University of California, Berkeley

Managing Diversity Success Stories: Performance Management Plan

Department: Office of Student Life
Workplace Issues Addressed:Continuous Improvement
Category: Performance Appraisal Process

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Description of the practice

The Performance Management Plan (PMP) is a quarterly performance appraisal process that gives staff members more opportunity to be recognized by their supervisors. In addition, an Individual Development Plan (IDP) is part of this process, which has given supervisors a variety of options to note accomplishments by staff. Employees say that the PMP is providing a meaningful evaluation/assessment of job performance and an individual development plan empowering staff to play an integral part in their own future with assistance from the management team.

Benefits of adopting the practice

One of the most compelling examples of how the Office of Student Life has benefited from the Performance Management Plan is that each person has the opportunity to create an Individual Development Plan (IDP) from which he or she receives attention for improvement, mastery, and career development. In many ways this has clarified the importance of each staff member's welfare. The IDP, among other new activities, has allowed them to structure care and concern for each other. This practice meets the needs of a diverse workforce in the following ways: There is employee input in the process.

How this practice works

The overview of the Performance Management Plan includes: Guiding Principle, How is job performance maximized?, What is a development plan?, Role clarification in Individual Development, Individual Development Planning, an explanation of how to complete the IDP, the Performance Appraisal Process, and a Timeline.

What you need in place to replicate this practice

In improving and mastering job performance, the supervisor takes the lead and partners with the individual/or team in identifying developmental objectives and drafting a plan of action. Through performance management, which includes goal setting, ongoing formal and informal feedback, and the performance appraisal, a department's team members or staff can move toward meeting the mission and goals of a department.

In career planning and development the team member (or individual) takes the lead by self-assessing skills, values, career interests, and choices. The supervisor serves as coach, advisor, appraiser, and referral agent. Together they map out agreed-upon developmental objectives along with the corresponding action plan(s). The developmental objectives need to balance the individual's needs with those of the department.

Tangible improvements to the department as a result of adopting this practice

An employee writes: "the performance management plan is providing a meaningful evaluation/assessment of job performance and an individual development plan empowering staff to play an integral part in his/her own future with assistance from the management team. The plan allows for an honest self-evaluation and training necessary to improve skills in core competencies."

A supervisor writes: "The biggest impact the PMP gives us is that it is a framework to discuss development throughout the year. As a supervisor, it allows me to approach each meeting with suggestions, relevance, and significance."

Why this practice was so successful and is worth replicating

One of the primary reasons that this has been successful is that the staff members have been encouraged and supported to articulate their needs, wants, and hopes. The IDP serves as a commitment between supervisor and staff that is honored by the department. Another reason it has been successful is that it has become "cool" to voice publicly what is in their IDP. Although the IDP is between the supervisor and staff, it is not rare for staff members, including the Dean to say, "one of the things in my IDP is.", which models and acknowledges that they all have areas for improvement, aspects of their jobs to master, and aspirations for career development. The process is "user-friendly." In addition to putting into place systems throughout the year, the forms and processes received review from the entire office for relevance and ease. Although not yet "perfect," the commitment to the process has allowed for immediate implementation of feedback.