reward for contribution/performance – discussion paper

Annexe 9
Effective staff performance development is key to Aston’s ability to meet the
challenge of increased domestic and international competition for students and
funding. The Performance Development and Reward Scheme is designed to
support, retain and develop existing staff and attract new staff to Aston. The
purpose of this guide is to set out information about the means by which
performance and contribution is encouraged, assessed, reviewed and rewarded.
The guide also covers the criteria used for the assessment of accelerated and
contribution increments and one-off performance payments are achieved for all
staff on Grades 1 to 10.
The scheme will come into operation from the beginning of the 2007/8 academic
year following which its operation will be comprehensively reviewed by the
University at the end of the first year, in partnership with the joint unions and at
least every 3 years afterwards.
The Performance Development and Reward Scheme sets out to provide a
coherent and practical approach to recurrent and one off payments to staff to
reward individual contribution within their role, and to ensure transparency,
fairness and equality of access for staff.
The performance development review element of the scheme ensures that each
member of staff has at least one structured meeting with his or her line manager or
an appropriate individual nominated by the Head of School/Department, during the
year. This meeting should be considered as the documented stage of an ongoing
process, and other informal meetings may be arranged in order to provide a more
frequent review of progress, in accordance with specific School/Departmental
Any awards made under this scheme are designed to relate to the person and
how they carry out their role and not to the role itself. Executive Deans and
Heads of Departments are encouraged to define their own priorities, in line with
the general criteria set out below, to reflect their School/Department objectives.
The criteria for the awards to be adopted by the School/Department should be
reported to the University’s Executive Team. It is important that the criteria are
published and made available to staff at the beginning of the review period.
The formal Performance Development Review meeting is an opportunity to discuss
an individual’s performance, to chart progress, identify achievements, to consider
the individual’s contribution to the section, department or centre and, where
relevant, to the University. The process should also identify barriers to more
effective performance; and identify training and development needs.
Line managers are encouraged to ensure that staff receive regular and ongoing
feedback about their performance throughout the review period. This should
include ensuring that staff have their contribution recognised and achievements
acknowledged. This activity will culminate in the Performance Development
review meeting.
The Performance and Development Review will promote effective two-way
communication between staff at all levels, which should have a positive impact
on morale and motivation.
It is recommended that the formal annual review meeting should be undertaken in
two parts (which may take place at the same meeting) but Schools and
Departments may develop their own processes provided that they broadly take
account of the guidelines set out below.
For individuals the benefits of the review are:
Performance Review meetings will provide an opportunity for staff
members to celebrate success and achievement and to identify and
discuss any problems and difficulties in a supportive context.
The meetings will help staff to understand how their work contributes
to School/departmental and institutional objectives.
The meetings will also provide individuals with an opportunity to
identify training needs, and to discuss career planning.
The University will benefit because:
The Review will provide an opportunity for sectional, departmental and
institutional objectives, and the roles that individuals play in these, to
be communicated to staff.
The Review will contribute to School/Departmental planning, allowing
opportunities for work allocation and provide a tool for training needs
Performance and Development Review will support the achievement
of the University’s aims and priorities by ensuring that these are
disseminated throughout the organisation,
The upward flow of information generated through the Performance
Development Review process will help to provide, among other things,
a planned and focused approach to staff training and development,
ensuring that staff receive the support they need.
Performance Development Review is widely regarded as good
practice in people management.
Part One – Role and Performance
This part of the meeting will include:
Identification of progress and achievement in the work that has been
undertaken over the review period.
Discussion about the role requirements in general and the factors that
have assisted and/or hindered the individual in terms of meeting their
After this meeting has taken place the line manager should be in a position to
make a recommendation to the School/Departmental Development Reward
Panel (see below),
Part Two – Role and Development
The purpose of stage two is to determine the objectives for the following review
period. The discussion between the line manager and the member of staff
identify the aims and objectives for the forthcoming review period together
with the resources needed to achieve them.
identify areas of development which will enable an individual to enhance
their contribution to the University. (It may be appropriate for participants
to consider drawing up an action plan and/or seeking guidance from
Centre of Staff Development).
reflect on how the individual’s abilities are being utilised
identify areas which will enable an individual to enhance their contribution
to the University
An appraising manager’s objectives will be set by their manager (these
being derived from University and School/department objectives).
The objectives a manager sets for their own staff will be derived from their
own objectives and their knowledge of the job and experience / skills of
the appraisee.
