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Performance & Development Review Policy

Category Human Resources
Type Policy
Approved by Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Group, 2006
Date Policy Took Effect 1 August 2021
Last Approved Revision 1 July 2021
Sponsor Director of Human Resources
Responsible Officer Head, Organisational Development
Review Date 1 July 2026

Purpose

The University of Otago recognises the value of investing in individual development, assessment, planning, goal setting and achievement. The Professional Staff Performance and Development Review (PDR) is the primary means for aligning the performance, skills, knowledge, and career development of professional staff with the goals and requirements of the University.

Organisational Scope

This Policy applies to all Professional staff as defined in section 3 of this Policy.

Definitions

Accelerated Increase
Any increase of more than one standard increase as per the PDR Guidelines.
Appointment Range
Bottom half of salary range for the level on a salary scale
Appointment Increase
A standard increase within the Appointment Range.
Descriptor
Examples that describe how staff may demonstrate their level of performance within a Competency.
Divisional Heads (for the purpose of this process only)
Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Deans in Health Sciences, Chief Operating Officer, and Directors of the Professional Divisions.
Head
The manager with the delegated authority for PDR salary increases.
Level
The different levels within a Salary Scale. Each level will have a salary range.
Merit Range
Top half of the salary range for the Level.
Performance Level
The 5 levels of performance assessed during the Review; “Outstanding”, “Exceeds Expectations”, “Fully Competent”, “Working Satisfactorily towards Full Competence” or “Requires Improvement”
Progress Review
The update reviews between Reviewer and Reviewee that occur at set intervals during the review period
Review
The formal PDR between the staff member and their Reviewer.
Review period
The period from the last Review or appointment to the next Review
Reviewee
the staff member who is being reviewed
Reviewer
The manager or supervisor who is doing the Review.
Salary Scale
The scale that the staff member is currently on as determined by their employment agreement. It may have defined salary steps or may only show a salary range.
Salary Range
The range from the bottom to the top of a level within a Salary Scale.

Content

1. Principles

The aims of the PDR process are to:

  1. Focus staff on appropriate professional development opportunities.
  2. Produce agreed goals for staff and appropriate support to achieve them.
  3. Encourage an effective working relationship between a staff member and their manager based on an honest and open exchange of views.
  4. Provide the staff member with an opportunity for a Salary Review with someone who has first-hand knowledge of their work.
  5. Align staff knowledge, skills and development with the strategic direction of the department and the University.
  6. Ensure there are no surprises during the formal PDR.
  7. Ensure a regular Review of job performance over the previous 12 months.

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2. Timeframe

  1. The PDR year starts at the completion of the formal PDR Review and ends at the time of the next annual review.
  2. The formal PDR Review meeting happens once a year between 1 August and 31 October.
  3. All PDR forms are completed and signed by the Reviewer, Reviewee and Head by the dates set by the University but no later than the end of the Calendar year.
  4. Salary Review outcomes are decided by the dates set by the University but no later than the end of the calendar year.
  5. Regular Progress Reviews are required to be scheduled throughout the year.

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3. PDR eligibility

The PDR Policy applies to those staff who:

  1. Are permanently employed on either the General Staff Collective Employment Agreement, Professional Staff Individual Employment Agreement or the Management Band Individual Employment Agreement and have been employed since 31 July in the Review year.
  2. Are employed on fixed term agreements and have worked for 3 months or more. If the fixed term agreement ends before 1 February and it is unclear whether the position will be funded on 1 February, a salary Review should still be completed. This shall not however bind the University to provide employment beyond the terms of the current agreement.
  3. Staff are not eligible for salary Reviews if they have worked less than 3 months or, they have left the organisation or, they will not be continuing employment within the University beyond 31 January of the following year.
  4. The PDR process can be used for staff not included in the above, e.g. short-term fixed-term, casual employees. However, these staff will not be eligible for salary Review through this process.
  5. Completing a PDR Review is compulsory for eligible staff.
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4. Changes to role

If a staff member’s position changes and/or is re-evaluated at a new level during the Review period, the Head must decide whether salary progression is appropriate in the new level. As a general rule;

  1. if the effective date of the re-evaluation of the staff member’s position occurred before 1 August, and the staff member’s performance is Reviewed against the requirements for the new or changed role then a salary increase should be considered in the new level.
  2. If the effective date of the re-evaluation of the staff member’s position occurred after 1 August, the staff member’s performance is Reviewed against the old position description and therefore a salary increase should be considered in the old level.

