As spring approaches, many departments are preparing for the annual performance evaluation season. While the Human Resources department does not dictate when performance documentation discussions need to occur each year, many departments do find that spring, when the upcoming fiscal year's budget is taking shape, is the natural time for employees and supervisors to sit down and discuss goals and objectives for the upcoming year.
Providing meaningful job performance feedback for employees remains one of the most difficult aspects of management. This truth applies to Loyola University Chicago staff and their supervisors as much as it does to employees of any other organization. Employees want to know how their supervisors' view their performance, and they need to know how their job performance supports the mission of the office and university. Each of us has personal performance expectations and professional ambitions. The performance appraisal tool, called Performance Improvement Documentation: Goal Setting - Performance Management - Performance Feedback, provides employees and supervisors with a format to conduct productive performance-related conversations in a manner that will serve the needs of both parties.
At Loyola the performance assessment process is an ongoing conversation about goals and objectives. The performance improvement form can be used at any time during the year, and as often as goals need to be reviewed and revised. Ongoing discussions about performance serve as eye-opening opportunities to implement changes, or introduce new efficiencies into old processes. Employees and managers both know that some of the best changes are those that grow "from the ground up." The continuing performance improvement discussion provides a format in which these changes can take shape in the form of goals, both for the department and for the individual.
A goal has been defined as "a dream with a deadline," and the supervisor as well as the employee must work together to establish goals that have these three characteristics:
- A goal must clearly fit within department, division and university objectives.
- A goal must be achievable.
- A goal must be measurable.