Performance goals are discussed during the goal setting phase of the process. At the end of the review period, results will be compared to the expected outcome for each goal, project, and/or responsibility. Therefore, during the year, it’s important to capture specific information and examples of how the employee met or did not meet each expected goal, project, and/or responsibility. Feedback sessions throughout the year are necessary to ensure that expectations are being managed appropriately, that any opportunities can be addressed, and that there are no surprises at the end of the year.

As an employee, how do I keep track of my performance throughout the year?
Performance goals are discussed during the goal setting phase of the process. At the end of the review period, results will be compared to the expected outcome for each goal, project, and/or responsibility. During the year, it’s important to keep track of accomplishments and progress towards goal completion. Meet with your manager regularly to ensure you are meeting expectations and that you are addressing any obstacles along the way. Think about the core competencies and specific examples of how you displayed them throughout the year. You’ll be ready for your performance review meeting if you prepare this information in advance.

Why is ongoing feedback important?
Managers and employees should engage in ongoing dialogue throughout the year to ensure expectations are being managed appropriately and that there are no surprises at the end of the year. Goals can also be modified or updated during the year. Discussing progress and providing feedback is critical as it helps to reduce confusion and missed goals. It’s a great time to discuss any obstacles that may arise and what guidance or resources may be needed.

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Reviewing Performance

How will goals and competencies be rated?
A five point scale (Exceptional, Strong, Satisfactory, Needs Development, and Unsatisfactory) will be used to evaluate goals and competencies.

What if there's been a supervisor or manager change during the performance period?
To complete the review, it is a best practice to consult the previous supervisor or manager. If that’s not possible, then you should consult the supervisor or manager’s manager to get his/her view and input.

What if an employee's performance rating is "Needs Development" or "Unsatisfactory"?
It’s important to consult your HR Representative, HR Contact, HR Business Partner, or Performance Consultant for guidance. A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) may be necessary. A PIP is used to help supervisors and employees address and resolve performance issues. The PIP communicates the performance discrepancies, when an improved level of performance needs to be achieved, and specific action steps that will help the employee meet performance expectations.

What are some best practices for completing reviews?

  • Schedule a dedicated time for the performance review conversation, allowing ample time for the appraisal to be completed
  • Choose a location that is free from interruptions and distractions
  • Review notes and other documentation you have compiled throughout the year concerning the employee’s performance
  • Have the employee complete a self-evaluation and review it prior to preparing the final review
  • Provide the employee with a draft copy of the completed performance review prior to the actual review conversation
  • Ensure constructive two-way communication during the review conversation (listening attentively and encouraging dialogue)
  • Schedule a performance planning meeting within 30 days after the review conversation to collectively establish goals for the upcoming performance review cycle

What if I don't agree with my review?
It’s important to first meet with your manager and ask for clarification. You should be provided with examples of the differences between expected and actual performance. It’s important to work with your manager on a development plan to improve your performance. You may also talk to your HR Representative, HR Contact, HR Business Partner, or Performance Consultant if you need additional support.

Do I have to sign my review? 
While you are not required to sign your review, signing it acknowledges that you and your manager met and discussed your performance for the year. You may not agree with all of the content, but your signature acknowledges that you met with your manager and discussed your review. There is a place for employee comments on the review as well.

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