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Planning Guide

Performance Planning

Performance planning is done using a Staff Planning Guide or the Manager's Planning Guide. This planning is completed in partnership between the supervisor and employee. It reflects the performance standards, tasks and goals of the employee for the coming year.  The manager is responsible for determining the completion date for this step in the process.  Nothing at this step needs to be submitted to Human Resources.  The Annual Planning Guide/ Performance Review form can be updated throughout the year as needed.


Completing a Planning Guide

The completion of a Planning Guide is the first task of an employee and supervisor in the annual performance management process.  This planning is completed in partnership between the supervisor and employee.  It is completed by July of each year and reflects the performance standards, tasks and goals of the employee for the coming year.  While supervisors initiate the process the development of the plan is ultimately the employee’s to complete as it will be his or hers to carry out. 

The format of the Planning Guide is similar to that of the actual Annual Review. The content of the Planning Guide can be adjusted during the performance year.  It is not intended to be all inclusive and additional activities or responsibilities may need to be completed by an employee in order to meet the needs of the position or department. 

Planning Guides

Staff Planning Guide(Doc)

Manager's Planning Guide (Doc)

Viewing Past Planning Guides in COOL:

Elements of a Planning Guide

Employee Vision of the Future (click to expand/hide)

The preliminary activity of a Planning Guide is an Employee Vision of the Future. It consists of four sets of questions related to the employee's successful performance in their job, strengths, development areas, suggestions for improvements and perceived roadblocks.  

The purpose of the Employee Vision of the Future is to:

Candidly gather feedback from the employee.

Look for opportunities to guide discussion between the supervisor and employee in completing the Planning Guide.  

It is intended to provide an opportunity for the employee to reflect on the past year and plan for the work of the next.  

Nothing included in the Employee Vision for the Future will appear on the Mid-Year Progress Discussion or Annual Review, and will not be rated.Completing it is optional, but it is recommended as a communication tool.

Suggested ways for input from Employee Vision for the Future to be used in developing the Planning Guide:

Discover training or resource needs

Gather ideas or opportunities to make the department or work more efficient

Identify skills or hidden talents

Voice ideas for future direction

Identify road blocks in processes or department

Job Description (click to expand/hide)

Each year, at the beginning of the planning process, the employee Job Description is reviewed for accuracy. All changes need to be written and sent to the appropriate HR Employment Representative. There are two recommended ways to make these changes. The first is to print the Job Description and submit with handwritten changes. The second is to copy and paste the Job Description onto a Word document and use an editing tool, such as Track Changes, to identify the changes.

Key Responsibilities (click to expand/hide)

The first step of performance planning is to identify the 5-7 Key Responsibilities of the employee's job. A Key Responsibility is a significant or main area of work, the reason for the position. They are often broad enough that multiple tasks performed on a daily basis fall under them.   However, if a task is central to the work of an employee it can be a key responsibility itself. These do not typically change from year-to-year unless there has been a major change of responsibilities. Ideally the employee will identify these and share them with the supervisor for feedback and agreement.

Once Key Responsibilities are formally established it is necessary to identify expectations, targets and standards for how performance will be measured.  

What will it look like if that key responsibility is performed well?  

How will the supervisor and employee know the key responsibility has been accomplished?  

When planning Key Responsibilities, both the supervisor and employee should make notes on the desired outcomes describing how success in this area will be demonstrated.   A good rule of thumb for doing this is that it would enable an objective third party to be able to look at documentation and know whether or not the employee met the expectation for this responsibility .  

 Quick Tips

Key Responsibilities describe main areas of work.

Performance standards should be specific and clear.

Measures should identify how performance can be documented.

Targets should be reasonable, attainable and within the influence or control of the employee.

Examples

Manage XYZ database.

Greet students coming into office and identify who they need to see.

Operational Goals (click to expand/hide)

The main purpose of Operational Goals is to provide direction, and specific targets for an employee's day-to-day work. They typically change from year-to-year and may be specific to a job-related function, a project, or linked to a larger goal at the College or divisional level (cascading).   Individual operational goals should contribute to the needs and priorities of the department and division, when possible. They should be established based on conversations between the employee and supervisor.  It is best if these can be reached by mutual agreement.

