Questions and answers
A manager is supervising a postdoctoral research assistant who has been hired for a four-year research project. The project is funded by a grant, and the employee is eligible for benefits. Does the manager have to write a performance appraisal for this employee?
Yes, because the employee’s contract is for longer than one year.
An employee is changing positions in July. His objectives have already been entered into the Performance management and career development system and approved by his current supervisor. Will his new supervisor have access to the goals and notes recorded in that system in his former position?
The new supervisor has access to the new employee’s profile. The current supervisor should write a performance appraisal between January and July, and the new supervisor should set goals and then evaluate them in December.
It is a best practice for supervisors to evaluate any employee leaving to occupy another position at the University, at the time of departure. It is also a best practice for supervisors who are leaving the University to complete performance appraisals, prior to their departure, for all staff who report to them.
Does the new job description template assist in defining responsibilities that are compatible with Destination 20/20 and the sector’s strategic plan?
Job descriptions are based on the sector’s operational needs, and they are created according to the Hay Method. As such, they are not based on uOttawa’s strategic plan, Destination 20/20.
Should all goals tie in with Destination 20/20?
Yes, as much as possible! Goals should be based not only on the University’s plan, but also on the plan of the sector/faculty/service in question.
Are department directors trained to use this program?
Yes, they are all invited to attend a mandatory overview training session. We have arranged on-demand workshops in some faculties for academic leaders, but otherwise, directors have to attend the training session.
In terms of roles and responsibilities, who is in charge of scheduling a meeting to discuss goals—the supervisor or the employee?
Either the supervisor or the employee can call the meeting. If the employee doesn’t initiate the discussion, it falls on the supervisor to do so.
Would it be possible to move the appraisal period so that it isn’t from January 1 to December 31? It’s difficult to set annual goals for that period, because our projects are planned around the academic year.
This comment has been passed on to the team in charge of the program. The appraisal period will not be moved (it will continue to run from January 1 to December 31).
What factors determine the outcome of an employee’s performance appraisal?
Performance appraisals are based on whether or not an employee has met his or her established goals, competencies and development plan for the year in question.
Do supervisors receive an email notification when one of their employees shares feedback with them?
No. Employees can inform their supervisor that they have added a note, or the supervisor will simply see the note the next time he or she logs into the Performance management and career development system.
Would it be possible to add best practices or models for establishing goals, competencies and development plans?
Yes, the team in charge of the program is considering adding examples to the software welcome page.
When employees upload documents to the Performance management and career development system, can they select whether or not the documents are shared with their supervisor?
No. Under the “documents” tab supervisors automatically have access to documents uploaded by their employees. When supervisors upload documents, however, they can decide whether or not to share them with an employee.
Under the "Feedback" tab however, both employees and supervisors can choose whether they want to share the note or not.
How can I select a deadline when I have a goal that breaks down into several tasks, each with its own due date? The Performance management and career development system won’t let me put in more than one date.
You will have to enter the due date for the main goal. When does the goal (i.e. all the individual tasks combined) have to be completed?
As a supervisor, how can I motivate a retirement-track employee to build a development plan?
We believe that learning is a lifelong process. If the employee isn’t interested in further development, you could suggest that he create a transition plan or document for passing on his corporate memory and knowledge to the team and to the person who will be taking over his position. That way, he will be participating in his team’s succession planning. Also, any areas for improvement in terms of last year’s goals could be built into the development plan. You could also suggest that he look into personal development opportunities (such as workshops offered by the CODL).
If I can’t set all my annual goals at the beginning of the year because I don’t know what all my projects will be, can I add my goals throughout the year?
Yes, in the My Performance pane, you can add and modify your goals throughout the year in the Performance management and career development system. See the user manual to find out how to enter goals outside the set period (i.e. after October 15 or March 31 for a normal year).
If I have several employees under me, can I see all their profiles?
Yes. In the My Employees pane, you will see the employees working directly under you. To see all the employees working under them, click on the icon that looks like a chart (see the user manual for more information).
I’m a supervisor. Do I have to approve the goals, competencies and development plans for those who report to me directly only, or for every employee under me?
You are responsible for approving the goals, competencies and development plans only for employees who report directly to you. Only when it comes time for formal evaluations will a second level of approval be required.
I’m not comfortable discussing my development plan with my supervisor because I want to leave my current position.
If you are planning on eventually leaving your position, and you are not comfortable discussing this decision with your supervisor, you can build a development plan that relates strictly to your current position. However, the goal of a development plan is to help you reach your full potential at the University. We therefore encourage supervisors to be as supportive as possible when it comes to their employees’ development plans. Their support will allow employees to continue developing and growing, either in their current position or elsewhere at the University. This is a best practice in human resource management.
What happens in the case of two managers sharing equal supervision responsibilities for one employee?
The supervisors must choose one main evaluator, who will write the employee’s performance appraisal and send it to the second supervisor for review. This option is available in the Performance management and career development system. One of the supervisors must discuss the results with the employee.
My supervisor left at the end of April, and a new supervisor will be taking over in mid-July. Do I enter my goals into the Performance management and career development system?
If you already wrote your goals at the beginning of the year, put them into the Performance management and career development system. Your new supervisor can review them and make any necessary modifications when he or she takes over or during the year. If you haven’t written your goals yet, you should still take the initiative of writing them and entering them into the system.
As stated above, your new supervisor can review them and make any necessary modifications.
I’m supervising an employee who is with us on contract for eight months. Do I have to evaluate him?
No it is not mandatory but if you choose to – you can set goals for this employee using the previous PDF form on goal-setting that was recommended in early 2012.
For reference purposes when hiring a new employee, will the hiring supervisor have access to the selected candidate’s past performance appraisals?
Supervisors who want access to employee evaluations for hiring purposes must contact their HR representative and submit a request. HR representatives can then share certain appraisal details with them for the last three years only. HR representatives have access to employee profiles and, during a hiring process, can share profile details with the hiring supervisor.