View Document

Performance and Development (Career Success) Procedure

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Key Information

Policy Type and Approval Body Administrative – Vice-Chancellor
Accountable Executive – Policy Vice-Chancellor
Responsible Manager – Policy Executive Director, Human Resources
Review Date  13 June 2027
Top of Page

Section 2 - Purpose

(1) The University is committed to supporting a culture of high performance, and developing/retaining high performing staff. This Procedure outlines the University’s approach to performance and development via the annual performance cycle and as governed by the La Trobe University Enterprise Agreement 2023 clause 58.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Scope

(2) This Procedure applies to:

  1. all fixed term and continuing staff.

(3) New staff members are required to participate in the probation process from commencement of employment as the first step in the annual performance cycle.

Top of Page

Section 4 - Key Decisions

Key decisions/Responsibilities  Role
Performance pay (bonus payment) outcomes will be determined by the final overall performance rating approved at the Senior Executive Group (SEG) member parity discussion and documented in a staff member’s Performance Plan. SEG member
Top of Page

Section 5 - Policy Statement

(4) This procedure forms part of the Workforce Management Policy suite which governs its application.

Top of Page

Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Annual Cycle

(5) The annual performance and development cycle runs from 1 January each year and concludes on 31 December of the same year.

Part B - Career Success Annual Plan

(6) The Annual Performance Plan comprises of the following sections:

Performance Goals
  1. Goals and activities to be delivered over the performance cycle.
  2. Goals should reflect performance outcomes and results required, as well as expected behaviours.
  3. Goals are to be created in agreement between the manager and the staff member and should be aligned to the staff member’s Position Description, Academic Level or Professional staff classification, University strategy and the area’s Business Plan. 
  4. An editable University-wide goal may be assigned to all staff and managers.
  5. A minimum of 4 (four) and a maximum of 10 (ten) goals (total) are required.  The University-wide goal is included within the employee’s total goals.
Development Plan
  1. Consists of development goals and activities required to support the achievement of performance goals and bridge any identified gaps.
  2. Development goals and activities are supported through a mix of on-the-job experience, exposure (e.g., coaching, mentoring, job shadowing etc) and education initiatives or workshops.
  3. A minimum of one development goal is required.
Career Planning
  1. Opportunity to reflect on upcoming career development opportunities, or future achievements of interest to the staff member.   
  2. Self reflection on career, development and future.

Part C - Phases

(7) The annual performance cycle consists of the following key phases:

Phase Overview
Goal Setting (January-March)
  1. Discussing and ensuring that goals and associated indicators are robust, and strategically aligned to the staff member’s Position Description, Academic Level or Professional staff classification, University strategy and area’s Business Plan.
  2. Clearly defining the expectations of the role and quality of output required.
  3. Identifying the behavioural capabilities required for the role.
  4. Agreeing development activities required.
Progress Review (May-July)
  1. Providing ongoing effective and constructive feedback regarding how on-the-job performance (outputs and behaviours) are tracking against the plan.
  2. Recording and updating achievements.
  3. Making any changes to the plan including amendments to goals where necessary.
Year End Review (November)
  1. Reviewing overall performance for the year.
  2. Giving and receiving effective and constructive performance feedback.
  3. Assessing the quality of outcomes achieved.
  4. Celebrating achievements.
  5. Managers assign a “recommended” rating to each staff member, withholding the rating from the staff member until Parity process has been finalised.
Parity (December)
  1. Ensuring fairness and objectivity in the overall performance process.
  2. Reviewing overall performance ratings at a local leadership level that have been informed by pre-parity conversations with leaders across the division or school.
  3. Managers discuss rationale for ratings with leadership team members and consider any rating amendments.
  4. Conversations between parity members and direct line managers where a staff member’s rating is moderated during the parity process.   
Review and Complete (January of the following year)
  1. Approving final performance ratings for staff.
  2. Managers discussing rationale for ratings with staff.
  3. Managers disclose final ratings to each staff member.
Ongoing: two-way conversations, and feedback conversations
  1. Ensure feedback is effective and constructive, and two-way conversations are conducted throughout all phases of the performance cycle. 

Part D - Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibility
  1. Engaging with and in the annual performance cycle process.
  2. Drafting performance and development goals and making any changes required.
  3. Documenting progress against goals in readiness for the mid-year review and year end review phases.
  4. Instigating and participating in effective and constructive feedback and two-way conversations throughout all phases of the annual performance cycle.
  1. Ensuring plans are aligned with the area Business Plan and University strategy.
  2. Guiding and supporting staff to develop their performance plan and incorporate as an active document that supports conversations and achieving goals.
  3. Regularly discussing progress, feedback and achievements throughout all phases of the cycle.
  4. Addressing and considering outcomes and behaviours to ensure a holistic approach to performance is considered.
  5. Providing “recommended” performance ratings that are withheld from the staff member until after parity.
  6. Sharing “approved” performance ratings and feedback to staff once parity has been finalised.
Academic Reviewer
  1. Providing oversight and feedback on an academic staff member’s performance.
  2. Addressing and considering behaviours and outcomes to ensure a holistic approach to performance.
  3. Providing the line manager with any specific work related insights into work performance.
  4. Does not have involvement in the assessment process.