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5. Assessment

Outcomes and Competencies are the key tools for assessment of performance and defining areas for development.

  1. Outcomes
    1. An outcome is what has been achieved as assessed against a predetermined set of tasks, functions or responsibilities. They may be sourced from a range of areas including job descriptions, PDR meetings, policies, or practices.
    2. Expected outcomes are what staff are expected to achieve during a Review period.
  2. Competencies

    The competencies focus on the way or manner in which the outcomes can be achieved.

    1. The University has 8 generic competencies:
      • Knowledge and Skills
      • Teamwork and Co-operation
      • Organisation, Planning and Self-Management
      • Problem Solving / Decision Making
      • Service to Customers
      • Initiative and Innovation
      • Leadership and People Management
      • Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho / Language and Culture
    2. Each competency is made up of a series of descriptors of performance or behaviour. These are described in detail in Appendix 1 – Competencies.
    3. For the purposes of the PDR it is expected that:
      • The majority of the competencies will apply when describing the level of staff performance. Some may be of more significance depending on the role.
      • Not all the competency descriptors would apply to each position or to a particular outcome.

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6. Performance levels within competencies

Within each competency there are five performance levels:

  • Outstanding
  • Exceeds Expectations
  • Fully Competent
  • Working Satisfactorily towards Full Competence
  • Requires Improvement
  1. Definitions of performance levels
     
    Outstanding
    Consistently achieves all their outcomes as described in the “outstanding” performance descriptors. The Key outcomes are recognised as exceeding the normal expectations for the role.
    Exceeds Expectations
    Achieves some outcomes that are recognised to be beyond the requirements of the role as described in the “outstanding” performance descriptors for key competencies, and balanced with outcomes achieved at the “fully competent” level for other competencies.
    Fully Competent
    Achieves all expected outcomes to a high standard as described in the “fully competent” performance descriptors. Performance assessed at this level is considered as meeting normal expectations for the role.
    Working Satisfactorily toward Full Competence
    Achieves some expected outcomes and demonstrates full competence in some areas as described in the “working satisfactorily towards full competence” performance descriptors. Development is required in some areas of the role but progress towards “fully competent” is evident.
    Requires Improvement
    Does not achieve some expected outcomes; performance is as described in the “requires improvement” performance descriptors. Development is required in some key areas of the role but improvement is not evident
  2. Exceeds Expectations Descriptors
  3. Unlike the other levels, Exceeds Expectations does not have a set of descriptors of the performance level (refer Appendix 1). This level is met by demonstrating all the relevant descriptors in the Fully Competent performance level and some of the relevant descriptors in the Outstanding performance level. The proportion of outstanding outcomes will increase as the staff member progresses up the scale.

  4. The level of Fully Competent
  5. The expectation is that all staff will attain the level of Fully Competent. They will do this by progressing through the Appointment steps within the Appointment range. The number of Appointment steps will vary depending on the level of Appointment and initial placement within that range.

    Once the level of Fully Competent is achieved it is expected that this will become the minimum standard of performance.

  6. Changes in Assessment across Reviews
  7. For a range of reasons it may not be possible to sustain an assessment at the higher levels of Exceeds Expectations and Outstanding over time. Therefore, there may be movement within the levels of Fully Competent, Exceeds Expectations and Outstanding over time, e.g. someone assessed as Outstanding one year may be assessed as Exceeds Expectations or Fully Competent the following year.

  8. Service to the University Community and/or Service to the Wider Community
  9. Service to the University and wider community is not a requirement for professional staff, but a number of staff are involved in activities that benefit the University, and this kind of contribution needs to be acknowledged and valued. It is an additional positive factor which should be taken into consideration when assessing the level of performance.

    Service can cover a very wide range of areas and includes all activities which are voluntary and not part of the job description. To be considered, the activities must benefit the University and should not detract from the staff member’s ability to do their job. Listed below are examples of the types of activities that could be considered as community service:

    1. Fostering positive links and better understanding between the University and groups such as local papatipu rūnanga, Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu and ngā Iwi Māori;
    2. Membership of University committees such as the Operational Health and Safety Committee, or divisional and departmental committees;
    3. Supporting a professional association or staff grouping e.g. the Technicians’ Forum, Staff Women’s Caucus etc;
    4. Acting as a contact person under the Ethical Behaviour Policy.
    5. Territorial or St Johns Ambulance service

    A lack of relevant community service is not a negative factor as it is essentially a voluntary activity and not everyone has the opportunity to contribute in this way.

