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Staff Development Procedure – Performance Development Process: Professional Staff
Title of Parent Policy
Monash University depends on its most important asset, its staff, to achieve its goal of becoming one of the best universities in the world (Monash Directions 2025). The University relies on the high quality outputs of its professional staff to deliver the ongoing efficiencies, innovations and support required to achieve the operational and strategic goals of the University. The performance development process for professional staff supports these objectives by:
The performance development process is a planning and review cycle that supports staff to reach their full career potential through:
The process operates on a 12-month planning cycle, from January to December, and is intended to be dynamic and interactive between staff and supervisors in order to encourage trust and regular, open communication.
The procedure applies to all continuing professional staff and fixed term professional staff HEW levels 1 to 9, except professional staff engaged on research support contracts.
Staff on performance-based contracts may elect to use the Performance Development Online (PDO) tool to assist in their annual performance planning, with the approval of their supervisor. However, by doing so the staff member acknowledges that:
Achievement(s) relative to opportunity: is an evaluative framework in which the overall quality and impact of achievements is given more weight than the quantity, rate or breadth of particular achievements. Assessing achievements relative to opportunity involves giving consideration to circumstances, arrangements, career histories and overall time available to the staff member. This in turn allows appropriate evaluation of achievements in relation to:
Achievement relative to opportunity is a positive acknowledgement of what a staff member can and has achieved given the opportunities available and is not about providing “special consideration” or expecting lesser standards of performance.
Annual performance development cycle: the performance development process for professional staff aligns with the calendar year and runs from January through to December each year.
Annual work goals: are indicators identified by a staff member (and confirmed by the performance supervisor) as necessary for the staff member to achieve in order to meet the Key Results Areas and Responsibilities identified in the staff member’s Position Description.
Career aspirations and development goals: are specific professional development aspirations identified by the staff member (and confirmed by the performance supervisor) as necessary for the staff member’s professional growth and career development through targeted learning and development opportunities.
Annual review: occurs at the completion of the annual performance development cycle and aims to provide the staff member and performance supervisor with an opportunity to document and discuss the achievements of the staff member during the preceding annual cycle against the annual work goals and career aspirations and development goals identified in the staff member’s performance plan.
Feedback: the primary means for recognising good performance and for redirecting performance that needs improvement. Feedback is an ongoing activity that is usually information based, regular, immediate, informal and verbal. It is used to build trust and relationships in the workplace.
Head of unit: the head of unit/school/department/centre or director or equivalent or, where applicable, a person acting as his or her nominee.
HR Business Partner: is a member of Monash HR who operates as a strategic partner responsible for providing a range of human resources services for an assigned Faculty or administrative Division. HR Business Partners are located within a HR Service Hub.
Performance Plan: is a plan that is prepared in PDO by the staff member and confirmed in a meeting with the performance supervisor at the commencement of the annual performance development cycle. It records the annual work goals and career aspirations and development goals for the staff member’s year ahead and the specific targets and progress towards achieving those goals. The performance plan forms the basis for performance conversations at any stage of the annual performance development cycle including the annual review meeting and regular informal performance discussions.
Performance Development Online (PDO): is an online performance planning tool that supports staff to manage the performance development cycle in a timely and consistent way. It is a hosted, web-based product that is easy to use, offers a secure repository for documentation and streamlines user data entry via SAP.
Performance supervisor: the person who is responsible for managing the performance of a staff member. This will be the immediate line manager, unless the University nominates an alternative supervisor. The supervisor must be trained to effectively perform his or her role in the performance development process. Where a staff member has two or more supervisors, one should be nominated as the performance supervisor.
Relevant personal circumstances: may include family responsibilities (for example child rearing, elder-care, illness of a partner or dependant), a temporary or permanent disability, relevant cultural expectations or circumstances, periods of part-time working and/or absences due to ill-health or injury.
