Human Resources Newsletter

February 2013

Newsletter Masthead

Special Edition: PMP Mid-Year Discussion

Performance management and staff development are highly valued by AU and its leaders. AU’s performance depends on the performance of its staff. With that in mind, last August, a revamped Performance Management Program (PMP) was introduced to create a simpler, more transparent, and relevant program. It was designed to offer a performance program that clarifies expectations and establishes high standards; motivates staff to do their best; ensures that staff have the skills to contribute fully; and supports the relationship, understanding, and insight between staff and their supervisors. The changes made to the PMP were aimed at making the program more effective and were based on the feedback we received from AU staff, managers and administrators, and best practices in human resources.

By Friday, March 29, the mid-point of the annual PMP cycle, you and your supervisor are required to conduct a mid-year discussion. The purpose of this discussion is to:

  • review the progress you have made since beginning of the PMP cycle last August towards achieving your goals;
  • evaluate your level of proficiency in each of the competencies.
Read on to learn more about the PMP mid–year discussions.

What's New...And Not So New About The Mid-Year Discussion?

As in years past, the new PMP’s mid-year discussions offer you and your supervisors an opportunity to “check in,” and review the progress you have made since the beginning of the PMP cycle. Certain aspects of the PMP have changed, and include:

What’s New

  • The mid-year discussions begin with your self-evaluation as well as your supervisor’s input in AsuccessfulU, the online PMP system. AsuccessfulU is designed to offer greater simplicity, consistency, and transparency. Your evaluations will serve as the basis of discussion for your “check-in” meeting.
  • You and your supervisor will evaluate your level of proficiency in each of the Job and Core competencies. You no longer select competencies as you had in the past. They are assigned to you based on the level of your position. If you identify areas for improvement in your competencies, you and your supervisor will create a plan to support your development.

Return to top


HR Newsletter Archives

Read past issues of the Human Resources Newsletter

How to Contact Us

Human Resources
(202) 885-2591
AU_HRnews@american.edu

PMP and AsuccessfulU Questions?

Do you have a question about the revamped PMP? Having trouble finding or logging in to set up your goals in AsuccessfulU? Email AsuccessfulU@american.edu and a member of the HR team will help you.

The Mid-Year Discussion: A Step-By-Step Overview

Mid-Year Discussion Form

The Mid-Year Discussion process begins later this month when you will receive an email from AsuccessfulU@american.edu containing a link to the AsuccessfulU page. Once you log in to AsuccessfulU, complete the Self-Assessment portion of the Mid-Year Discussion form.

In the Self-Assessment portion of the Mid-Year Discussion form, you will have the opportunity to:

  • enter comments on the progress of your goals, as well as add new goals, if necessary;
  • review and enter comments about your proficiency in
    • Core competencies – behaviors and skills that are expected of every staff member regardless of level, and which will be evaluated at the year-end review in July 2013; and
    • Job competencies – behaviors and skills assigned to, and expected of, you based on the level of your position (front-line, mid-level, upper-level) and the scope and impact of your work. You will be evaluated on these competencies starting in 2014.

Once you complete your Self-Assessment and select “Send to Next Step,” the form will be sent to your supervisor for his/her input. Your supervisor will receive an email from AsuccessfulU@american.edu once your form is ready for review.

After your supervisor inputs his/her assessment of the progress of your goals and your proficiency in your competencies, you can schedule a “check-in” meeting.

Mid-Year Discussion

The evaluations in your Mid-Year Discussion form will serve as the basis of discussion for your “check-in” meeting with your supervisor. Your points of discussion may include:

  • reviewing the progress you have made towards your goals since the start of the PMP cycle in August;
  • identifying the barriers you may be facing towards the achievement of your goals, and developing plans to overcome them;
  • ensuring that you have a total of five to six goals that you are able to track and manage throughout the annual performance period;
  • reviewing your proficiency in your Job and Core competencies (both of which are described in detail in the Staff Competencies Guide),
  • identifying competency gaps (which may be the result of a lower level of proficiency, or because it is a new competency or you are new to the job), and setting one or two development goals to help you obtain the necessary skills or knowledge;
  • creating a plan to address areas for improvement, and discussing developmental opportunities for further growth in your knowledge and skills; and
  • scheduling additional, periodic check-in meetings, if necessary, to review progress further.

