Frequently Asked Questions
The Development Dialogue Resource guide (insert link) contains sections with answers to many Frequently Asked Questions. Some of the more common questions are covered here.
Who is responsible for managing a staff member's career path?
The staff member is responsible for managing his/her own career path, supported by their line manager. The development dialogue model makes provision for this during the development dialogue.
How confidential is the outcome of a Development Dialogue?
All staff information is treated as highly confidential. Information disclosed in this process will not be shared with or be made available to managers and staff that are not authorised to have access to it.
The 'Meeting' category states that a staff member "consistently meets all objectives and position requirements". Does this then mean that if you meet almost all objectives and requirements, but one has not been met, that you cannot be rated 'Meeting'?
Overall performance must be considered: "What has the performance been worth to the department and UCT over the previous cycle?" It is presumed that there has been a discussion as to why a KPA has not been met. It could be because departmental priorities have changed and or that there was focus shift, or that systemic issues made it difficult to attain, and although the objectives should have been amended during the cycle, they weren't. In such a case, the rating should be 'Meeting'. If however the person simply didn't do the work with no valid reason and the KPA is an important part of the position, then it should be 'Not Meeting'. One needs to weigh up the extent of the outstanding KPA and the overall impact that this has on performance.
If the staff member has been on parental leave or long leave, what should they be rated?
Overall performance during the time that they were at work should be considered: "What has the performance been worth to the department and UCT?" KPAs should have been set that allow for this time off. In such a case, and if they have met their performance targets, the rating should be 'Meeting'. If a person has been in the position for a short period of the performance cycle, and not had the opportunity to demonstrate performance, the rating should be 'Unrated'. If however the person didn't do the work that they were contracted to do, then it should be 'Not Meeting'.
If the staff member is new or the position has changed, what should they be rated?
When a new person starts, or the position changes substantially, objectives should be set for the remainder of the performance cycle. So while the person may not yet have had the time or the opportunity by the time of the final appraisal to have demonstrated full competence, or to have performed the entire scope of the position, an 'Unrated' rating would be appropriate.
However, where the person is relatively new, or the position has changed, and the person has had the time and opportunity to perform the objectives set, and has not, then a 'Not meeting' rating may be appropriate.
If the staff member is acting in another post and performing their substantive role, which post are they performance rated in, and so rewarded in?
The person should be receiving an acting allowance, and this allowance is the reward for performing these extra or higher level duties. They would thus be rated in their substantive post.
If the staff member has been fully seconded to an acting role, which post are they performance rated in, and so rewarded in?
The person should be receiving an acting allowance, and this allowance is the reward for performing these extra or higher level duties. They would thus be rated in their substantive post as 'Unrated'.
If a staff member consistently performs at the 'Exceeds' levels should we re-grade the position?
Performance relates to the person; position grading relates to the position. If the person is consistently performing above the requirements of the position, then the 'Exceeds' award is appropriate. However, if the requirements of the position change or increase, then the position needs to be evaluated, and may be re-graded (and the person may or may not be able to perform at this new level). An easy way to make the distinction is to ask: "If this person leaves UCT, would the post be advertised at the current grade, or at a higher grade?" If at the current grade, then the 'Exceeds' award is appropriate, if at a higher grade, then position grading is appropriate. Should the grade change, then the person and line manager would then need to set objectives at the higher level, and the person would be measured against those more complex objectives.
Can a person still qualify for an 'Exceeds' award for their 'old' position, if they move positions within UCT or leave UCT within the performance cycle? And what happens when the position is re-graded?
The Development Forum will ensure that these awards are awarded fairly and consistently. You will be rewarded for the position or positions performed in the performance cycle and pro-rations will apply if applicable.
Can a person still qualify for an 'Exceeds' award if they have been rewarded through an acting allowance or overtime?
An 'Exceeds' award rewards exceptional performance. Exceptional performance may not be the same as working overtime or acting in another post. If the person receives an acting allowance or overtime, this is the reward for performing these extra or higher level duties. The person is rated and hence rewarded in their substantive post.
Can a person on a fixed term contract qualify for an 'Exceeds' award?
Development Dialogues are not compulsory for staff on fixed term contracts (the agreement only covers permanent staff). However, performance management as a management tool should be used by all managers to manage all staff. It is recommended that managers of fixed term contract staff use Development Dialogues, to aid them in doing this. While some fixed term contracts may be too short to last a full performance cycle, the line manager should still set objectives at the beginning of the contract and review performance regularly. If the Development Dialogues have been used, and a fixed term contract staff member qualifies for an 'Exceeds' award, then they may indeed be nominated. Staff appointed post-retirement do not qualify.
Why are we using a paper based manual system, and not an online one?
We are working towards an online integrated performance engagement system. However, we are not there yet.Page last updated: 19 April 2023