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7. Parties involved in the PDR

  1. The person who manages the staff member’s work directly will normally be the main Reviewer.
  2. A Reviewer should have responsibility for a manageable number of Reviewees. If the number of reviewees exceeds what is reasonably manageable then alternatives must be considered. Consideration may include delegating, shared or assisted reviews, or other alternative ways for completing the PDR.
  3. It may be appropriate for the Reviewer to be supported by a more senior manager in completing the PDR.
  4. In some situations, it may be appropriate to invite someone with additional knowledge about the performance to participate in or contribute to the Review. This should be discussed in advance of a Review meeting.

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8. Support People in the PDR review

  1. Either party has the opportunity to bring a support person to the Review meeting. This could be, for example, a colleague, whānau support or a union representative. There may be a variety of reasons why a staff member would like a support person.
  2. If a support person is to be involved, the parties participating in the Review should discuss and clarify in advance what their role in the meeting will be. For example, a support person might provide support but not speak during the session, or they may provide prompts to help provide information.

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9. The formal PDR meeting

The formal PDR must be completed before 31 October. The requirements for the Review meeting are:

  1. The Reviewer will give the Reviewee at least one week’s notice of the Review meeting, offer the opportunity to bring a support person, and ensure adequate opportunity to prepare.
  2. The Reviewer should arrange a suitable place for the PDR meeting.
  3. In the Review meeting, the parties will discuss the staff member’s performance in terms of expected outcomes and competencies.
  4. The parties will discuss the overall assessment of the staff member’s performance. The Reviewer will consider all the information discussed at the meeting before finalising the decision about the overall assessment of performance.
  5. If the Reviewer believes that more information is needed before a decision can be reached, a second meeting can be arranged and plans made to obtain the necessary information.
  6. A work and development plan will be developed for the next year.
  7. Dates will be agreed for the parties to meet and Review progress towards achieving outcomes and meeting commitments (e.g. development or courses) over the next 12 months.
  8. Salary decisions rest with the Divisional Head. The Divisional process for moderating and approving increases will determine whether the Reviewer discusses salary increases during the meeting.
  9. The Reviewer will write up the PDR form.
  10. The Head, if not the Reviewer, and the staff member have an opportunity to make additional comments in the PDR Form.
  11. The completed form will then be signed by all parties and copied to the Reviewer, the staff member and the departmental personnel file. This should be completed by the end of November.

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10. Salary review

a. Standard Increase

The standard salary increase will depend on the specific scale that applies to a position. For example, for roles on Scale 1 the standard Appointment Range salary increase is one step and in the Merit Range three steps in Levels 1-3 and four steps in Levels 4-8.

b. Appointment Range Increase

The salary at the top of the Appointment range is normally seen as an appropriate salary for a staff member who:

  1. has worked in that position or a similar one, for the number of years equivalent to the number of Appointment steps for the level of that position, and,
  2. is achieving at the expected level of performance in the position (i.e., meeting the appropriate objectives and performing at the level described by the Fully Competent performance level).

All staff should perform at a level to enable them to reach the top of the Appointment range within the number of years equivalent to the allocated number of Appointment steps for that level.

Staff within the Appointment range will receive a standard salary increase as long as:

  1. Their performance level has not been assessed as Requires Improvement and
  2. A standard salary increase means that their new salary step remains within the Appointment range.


If a staff member’s performance is assessed as Requires Improvement, appropriate support and a development plan will be put in place to assist with an improvement in performance.

c. Merit Range Increase

Staff in the Merit range are being paid beyond what the university expects to pay for that position in recognition for their performance. The performance expectations increase as staff progress up the Merit range.

  1. Staff within the Merit range will be considered for a salary increase if their overall performance is assessed as Exceeds Expectations or Outstanding depending on their current salary level and the corresponding criteria for that level.
  2. Staff near the top of the Merit range who want to be considered for a salary increase, will need to demonstrate that they consistently demonstrate outstanding performance across a broad range of competencies.
  3. When a staff member is less than a standard salary increase from the top of the Merit range, the Head may, as an exception, award an increase that is smaller than the standard increase to take the salary to the top of the Merit range.

d. Accelerated Salary Increases

An accelerated increase is two steps and may be considered in either range when a performance level of “Exceeds Expectations” or “Outstanding” is given.

e. Management Band Increases

The Management Band scales are set out in ranges. The criteria and level of salary increases are outlined in the Management PDR Guidelines.

