This manual has been developed to help supervisors and employees use the Performance and Planning Development process (PDP) more effectively. As in any new system or program, there will be questions and concerns that develop over time. It is important that each person knows what to do. Ask questions to clarify your concerns.
The performance planning system is a formal framework:
- For having a dialogue with your boss and reviewing your performance over the last year,
- Setting goals and objectives for the next year,
- Developing your plans for expanding your own personal capabilities, and
- Determining your personal involvement in achieving our business results.
This document provides a forum to hold frank discussions relative to our expectations concerning your role in managing the business. The goal is to continuously improve our company by delivering improved results through implementing best management practices. Our conversations will be held within this framework and will be kept confidential from the rest of the company. Of course this information may be used by senior management as a part of their regular review of individuals and their roles within the organization.
We will set aside time aside to discuss your performance. You should review this performance format and rate yourself for each section of the document before the meeting with your supervisor. Your analysis should be turned in to your supervisor at least two or three weeks before the meeting. Your supervisor will make a separate determination on the same indicators. During the session your supervisor and you will review each measuring factor, discuss the key issues for each, and most importantly focus on the gaps that may exist between the ratings. This should be a two-way conversation that will create a clear understanding of your strengths, areas of development, and objectives going forward based on an agreed-upon game plan. This plan will include a time frame for regular checkpoints on your progress.
There are 3 major components to the PDP.
- Tasks of the Position- These are the tasks that you are expected to do within the job you are assigned. All of the tasks that you are responsible for are listed in the PDP task list. The details of each task are further elaborated in the Job Description and the Learning Checklist. If you wish to find out more about how each task is measured and the specifics of how that task is supposed to be accomplished, refer to Learning Checklist under the task in question.
- Position Behaviors – These are the behaviors and skills that you will be rated on to indicate the way that you carry out your job. Every job is a combination of what you do (the tasks) and how you do it (the behaviors). The behaviors are critical to the job and how our customers and your fellow employees react to you. You may know how to do a particular task or job very well, but not be as strong in some of the behaviors. The behaviors are what the customer sees and experiences. The discussions will be held between your supervisor and you to be sure everything is clear and understandable about what is expected. You will have an opportunity to express your thoughts and ideas about how to improve your behavior based on what the customer requires.
Development Plans – The final area in the PDP provides a place to discuss your personal development needs. If you are not growing and learning, then the company cannot grow or be better. This section is very important because creates plans so that you can do your job better in the future.
Under each section of the PDP, both Tasks and Behaviors, there is a section for you and your supervisor to write down what you plan to do to improve for next year. Under the Tasks, select those items that will make the most sense in improving your capabilities. What will you do differently next year? How will that look? How do we know it when we see it? How will the customer and your fellow employees see the change? What is the action plan to make it happen?
Under Behaviors, you should have at least 1 or 2 non-financial goals you will work on over the next period of time. These personal goals, once achieved, should have a positive impact on the business and your ability to perform within the organization.
Summary of Performance and Development Planning
On the last page of the PDP you will find the summary of both parts of the PDP. There is one combined rating that summarizes how you have done. There are 5 overall rating choices …Outstanding, Significant Impact, Proficient, Below Expectations, and Unacceptable. A definition of each rating choice is on the form itself. This final rating is not necessarily a result of adding the two sections together and dividing by two. One area in either the tasks or the behaviors may be so important to the customer and to the total business that it carries a much greater weight and could lower or increase your overall rating. You need to discuss this thoroughly with your supervisor to fully understand his or her reasoning.
In addition, there is space for both the reviewer and the associate being reviewed to make comments. The associate does not have to agree to the final comments of the reviewer. Your signature is required, however. It indicates that the review was conducted, and you have been given an opportunity to present your feelings and thoughts. The final decision on your performance rating is up to your supervisor.
The PDP Process – Step by Step:
- Your supervisor will set up a meeting with you to discuss your performance in the company. There should be approximately 3-4 weeks’ notice provided. At that time a blank copy of your PDP will be given to you.
- You should fill out the PDP form in its entirety. All blanks and areas should be completed included your personal evaluation as to the level of your performance in each of the sections and a final overall rating as well. This should include any specific comments and examples that illustrate why you believe this to be so. You get the first chance to tell your supervisor what you think. If there is anything you wish to say, now is the time to say it clearly. Use extra sheets of paper to provide examples of what you are presenting. This is not necessary, but always helpful.
This part of the process is not always easy. Be honest with yourself and don’t judge yourself too easily or too hard. Try to be realistic about what you did right and what you could do to improve. And that is an important point. This process is not specifically concerned with finding out whether you did something “wrong”. It is about communications and the good flow of information between the supervisor and employee. Use examples and illustrations to demonstrate your points.
- Approximately 2 -3 weeks prior to the meeting date, you should turn in to the supervisor your completed form. Put it in an envelope with your name, date, and “PDP” clearly on the outside.
- The supervisor will complete a PDP on you independently of your assessment. He or she will then compare the two documents and prepare his comments and thoughts for the meeting. It is recommended that the supervisor gives you both his evaluation of your PDP and a copy of your PDP back to you a day or so before the appointment. This will mean you have the opportunity to read, understand, and prepare for what will be discussed. Please do not discuss the reports before the actual meeting time. Your supervisor will be prepared when the time comes, but it is not fair to discuss this before your actual meeting.
- During the meeting on the agreed upon date and time, your supervisor will conduct a thorough review of his or her assessment of your performance and compare it with your evaluation. Note particularly the gaps between the two perceptions. Also take notice where they are the same, where you are higher than the managers, and where the manager’s perceptions are higher than yours.
Outline of the PDP discussion process between supervisor and employee:
- First discuss your strengths. What have you accomplished over the last year that should be noted and acknowledged? The company wants to build our plans off of our strengths.
- Discuss where the perception of the supervisor differs from your evaluation of yourself from last year’s performance. Each of the major areas of the PDP needs to be discussed – both the tasks and the behavioral traits.
- If the supervisor’s opinion was lower than the opinion of the employee in any area, what was done that was not up to expectations?
- Find specific examples of what occurred to illustrate the point.
- The next step is to come to a common agreement between you and your supervisor on the targets for your performance for the next year. What has to be accomplished to meet the company’s goals?
- Discuss your plans to improve what you do based on the goals of the company and your role in making those goals a reality. What plans do you have to improve your skills and knowledge? What new things will you learn? How can you be better? Is there something new you would like to try or a new job that you think you can do for next year? Is there some part of your job that you think you can do better that will make a difference? Do you see something somewhere else that you think needs improvement where you may contribute?
- Be specific about what the most important things that have to be done next year are. It does no one any good, neither you nor the company, to put down a statement such as “Do better in this area next year” What does “do better” mean? How will I know it when I see it?
- Don’t try to do too much. Limit the plans to one or two things that you know you can accomplish.
- Make every statement clear and measurable so that next year you can tell whether you accomplished the improvements you plan.
- There should be two development plans created… one for tasks and one for behaviors. Sometimes these are very closely linked and not so easy to do. Try to put down at least one item under tasks and one under behaviors.
- You should sign the PDP even if you do not agree with its conclusions. Your signature indicates that you saw the evaluation and that a discussion was held with you. If you do not agree with the conclusion and the development plan to be implemented, there is a space for you to write your comments and thoughts.
- The final step is to agree on the date when you will review you progress on the plan. You should set the initial follow up meeting for 3 months into the next year. Continuing follow up sessions should be every 3 months after that. These meetings can last as little as 10 – 15 minutes if you have prepared and come ready to have a focused conversation on your progress. They are a quick summary of the accomplishments to date, the obstacles that have been overcome so far, and the concerns or issues that have developed since the original meeting and goal setting. It may be a time when new objectives or plans are created. This can happen because the needs of business change.
