At Smith College, performance management is designed to assess employee performance while aligning individual goals with the college's overall objectives and core competencies. The ultimate aim of performance management is:
- Set clear and achievable goals for employees
- Provide regular check-ins and feedback on performance
- Identify areas for improvement and development
- Align individual performance with organizational goals
- Facilitate communication and collaboration between employees and managers
- Support employee growth and career advancement
- Evaluate overall performance and contribute to continuous improvement
Smith's Core Competencies
Smith's core competencies encompass a range of knowledge, skills, abilities, and behaviors that enable employees to perform their work effectively and efficiently. These competencies are vital in ensuring the overall success and productivity of the workforce.
Leadership Core Competencies
For those who manage others.
Annual Performance Review Cycle
Below is the information that you need to begin the planning and review process.
The current Annual Performance Review Cycle will cover the period April 1 to March 31.
Goal Setting →
July through September
Mid–Cycle Check–in →
November through January
Performance Review →
April through May
Merit Pay Communication →
The purpose of the Goal Setting process is to align work scope for the coming year, to ensure that the staff member and their manager are expecting the same outputs for the coming year, and to confirm that these expected outputs match the needs of the department as well as the College’s mission, vision and strategy.
Goals may be driven by the department head or manager, or may be driven by the employee based on what they feel their priorities are. We suggest as a best practice that managers review job descriptions with employees during the Goal Setting conversation and make any changes needed to confirm that the job description reflects what the staff member is and should be working on during the year.
All goals should be SMART goals.
- Specific: Goals should be well-defined and specific, leaving no room for ambiguity. They answer the questions of what needs to be accomplished and why.
- Measurable: Goals should be quantifiable, allowing progress to be tracked and measured objectively.
- Achievable: Goals should be realistic and attainable within the given resources and constraints
- Relevant: Goals should be relevant to the context and align with the broader objectives of the individual, team, or the college
- Time-Bound: Goals should have a specific timeframe or deadline for completion. This adds a sense of urgency, helps with prioritization, and creates a clear endpoint for evaluation
Goal Setting Resources
Managers and staff members are encouraged to meet regularly to provide continuous feedback and check in on progress towards goals and maintain a strong partnership around goal completion. During the November – January period (corresponding with the end of the Fall semester) this meeting should be formalized as a more official check in around this progress.
During a mid-year check-in, the employee and manager may discuss:
- Progress Toward Goals: Reviewing the goals and objectives set at the beginning of the performance cycle to assess how much progress has been made and whether any adjustments are needed.
- Performance Feedback: Providing constructive feedback on the employee's performance, highlighting strengths and identifying areas that may require improvement.
- Challenges and Support: Addressing any challenges or obstacles the employee has encountered and discussing how to provide support or resources to help overcome them.
- Development and Training: Identifying opportunities for the employee's skill enhancement and career development, which might involve suggesting training, workshops, or projects.
- Alignment and Expectations: Ensuring that the employee's work is aligned with the College's goals and values, and clarifying any expectations that need further clarity.
- Goal Revisions: If circumstances have changed since the goal setting phase, discuss whether goals need to be revised or updated to remain relevant.
- Recognition: Acknowledging the employee's achievements and contributions during the first half of the performance cycle.
Performance reviews are conducted annually in May/June to correspond with the end of the Academic Year. This will be a formal meeting between a manager or department head and a staff member to review how successfully goals were set during the prior year. The annual review is an opportunity to have an open and honest dialogue about your performance over the past year and to document achievements and development areas.
Documented performance reviews are a significant part of your employment record which influences recommendations for salary increases, promotions, transfers, and/or terminations. Merit increases and any other salary changes should be supported by documentation via the performance review.
While performance reviews are not subject to the grievance process, staff members are encouraged to include their own comments in the appropriate section on the performance review form or attach an additional memo.
Performance Review Resources
In addition to setting and working towards job-related performance goals, Smith staff members are encouraged to set a goal or goals related to their professional development. Managers will partner with staff members to identify areas of opportunity and support them in their growth through this process.