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11. Support during the PDR process

  1. For the Review to be successful, it is important that the parties maintain a respectful and constructive working relationship. A range of support is available to assist with the process including providing advice on staff development opportunities or skills-based training, development plans and objective setting.
  2. Support is available at any time. Working on the principle that there should be “no surprises” during the formal PDR, it is better that the support options are called on when the need is first identified – this is more likely to be during one of the progress meetings prior to the formal PDR.
  3. People available to provide advice and support at any stage include, but are not limited to, colleagues, senior staff in your Division, the Divisional HR Managers, the HR Promotions & Remuneration team, the Manager, Recruitment, Development & Equity, Union Representatives and the University Mediator. These staff may be able to help directly or suggest other people or options. These resources are available to all campuses.

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12. What to do if a disagreement should arise

  1. If a disagreement should arise between the parties during the Review, they will be encouraged to resolve it themselves using the options outlined in section 14 as this allows them to keep control of how they manage their working relationship.
  2. If, at the end of the process, there is a significant ongoing disagreement that is likely to take a medium to long term period to resolve, it is recommended that staff invite an appropriate third party to facilitate a constructive discussion to help both parties reach an agreement. This could be any person that both parties believe has the knowledge and personal skills to help resolve the disagreement and who is willing to assist in this way. Support and facilitation mechanisms available include your manager, Divisional HR Managers/Advisers, the University Mediator, the Manager, Recruitment, Development & Equity and Union Representatives.

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13. Appeal

The outcome of the PDR Review can only be appealed on the grounds that the PDR process has not been followed and that the failure to do so affected the outcome of the Review.

  1. An appeal to the Director Human Resources may be lodged by either the staff member or their Reviewer.
  2. The deadline for appeals is the date set by the University but will be no later than the University’s last working day of the calendar year.
  3. Staff should be informed of the outcome of their appeal within a month of lodging the appeal. If there is any delay in informing staff of the outcome of their PDR salary Review, either party may apply for the appeal deadline to be extended.
  4. The Director, Human Resources will decide on how the appeal will be considered and make the final decision on the outcome.
  5. If the appeal is upheld, the parties will be advised of the outcome and instructed on the actions that need to be taken. This may require that the process is repeated with appropriate mentoring and supervision.

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Appendix 1: Competency criteria


The University of Otago is committed to and will recognise bicultural competencies. This may mean staff demonstrate across some/all of the competencies:

  • An appreciation/understanding of Te Ao Māori and its expression in the University’s Māori Strategic Framework
  • A commitment to and knowledge of the Treaty of Waitangi (and how it applies to your job/position)
  • An understanding of Māori values (and iwi aspirations) and how they can be applied in the workplace
  • A demonstrable commitment to the principles of the Māori Strategic Framework

1. Competency: Knowledge and skills

Nāu te rourou, nāku te rourou, ka ora ai te iwi
(With your basket (of knowledge) and my basket, the people will prosper)

Skills and knowledge relevant to the job including those defined in the job description. This may include technical skills, professional skills, trade skills, equipment knowledge, computer skills etc.

Departments have the scope to adapt these descriptions to fit their particular situation by defining specific technical or professional skills and knowledge for their area, or by reference to relevant professional standards.

Requires improvement: Working towards full competence: Fully competent Outstanding
  • Has not delivered key outcomes to required standard.
  • Has a partial knowledge of requirements which leads them to make ill-informed or wrong decisions.
  • Reduces the level of team effectiveness through contributions that are technically below the required standard.
  • Has been given support and training but is not progressing at the speed required.
  • Demonstrates full competence in some areas, but is still developing in other areas.
  • Is developing skills and knowledge through practice, learning from colleagues, asking questions, mentoring, reading or training courses as appropriate.
  • Recognises skills and knowledge gaps and asks for support or advice to deliver outcomes and utilises networks (eg: their manager, a mentor or their tuakana/more experienced colleagues) to enhance abilities.
  • Is improving their ability to deliver key outcomes.
  • Is making sustained and satisfactory progress towards full competence.
  • Has mastered all skills and knowledge required and applies these to deliver outcomes to a high standard.
  • Works hard at maintaining and developing the knowledge and skills relevant to their profession and position.
  • Is able to identify any gaps in their knowledge and remedy them.
  • Actively seeks development opportunities and presents well researched and practical proposals to their manager.
  • Has acquired a sound knowledge of the way the department and the University works, and uses that knowledge and experience for the benefit of the department and University.
  • Is a resource for others (i.e. takes on a tuakana role for teina/less experienced colleagues)
  • Has a high level of expertise in all the knowledge and skills required and applies these to deliver key outcomes to a consistently high standard.
  • Skills and knowledge are recognised beyond the department.
  • Introduces relevant new techniques, knowledge or technology to others.
  • Introduces relevant bicultural knowledge and worldview concepts to ensure the department exceeds the expectations of the Māori Strategic Framework implementation.
  • Shares knowledge and expertise outside their team through training others, writing papers or making presentations. Has become an invaluable source of departmental and or institutional knowledge and experience for others (tuakana or leadership role).
  • Is actively involved in relevant professional associations.

