November 2017: The revised edition of Bedford Borough Council’s Guide to PDRs. as above, replaces the previous version.
A work planning and performance appraisal is a systematic and regular (usually annual) process that assesses an individual member of staff’s performance in relation to pre-established criteria and objectives. It is an important opportunity for a staff member to gain feedback on their performance from their manager, provide a summary of their work and achievements and develop their skills through training. It provides a formal opportunity for managers to provide motivation to a member of staff, even if there have been areas of concern.
The objectives for the PDR should be agreed by both the manager and member of staff either once the staff member has been confirmed in post (in the case of a new employee) or at the last PDR (for staff in continuing employment). The objectives should be a mix of specific areas of interest for the individual staff member, those related to the post / team, and those which reflect the directorate’s vision and direction.
Other aspects of the staff member’s performance should also be considered, such as team working, strengths and weaknesses, overall behaviour, and potential future achievements.
Preparation is key to a successful and productive appraisal meeting, the manager and staff member should each complete appraisal and work planning documents prior to commencement of the session. It is crucial that all issues are supported with evidence from work completed throughout the year; this may be from a variety of sources including Supervision
Issues that have been raised in supervision since the last review – either as good practice or areas where improvement is required – should be discussed.
Following a review of the achievements (or otherwise) from the previously agreed objectives, new or revised objectives should be agreed within defined timescales. This will include identified training needs, either as a result of new areas of interest expressed by the staff member for development that complements their current post, or as a result of acknowledged issues which require improvement.
If the manager and member of staff fail to agree on achievements of the previous set of objectives, or training needs or setting of future objectives, these should be recorded with supporting evidence. The local performance development review policy and procedure should contain a course of action for responding to such disagreements.
The PDR discussion and the agreed future objectives should be recorded and signed by the manager and counter signed by the staff member, who should also be provided with a copy. This may be done via email as an electronic documentation of the agreement.