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Coffeepot Chatter: Performance Management

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What are you doing Maria?

Maria: Entering workplace learning sessions I attended this year in my GPS form.

Tom: We can do that?

Maria: Yes, our 2011 forms were launched back in February, remember?

Tom: Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that.

Harry: It’s a good idea to get a head start on that. Annual appraisal time will be here before we know it.

Maria: I know. It always seems to get so crazy with the holidays and all.

Harry: We could set an earlier deadline for our internal process, if you’d like.

Tom: You mean to complete our self appraisals?

Harry: Yes, Tom, exactly.

Maria: I’d like that.

Tom: Do earlier deadlines really help procrastinators?

Harry: No response, Tom, no response.

Performance Appraisals: A Year-Round Process

One of the goals of moving to an online performance management system such as GPS was to shift Lehigh’s performance review culture from a once-a-year scramble to one that is year-round and offers continual feedback.

The GPS performance management program has three phases: Setting Expectations; Ongoing Tracking and Feedback; and Reviewing Results. If the system is being used to its fullest potential, the three phases should blend into one seamless process so that employees and their supervisors are fully aware of how things are going.

GPS helps employees and supervisors monitor progress toward ongoing key accountabilities and established goals and objectives. Attainment of goal milestones and results can be documented within the system and completion of special projects and assignments should also be recorded.

We’ve seen in the past that Maria works smart, and her attention to her performance appraisal is no exception. Employees and supervisors share responsibility for monitoring performance and initiating conversations about employee performance. It is the manager’s role to provide coaching and balanced feedback.

Each employee and supervisor should communicate about progress and obstacles on a frequent basis, either informally or formally. Requests for input and/or feedback can be initiated by either the employee or the supervisor.

Online Resources, In-Person Training Available

Whether you are a new employee or have used GPS since its launch three years ago, you might find yourself needing a bit of support. The Human Resources (HR) website has a wealth of information about the GPS performance management process. It is all assembled into one easy to use page, the Performance Management Directory.

If you think you would benefit more from face-to-face instruction, you are encouraged to attend a ninety-minute GPS Workshop. There are two scheduled in the next several weeks, on October 20 and November 8, 2011.

In addition, Dr. Ryan Morgan of Integrated Behavioral Health (IBH) will provide useful information for all aspects of the performance appraisal process in his November 2, 2011 presentation:  Focus on Achieving Results. Starting with the self-appraisal, Dr. Morgan will help you get motivated, accurately assess your performance, set priorities, manage your time, set appropriate goals, and reap rewards by focusing on accomplishments.

You can register for any of these sessions by going to the HR Training Registration page.

GPS Survey Launching Soon

If you have been using GPS for the past few years, chances are you have developed a few opinions about it. Whether you have praise or constructive criticism (or a little of both), HR wants to hear from you.

In the next several days, you will be receiving an email with a link to an online survey about the GPS system.  Please (please, please) complete the survey! Your thoughts on this matter are crucial to making GPS the best performance management system it can be. The more employees who complete this survey, the more confident HR can be in the results.

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Spotlight is published monthly by Human Resources. Please address any comments to Hillary Kwiatek, Spotlight Editor, Human Resources, 428 Brodhead Avenue, send email to, or call extension 85165.

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