Supervisor’s meeting: The head of unit meets with the supervisors to convey expectations and to clarify goals and objectives for the faculty/division/school/department/administrative unit for the coming year in the context of the faculty/divisional plan and other university plans. As part of the meeting they will reflect upon achievements and challenges of the past year against previously agreed goals.
Team planning: At the beginning of each planning cycle (or at the end of the previous cycle), members of the work group or team meet with their supervisor to discuss annual team outputs, priorities and goals. The team plan is a tool that informs and guides individual performance development plans.
Unsatisfactory performance: when a staff member’s performance is assessed as “not yet satisfactory” and for a sustained period or the desired performance improvement has not been achieved.
1. Requirements for performance supervisors
All designated performance supervisors are required to complete supervisor training in the Performance Development Process for Professional Staff.
The University recommends that performance supervisors access this training prior to meeting with any staff to complete their performance plans. The training requirements for performance supervisors are as follows.
Supervisors can book into the supervisor's workshop via the Monash University Staff Development web page. Supervisors should contact their HR Business Partner if they are unsure of whether or not they should undertake performance development training.
2. Overview of Performance Development Process: Professional Staff
The annual performance planning cycle could commence as early as September each year with the supervisor meeting and team planning activities outlined below.
During the period from November to March, the staff member and the performance supervisor will meet to finalise the staff member’s previous annual performance plan and to discuss and confirm the staff member’s performance plan for the year ahead (the annual review).
The staff member and the supervisor are also encouraged to meet mid-year (between May and August) to discuss the staff memberís progress towards the annual work goals and career aspirations and development goals identified in the staff memberís performance plan however, this review does not need to be recorded in the PDO system. Any notes taken during this meeting can be attached by the staff member or supervisor to the PDO plan.
3. The annual performance development planning cycle
3.1 Supervisors meeting and team planning
As early as September each year, the head of unit will meet with the supervisors to convey expectations and to clarify goals and objectives for the department, and division or work unit for the coming year in the context of the faculty/division plan and other University plans. As part of the meeting they will reflect upon achievements and challenges of the past year against previously agreed goals.
The supervisor/s and their respective team members or work group will meet to discuss and plan annual team outputs, priorities and goals in line with the faculty/division plan and other University plans.
3.2 Annual review and planning
In the period from November to March, the staff member and performance supervisor will meet to finalise the staff member’s previous annual performance plan and to agree on the annual work goals to be pursued during the forthcoming annual performance development cycle and the staff member’s career aspirations and development goals.
The performance plan for professional staff consists of the following parts.
It is good practice for supervisor performance development plans to contain a staff feedback component. Supervisors with responsibility for five or more staff may access a formal 360 feedback tool to seek feedback on their leadership strengths and development needs. Monash HR recommends psychometrically valid and reliable 360 feedback tools as stand-alone approaches, or supervisors may participate in 360 feedback as part of the University's leadership development programs. Refer to the Leadership and Organisational Development web page and the Staff Development web page
Prior to the annual review meeting
In preparation for the annual review, the supervisor and staff member will:
At least two weeks in advance the staff member will:
During the annual review meeting
During the annual review, the staff member and performance supervisor will discuss:
Following the annual review meeting
Following the annual review meeting, the staff member will update the performance plan for the year ahead to reflect any changes to the annual work goals and career aspiration and development goals that were agreed with the performance supervisor and resubmit the performance plan.
The performance supervisor will:
Where outcome staff member's performance is "not yet satisfactory", s/he will be given an opportunity to improve his or her performance in accordance with the Staff Development Procedure - Managing Unsatisfactory Performance: Professional Staff.
Regular informal performance discussion and feedback
During the annual performance cycle and in addition to the formal review meeting outlined above, the supervisor and staff member will meet regularly and informally to:
Following the discussion, any changes to the staff member's performance plan will be noted in the performance plan, including the reason for the agreed changes, and formalised during the next review meeting. A copy of the staff member's performance plan will be retained by the supervisor and the staff member for the subsequent performance review meeting.
Professional staff member
The professional staff member is responsible for:
The professional staff performance supervisor is responsible for: