SMU HR Resources

SMU's Annual Performance Review - Manager's Tutorial

The Review Meeting

Review the Expectations

Meet with the employee to review his/her achievements and performance regarding the University's set of Expectations. This meeting is collaborative in nature. Discuss how you rated his/her performance in comparison to how the staff member rates his/her own performance on the Expectations. Use this time to clarify your definitions of the Expectations and get your staff member's perspective on them as well. Throughout the meeting, be sure to take a future-oriented, developmental view of performance, not just a historical perspective. Ask yourself questions such as "In what areas could the staff member grow into a position of higher responsibility and become more valuable to the University?"

Establish the Plan

After reviewing the employee’s achievements and performance together, collaboratively develop a Plan for the next year. The Plan outlines at least two goals you both believe will be beneficial to his/her job performance and career. These are typically developmental in nature. Remember, the Plan essentially belongs to the employee, so you should work with the team member to identify goals that will also motivate and inspire the employee to complete them.

Tips on Creating Developmental Goals

  • Ask the employee about their strengths, talents, and career interests and then match strengths/interests to future work that could use related skills and competencies.
  • Ask about what skills/competencies he or she feels are relative weaknesses and help identify ways to better support areas of weakness. These might include using strengths creatively to mitigate weaknesses, partnering with others who have complementary skills, looking for ways to automate or streamline work etc...
  • If there are no promotional opportunities on the horizon for an excellent performer, could you help develop the employee laterally?
  • If applicable, identify opportunities for additional autonomy or more responsibility. Discuss how the staff member can prepare for those possibilities.

Developmental Opportunities

  • Cross-train the staff member within your department, division, or school
  • Continuing education - internal, higher education, certifications, professional organizations, conferences, webinars, and/or outside training and development programs
  • Seek out a mentor who will work with the individual for a specified amount of time
  • Give a stretch assignment which asks that the employee grow in a new area
  • Assign the employee to a new team or committee to focus on learning/practicing specific skills
  • Establish a departmental book club to discuss topics such as ethics, leadership, management, customer service etc...

Professional Development Opportunities at SMU

Supporting the Plan

No staff member operates in a vacuum at SMU. Most of us consider our supervisor to be the major source of support available to us. This Review process reflects the idea that in most cases, a staff member and a supervisor should partner with one another to not only set, but also achieve, goals.

An employee may ask for specific resources such as tools, time, or other tangibles to support The Plan. Often less tangible supports are also helpful. The Supports contains both types of supports. The list is not exhaustive, but it does provide a springboard from which to brainstorm actions a supervisor could implement to promote the staff member’s success.

Managerial Supports for the Plan

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