Performance Management: Mid-year reviews for 2020 performance cycle

Posted on July 17, 2020

This message serves to communicate the following:

We commend staff members who worked tirelessly to ensure business continuity with minimal disruptions to critical and essential service offerings, thus ensuring sustained levels of service delivery as we continue to adjust to a changed work context. Accordingly we acknowledge that some staff members have not been actively working during the lockdown period, as their work did not allow for them to continue working virtually. This communique serves to provide the necessary guidelines to facilitate continuation of this crucial stage of the performance management cycle and ensure ongoing feedback with employees.

 Mid-year review period

We have reached the mid-year performance management review period, where all employees’ performance must be reviewed in line with their signed performance agreements.

Guidance pertaining to potential deviations to the performance review process

In compliance with the lockdown regulations, face-to-face contact should be kept to a minimum. However, we note that part of the performance review process, in terms of the applicable policy, requires one-on-one conversations. To minimise the need for face-to-face contact during the lockdown period, the University has adapted the mode of evaluation to allow performance assessments to be conducted and completed virtually.

As part of the mid-year performance review process, all communication avenues should be exhausted to engage with staff to achieve the following:

  • Line managers to discuss performance achievements and challenges with employees;
  • Review progress with regard to a personal development plan (PDP); and
  • Open and constructive dialogue through exchange of views on progress and development requirements.

In the event that some staff will not be able to engage with the performance review process remotely through various media platforms, staff must be engaged telephonically wherever possible, followed up with a text message (SMS/WhatsApp) to record a summary of the final discussion, and confirmation by both line manager and employee that such a conversation has been conducted.

In the event that the above-mentioned alternatives are not possible, line managers should alert their HR Business Partner to the challenges, and defer conversations to a time when these staff members are able to return to work. Kindly note that deferral should be treated as an exception rather than the rule.

Line managers must be aware that prolonging the period of the performance review may lead to unintended consequences and future performance assessment disputes. Consequently, we urge parties to avoid deferral as much as possible, and such deferral should be approved by the line manager’s supervisor and a record kept thereof.

Please note that the due date for mid-year reviews is 31 July 2020.

Below please find a link to information and resources related to performance management, including how to capture your performance agreement and mid-year review:!%40%40%3F_afrLoop%3D3975340435283488%26_adf.ctrl-state%3Dot16ayh7r_42

A list of frequently asked questions is attached for your ease of reference.

Please do not hesitate to contact your HR Business Partner should you have any queries relating to this process.

Kind regards,

Ms. Sithembile Mbuyisa

Director: Department of Human Resources

- Author Sithembile Mbuyisa, the Director of Department of Human Resources

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