Every employee must have at least one (1) operational goal. However, the number of goals may vary by employee or department Administrators, for instance, may have significantly more. It is also important for goals to have clear performance standards or measures. Again, as with Key Responsibilities, what will it look like if the goal is accomplished? Details that clarify the measure can be documented in the desired outcomes box.  

Each goal must be written in the "SMART" format meaning specific, measurable, attainable, results oriented and time bound.

S M A R T

Specific

Specific means that an observable action, behavior, or achievement is described.

A goal should describe the specific work of the employee.  

In being specific a goal should give someone unfamiliar with the position an idea of what type of work the employee does on a daily basis.

The objective or goal should be specific about the result—not the way it is achieved.

Measurable

A good measure will let an employee know how he or she can identify when a goal has been accomplished.

It should measure the result or outcome.   Sometimes it is helpful to measure what is done along the way (outputs) as an indicator or progress, but most goals focus on the results.

All measures are not numbers, sometimes they are objective quality standards.

When determining a measure the most common are:

      • QUANTITY : These can be numbers, percentages, rates or frequencies.   If there are already targets or project numbers they can become the goal.   Make sure to identify how the data will be tracked.
      • QUALITY : To identify a quality measure start with outside sources (i.e. national or industry standards, requirements of state or federal funders, best-practices of community colleges, colleges in Ohio ).   If there are none existing, discuss what it would look like if it were successful and identify how that will be known or captured.   Then, use existing data collection sources or put them in place as needed.   As long as everyone is aware of what the measure is and how it will be measured, a quality measure can be developed internally.  
      • Other measures include: COST : This may be stated in cost-savings, usually at a department or divisional level.   TIMELINESS: In SMART goals one is usually already present.

Attainable

It is important to ask if a goal can realistically be accomplished in the time allowed with the given resources.

It is important to ask if the necessary resources available such as time, equipment, money, etc.

The best goals, or objectives, require employees to stretch to obtain them—but they are not extreme.

Goals set too high or too low become meaningless or frustrating, and may come to be ignored.

Results-oriented

Results oriented means that things get done and goals are accomplished.

Make sure that there is an outcome, or result, for a goal.

Individual results need to support the plans for the department and division.

Time-bound

It is necessary with goals to have deadlines.  

Goals should be limited to the performance year in which they are to be completed.

Examples

By February 1, 20XX update XYZ database to include all student cougar ID numbers.

Schedule appointments for students within 24 hours and send email to faculty member that includes date, time and a brief description of issue.

Run service report on 15th of each month and produce a summary, using template, for all department staff to be distributed at staff meeting on following Wednesday.

Core Competencies (click to expand/hide)

The third step of performance planning is to review the seven Core Competencies. Competencies are a skill set required to successfully perform a job at a high level, or what a person must demonstrate to be highly effective in a position. Where goals focus on "what" an employee does, competencies focus on "how" the work is done.  

There are seven core competencies which have been identified as critical for all positions at the college. These competencies were identified as the most important general areas of skills, knowledge or abilities for employees of the College in order for it to be a high performing culture.

Competencies for Staff
Competencies for Supervisors
Tips

Competencies for Staff

Adaptability

Maintaining effectiveness when experiencing major changes in work tasks or the work environment; adjusting effectively to work within new work structures, processes, requirements, or cultures.

Contributing to Team Success

Actively participating as a member of a team to move the team towards the completion of goals.

Customer Focus

Making customers and their needs a primary focus of one’s actions; developing and sustaining productive customers.

Decision Making

Identifies and understands issues, problems and opportunities; compares data from different sources to draw conclusions; uses effective approaches for choosing a course of action or developing appropriate solutions; takes actions that are consistent with available facts, constraints and probable consequences.

Functional Job Knowledge

Understands and is able to achieve basic goals, standards and expectations for the position.

Managing Conflict

Dealing effectively with others in an antagonistic situation; using appropriate interpersonal styles and methods to reduce tension or conflict between two or more people.

Planning and Organizing Establishing courses of action for self and others to ensure that work is completed efficiently.

Competencies for Managers

Contributing to Department/Division Success

Actively participates as a member of a department/ division team to move towards the completion of overall department/ division goals.

Decision Making

Identifies and understands issues, problems and opportunities; compares data from different sources to draw conclusions; uses effective approaches for choosing a course of action or developing appropriate solutions; takes actions that are consistent with available facts, constraints and probable consequences.

Managing Conflict

Dealing effectively with others in an antagonistic situation; using appropriate interpersonal styles and methods to reduce tension or conflict between two or more people.

Planning and Organizing

Establishing courses of action for self and others to ensure that work is completed efficiently.

Leadership Disposition

Demonstrates the traits, inclinations, and dispositions that characterize successful leaders; exhibits behavior styles that meet the demands of the leader role.

Aligning Performance for Success

Focuses and guides others in accomplishing work objectives.

Delegating Responsibility

Allocates decision-making authority and/or task responsibility to appropriate others to maximize the organization's and individuals' effectiveness.

Building Partnership

Identifies opportunities and takes action to build strategic relationships between one's area and other areas, teams, departments, divisions, or organizations to help achieve
business goals.

Each of these competencies may be demonstrated in slightly different ways, depending upon the department.   How they might be demonstrated and standards of expected behavior related to each should be discussed by the supervisor and employee, both individually and in staff groups.

Additionally, a discussion of individual strengths and areas for development should take place. Examples and notes for each competency should be documented in the Planning Guide.

Quick Tips

  • Discuss how each competency might be demonstrated using possible examples.
  • Discuss individual areas of strength and areas for development
  • A common understanding of expectations related to each competency ensures a higher likelihood of meeting expectations and preventing issues or miscommunication.
  • Discuss examples from past year's performance, use documentation from the review to support these conversations.

Professional Development Goal (click to expand/hide)

Areas of challenge identified in previous Annual Reviews, or in an Employee Vision of the Future, are good places to begin planning for a Professional Development Goal (PDG).

A Professional Development Goal focuses on the development of a skill, knowledge or ability needed to be successful. It must enhance an employee's ability to perform in a current, or desired position, or as an employee of the College. Each employee must have at least one Professional Development Goal. As with any goal, a PDG, must support the priorities of the College based on the current budget. All goals included in a Planning Guide are subject to approval by an employee's supervisor.

Professional Development Goals should be written using the same SMART criteria as Operational Goals. A key component in the person meeting expectations for this goal is the application of the learning. All development goals must be able to be applied to the work or for the good of the College. It will be necessary to identify specifically how these goals will be applied as part of the performance planning process.

  • Examples

  • Attend Advanced Camtasia training and use information to develop multimedia presentation on the correct way to write a Professional Development Goal. 
  • Improve time management skills to be demonstrated by the turning all reports in on time to supervisor for the performance year. 

Service Goals (click to expand/hide)

The final component of the Planning Guide is the identification of the Service Goal. Every employee is a valuable part of the College and has an effect on the success of the College meeting its goals. Service is more than just doing your job; service is how you add value to the College.  

Over time, an employee gains valuable knowledge and experience, becoming more comfortable with the environment. As a result the service an employee can offer to the College changes with time. Each year, a Service Goal is an opportunity for an employee to demonstrate what value he or she adds as a result of added experience.

For a Service Goal every employee is to establish a goal demonstrating how, based on his or her knowledge and experience, to make the College more efficient or more successful in meeting its goals. Service might be participating on committees, or assisting in events or using unique talents to make a work unit, department or division more efficient. It can be a process improvement at the individual, department or divisional level. It could be seen as an individual level version of the AQIP process. This goal may, or may not, directly relate to what the individual does in his or her position.

  • Examples

  • Serve on AQIP campus parking committee for the academic year.
  • By May 15, 20XX research and report on three best-practices for creating new student information filing system.