Policy

Executive and Professional Staff Annual Performance and Development - Policy

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

The University of Queensland (UQ) is committed to recruiting, developing and retaining appropriately skilled, experienced and motivated staff who exemplify the UQ Values. At UQ, both what we deliver, and how we deliver is of central importance.

UQ's performance framework translates our vision, values and strategy into actions and results and creates a clear link to team and individual contributions. The Annual Performance and Development (APD) process is a review and an assessment of performance in the preceding period, a goal-setting exercise for the coming year and an opportunity to discuss and plan career and development goals.

This policy applies to all fixed-term and continuing Executive and Professional staff who are employed for more than one year consecutively. Staff employed for less than one year will also be provided with the opportunity to participate in the APD process. Casual staff are not covered by this policy. For the purpose of this policy, Executive Staff are defined as all staff at Management Level 1-4 as outlined in the Human Resources Sub-delegations Instrument.

2.0    Principles and Key Requirements

The APD process provides an opportunity for a staff member and their Manager to:

  • review the staff member’s performance and propose objectives for the following year;

  • discuss development, career aims and advancement;

  • align individual objectives with the strategic objectives of the Organisational Unit, and workload considerations;

  • exchange effective feedback about performance;

  • clarify expectations of the staff member’s duties and performance including training needs;

  • enhance individual and organisational performance;

  • discuss UQ’s direction and any operational changes so that staff understand how their role contributes to the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation; and

  • support UQ's equity, diversity and inclusion objectives.

Each staff member will have a nominated Manager who is responsible for assessing their performance and supporting their development. Each staff member will be required to participate in one APD process each year. In circumstances where a staff member has multiple roles at UQ, one role will be identified as the primary role and the Manager of that role will be responsible for coordinating the formal APD process. Where relevant, the Manager for the primary role will liaise with other managers to obtain feedback and input into the APD process. 

Staff performance will be assessed with regard to the principles of equity and performance relative to opportunity. In terms of expectations for activity and output, consideration will be given to the fraction at which a staff member is employed, periods of absence and/or personal circumstances. Where information about a staff member's personal circumstances is provided, that information will be treated with appropriate confidentiality.

Diminished and unsatisfactory performance will be managed in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement and the relevant diminished and unsatisfactory performance policy.      

The whole process, from the completion of the documentation, formulation of recommendations and conduct of the APD meeting should be dealt with via an open and transparent process. 

3.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

3.1    Staff Member

All Executive and Professional staff members are expected to proactively engage with the APD process by preparing their documentation in Workday in advance of the conversation, updating goals as required and seeking feedback through the year. Staff members are expected to take responsibility for their future career goals and personal aspirations via discussions and planning with their Manager.

3.2    Manager

Managers are responsible for proactively engaging in the APD process and ensuring that regular performance conversations, including the provision of performance feedback and recognition, occur with staff members throughout the year.

All Managers should undertake relevant training with respect to performance development and assessment techniques as well as maintaining an understanding of the relevant policies, procedures and Enterprise Agreement clauses.

3.3    Manager’s Manager

Any concerns about the process or outcomes of the APD process can be referred to the Manager’s Manager, for resolution. Where the concern is with the Manager’s Manager, the matter should be escalated to the next most senior Manager.

3.4    Chief Human Resources Officer

The Chief Human Resources Officer is responsible for ensuring systems are in place for delivery of performance processes, that Managers are provided with training and development opportunities in support of the APD process, and that process and timing requirements are communicated to staff.

4.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The Chief Human Resources Officer, in consultation with the Senior Executive, will be responsible for the continual monitoring of the effectiveness and application of this policy.

5.0    Recording and Reporting

All documentation associated with the Annual Performance and Development process will be retained within the Human Capital Management System (Workday) in the relevant staff member’s employee record.

Feedback and reports to assess annual process completion rates will be produced by Human Resources to assist with monitoring, review and quality assurance.

6.0    Appendix

6.1    Definitions

APD process - Annual Performance and Development process.

Enterprise AgreementThe University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018 - 2021, or as amended or replaced. 

Manager - for the purpose of this policy and procedure, the definition of ‘Manager’ is equivalent to ‘Supervisor’ as outlined in the Enterprise Agreement.

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury

Procedures

Executive and Professional Staff Annual Performance and Development – Procedure

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1.0    Purpose and Scope

The Annual Performance and Development (APD) process at The University of Queensland (UQ or the University) is comprised of regular discussions about performance and development between a staff member and their Manager as well as a formal annual performance and development conversation. Performance goals and achievements against these should support the continual improvement and long-term sustainability of the University. Performance goals should focus on both what is to be delivered as well as how they are delivered (through citizenship and leadership). Beyond assessment of performance, the APD process is intended to maintain a significant focus on supporting the career and professional development of UQ staff.

Whilst the APD process can identify any areas for improvement in performance to assist the staff member, it is intended to support the maintenance and continual improvement of good performance. This process is not part of the formal disciplinary process for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct/serious misconduct. Information gathered as part of the APD process may inform other performance processes.

This procedure applies to all fixed-term and continuing Executive and Professional staff who are employed for more than one year consecutively. Staff employed for less than one year will also be provided with the opportunity to participate in the APD process. Casual staff are not covered by this policy. For the purpose of this policy, Executive Staff are defined as all staff at Management Level 1-4 as outlined in the Human Resources Sub-delegations Instrument.       

2.0    Process and Key Controls

The Annual Performance and Development process is an annual process which includes the following 3 phases:

The ‘Conversation Phase’ (December-February) includes:

  • Completion of the self-assessment template by the staff member.

  • Review of the submission by the Manager.

  • A formal performance and development conversation where achievements are objectively reviewed against previous year’s performance goals.

  • Determination of the performance ratings by the Manager.

  • Clarification of the goals for the upcoming year.

  • Discussion regarding career aspirations, a review of development to-date and identification of short and long-term development goals.

The ‘Review Phase’ (March – September) involves:

  • Regular meetings to discuss progress against performance and development objectives.

  • Seeking feedback from peers and self-reflection on progress.

  • Reviewing and adjusting performance goals as necessary.

  • Provision of coaching and support by the Manager as required.

  • Undertaking a mid-year check in to review progress.

The ‘Preparation Phase’ (October-November) involves:

  • Consideration of the progress against previously agreed goals, including seeking feedback from collaborators where relevant.

  • Preparing supporting documentation, if required.

  • Identifying focus areas for future delivery and development goals.

  • Reviewing the position description to ensure it is an accurate representation of the duties required for the role.

3.0    Key Requirements

3.1    Annual Performance and Development (APD) Process

The APD self-assessment documentation will be launched to eligible Executive and Professional staff within the Human Capital Management System (Workday). The process should be completed between December and February and review performance from the previous calendar year.

Once notified of the requirement to commence the APD process, the staff member will complete a self-assessment within Workday. This self-assessment will involve reflecting and commenting on agreed goals from the previous year, outlining career planning and development aspirations and setting goals for the coming year.

All staff will be expected to set goals within the categories of ‘Delivery’ and ’Citizenship and Leadership’. Delivery goals would ordinarily encompass the tangible outputs expected from the role as outlined in the position description. Citizenship and Leadership goals would include objectives aligned to the UQ Values and UQ Leadership Framework. Goals should be specific and measurable within a set timeframe. Effective goal setting will support a quality performance rating process.

Once this information is provided and submitted via Workday, it will progress to the Manager for review. At this stage, the staff member should meet with the Manager at an agreed time to conduct the APD conversation.

The Manager will review the documentation, conduct a formal APD conversation with the staff member at the mutually agreed time, provide comments as required, and may add or modify specific goals for the coming year following discussion with the staff member. The Manager will also be required to determine the performance ratings for the relevant goal categories as well as an overall rating. The proposed performance ratings for each section should be discussed with the staff member as part of the APD conversation.

Once the review is finalised and submitted by the Manager, it will be provided to the Manager’s Manager for approval. Where the Manager’s Manager disagrees with the Manager’s comments or ratings in relation to the APD, they must discuss their concerns with the Manager prior to approving the documentation.

Once approved by the Manager’s Manager, the staff member will receive a notification of the outcome in Workday. The staff member will be provided with the opportunity to acknowledge the outcome and provide their comments. If the staff member has concerns with their APD process or outcomes, the mechanism for addressing issues is outlined in section 3.6 – Redress.

3.2    APD Conversation

To support the alignment of individual goals to team, Organisational Unit or University priorities, two options are available for the APD conversation.

  • Option one includes the staff member and Manager engaging in one APD conversation that encompasses the annual review, development discussion, career planning and goal setting for the coming year.

  • Option two allows goal setting to be addressed in a separate conversation. Option two may be suitable in circumstances where key priority areas for a Unit are being finalised early in the following year but the staff member or Manager would prefer to finalise the retrospective element of the process in December.

