Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question not answered here? Contact your Human Resource Consultant or your manager.
This FAQ is designed to assist managers and employees get a deeper understanding of why performance support conversations are conducted. This list will help answer some common questions that may come up when going through the Performance Support Conversations Program. Please refer to the Employee/Manager Guides as well, as they provide more information on the overall program.
What are performance support conversations?
The performance support conversations help to facilitate discussions between managers and employees. It is a chance to review the College’s mission, vision, values and strategic themes and goals and identify how the employee is contributing to these elements. As well, it allows the employee to share accomplishments, determine what helped and hindered their work in the past year, and determine how the manager can better help them. The manager will share strengths of the employee and gain insight into the departmental team needs. Both the employee and manager work together to collaboratively develop goals and openly discuss any other relevant topics that are not outlined on the Performance Support Conversations Program form. These evaluations are a great way to check-in, share ideas and ultimately establish rapport.
What are the benefits of performance support conversations?
Performance support conversations open the door for improved communication between the manager and employee. They are a great way to recognize the commitment and contributions made by Red River College Polytechnic employees to further the mission and vision of the organization. Performance support conversations can lead to employee work that has stronger alignment to the College’s strategic plan and increased commitment to the job due to the sharing of clear expectations. It is a great way for both parties to show appreciation and recognize each other’s accomplishments.
What tools are available to assist the employee and manager to carry out the Performance Support Conversations Program?
There is a Performance Support Conversations Program form available for both the employee and manager to review. As well, there are Employee and Manager Performance Support Conversations Program Guides that go more in depth on the purpose of the performance support conversation and the types of questions to be discussed.
Do all managers need to use the Performance Support Conversations Program form when having performance conversations?
Yes. After implementation of the Performance Support Conversations Program, all managers should be using the form so there is consistency in the College’s performance management.
The Performance Support Conversations Program form has space to write down notes, should the manager be capturing everything the employee says?
The space provided on the form is meant for the manager to add in key discussion points that are covered in the meeting. The manager should not be trying to record everything the employee is saying as it is meant to be a natural conversation. The employee is also encouraged to bring in a notebook to take notes and should bring in the completed “Goal Template for Employees” document found in Appendix I of the Performance Support Conversations Program’s Employee’s Guide.
How often do performance support conversations take place?
Performance support conversations should take place on an annual basis. However, if the employee or manager feels as though additional meetings are necessary, the meetings can occur more frequently.
How long does the performance support conversation take?
The meeting lengths may vary, but typically, a performance support conversation will take about 30-60 minutes. Each party is encouraged to not focus on the time the meeting will take up, but the value both parties will take away from the meeting.
Can other people, such as team managers or leads, join the conversation as well?
There are some cases where multiple managers supervise one employee. In these situations, it is encouraged that these managers meet prior to the performance support conversation to discuss important items to be addressed. It is recommended that only one of the managers participate in the performance support conversation with the employee. If it is deemed necessary to have more than one manager participate, consider having separate meetings between the employee and each leader. These conversations are a time for effective discussion between each party to help build stronger relationships. Having more than one manager in a meeting can be uncomfortable for some employees and impede open conversation.
What if senior management requests to see one or more Performance Support Conversations Program form(s) within the department, can the form be passed along?
Yes, if requested, senior management can review any completed Performance Support Conversations Program form(s) within their department. There is a section at the bottom of the form that needs to be signed if senior management does review the form.
Do part-time and casual employees need to meet to participate in performance support conversations?
Yes, casual, and part-time employees need to meet with their manager to discuss their work, accomplishments, and goals. This is a great opportunity to build a stronger relationship as contact may be more limited, strictly based on the employee’s reduced hours of work.
When a manager schedules a performance conversation, does it mean that the employee is not doing their job well?
No. Performance support conversations are intended to be open discussions with managers and each of their employees. These conversations are not disciplinary in nature.
Why should employees prepare for the performance support conversation, isn’t that the manager’s job?
The performance support conversation will have greater benefit when there is input from the manager and employee. The employee knows their strengths and contributions to the College better than anyone else does. Taking the time to think through the questions in advance makes the conversation more productive. It also gives the employee the chance to consider the areas that they would like to emphasize and lets them propose learning goals.
Can an employee refuse to engage in a performance support conversation?
Performance support conversations are undertaken to benefit employees. The conversations are intended to provide positive information on the employee’s role and how it aligns with the College’s purpose. If an employee has concerns about performance support conversations and would like to understand the process better, they can contact their Human Resource Consultant or the Union. Performance support conversations are not disciplinary and are meant to be a positive engagement between the manager and employees.
As an employee, does signing the Performance Support Conversations Program form mean that the employee agrees with all the manager’s comments?
No. Your signature at the bottom of the form only indicates that the performance discussion has taken place.
What happens if an employee is not meeting the expectations of the position?
Performance support conservations are not intended to support an employee who is not working to the level that is necessary to meet the expectations of their position. In that situation, the manager should contact their Human Resource Consultant and if appropriate develop a Performance Improvement Plan.
Are there additional resources for managers and employees to learn skills applicable to performance support conversation preparation and other aspects of work?
Yes. The College offers a variety of resources that that are accessible to all employees. These resources include LinkedIn Learning courses, in-house training offerings and a library full of books on leadership and other related topics. A comprehensive list of tools can be found in the Performance Support Conversations Program’s Training Support for Managers and Employees document.
What is the long-term implementation plan of Performance Support Conversations Program?
Implementation of the Performance Support Conversations Program is a very important initiative for the College. Having performance support conversations carried out on an annual basis is the ideal timeframe for this Program. However, due to operational requirements of the College, some exceptional circumstances allow for a more flexible timeline. The altered timeline would involve performance support conversations taking place once every two years for employees.
See the Performance Support Conversations Program’s Planning Tool document for a more detailed outline of the long-term implantation plan of the Performance Support Conversations Program.