Performance Management

It is the policy of Dwell to expect employees to meet and exceed high standards and continuously strive for optimal levels of performance. Managers are to support these expectations by providing performance management that promotes a productive and rewarding experience.

The Performance Management Process at Dwell provides a consistent, general approach that is individualized based on the person and nature of the work being performed. Performance management occurs in three overlapping phases:

  1. Performance Planning - establishing a clear understanding of performance expectations
  2. Ongoing Supervision - providing ongoing feedback, development, correction and coaching
  3. Performance Evaluation - making informed accurate judgments about their employees' performance.

Performance Planning

Performance planning means deciding, in advance, what standards to strive for and how success in reaching those standards will be evaluated.

The starting point for performance management is the Position Description, which contains Key Result Areas for each employee. Performance managers are accountable for maintaining accurate and meaningful position descriptions for the people they lead. Each employee should have a copy of his or her position description.

For each Key Result Area listed on the position description, managers work with their people to develop performance standards that communicate and judge how well a person is performing by focusing on what people achieve (results) and what they are (the competencies or personal characteristics tied to effective performance).

The relative weight given to these two types of standards for evaluation purposes will be individually determined between the performance manager and the employee. This individualized "contracting" allows the performance manager to employ a management approach that is best suited for the individual involved, the nature of the work performed, and the performance manager's preference. Some employees and/or positions will require a higher level of detail in plans, while others (e.g., a tenured knowledge worker) will require minimal planning documentation.

The key to this planning process is to provide the manager with a flexible framework for developing specific goals. The employee is to be empowered to achieve realistic and achievable goals through the process.

Ongoing Supervision

Through ongoing supervision, the manager and the employee have a mutual responsibility to ensure that:

  • performance expectations and priorities are clear, understood, and upheld;
  • regular feedback is provided on progress towards performance goals;
  • the employee's competencies are developed to reach acceptable and optimal levels;
  • the manager provides coaching and support on a timely basis while the employee requests help as needed;
  • mentoring is directed toward developing character and competencies which leads to better results;
  • follow-up is provided on the employee's development plans; and
  • employees' behavior and performance are kept within Dwell policies.

Performance Evaluation

Performance evaluations occur on a calendar year basis. About six weeks before the end of the year, managers should initiate the following performance evaluation process:

  1. Employee completes and submits a self-assessment to his/her performance manager. The Employee's Self-Assessment form should be given to the employee at least a week before the evaluation meeting.
  2. Manager compiles a written performance assessment utilizing the Manager's Performance Evaluation form (see note below).
  3. Manager holds a performance evaluation with employee discussion to review the Employee's Self-Assessment and present the Manager's Performance Evaluation.
  4. Manager fills out the Performance Evaluation including the Summary and Overall Rating. After the assessment and evaluations have both been presented, the manager completes the top section. (May be completed in same meeting.)  The performance manager passes the Overall Rating form to the employee for his/her comments and signature.
  5. Performance manager submits and turns the original forms completed by the manager to the Human Resource Department for filing in the central human resource file. The performance manager may want to keep a copy, but the manager and employee can review the filed document(s) at any time.
  • Note: It is up to the discretion of the manager to determine format and extent of reporting. This is especially true with part-time employees. The process of evaluating employee performance is intended to be as flexible as performance planning -- a help, not hindrance to focusing on the goals of the department and fellowship. Planning and evaluation tools should be flexible and adaptable to specific needs.