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Performance conversations

Both employees and managers have an active role to play in annual and ongoing performance conversations. Frequently, it will be your manager who reaches out to schedule your annual performance conversation and year-end review. In an ideal situation, you will mutually agree on the best means for ensuring regular, timely check-ins throughout the year. If you are new to UBC or have recently come under a new manager, don’t hesitate to ask your manager about the process around probation, performance planning and the annual review process.

Performance conversation cycle

Performance conversations contain the following activities:

  • Setting performance and development expectations- aligned to role, desired outcomes, level of experience, job classification
  • Agreeing to performance and learning goals-relevant to strategic objectives, expertise, interest, & feedback received
  • Regular check-ins about performance, progress and wellbeing- every day conversations, check-ins, status updates, trouble shooting and relationship building.
  • Reviewing performance against agreed-to goals and expectations- aligned to original expectations and goals, an opportunity to reflect on accomplishments, learning, and actual vs desired outcomes.

Performance conversation principles

At UBC, we do everything we can to cultivate the conditions where employees can thrive and grow.  When it comes to performance conversations, adhering to a few important principles can enhance the experience for everyone involved.

  • Strengths based. Look for the best in yourself and others
  • A coach approach. Stay curious and listen actively
  • Shared learning. Recognize there is an opportunity for everyone to learn something new

Phase 1: Prepare for the performance conversation

Enhance your performance conversation by working through the following preparation questions:

  • What would make this a meaningful conversation for you?
  • What do you hope to achieve from the conversation?
  • How are you doing? What would you like to share with your manager? (wellbeing, remote work, etc.)
  • What feedback or insights are you hoping to obtain?
  • Are you meeting in person or virtually? How can you optimize the meeting space?
  • Consider your role. What aspects of your performance and work do you hope to discuss?
  • What are you most proud of in terms of your technical and interpersonal achievements?
  • What challenges have you been facing, and how are you managing?
  • What progress are you making toward your goals?
  • How are you feeling about your collaboration with others?
  • What setbacks or obstacles need to be addressed or resolved?
  • What resources do you need to be more effective in your role?

Phase 2: Have the performance conversation

The Connect, Open, Explore and Close (COEC) Conversation Compass model has been developed through a partnership with HR, Coaching Services and Extended Learning and was created to support effective learning conversations of all kinds. The approach provides employees and managers with a structure, questions and prompt and can be easily applied to your annual and ongoing performance and development conversations.

Phase 3: Learning and reflection for self-development

Enhance your next performance conversation by working through the following reflection statements:

  • What I most appreciated about the performance conversation was…
  • What I learned about myself, my manager and/or my work was...
  • The aspects of the conversation that were challenging involved…
  • My learning edge is…
  • If I was to do it differently next time, I would…

If you have questions or concerns about the performance review process, ask your manager or if you need additional support please contact your HR Advisor.

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