2. Competency: Team work and co‐operation

Ehara taku toa i te toa takatahi; engari, he toa takatini
(Success is not the work of one, but the work of many)

Requires improvement Working towards full competence Fully competent Outstanding
  • Contributes little to the team, and may be having a negative impact on the wellbeing and productivity of other members of the team.
  • Is isolated from the team. Does not contribute productively to discussion, decision making and team activities.
  • Unwilling to attend PDR.
  • Does the minimum required and frequently puts their own needs before those of the team.
  • Shows little understanding of cultural diversity and has the tendency to stifle inclusive or different ways of doing things.
  • Causes unhelpful conflict in the team. Does not consider the impact of their work or actions on others.
  • Takes a negative approach to the job content, the team, the work environment or to customers.
  • Has been given support and training but is not progressing at the speed required.
  • Demonstrates full competence in some areas, but is still developing in other areas.
  • Is learning how their role and approach impacts on others.
  • Is improving their contribution to the team. Offers appropriate suggestions and participates in meetings.
  • Shows respect for diversity and the needs of different cultures and is developing greater understanding through training, reading, or discussions as appropriate.
  • Communication with team members is respectful and helpful.
  • Actively contributes to the success and well being of the team, and is valued and respected by their colleagues.
  • Is fully engaged with the activities of the team and willingly collaborates with others to achieve a high level of productivity. Happy to help others when required even though it may not be “their job”.
  • Constructively influences team decisions, then supports team decisions for the collective good of the whole team whether they personally agree with them or not.
  • Shows respect for and understanding of diversity and acknowledges the different cultural needs of others.
  • Actively promotes harmony within the team by recognising and respecting the strengths of others and resolving any conflict of opinion they may have with others promptly and effectively.
  • Does their best to ensure that the team is working in a constructive and productive manner.
  • Supplies a vital dynamic in the team, energises and empowers others and lifts the team’s performance.
  • Anticipates what is required and, without being asked, takes on additional work or responsibility in order to help the team achieve its goals.
  • Is highly skilled in resolving interpersonal conflict within the team to everyone's benefit.
  • Keeps everyone going and bolsters team morale and commitment when times are tough. Inspires commitment in others through demonstrable leadership.
  • Prompts and supports others to play an active role on the team. Acts as a coach or mentor for less experienced team members (ie: takes on a tuakana role for teina/less experienced colleagues).
  • Values and actively promotes diversity and strengths in the team and works hard to promote an inclusive culture.
  • Continuously seeks ways to improve the team environment and promote safe and healthy working practices.
  • Brings together collective knowledge for the benefit and growth of the whole team and subsequently, the University.

3. Competency: Organisation, planning and self-management

Naia te toa a Tarewai, kei a ia tāna patu
(Here is Tarewai in his true strength, he has his patu back)