- This process should be repeated each year to assure continuity between the business needs and the needs of the individual. The goals need to be integrated and coordinated to assure maximum effectiveness.
Communication between and between the management and the other employees is so critically important to the successful running of the company. Your input is vital to making that happen. This is one of the tools we intend to use to be sure that all levels of the company understand and are committed to making the changes to keep us competitive and strong.
Rating yourself on the PDP
There are 5 ratings steps on the PDP. They are grouped into 3 general areas.
The first group is Unsatisfactory – This is a “1” on the form. This means you are not doing the task or acting in a manner that is satisfactory to the organization. This is a serious situation because if you do not take immediate steps to improve your performance or your behavior, you may be asked to leave the company.
The second group has two ratings – Satisfactory and Proficient. Both of these are positive ratings and generally most employees will find themselves in one or the other of these ratings. To be considered Proficient (a “3”) you are able to do the task assigned in a fully capable manner. You are skilled at this task. You know what you are doing and can be counted on to perform that as required. This does not mean you are average. The average person is probably doing satisfactory work. To be considered Proficient is to be meeting the standards of this company. Our internal standards are higher than the rest of our industry. If you are Satisfactory (a “2”), this means you are doing a reasonably good job. You may be just coming into the company and are learning how we do it here. You may be doing an average job that meets many of the requirements of the position. You are falling short of the company’s standards. This does not mean you are a poor performer only that there are clearly some areas where you need to work in order to meet the standards of Proficient. Be clear with your supervisor what you need to do to upgrade your performance to meet our Proficient standards.
The third group has two ratings as well – Significant Impact and Outstanding. These are ratings reserved for people who have mastered all aspects of the position and then have demonstrated performance in excess of our standards consistently. Significant Impact (a “4”) means that you exceed our already high standards regularly. You are clearly above the norm and regularly seek to find ways to improve what you do. Outstanding (a “5”) means that you have taken your position to another level. Besides exceeding the requirements of the position consistently, you are a role model to the organization. One of the ways to be Outstanding is to have made suggestions and implemented improvements that stand out from the rest of the organization. You have taken your work to another level that has clearly made a difference. This has to do with a level of intensity as well as the level of your skills.
- Dress code: If you meet our dress code every day you should be considered To receive a higher rating, you take the dress code to another level. Perhaps you have your shirts dry cleaned and pressed. Perhaps you have your shoes shined every day so that they are “military spit and polish”. If your customers were asked to rate your performance, they would list you as one of the best dressed people they see regularly.
- Answering the phone: If you answer the phone with a pleasant tone and you give the company’s name each time, you might be considered You complete the task as you are asked to do. To get a higher rating you would be cited by our customers as one of the reasons they call us. You provide a welcome that is better than people come to expect when calling into a business. The intensity and level of how you do your task stands out in everyone’s mind. To be Proficient is to do your job well. To be Significant Impact or Outstanding means you take your job to another level that is both measurable and specific.
Filling out the form:
When you rate a “3” or Proficient it may not be necessary to provide examples. It will mean you meet the standards. You do your job skillfully and it is appreciated. If you rate yourself either a “1” or a “2” where you do not meet the standards, there should be a specific example of what was done or what was not done to clarify the rating. If you are a “4” or a “5” you also need to be very clear as to how you specifically improved upon the standard or took your performance to another higher level that stands out.
You should give an example of why you believe your performance is not up to standards or why you think you are better. Be specific.
The rating system is not designed to be an average of all the items, tasks, or behaviors. Some tasks are more important than others. It may be possible to be a “4” on 90 % of the tasks and a “2” on the other 10 % and get an overall rating of “2”. That would happen if the tasks where you are rated a “2” are so critical to the success of the job that it overwhelms the other tasks you accomplished with great skill and intensity.
The PDP is a tool for you to have a discussion with your supervisor regarding your performance. It is meant to be a dialogue. You need to express your opinions and well as your supervisor. Participate in making your time and work here at the company both productive and interesting. The PDP is one of the many ways that we use to make that happen.