The Manager should discuss and identify the preferred approach at the outset of the process.  

3.3    Assessment of Performance

Managers are required to give a performance rating for both the ‘Delivery’ and ‘Citizenship and Leadership’ goal categories, as well as an overall rating. The rating scale is defined as:

4 - Exceeds expectations

  • Performance consistently exceeds expectations and goals are met. Ambitious, or ‘stretch’, goals are also achieved.

  • Consistently delivers high quality outcomes at/before timeframes and well above the standards expected of their role and cohort.

  • Consistently exhibits exemplary standards of UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).

3 - Performing well

  • Performance satisfactorily meets most expectations and goals, or may exceed in one or two areas.

  • Delivers outcomes within timeframes required, consistent with their current role and cohort.

  • Consistently demonstrates expected UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).

2 - Some gaps

  • Performance does not meet all expectations and goals, may have met some but not all delivery goals.

  • Does not consistently meet required work quality, timeframes and output expected of their current role and cohort.

  • Occasionally demonstrates behavior below expected UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).

1 - Unsatisfactory

  • Performance does not meet most or all expectations or requirements.

  • Does not demonstrate skills, knowledge and/or capabilities required for their role and does not produce work to expected standards.

  • Does not sufficiently demonstrate UQ values, citizenship behaviours and leadership (where relevant).

0 - Not applicable

  • Not applicable will only be used in circumstances where the employee has been performing the duties of the role for less than six months in the calendar year. For example, if they have recently commenced or have been on extended leave.

3.3.1    Unsatisfactory performance

This rating will apply to a staff member who is not fulfilling the requirements of the position description, achieving their agreed goals or meeting the relevant citizenship expectations. This rating must only be given if performance guidance and counselling has been conducted in accordance with the Diminished Performance and Unsatisfactory Performance Policy and/or the relevant sections of the Enterprise Agreement.

In circumstances whereby the Manager assesses that the overall rating as Unsatisfactory, a record of the steps taken to address the diminished performance is required to be included in the APD documentation and the salary increment for that year will be withheld.

3.3.2    Recognition of exceptional performance

In circumstances where a staff member has demonstrated exceptional performance during the annual performance cycle beyond the definition of ‘Exceeds Expectations’, this may be recognised via a performance payment consistent with the provisions of the Salary Loadings and Performance Payments Policy.

Performance at this level is rare and would require all of the following criteria to be met:

  1. evidence of sustained exceptional performance over the whole year, not just in relation to one or two instances;

  2. outcomes achieved are truly exceptional (i.e. an undoubted major contribution to the work of the organisation unit, or innovative solutions to University problems/work practices/services etc; and

  3. evidence of the exceptional performance is apparent beyond the staff member’s immediate work area.

Approval from the relevant Authorised Officer is required prior to creating an expectation for a performance payment.

3.4    New staff

For new staff, a goal setting template will be launched via Workday upon commencement to enable staff to set goals with guidance from their Manager. These goals should align to their position and set the expectations for their performance in the role.  The Manager should clarify which goals are deliverable during the probation period and will therefore be assessed as part of the probation confirmation decision (see Recruitment, Selection and Appointment Procedure).

If a staff member commenced on or after 1 October, the Manager may recommend setting goals which will extend to the end of the following year. The first annual APD conversation would involve reflection on the status of those goals and allow them to be rolled over to the next year. In this situation, the ‘Not Applicable’ rating would be used for the goal category and overall ratings.

3.5    Mid year check in and informal performance conversations

It is strongly recommended that staff and Managers engage in regular informal performance conversations throughout the year. These conversations provide the opportunity for both parties to provide feedback, discuss development activities, check progress against objectives and refine or add goals as needed.

At the midpoint of the performance cycle, staff and Managers will receive a notification in Workday recommending an informal check in to discuss status against both performance and development-related goals.

3.6    Career and Development Expectations

The University is committed to the development of all our staff, irrespective of level or position. A core component of the Annual Performance and Development process is to support the planning and activities that will contribute to staff development. As part of the APD conversation, a Manager and staff member should discuss the staff member’s career aspirations. In addition, short term and long-term development goals should be established. Short term development goals should focus on development activities to support achievement in the current role or help with a transition to a new position. Long term development goals should support the continued career development of the staff member.

The University encourages a mutual commitment to staff development. The University is committed to providing a good match between your professional interests and goals and challenging and meaningful job opportunities. In return, the University asks that staff take responsibility for their own learning and development, continuously building new skills and sharing their knowledge.