Requires improvement Working towards full competence Fully competent Outstanding
  • Needs close management before tasks are completed. Regularly misses deadlines.
  • Is slow to find relevant information or equipment on request.
  • Does not recognise true priorities. Struggles to balance competing demands of multiple tasks and/or customers.
  • Relies on others to organise and prioritise their work.
  • Does not identify when work demands become unrealistic or when barriers or obstacles prevent progress and does not discuss this with their manager. This may be represented by poor time management.
  • Is easily distracted and sidetracked, spending time on non-relevant activities.
  • Delivers the minimum quality and productivity, doing “just enough”.
  • Demonstrates full competence in some areas, but is still developing in other areas.
  • Is trying new approaches to become more organised. Seeks advice and assistance to help plan work. Productivity and quality are improving.
  • Is learning to recognise priorities.
  • Identifies workload issues and discusses them with their manager.
  • Is focused on goals, working effectively and collectively for the benefit of the team and the University.
  • Completes work efficiently, meeting deadlines and quality requirements.
  • Plans realistically and Reviews plans regularly (prioritises and completes tasks appropriate to the complexity of the role). Adapts to changing situations and re-organises work accordingly.
  • Organises work to enable others to easily locate information. Always has information at hand.
  • Balances competing demands of multiple tasks or projects or customers, separating the important from the urgent. Effectively negotiates realistic deadlines.
  • Anticipates and takes action without being prompted.
  • Monitors performance by requesting feedback from customers, peers or their manager or through appropriate measurement systems.
  • Displays a solution-focused attitude to issues and problems.
  • Manages work effectively.
  • Demonstrates a healthy work life balance.
  • Has a deserved reputation for being highly efficient and organised, the person people go to to get things done and make things happen. Effectively manages demands through utilising resources and negotiating appropriate timeframes.
  • Discovers and effectively utilises resources beyond the scope of the role to improve capacity to meet deadlines and customer expectations.
  • Introduces new methods of organising work tasks which significantly improve efficiency or results.
  • Is the person others will approach to learn techniques and processes to help them become more organised (i.e. takes on a tuakana role for less experienced colleagues).
  • Anticipates changing situations and factors these into workplace plans, priorities, goals and outcomes.
  • Demonstrates a healthy work life balance and encourages this for all staff.

4. Competency: Problem solving / decision making

E wai e taea te kupenga whīwhiwhi?
(How does one tend a tangled net?)

Requires improvement Working towards full competence Fully competent Outstanding
  • Does not recognise the impact of decisions they make.
  • Does not seek all information before making decisions or seeks too much information, delaying decisions.
  • Relies on others to solve problems. Refers decisions which should be within the scope of the role or does not refer decisions or seek a second opinion when appropriate.
  • Does not effectively assess information and relevant factors.
  • Does not identify recurring problems.
  • Demonstrates full competence in some areas, but is still developing in other areas.
  • Is developing decision making abilities.
  • Is learning when to and when not to refer decisions.
  • Attempts to resolve problems and seeks assistance when appropriate.
  • Collects and evaluates information to identify recurring and emerging problems and makes objective, well-reasoned decisions relevant to the complexity of the work.
  • Identifies and implements improvements in work practices, systems and processes.
  • Overcomes barriers and obstacles to achieve results.
  • Sees connections between different processes and applies this understanding to decisions.
  • Foresees the consequences of decisions, recognising impacts on stakeholders.
  • Backs up statements with supportive reasons and explanations.
  • Demonstrates the ability to clarify issues and focus on key points.
  • Develops a range of options from which to select the solution.
  • Produces effective and lasting solutions.
  • Makes decisions based on calculated risks using effective analysis of the situation.
  • Is the person others go to for help in evaluating information and making difficult decisions.
  • Researches and applies concepts, techniques and principles to benefit work activities, explaining these to others effectively.
  • Is able to deal effectively with conflicting and ambiguous information.
  • Foresees the future consequences and flow-on effects of decisions over the long term.
  • Identifies potential problems and opportunities, investigates, analyses information and finds solutions.
  • Shows clear understanding of the wider (University / national / international) context in decision making and makes decisions in line with the University’s Strategic Documents (including the Māori Strategic Framework).

5. Competency: Service to customers

Ka tika a muri, ka tika a mua
(If everything is running smoothly at the back (kitchen & dining area) all will be well out the front (for visitors))

Customers are anyone receiving or benefiting from your work. This may include students, clients, other staff or managers.

Requires improvement Working towards full competence Fully competent Outstanding
  • Is the focus of customer complaints.
  • Is perceived as being unhelpful or discourteous by customers.
  • Fails to treat customers’ requests and needs as first priority, slow to deliver service.
  • Fails to communicate clearly with the customer or to keep the customer informed.
  • Takes an unnecessarily bureaucratic or officious approach to customers.
  • Puts the blame for complaints back on the customer, or on other team members.
  • Shows little or no awareness of the needs of customers who are from a different culture, or who may have a disability.
  • Demonstrates full competence in some areas, but is still developing in other areas.
  • Is developing customer service skills.
  • Starting to understand customer needs and how to meet them.
  • Shows respect for diversity and different cultural needs and is developing understanding through training, reading, or discussions as appropriate.
  • Is dedicated to providing excellent service however difficult the situation.
  • Displays a positive, helpful attitude no matter how demanding or inconvenient customer requests might be or how difficult the situation.
  • Treats customers’ needs and requests as a top priority, and responds promptly to changing needs.
  • Applies excellent communication to clarify what customers want, and conveys information clearly and tactfully.
  • Seeks feedback from customers in order to improve their service delivery.
  • Acknowledges all problems and complaints, and resolves them as soon as possible.
  • Is able to mentor and train new staff in customer service.
  • Has an appropriate level of understanding of the needs of customers from different cultures and customers who may have a disability, and responds appropriately and efficiently to their needs.
  • Is the first person that customers think of calling; an acknowledged expert in their field who can deliver service in a way that both transforms and exceeds customers’ expectations.
  • Handles even the most difficult customers effectively.
  • Introduces new ideas and ways of doing things that can revolutionise the way service is delivered.
  • Combines institutional knowledge and sound judgement in a way that enables them to be flexible and creative in meeting the customer’s needs, but also preserves the best interests of the University.
  • Is always a good choice for mentoring and training other staff in customer service.
  • Has an expert knowledge of diversity and is a role model for other staff in delivering service that is inclusive and culturally appropriate.

