Phases of the Developing Performance process
Phase 1 involves meeting with your team members to discuss the perceptions they have of their current performance and what is required of them in their role, and to share their career aspirations.
Purpose of phase 1:
- Ensure team members and team leaders share a common understanding of expectations of the team member's role.
- Decide on a work period (feedback from the pilot schools recommended that an academic year for school staff best defined the work period, given the term of annual operational plans and the transient nature of staff).
- Clarify the key work tasks for the team and team members.
- Discuss the team member's career aspirations - whether they want to be the best at their current job, to move to another role with the department, or to progress their career.
It's important to keep in mind that:
- The school's annual operational plan or work unit's business plan and job descriptions are important points of reference for defining key work tasks
- The conversation is about 'shared responsibility'
- Team members should reflect on their work, professional development needs and career goals, to prepare their thoughts prior to their phase 1 meeting.
You need to allow for time between the Phase 1 and Phase 2 conversations, to allow the team member to reflect on the discussions they had in Phase 1 and to clarify their professional development.
Purpose of phase 2:
- Agree on the team member's identified key work tasks, necessary support and the professional development that will develop capabilities and career goals - and be the focus over the coming work period.
It's important to keep in mind:
- The link between school or business priorities to personal priorities is the key to a successful Developing Performance plan
- Professional development is more than attending a conference. It is in-house as well as event-based. Statistics show 70 per cent of development occurs on the job, 20 per cent of development occurs from interactions with mentors and colleagues, and 10 per cent occurs during formal training. Don't forget the expertise that is already within your school or workplace when supporting team members to select professional development.
(Lombardo & Eichinger, 2003, Leadership Machine).
In this phase, the team member puts their Developing Performance agreement into action during their day-to-day work.
Throughout the work period, the team member and team leader share regular updates on the team member's progress, give and receive feedback and discuss issues and new priorities as they arise. If it is necessary to make amendments to the agreement, the team member does this in collaboration with their team leader.
Purpose of phase 3:
- Valuing each individual's contribution to the achievement of the team, school or work unit and Department and providing support for them to keep learning.
- Build on the daily conversations and interactions employees and team leaders already have as a part of doing their jobs.
- Aim to make the best use of these interactions to give and receive feedback, to develop relationships between team members, to build supportive work environments, and to enhance employees' job satisfaction.
It's important to keep in mind:
- Help to build a team work environment in which team members feel supported to ask questions, seek advice and direction, and keep learning on the job.
- Model professional behaviours and practices to team members.
- Check in regularly with team members.
- Ask team members specific questions related to actions in their developing performance agreements during day to day interactions.
- Provide opportunities for team members to reflect on their performance and to give feedback on your performance.
- When giving feedback, remember to be specific. Statements that do not specify a particular action or behaviour will not be effective in supporting employees to develop their performance.
- Acknowledge developing performance 'in action' with team members at the time you see it.
- Discuss issues related to performance when they occur so that performance can continue to develop positively.
- Discuss any new priorities or issues as they arise with team members, and agree on any changes required to their developing performance agreement for the work period.
In this phase the team member meets with their team leader. To prepare for this meeting, the team member reflects on their agreement, considers examples that demonstrate improved performance and thinks about future work goals.
In the meeting, the team member and team leader review the team member's progress, discuss their strengths and areas for further development and consider the range of reward and recognition options available.
None of the things discussed in this conversation come as a surprise as the team member and team leader will have talked about them as part of their day-to-day work.
Purpose of phase 4:
- Dedicating a meeting to review progress and discuss how performance can be further developed in the next work period
- Providing team members with the time and space to reflect upon their successes and discuss in more detail those issues that might have been barriers to success.
- Bringing one developing performance agreement to a conclusion and providing the forum for starting to consider the next steps team members will take to continue to develop their performance and build upon their successes.
- Offering opportunities for team leaders to consider how team or systemic processes might be enhanced and to reaffirm the valuable contribution of each team member to the collective achievements of the work unit or school.
It's important to keep in mind:
- Ensuring this is a discussion, that is, equal amounts of time are spent speaking and listening.
- Your introductory remarks are important - tone, phrasing and body language communicate a great deal.
- Explain any processes you and the team member might use to review progress and improve performance.
- Refer to the performance objectives in the team member's developing performance agreement.
- Make reference to the discussions, progress updates and feedback that formed part of the day-to-day conversations throughout the work period.
- Provide opportunities for the team member to discuss examples that demonstrate success and/or how performance can be measured or is evidenced.
- Honesty - with team members when reflecting on their performance. It is important to discuss employee's strengths and how to continue to build on them as well as constructive feedback that identifies any areas for improvement and strategies to support this.
- Your concluding statement is also important. Always thank team members for their time and participation.
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This page was last reviewed on 08 Jun 2011