Performance Reviews at VCU: What are they?
Whether you are a manager reviewing your direct reports, or an employee completing a self-review, all reviews at VCU have three main components: SMART Goals, VCU Core Competencies, and Comprehensive Ratings.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals - This section of the review describes job and performance expectations for employees over the performance year. (S.M.A.R.T. goals were identified at the beginning of the year as part of the performance management process.) As part of the review, employees note progress toward achieving goals and both employees and managers provide an overall rating for each approved S.M.A.R.T. goal.
VCU Core Competencies - This review section allows individuals and managers to evaluate behaviors and how they align with VCU's Core Competencies. All competencies are assigned an overall rating based on employees' behaviors over the review year.
Comprehensive Rating - This is the final, overall rating for the performance review and takes into account both performance goal achievement and behavioral competencies.
The performance review is an opportunity for a formal check-in at either the mid-point or the end of the performance cycle. Mid-year and annual reviews are completed in Talent@VCU. Annual reviews are mandatory; however, mid-year reviews are recommended but not mandatory. Check with your HR Professional (HRP) about whether or not a mid-year review must be completed for your school/unit.
VCU’s performance management process is focused on the employee; therefore, it is very important for employees to be engaged in the entire process. The self review is the foundation of a successful performance review. It is an opportunity for employees to objectively reflect on their performance and showcase their accomplishments. For further instructions, consult the Talent@VCU User Guide - Employee - Self Review.
Annual performance reviews are required by the university and serve as the manager’s formal documentation of the employee’s performance during the performance period. As a resource for facilitating the organization’s performance review process, the Talent@VCU system is a tool used to document and summarize information collected during evaluation discussions between manager and employee throughout the performance period. Talent@VCU also serves as a performance journal - an online log - that employees and managers may use to document their performance milestones and professional growth. Because of the central role of the manager review in performance management at the university, managers must take care to evaluate employees’ performance fairly and objectively. For further instructions, consult the Talent@VCU User Guide - Manager - Manager Review.
During the annual review process, reviewers are responsible for ensuring all the reviews completed by their managers are thorough and consistent with expectations communicated at the beginning of the performance cycle. The reviewer is usually the manager’s manager, but that may vary in certain schools and departments. If the reviewer decides a manager should alter a particular review, the reviewer sends the evaluation back to the manager with a request for revision. For further instructions, consult the Talent@VCU User Guide - Reviewer - Reviewer Review.
At the beginning of the performance cycle when school/unit leaders create strategic goals for the school/unit, key calibration stakeholders will meet to discuss those goals, how goals for each employee can align to those goals, and what goal achievement looks like in relation to the ratings scale. Managers are responsible for communicating this information to their employees, ensuring employees have a clear understanding of the measures and behaviors (competencies) on which their performance will be reviewed. This conversation is a critical step to ensuring all employees in the school/unit understand leadership’s performance expectations for the year.
Before all performance reviews are finalized, key calibration stakeholders will meet again to ensure review results match the expectations they communicated at the beginning of the performance year. This is an honest, confidential conversation where the HR Professional provides a rating distribution report for all participants to view and discuss. The group may ask questions about specific ratings and may suggest adjustments based on their experience with an employee.
If any changes are identified in the calibration meeting, the HR Professional will send the review back to the manager to make the necessary edits. After those changes have been made, the HR Professional will then release the reviews so they can be visible for both the manager and employee to view before the review discussion. For further information, review the followingTips for a Successful Calibration Process.
To view your annual review, follow the instructions in theTalent@VCU User Guide - Employee - Employee Review Visable.
The review conversation should serve as a summary discussion of the ongoing communication and feedback that has occurred between the employee and manager throughout the performance year. The conversation should be a thorough discussion by both parties of the strengths and contributions made by the employee throughout the review period. It should also include a discussion of the areas in which the employee may need to improve in order to learn and grow their career.
For instructions on completing system sign-off, consult theTalent@VCU user guide - employee - employee sign-off.