6. Competency: Initiative and innovation

He pū auaha, he toa kōkiri
(Where innovation prompts initiative)

Requires improvement Working towards full competence Fully competent Outstanding
  • Resists change. Is not prepared to try new ideas.
  • Makes inappropriate changes which have a negative impact on performance, quality, safety, customer satisfaction etc.
  • Persists with outdated methods.
  • Is quick to criticise new ideas and slow to acknowledge their benefits.
  • Is critical of ideas without offering alternative options.
  • Would benefit from learning new workplace skills in order to contribute more fully.
  • Demonstrates full competence in some areas, but is still developing in other areas.
  • Supports and adopts changes whether they personally agree with them or not.
  • Makes appropriate suggestions.
  • Enjoys challenges and actively seeks new approaches.
  • Recognises and implements opportunities to improve work methods, e.g. changes procedures or own work methods to improve performance, quality, safety, customer satisfaction, morale, revenues etc.
  • Contributes new ideas and approaches to their own work and the work of the team.
  • Develops new insights into situations and applies solutions that are creative and innovative.
  • Is resourceful when challenged by obstacles.
  • Anticipates a need or identifies a problem before others do, and comes up with solutions that are both creative and successful.
  • Creates and achieves own measures of excellence, beyond targets set by management. Sets personal objectives that are truly challenging, yet realistic and attainable.
  • Does things that are unique or innovative and introduces new approaches and ways of doing things to the University or department.
  • Recognises cultural paradigms around different ways of communicating and presenting ideas, and supports others to encourage their participation and contribution as appropriate.

7. Competency: Leadership and people management

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
(What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people)

Requires improvement Working towards full competence Fully competent Outstanding
  • Staff are unclear about their roles, priorities or performance expectations.
  • Staff do not receive timely, honest and constructive feedback.
  • Does not delegate effectively. Does not encourage staff.
  • Avoids handling performance issues.
  • Does not involve staff in the process of decision making.
  • Does not coach and mentor others effectively.
  • Does not apply HR policies and processes or lacks understanding of relevant HR processes.
  • Does not ensure that all staff have regular formal performance Reviews.
  • Does not identify or deal effectively with Health and Safety issues.
  • Shows little understanding of cultural diversity and may act in a way that is offensive to staff from other cultures.
  • Is working with staff to clarify their roles, priorities and performance expectations.
  • Is developing people management skills.
  • Is learning about how to handle performance issues and seeks advice if/when appropriate.
  • Shows respect for diversity and different cultural needs and is developing understanding through training, reading, or discussions as appropriate.
  • Is aware of Health and Safety responsibilities and is actively working towards a full understanding.
  • Is learning about HR policies and processes and when to apply them.
  • Demonstrates full competence in some areas, but is still developing in other areas.
  • Manages the recruitment, development and performance of staff to ensure an appropriate level and spread of skills and expertise while supporting and encouraging team members to perform and develop to their full potential.
  • Communicates and negotiates clear performance expectations with staff which are regularly reviewed. Celebrates successes and affirms good performance, whilst constructively managing any performance gaps or disciplinary issues.
  • Provides employees with timely, honest and constructive feedback based on agreed accountabilities.
  • Leads by example, modelling appropriate and effective behaviours. Coaches and mentors others effectively.
  • Encourages trust through openness and honesty.
  • Delegates work to staff with consideration for their workload, skills, level of authority and development potential. Manages team resources effectively.
  • Adapts leadership approaches and communication styles appropriate for different situations and for the cultural diversity of the staff.
  • Encourages staff to participate in decision making, particularly when staff are directly affected and / or involved in implementing the decision.
  • The team is consistently meeting expectations. Implements effective systems to ensure team deadlines are met and work is of high quality.
  • Fosters a stimulating and challenging work climate for staff, encouraging a positive approach to tasks and learning opportunities.
  • Ensures appropriate University policies and processes are implemented and understood.
  • Ensures that all staff have a safe and healthy working environment. Manages the workflow to ensure a reasonable work load and encourages staff to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
  • Inspires staff to demonstrate commitment to the goals of the team, department and University.
  • Flexible in using different interpersonal styles and communication techniques to affirm, encourage, and persuade others.
  • Empowers and enables staff to act. Leads a highly motivated team.
  • Deals with difficult people management issues in a sensitive and effective manner.
  • Is able to positively influence decisions that affect their area within the broader University.
  • Is a highly effective change manager, creates an environment for positive change and manages change safely (for people, policies, processes).
  • Creates a positive workplace – reflected in the team’s principles and standards, and how staff treat each other and deal with their work.
  • The team is consistently delivering above expectations.
  • Values and actively promotes diversity in the team, and creates an inclusive team culture.

