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Performance Management Cycle Begins September 14 September 14, 2021

American University Office of Human Resources letterhead

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you for your hard work and contributions to American University, especially through another unprecedented year. Your creativity, teamwork, and commitment are evident in all that we have accomplished and will continue to be crucial in the upcoming year as we transition to AU’s new way of working.

It is time to begin goal-setting for the 2021-2022 performance cycle. The university remains focused on the Changemakers strategic themes of scholarship, learning, and community. Our performance management program will continue to build upon our foundation of setting expectations and goals, having regular check-ins about progress, and supervisors providing coaching and feedback.

As we move into the hybrid work environment this year, supervisors and staff may consider setting a goal around implementing the hybrid work environment in their units. This will cascade directly from Strategic Imperative 9 – How We Work. Goals for the performance period could include ensuring that reboarding to the new environment occurs, health and safety directives are understood and followed, the unit has a plan for supporting team cohesiveness through the core day concept, or work on improving processes or operating guidelines to support the new workplace. Throughout the year, we encourage you to monitor how things are going, celebrate successes, and problem solve as needed.

2021-2022 Performance Phase Cycle

Phase One: Performance Planning

Timing: Now

  • Cabinet members should begin the planning process by having conversations with their divisions about the goals they have set with the President to frame and cascade the work of each division. Based upon division and department goals, the university’s strategic plan, and your day-to-day job expectations, work with your supervisor to set 3-5 performance goals for the year. It is important to set meaningful, measurable, and flexible goals that you and your supervisor can monitor and track. The goals set during this phase are used to measure progress throughout the year and evaluate your performance at the end of the year.
  • Goals should be agreed upon by October 15, 2021, and entered into the performance form in AsuccessfulU.
  • Training: Please join HR in one of the following training sessions this fall to support effective goal setting. Register for Performance Management - Setting Expectations. This course is intended for both staff and supervisors. Over the course of 1.5 hours, you will learn how setting expectations in Phase One impacts Phases Two and Three, learn two techniques for setting clear, measurable goals, and leave with a goal you can add in AsuccessfulU.

Phase Two: Ongoing Conversations at Least Three Times During the Year

Timing: Goal-setting conversation in September, with self-scheduled check-ins at least in December, February, and April

  • Ongoing conversations provide opportunities for staff and supervisors to discuss progress on goals and identify barriers to success. By tracking progress in AsuccessfulU throughout the year, you and your supervisor create a shared accountability of achievement, making the year-end assessment easier, more convenient, and more accurate.

  • The frequency and timing of supervisor check-ins will be impacted by each department’s schedules and workflow, but regular conversations should occur at least three times a year and can be scheduled by either you or your supervisor. We recommend that you schedule those now so that they are on your calendar. It also is a good practice to discuss progress on goals at regular check-in meetings throughout the year.

  • Both individual staff and their supervisors can document progress throughout the year. To document your progress, log into AsuccessfulU and use the ‘Progress Notes’ and ‘Goal Summary’ to record your accomplishments and barriers as you progress throughout the performance year.

  • Training: Supervisors can register for Performance Management - Ongoing Conversations  

Phase Three: Assessment

Timing: May through July

  • As you assess performance, you are recognizing your achievements and reflecting upon how you tackled the challenges you experienced throughout the year. Both staff and supervisors use the notes from the ‘Progress Notes’ or ‘Goal Summary’ to rate the completion of each goal and measure competencies.
  • Self-assessments will open on May 6, 2022, and should be completed by June 5. Supervisor assessments should be completed in AsuccessfulU by July 8, 2022.
  • Training: Supervisors can register for Performance Management – Performance Assessments

If you have questions about performance management, Michelle Frederick on the Talent Strategies Team, is here to help you. Email for assistance.

Performance Management information and additional support tools can be found on the AsuccessfulU landing page on the myAU Portal.