Definitions relating to the reporting process and strategies for communicating information as part of the Annual Review.
Annual Review reporting population
All staff must have an Annual Review conversation but only staff who meet certain criteria are reported on for the University court. The current reporting population for Annual Reviews is based upon the number of staff who started employment on or before 1 August of the previous Annual Review year, and are still in post on 31 July of the current Annual Review year. Staff who are based remotely from their manager must still have an Annual Review. Technology or other means should be used to ensure it happens within the Annual Review Period.
Annual Review reporting exceptions
The following groups of staff would not be included in the population for Annual Review Reporting
- Staff on Low Hours (less than 0.2 fte) or Guaranteed Hours contracts – called low hours employees
- Staff who are wholly or largely absent during the review period, for example, Maternity/Paternity leave, long term sickness absence, sabbatical or secondment
- Staff still within their probation period
- Staff who have given a future dated resignation.
Cascade approach to Annual Review
Cascade is a model where more senior staff have their annual review discussions ahead of the next level of staff. The next level of staff would then conduct their staff’s annual review discussions using the information that was communicated in their own annual review discussion. This would mean that the timing of each staff members’ annual review meetings would be after their own line manager’s annual review. This provides a way of disseminating information throughout the University and will help to support the strategic alignment of individual objectives across teams, Departments, Deaneries, Schools and the University. It also requires effective planning of these discussions to ensure each team has enough time to conduct all of the reviews in a cascading order.
Reviewer briefing meeting
This short meeting (or a group of meetings) would be held with all the Reviewers/Managers in a School, Deanery, or Department and would be used to prepare these individuals for their upcoming annual review discussions. The briefing meeting would be scheduled and held before the planned start of the annual review discussions; to ensure everyone had the same preparatory information. The meeting would also allow for questions to be asked and feedback collected from the Managers/Reviewers; to ensure effective 2 way communication. Group meetings would not normally cover questions relating to specific individuals performance or development; however Reviewers/Managers could ask anonymised questions about the expected approach to ensure there is a shared understanding across the area’s Reviewers for how to address these discussions.
Using a One to One to prepare for the Annual Reviews
Most managers have frequent and regular meetings with their employees with the aim of supporting them in their role. In advance of any upcoming Annual Review meeting we recommend that the line manager/reviewer takes some time from their own one to one meeting with their line manage to check (and update) their understanding of the objectives for the team and the individuals within the team. This approach means that Annual Reviews can happen at any time; as the Reviewer can raise their concerns with their line manager (the next level manager) at the most relevant one to one.