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Manager’s Guide

Performance Support Conversations Program Overview

Red River College is committed to be a workplace where employees feel heard, valued, and supported. The College has received feedback to create a consistent program supporting conversations between managers and employees about the work of the College, their department and how they are contributing to the overall mission of RRC.

The purpose of carrying out performance support conversations is to build a relationship of trust and respect between managers and employees. It is an opportunity for both parties to reflect on the work being done and ways to improve the overall working relationship.

The performance support conversations assist in identifying employee strengths, areas for employee skill development and goals in the workplace. It allows for open communication that can help to improve productivity of the department and the College.

Performance support conversations ideally will take place on an annual basis, but a longer-term implementation plan can be developed based on a variety of factors, including the operational requirements of the College and number of employees in the business unit.

The following Performance Support Conversations Program Form Breakdown will provide you with more details on the Performance Support Conversation Program form and help to prepare you for performance support conversations with employees. 

As part of the Program materials, there is a Manager’s Checklist that outlines the steps to complete a performance conversation. Included in this Guide is:

  • A breakdown of the Performance Support Conversations Program form
  • Email templates and agendas to introduce the program to your department 
  • An email template regrading completion of performance conversations in your department
  • A breakdown of the purpose of each question reviewed in the conversation

Performance Support Conversations Program Form Breakdown

Strategic Themes, Goals, Vision, Mission and Values

  • This section gives the employee a chance to reflect on their contributions to the College and how they promote the College’s goals, vision, mission, and values found in RRC’s Strategic Plan.
  • For more information on the purpose of each question in this section, see Appendix III.

General Questions

  • This section is comprised of questions related to general performance and employee feedback.
  • For more information on the purpose of each question in this section, see Appendix III.

Skills and Principle Responsibilities

  • Fill out this section prior to the performance support conversation.
  • The position’s skills and principle responsibilities can be found on the job’s position description.
  • Allow the employees to explain how they demonstrate the skill and provide your feedback/ observations during the conversation.
Example 1: Customer Service Representative

Use Phrases Like:

  • “You are fulfilling the requirements of [responsibility]”
  • “You are doing an outstanding job and exceeding the requirements of meeting [skill/responsibility]”
  • You are doing an especially good job in [aspect of skill/responsibility]”
SkillHow Employee Meets Skill
Excellent verbal communication skills.Handle all customer encounters calmly and precisely.
Effectively communicate relevant information.
Problem-solves in-person when customers bring up concerns.
Informs management when issues are outside an individual’s control.
Have never received any customer complaints regarding service.
Principle ResponsibilityHow Employee Meets Principle Responsibility
Management of financial transactions.Sets-up payment plans in Colleague in an accurate and timely manner.
Calculates and processes financial transactions correctly and follows-up on any found errors.
Adheres to College financial and cash handling procedures.

Skill Development and Goals

  • The employee will come prepared to the meeting with 1-2 SMART goals they have brainstormed using the “Goal Template for Employees” documents provided to them.
  • Discuss the employee’s goals and collaborate to create goals for the employee.
    • Keep the “Areas of Development” in mind when creating goals.
  • Discuss the supports needed to reach these goals.
  • When creating goals, use the SMART criteria
    • Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely
  • The goals created can be reviewed again at the next performance conversation meeting to discuss progress.
  • To learn more about creating SMART goals, visit MindTools.com or watch Setting Smart Goals on LinkedIn Learning.
Examples
SpecificMeasurableAchievableRelevantTimely
 Use action words; State exactly what will be done
What? Why? Who is involved? Where is it located? 
Provide a way to evaluate; Use metrics or data targets
How much? How often? How many?
Within employee’s scope; Possible to accomplish
Realistic?
Makes sense in employee’s function; Has strategic alignment to the CollegeState when it will be completed by; Be specific on date and timeframe
Goal #1Launch an online learning training course on LEARN for all RRC staff on sustainability in the workplace to ensure staff are up to date on best practices. Work with manager and coworkers in the review and editing process.Bi-weekly meetings with manager; Track progress of development in a spreadsheet.YesYesSeptember 30, 2021 (6 months)
Goal #2Gain a deeper understanding of customer service by completing the “Customer Service Foundations” LinkedIn Learning course.Receiving certificate of completion which is given after completing all course modulesYesYesCompleted by June 2021.

Comments and Questions

  • Invite the employee to ask any questions or to make any additional comments.
  • You, the manager, can also ask any additional questions and make any relevant closing comments.
  • Identify:
    • Accomplishments
      • Ex.  Completion of a project
    • Areas of Strength
      • Ex. Great team member: welcoming, friendly, accommodating
    • Other General Comments 

Closing/Signatures/Moving Forward

  • After all the questions have been asked, close the conversation by thanking the employee for their time and feedback.
  • Ensure both you and the employee sign the Performance Support Conversations Program form indicating the dicussion has taken place.
  • Send the original form to the Human Resources general email inbox at rrchumanresources@rrc.ca to be saved in the employee’s file.
  • If senior management requests to review an employee Performance Support Conversations Program form, then they must sign-off on the form.
  • Send a summary a copy of the Performance Support Conversations Program form to the employee, within one week of the meeting.
    • Encourage the employee to email back if they have their own reflections or thoughts to add.
    • Include action items discussed, such as the ways to improve on areas of development and/or how to reach the proposed goals. 
  • Schedule a follow-up meeting if necessary. This will depend on specific expectations provided and the urgency to make improvements. 

Appendices