Introduction and Definitions

Introduction

In order to achieve and sustain high levels of work performance it is an ongoing necessity to review recent performance with the aim of finding better ways of doing things and eliminating or reducing inefficiencies. This frees scarce resources for use in initiatives, which contribute to the University's development. This development therefore requires that the University as a whole embraces a culture of constructive reflection on previous performance and against measures which promote the achievement of individual and collective excellence.

The development and performance of the University is dependent on aggregated efforts at the individual level, including the synergies produced from team-based activities. Managing performance in an effective way means monitoring work activities and assisting individuals to develop within a collaborative and collegial work environment.

The recognition of achievements through constructive and supportive feedback and evaluation is an obvious benefit that will flow to employees and supervisors.  Performance management and development will provide a medium for the clarification of the respective roles, responsibilities and expectations of employees and supervisors that will facilitate effective planning and the achievement of goals within the faculty/section.  As a consequence, it is anticipated that there will be an improvement in relationships, morale and efficiency, which will pay dividends in terms of the achievements of the University.

Over time, the BUILD program will be refined and adjusted in recognition of the diversity of disciplines, employees and services across the University.

Definitions

The following key terms used in this document require definition:

Academic Employees.  Refers to all continuing and fixed term academic employees who are appointed for more than 12 months and therefore required to participate in the BUILD Program.

Activities Report.  A form that the appraisee completes initially which serves as a summary of his/her work activities during the nominated period.  Ideally, this should be done at least once per year (although it is optional), but additional reports can and should be used to support work achievements.  These reports are the basis of the reflective part of the Learning and Development Review, where there is an evaluation of progress towards the achievement of preset goals.

Aggregated Data.  In the context of BUILD means feedback presented in the form of grouped data, whereby individual accounts, and therefore individuals, cannot be identified.

Annual Feedback of Supervisor Performance.  Form D from the suite of forms used in BUILD.  The data collected should be discussed during the supervisor's own annual review of work performance, but must only be made available to the supervisor in aggregate form.  This is an optional review.

Annual Review of Team Performance.  Form E from the suite of forms.  This review should be carried out by professional staff and academics, in work areas characterised by team-based activities.  The information collected can be used where appropriate in the Learning and Development Review.  This is an optional review.

Appraisee.  A synonym for employee – the individual whose work performance is managed, reviewed and developed.

Attributes.  Refers to the skills or competency domains by which individual work performance is reviewed.  These competencies may be either applicable to particular jobs (Specific Attributes) or inherent in a broad cross-section of positions (Generic Attributes). 

BUILD.  The acronym (Building Upon Individual Learning & Development) used to describe the USQ performance management program which is aimed at developing and supporting the individual to operate effectively and in alignment with University objectives.

BUILD File.  An employee's file which records all documentation associated with the BUILD Program.  The supervisor has primary responsibility for securing and maintaining these files.

Competencies.  Used synonymously with ‘attributes' and ‘skills' these are the domains on which individual work performance is reviewed.

Competent Performance.  Recognition by the BUILD Program that the majority of employees work towards and achieve their performance objectives, but that this must not deter supervisors from providing ongoing support.

Delegate or Relevant Delegate.  Delegations are described in Section A2 of the Human Resources Policy Manual.

Division.  A term which describes the parts into which the University is divided at the broadest level, for academic and administrative purposes.

Effective Performance.  Denotes individual work performance whereby the mutually-agreed goals preset by appraisee and supervisor are, at least for the most part, achieved.

Employee.  Equates to 'appraisee', both professional and academic employees, the individual whose work performance is managed, reviewed and developed.

Future Activities Plan. By mutual agreement between employee and supervisor, clear objectives are set for the next twelve months.

Generic Attributes.  The skills or competencies present in a broad cross-section of positions.

Professional Employees.  Refers to all continuing and fixed term professional employees who are appointed for more than 12 months and therefore required to participate in the BUILD Program.

Key Performance Indicators.  The descriptors used to assign performance on any skill, attribute or competency, into the relevant category.  The category generally reflects whether or not performance has been effective and sufficient.

Learning and Development Review Form.  Form C from the suite of BUILD forms.  The most formal part of the BUILD program, this annual review is carried out in a collaborative way by the employee and supervisor, with the aim of evaluating performance over the preceding twelve months, and in an objective way.  Performance is assessed against general and specific attributes, skills or competencies, which are associated with effective performance of that particular job.

Learning and Development Review Meeting.  In addition to the above, a key part of the annual review meeting of the employee and supervisor is the revisiting and (likely) readjustment of performance objectives for the next twelve months.  It should be noted, there are both reflective and forward-looking aspects to this review exercise.  Activities Reports, which are retrospective, and the Future Activities Plan are both discussed during the Learning and Development Review meeting.

Mentoring.  In the context of the BUILD Program, relates to the guiding and coaching role subsumed in all supervisory positions.  That is, it is incumbent on all USQ supervisors to assist in an active way in the development of all employees who report to them.

Performance Management.  A systems approach to developing people, which includes the setting of performance objectives, reviewing performance against these objectives, identifying where and why there may be deficiencies in performance, mobilising support mechanisms, such as training programs to remedy the deficiencies, and acknowledging effective performance.

Performance Review.  A generic term that usually refers to the review process: the act of reviewing performance against preset objectives.

Self-assessment.  A review of the individual's performance against specific criteria and carried out by the individual employee.

Skill Areas.  See also ‘attributes' and ‘competencies'.  These terms are used interchangeably throughout the BUILD documentation

Strategic Planning.  The expression of desired future directions and targets for the University and the means for their achievement.

Supervisor. In the context of this document, equates to ‘appraiser'.  It follows that some individuals will act as appraiser and appraisee at various times.

Training.  All persons who have a supervisory role are required to attend and complete a joint information session/training program designed specifically to equip them to be effective users, coaches and managers of the BUILD program.  In addition, all who have their performance reviewed through the BUILD Program are required to complete training for appraisees.

Unsatisfactory Performance.  The worst case scenario where an employee's work performance fails to meet minimum acceptable standards and after reasonable attempts at corrective action by the supervisor (such as informal counselling) has not achieved the desired improvement.  In such cases the supervisor may choose to initiate action under the University's Policies on Managing Unsatisfactory Performance.