Performance management is an ongoing process involving a series of activities to help employees succeed and attain organizational goals. You will find checklists, tools and templates in each of the following sections:
- Planning and setting clear performance goals >
- Regular employee development, support and engagement >
- Formal performance review process >
1. Planning and Setting Expectations
Clear annual performance and development goals are the foundation of performance management. A strong performance plan outlines SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals developed collaboratively with the employee.
Goals should be established collaboratively by the supervisor and employee.
Performance Goals: The job description and Division’s strategic and program plans will help identify areas of responsibility and related goals for the employee. For new employees, establish at least one performance goal for the probation period using the Probation Period Performance Plan and Review Form.
Development Goals: Strengthen an employee’s ability to fulfill their role and achieve performance goals. Strategies or supporting personal/professional development goals may include formal training (e.g., courses, workshops, conferences, seminars) or informal opportunities (e.g., mentor relationships, job shadowing, delegated stretch projects or tasks, vacation relief). The following questions may help your employee establish development goals:
- What do you see as the priorities of your role? Are there related skills sets you would like to strengthen? How would you like to develop your skills to fulfill those priorities?
- What is your professional goal within the Division? What resources or support do you need to attain that goal?
- How can we effectively measure the progress you are making with your skills development?
- Setting SMART Goals >
- Probation Period Performance Plan and Review Form >
- Performance Plan and Review Form >
2. Regular employee development, support and engagement
Create two-way performance accountability through ongoing conversations between the supervisor and employees.
Schedule regular check-ins to provide real-time feedback and coaching. Do not wait for a scheduled check-in to bring up an issue.
Set up regular (ideally quarterly) review meetings to discuss progress towards achieving goals established in the Performance Plan.
Identify and proactively address any performance issues to help prevent escalation. Identify where an employee requires additional support. Maintain confidential and objective documentation of issues and actions taken. If performance issues escalate, see Discipline Section.
Seek informal opportunities for employee development through peer feedback, coaching moments, job shadowing, vacation relief, etc. Develop these opportunities in collaboration with employee.
3. Performance Review Process
For new employees: Conduct a formal performance review after the probation period using the Probation Period Performance Plan and Review Form. Refer to the Onboarding Section for more information on preparing for the probation period review.
For all employees: Conduct annual formal performance reviews, documented as described in the Performance Plan and Review Form. As part of the process, employees should provide a detailed update on the goals identified in their Performance Plan and Review Form.
There should never be surprises in formal evaluation meetings. Identify and address performance challenges in ongoing performance management conversations. Do not save these for formal evaluation meetings.
Executive Director performance reviews should be more robust. Since the board is unable to assess performance on a daily basis, they can evaluate an ED's performance using criteria and sources including:
- Achievement as related to ED role description.
- Achievement as related to current strategic and operational plans.
- Feedback from the Board, Employees and Key Stakeholders (see the following tools:
- Delegating the ED performance review to an HR Committee (see sample HR Committee Terms of Reference) who will take responsibility for disseminating surveys and collating responses.
Soliciting feedback on ED performance from multiple stakeholders may be too time consuming to conduct on an annual basis. The Board may consider conducting the more robust ED performance reviews bi-annually or at strategic times (e.g., after the first year, or when anticipating or experiencing significant growth), and otherwise conduct a process similar to other employees.
For further information on evaluating the Executive Director, consider viewing the recorded webinar on this topic.*
- Performance Plan and Review Form >
- ED Performance Review – Employee Engagement Survey >
- ED Performance Review – Key Stakeholder Survey >
- ED Performance Review – Board Survey >
- HR Committee Terms of Reference >
- Vantage Point: Evaluating the Executive Director, slide deck and recording*