Be sure to complete the mid-year discussion process by March 29.

Return to top

More Opportunities to Learn About the Revamped PMP

The following training and communication plans are available to assist you with the AsuccessfulU system:

Online Training

Staff, supervisors, and faculty administrators can learn more about the PMP program and how to perform the mid-year phase. The online training course for the mid-year check-in runs approximately 30 minutes. To access training:

  1. Click here to access the AsuccessfulU portal site.
  2. Click the "Go to AsuccessfulU" button in the middle of the page.
  3. From the "Home" tab on the top left of the page click on the "Learning" tab from the drop down menu.
  4. Go to "Performance Management Program: The Mid-year Discussion" to launch the course; hover your mouse over the title, to the right will be a button that says "Go to Content," click that to launch the video. Some may need to complete pre-requisites before accessing this course.
  5. If you have completed the live course "Performance Management Program: The Mid-year Discussion: Workshop for Managers" and would like to take this online course, search on keyword "Mid-year" in the 'Search Catalog' field to find the course in the online catalog.

* NOTE * The tutorials work best using Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9. Make sure your pop up blocker is disabled, or the video will not launch. If you experience problems launching the online tutorial, please contact helpdesk@american.edu.

User Guides

Step-by-step procedures for using the AsuccessfulU electronic system is available to staff for reference as they navigate through it. To obtain a user guide, visit the AsuccessfulU portal site. Click on the resources listed under "AsuccessfulU: User Guides."

Monthly Newsletter

The monthly newsletter shares human resources-related news and events with you. It also is a source for periodic, additional information about the changes in the PMP program and how to make best use of its features. To view current and past issues, visit the HR Newsletter Archives page.

Departmental PMP Resource People

Human Resources has worked with department leaders to identify at least one well trained “super user” in each university department who can serve as a resource person to staff and faculty administrators. These PMP Resource People have received specialized training on the AsuccessfulU electronic system and serve as the internal “help” function for staff and faculty administrators as they use it. Click here to see the current list of super users.

If you have questions about the new PMP program or using AsuccessfulU, please email asuccessfulu@american.edu.

Return to top

Other HR News: AhealthyU: AU’s Faculty and Staff Wellness Program

AhealthyU Great American Weight Loss Challenge Team HDP

Last fall, 121 faculty and staff members accepted AhealthyU’s Great American Weight Loss Challenge to lose weight and keep it off during the holiday season. Teams of four worked together to meet their healthy weight loss goals over the course of the six-week program. Cash prizes were awarded to the three teams who achieved the highest percentage of their weight loss goals. Team H&DP, made up of Laura Matteo, Nick Sabato, Chad LaDue, and Ryan Anderson, finished at 99.4 percent of their goal weight and took home the $400 first-place check. Weight Loss Challenge participants lost a total of 417.5 pounds! See final standings and more information about the Great American Weight Loss Challenge.

Return to top

Make Your Nominations For Staff Performance Awards

Staff Performance Award

Staff Appreciation Week may be a few months away, but don’t miss the chance now to nominate your colleagues for this year’s Staff Performance Awards Program. There are five awards categories:

  • Innovation
  • Teamwork
  • Diversity
  • Customer Focus
  • Service to the AU Community

You may nominate an individual, group, or team. To learn more go to http://www.american.edu/universityawards/Staff-Awards.cfm. To nominate staff:

  • Click on Work@AU on the AU portal.
  • Click on the “HR Staff Awards Nomination” link under your Personalized links to begin the nomination form.

All nominations must be received by Friday, March 1. Awards will be presented on Tuesday, May 21 during Staff Appreciation Week.

Return to top