The University maintains a philosophy whereby the most impactful development comes from on the job experiences. As such, development goals should include participation in projects, undertaking new tasks and stretch goals. Longer term development goals should identify roles which support future career aspirations. Lateral movements into new positions can provide broader career development and taking on extra responsibilities including people supervision can develop leadership capability. On the job learning can be supplemented by coaching and mentoring, as well as more formal (e.g. instructor led) training.

3.7    Senior Staff (HEW Level 10)

A senior staff member (HEW Level 10) who is at their ‘grade rate’ in accordance with the Senior Administrative Staff Salaries Schedule, as amended from time to time, may apply to receive an increase in their salary towards the maximum rate, in recognition of their performance during the annual performance cycle.

A senior staff member whose salary is at or above the ‘grade rate’ may apply for salary advancement where they can demonstrate that their performance is outstanding via submission of a written justification.

3.7.1    Approval Process

The Manager of the senior staff member will assess the justification with consideration to the APD documentation.  If the case is supported, the Manager will discuss the request with their relevant HR Contact Officer to seek input on the recommended salary increase based on equivalency with similar positions internally and relevant market salary rates.

Following this discussion, a written request outlining the agreed salary rate will be sent to Human Resources by the Authorised Officer. The date of effect for the salary increase will be 1 January of the year following the performance cycle unless otherwise agreed.

3.8    Redress

If a staff member has any concerns regarding their APD process or outcomes, these concerns should first be raised with their Manager, or Manager’s Manager, as appropriate. The Manager or Manager’s Manager should attempt to resolve the matter through a discussion with the staff member. 

If the staff member is not satisfied with the outcome, the matter can be referred to the Head of the Organisational Unit, or next most Senior Manager as appropriate, for resolution.

4.0    Roles, Responsibilities and Accountabilities

4.1     Staff Member

All staff members (Executive and Professional) are expected to proactively engage with the APD process by preparing their documentation in Workday in advance of the conversation, updating goals as required and seeking feedback through the year. Staff members are expected to take responsibility for their future career goals and personal aspirations via discussions and planning with their Manager.

4.2    Manager

Managers are responsible for proactively engaging in the APD process and ensuring that regular performance conversations, including the provision of performance feedback and recognition, occur with staff members throughout the year.

All Managers are required to undertake relevant training with respect to performance development and assessment techniques as well as maintaining an understanding of the relevant policies, procedures and Enterprise Agreement clauses.

Managers are required to remain cognisant of the principles of Performance Relative to Opportunity and protected attributes within the context of the APD process to avoid direct or indirect discrimination as outlined in the Discrimination and Harassment Policy. For clarity, a list of the protected attributes is supplied within the Appendix.

4.3    Manager’s Manager

The Manager’s Manager will review and approve the APD documentation and act as an escalation point for any issues raised regarding the APD process for their direct reports.

5.0    Monitoring, Review and Assurance

The effectiveness and application of this procedure will be monitored during the review period by the Chief Human Resources Officer.

Staff and Managers seeking general information on the APD process can access further resources via the APD website, or contact AskHR or their local HR Client Partnering team for assistance.  

6.0    Recording and Reporting

All documentation associated with the Annual Performance and Development process will be retained within the Human Capital Management System (Workday) in the relevant staff member’s employee record.

Feedback and reports to assess annual process completion rates will be produced by Human Resources to assist with monitoring, review and quality assurance.

7.0    Appendix

7.1    Definitions

APD process - Annual Performance and Development process.

Enterprise Agreement The University of Queensland Enterprise Agreement 2018 - 2021, or as amended or replaced.

Manager - for the purpose of this policy and procedure, the definition of ‘Manager’ is equivalent to ‘Supervisor’ as outlined in the Enterprise Agreement.

Protected attributes - one of the attributes contained within Commonwealth and State legislation:

  • sex

  • relationship status

  • pregnancy, or potential pregnancy

  • parental status

  • breastfeeding

  • age

  • race, including colour, national extraction, nationality, national or ethnic origin and immigration status

  • disability or impairment

  • religious belief or religious activity

  • political belief or activity

  • trade union activity

  • lawful sexual activity

  • gender identity

  • sexuality

  • intersex status

  • social origin

  • criminal record

  • family or carer's responsibilities

  • association with, or relation to, a person identified on the basis of any of the above attributes.

Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury

Forms

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Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury
Custodians
Chief Human Resources Officer Dr Al Jury