Part E - Performance Rating

(8) Staff performance goals and performance plans will be assessed based on the following five point rating scale:

5 Outstanding Performance Performance consistently exceeds expected standards in all aspects of the role and is of an exceptional quality
4 Exceeds Expectations Performance consistently exceeds expected standards of the role in most areas
3 Success Performance consistently meets and at times exceeds expected standards of the role
2 Needs Improvement Performance meets expected standards of the role in some areas, and other areas require improvement
1 Unsatisfactory Performance fails to meet expected standards of the role

Part F - Exclusions – Performance Unable to be Assessed

(9) Professional and Academic staff who have been in the annual performance cycle for less than six months will be excluded from having their performance assessed as part of the Year End Review process. This time frame can be varied in consultation and agreement between the staff member and their manager. 

(10) Academic staff currently in probation are assessed by the applicable probation policy:

  1. Probation (Academic Staff) Policy - for staff who commenced on or before 30 June 2023
  2. Probation (Academic Staff) Policy - for staff who commenced on or after 1 July 2023

(11) Ratings should also be considered relative to opportunity, for example, staff with extenuating circumstances, long term leave, part-time employment.

Part G - Performance Pay

(12) A staff member will proceed through the incremental scale of their classification level if the staff member’s performance is assessed by the University as at least ‘satisfactory’ per the annual performance cycle.  Increment level increases will be paid in accordance with the Enterprise Agreement.

(13) Performance pay (bonus payment) outcomes will be determined by the final overall performance rating approved at the SEG member parity discussion and documented in a staff member’s Performance Plan within Career Success.  Bonus payment will be paid in accordance with the Remuneration and Benefits Procedure - Performance Pay.

Part H - Under Performance

(14) Where a manager is of the view that a staff members performance is not meeting the required standard, the manager will discuss and document areas for improvement and provide support as required. In addition, managers/supervisors will make reasonable efforts to informally resolve instances or aspects of a staff member’s performance which are viewed as not meeting the required standard.  This includes, but not limited to, the provision of guidance, support, counselling or appropriate staff development measures.  Managers/supervisors should avoid waiting until the final performance plan discussions to have these conversations with their staff member. 

(15) If performance does not improve to the required standard within a reasonable time frame, the processes detailed in the Enterprise Agreement clause 69 may be initiated.

Part I - Dispute Process Regarding Performance Rating

(16) If there is a disagreement between a staff member and their manager/supervisor about a performance outcome, or the performance process followed, there will be an attempt to resolve any disagreements between staff members and supervisors at the local level in the first instance.

(17) If the staff member and their manager are unable to reach an agreement in relation to performance objectives or review ratings and feedback, and the increment level increase is not being withheld, the staff member may seek further assessment of their performance by the manager of their reviewer. If the disagreement is not resolved a final review will be undertaken by the leader two levels up from the original decision maker and a final decision will be made. 

(18) In the event that a supervisor makes a decision that an increment level increase is to be withheld they must:

  1. give an early indication that the agreed performance goals were not being met; and 
  2. advise that, should there not be sufficient improvement, an increment may be withheld at the end of a review cycle.

(19) If the staff member and supervisor do not agree, the staff member can access the Workplace Issue Resolution (Staff) Procedure under the Enterprise Agreement.  If the disagreement is not resolved, clause 63 (Workplace Issue Resolution (Staff) Procedure) will first be applied, and then clause 62 (Dispute Resolution Procedures).

(20) Should the local area intervention not provide a sufficient outcome, and staff members choose to utilise the Workplace Issue Resolution (Staff) Procedure they must lodge/begin a workplace issue within 2 (two) months of receiving their rating.

Part J - Development & Support

(21) Training and support material will be provided to assist manager’s and staff in carrying out their responsibilities as part of the annual performance cycle.

Top of Page

Section 7 - Definitions

(22) For the purpose of this procedure:

  1. Academic Reviewer: means someone who provides oversight, feedback and commentary on an academic staff member’s Performance Plan within the Career Success platform. Academic Reviewers are not line managers.
  2. Capabilities: means the core behavioural capabilities (skills) outlined in the La Trobe Capability Framework and applicable to all Academic and Professional staff.
  3. Enterprise Agreement: refers to the current La Trobe University Enterprise Agreement 2023.
  4. Manager: means the immediate line manager/supervisor.
  5. Staff: All persons employed by the University.
Top of Page

Section 8 - Authority and Associated Information

(23) This Policy is made under the La Trobe University Act 2009.

(24) Associated information includes:

  1. Performance and Career Success - intranet site