Frequently Asked Questions
What about training on how to use the EPR process?
Training on how to use the enhanced process is in two parts.
1) The online training guide. On Moodle there is a comprehensive training guide accessible by all employees covering just about everything you need to see. The link below gives you access - you just need to put in your University username and password when requested, then follow the onscreen instructions.
2) Face-to-face sessions can be set up either with individuals or teams to help explain how the process works and also to answer questions
In addition you can get guidance at any time - just contact the HR team to arrange this.
What if I have more than one manager?
This situation can arise where an employee is involved in work that is either supervised by more than one person or is working on projects that report to different people. This is particularly the case in a matrix management organisation.
The procedure to follow is:
Identify who is the main reviewer / manager (in most cases this will be the line manager of the employee)
The main reviewer is then responsible for conducting review meetings. In most cases it will not be necessary for a joint review (with both reviewers present) but if this is appropriate (or requested) then do so.
The main reviewer has the responsibility to maintain contact with the other reviewer(s) and get regular feedback on performance (for the objectives they themselves do not supervise)
Prior to the mid-year and end-of-year reviews a meeting should be held between reviewers (initiated by the main reviewer) to agree feedback
Note – employees do not have a right to select who is the main reviewer; this is driven solely by the balance of work tasks, and would normally be the line manager.
In matrix management organisations it is particularly important that the main reviewer gets feedback on all aspects of performance of the person in question. In some cases to do this effectively may require a second person to be present at the review meeting (for example where that person is supervising a particular piece of work, such as delivering a module, etc).
How does the process deal with Ad Hoc / part-time temporary employees?
In the past ad hoc / part-time termporary employees were not included in the process. However this has now changed. All employees with contracts of more than 6 months duration and who are not on “ad hoc” contracts are part of the normal Performance Review process.
Ad hoc staff who do not fall into the above category (typically ad hoc lecturers who do a limited number of teaching hours each year) should use the simplified Ad Hoc / Part-time Temporary Review form so there is a clear understanding of what they are here to do, and also be aware of the 5 behavioural attributes that apply to all employees.
Then review progress via an informal conversation at routine intervals. It is important to ensure ad hoc staff deliver acceptable performance and take appropriate action where this is not the case.
What happens if I don’t agree with the review outcome?
There will always be an element of discussion and possibly differing views on aspects of the review, and in nearly all situations these are resolved by further discussion between reviewer and reviewee.
However if this is not possible then the matter should be raised with your manager’s manager. That person will then review the situation, and decide on the outcome. There is no further escalation of the issue beyond this point.
However if the issue is not really to do with the Employee Performance Review but a more general concern that has become apparent through the EPR process, then it may be more appropriate to use the existing RGU Grievance Procedure. However it should be stressed that in all cases it is far better to sort things out informally whenever possible.
HR can help and should be involved whenever escalation of this kind of issue seems likely.
I don’t have time to do all the performance reviews – can I leave them this year?
No. Although performance review does take time, it is a fundamental part of managing a team of people. Even if we did not have a review process it would still be necessary to meet and discuss progress, changes to plan, deal with any problems, etc.
The issue may be about timing, in that you are unable to meet the June-August timeframe for setting objectives and conducting annual reviews. In this case use your judgement. The overriding requirement though is to ensure that reviews and conducted, and objectives set, consistent with higher level objectives. This can only be done if the review process takes place at some point over the summer, but no later than say September.
If the issue arises because insufficient time has been allocated within a school workload allocation model, then you need to discuss this with relevant the Head of School.
I do the same job each year – why do I need to be set objectives?
Even when someone does the same basic tasks each year, there is nearly always some aspect of change, improvement, new process, etc.
Even if this is not so, there is a requirement to ensure that whatever you do, there is a clear outcome to an agreed standard, that reflects what you will be doing for that period (e.g. “how, when, what”).
It is also important to get away from the idea that it is OK to do the same job year after year with no requirement to discuss how it is done, and any changes that may be appropriate - virtually all jobs will see some change over time. Apart from anything else, without this it won’t be possible to identify and prioritise development needs.
Why am I being asked to fill in a self-appraisal form?
The use of the self-appraisal form is not mandatory, but it is a good opportunity to put forward both your view on how well you believe you have done in achieving your objectives and also to raise any issues you would like to discuss.
This gives the reviewer the chance to prepare for this and hence you have a better chance of a meaningful conversation at the review meeting.
Employee input to the review process is very important and you are encouraged to contribute as much as you can.
Isn’t use of the term “behaviour” a bit patronising to employees?
The use of the term “behaviour” in the Employee Performance Review is in the context of behavioural competence, which is widely recognised as a major factor as to why some people are able to perform and produce outcomes more effectively that others.
The overall aim is to set a standard that everyone can understand and recognise (e.g. treating people with respect). As a consequence we can also see what unacceptable behaviour looks like – and avoid it.
Am I supposed to be assessed on the core behaviours and leadership behaviours?
For employees who do not manage other people, the five core behaviours provide a framework that every employee should work to. It is certainly a good idea for the core behaviours to be discussed with your manager, as this may bring out additional training needs or an area of strength that you may be able to apply across a wider area to help the team.
There is no formal assessment against the five core behaviours, but do think through how well you feel you perform on them as your manager is likely to discuss this with you at some point as part of the EPR process.
For people who manage other people, there is an expectation that some degree of both self-assesssment and manager assesssment versus the behaviours will take place. This is why there is a column on the review form for this information to be included. However there is no expectation of an "overall score" versus behaviours, nor is there necessarily a need for total agreement between manager and reviewee. The most important thing is to ensure that an effective conversation takes place regarding leadership behaviours, and that conclusions drawn regarding stengths and improvement areas are carried forward into the personal development discussion.