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Staff performance conversations

Overview for managers conducting performance development conversations with their staff at UBC.

Performance conversations

Performance development conversations help managers and employees communicate with one another, providing an opportunity for discussion, an exchange of ideas, and assistance with individual growth and development.

The key is to align these conversations with organizational goals, and to ensure that both the employee and the manager have a common understanding of performance expectations for the role.

The move away from one-way evaluations

UBC is discouraging one-way evaluations in favour of performance conversations. Performance development is about helping an employee to grow in their career, and by taking a look ahead, tapping into the employee’s strengths and adding new skills.

In conversations about performance, both the supervisor and the employee can identify areas for growth and goals to move toward. Associated action plans should have set goals, defined outcomes and time lines. The performance development process is ongoing and largely driven by the employee, with the supervisor as coach and partner.

If managers have questions or concerns about upcoming performance reviews with any of your staff, please contact your HR Advisor in advance.

Conversation tips:

  • Performance is owned by the person, so ensure they talk more than half of the time.
  • Encourage dialogue by asking open-ended questions such as “Tell me more about …”, “Why do you think…”, “How can we…” etc.
  • Provide constructive feedback that focuses on the work performed.
  • When ending the conversation, ensure the person is leaving with a sense of achievement, clarity and purpose.

Assistance with performance reviews

The following documents provide some practical tips, guidelines and considerations regarding holding performance conversations

  • Considerations for managers/reviewers when conducting a probationary review: PDF
  • Considerations for managers/reviewers when conducting a non-probationary review: PDF

If you require further assistance with performance review process, please contact your Human Resources Advisor or Associate. 

Recommended performance review schedule

View the recommended performance review schedule based on your staff member's employment group. 

Other performance development tools

Competency-based model for performance plan and review

Competencies are the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform a job. UBC doesn't have a university-wide competency based program but you will find parts of the university that have adopted a competency base approach.

Performance plan and review

The performance plan and review is designed to assess, evaluate and document the performance of your employee; provide an opportunity for the employee and supervisor to discuss progress; align employee and organizational goals; assist with employee growth and development and clearly articulate performance expectations to the employee.

  • Probationary Performance Plan and Review Document: PDF | DOC
  • Non-Probationary Performance Plan and Review Document: PDF | DOC

Self-assessment document

The self-assessment document provides an opportunity for the employee to self-reflect and respond to a few questions to provide you some further insight into your staff members’ preferred work style and environment. In addition, the self-assessment questions allow the employee to consider their competencies that focus on their strengths as well as developmental areas. Goals and objectives are also included to determine some specific work / career goals and / or training objectives with timelines for achievement.

  • Self-Assessment and Goal Setting Document for Probationary Employees: PDF | DOC
  • Self-Assessment and Goal Setting Document for Non-Probationary Employees: PDF | DOC

We hope you find these tools of assistance when holding performance conversations. You may wish to revise these tools to suit the needs of your operations.

Discipline process

Discipline in the workplace is the means by which supervisory personnel correct behavioural deficiencies and ensure adherence to established company rules. The purpose of discipline is to correct behaviour. It's not designed to punish or embarrass an employee. 

Positive approach to conflict

Often, a positive approach to dealing with internal conflicts may solve the problem without resorting to discipline. However, if unacceptable behaviour is a persistent problem, or if the employee is involved in a misconduct that can't be tolerated, management may use discipline to correct the behaviour.


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