8. Competency: Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho / Language and Culture

Hutia te rito o te harakeke, kei hea te korimako e kō? Ka rere ki uta, ka rere ki tai. Kī mai koe ki au, he aha te mea nui o te ao? Māku e kī atu, He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!
(If you pluck out the flax shoot, where will the bellbird sing? It will fly inland, it will fly seawards. If you ask me, what is the most important thing in the world? I will reply, People! People! People!)

E aro nui ana ki ngā Mātāpono o Te Tiriti o Waitangi me te Anga Mahere Māori o Otago
(Has a commitment to the Articles and Principles of Te Tiriti O Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi and to the University of Otago Māori Strategic Framework)

Requires improvement Outstanding Working towards full competence Fully competent
  • Has a limited understanding of te reo Māori.
  • Has no knowledge of Māori customs, values and beliefs.
  • Has little or no knowledge or awareness of Te Tiriti o Waitangi/Treaty of Waitangi.
  • Has no knowledge or awareness of the University of Otago’s Māori Strategic Framework.
  • Demonstrates an interest in te reo Māori and endeavours to pronounce Māori words correctly.
  • Has completed the Introduction to te reo Māori course offered
  • Has some awareness of Māori customs, values and beliefs.
  • Has completed the Introduction to Te Ao Māori/Tikanga Māori course offered through HEDC / HR or, equivalent.
  • Developing knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
  • Has completed the Introduction to Te Tiriti o Waitangi course offered through HEDC / HR or equivalent.
  • Has a basic awareness of the University‘s Māori Strategic Framework.
  • Demonstrates a reasonable understanding of te reo Māori and uses basic words and phrases whenever possible.
  • Regularly takes part in opportunities to practise and extend their reo.
  • Demonstrates a good understanding and awareness of Māori customs, values and beliefs, which is evident when required.
  • Has a good knowledge and understanding of the Articles and Principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Has participated in the Advanced Session on Te Tiriti o Waitangi course offered through HEDC / HR,
  • Has a clear understanding of the University’s Māori Strategic Framework and its relevance for their division.
  • Displays a competent level of pronunciation of te reo Māori, respecting the dialect of mana whenua. Conversant in te reo Māori and uses it regularly and accurately.
  • Has enrolled in (or completed) MĀOR 110, or other Māori language papers through Te Tumu, or other external providers.
  • Has an expert knowledge, understanding and awareness of Māori customs, values and beliefs and is an invaluable source of knowledge and experience for their colleagues.
  • Has enrolled (or completed) MĀOR 102, or other tikanga Māori papers through Te Tumu, or other external providers; or has experiential knowledge.
  • Incorporates the Articles and Principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi into departmental practices. Has enrolled in (or completed) MĀOR 204,or other Treaty focused papers through Te Tumu, or other external providers.
  • Is fully conversant with their department’s Māori Strategic Framework Plan and is actively working to implement it (this could include their involvement with a departmental group appointed to drive its implementation).

The Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho / Language and Culture competency may require ongoing development before the majority of staff meet full competence. In some cases this development will be gradual, often undertaken as a group over time. When making an overall assessment, please refer to the FAQ “will my overall assessment be affected by the Ngā Taonga Tuku Iho / Language and Culture competency?”

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Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this Policy or need further clarification, contact:

Performance and Development Adviser
Email HR.PDR@otago.ac.nz
Tel +64 3 479 9051