Each appraisal report and objectives will be confirmed and signed by the
appraisor’s manager. This is a key part of ensuring fairness, consistency and
Types of Award
This policy provides the University with the opportunity to reward outstanding
contribution. In this respect contribution can include the full scope of what people
do, the level of skill and competence they apply and the results they achieve,
which all contribute to the University achieving its goals.
To this end there are four types of award:
Accelerated increments
Contribution increments
One-off payments for special contributions – payable at any time during
the year
.One-off payments recognising an individual’s contribution following
annual review
These are described below, together with examples of the type of evidence that
may be used to justify each type of award.
Accelerated Increments
The award of accelerated increments should be used for a member of staff who
has not yet reached their grade contribution threshold.
Accelerated increments may be awarded where an individual:
is progressing within their role at a faster rate than would normally be
has taken on significant additional responsibility on an ongoing basis, but
where the level of that responsibility falls within their current grade;
is demonstrating sustained behaviours and approach which allows their
role to be achieved more effectively on an ongoing basis e.g. quality
achieved, customer service provided, application of the skills gained
following the achievement of a relevant qualification.
Accelerated increments should be rewarded from School/departmental budgets
and should be included within the budgetary process, (see under Funding
Accelerated increments are normally effective from 1 August in any year. More
than one accelerated increment may be paid in exceptional cases.
Contribution Increments
The award of contribution increments should be used for an individual who has
reached their grade contribution threshold. The award will recognise that
individual’s application of additional knowledge, skills and/or behaviours are
ongoing and increase their contribution towards University and School/
Departmental objectives, over and above the normal expectation of the role.
These may be awarded where an individual:
is consistently demonstrating exceptional performance i.e. over and above
the normal expectation for someone who is fully developed in that role;
is consistently providing outstanding service to the School/Department
and or the University at large e.g. exceptional performance in a key area
of the role.
is demonstrating sustained behaviours and approach which allows their
role to be achieved more effectively on an ongoing basis e.g. quality
achieved, customer service provided, application of the skills gained
following the achievement of a relevant qualification.
Contribution increments should be rewarded from School/departmental budgets
and should be included within the budgetary process, (see under Funding
Contribution increments will normally be effective from 1 August immediately
following the year of review.
Where an accelerated increment or contribution increment is awarded there
should be clear demonstration that the individual has increased their contribution
to the School/Department and University objectives on an ongoing basis. This
level of contribution then becomes the normal expectation for the individual.
Therefore, the same evidence will not attract further recurrent or one-off
One-Off Payments (Special Contribution)
A one off payment can be awarded at a different stage during the year if an
exceptional circumstance justifies it. A payment could be made where an
individual performs a particular or special task or responds to a specific and/or
unexpected challenge in an exceptional and meritorious manner
One-Off Payments (Annual Review)
One-off payments should be used to recognise an individual’s contribution
towards University and Schools/Departmental objectives, over and above the
normal expectation for the role, during the review period, but which is not an
ongoing requirement.
A one-off payment may be awarded where an individual
takes on additional but time limited responsibility e.g. one-off project work;
demonstrates a particularly flexible approach which contributes to the
achievement of School/Department objectives;
contributes ideas which lead to greater efficiency, improved quality, cost
savings etc, and which assist in the achievement of School/Department
achieves particularly challenging goals or objectives e.g. overcomes
significant obstacles to ensure deadlines are met;
demonstrates behaviours and approach which allow the role to be
achieved more effectively e.g. quality, customer service.
It is important that consideration is given to whether one-off payments have
previously been made to members of staff for the same or very similar reason. In
these cases an award of an additional scale increment or contribution increment
to reflect this trend should be considered.
One off payments will be paid from the core and additional funding that is made
available (see under Funding below).
Accelerated increments and contribution increments should be rewarded from
School/departmental budgets and should be included within the budgetary
There are two sources of funding for contribution awards. These are:
Core funding
Each year the University will decide on a level of core funding for
rewarding contribution by one off payments across the University.
Funding will be expressed as a percentage of the University’s salary bill
for all regularly employed staff on grades 1 to 10 and will be distributed
proportionately across all Schools/departments in the University. The
percentage agreed for 2007/8 is 2.5%.
Additional funding
Any additional funding will depend on the overall performance of the
University and will be determined by the University Council on the
recommendation of the Executive Team.
Process for determining awards
Award recommendations will be made by the line manager following the
Performance Development Review meeting. If a review meeting has not taken
place, due to no fault on the part of the reviewee, they will still be considered for
an award. The reviewer and the reviewee have a mutual responsibility for
ensuring that the review discussion covers all aspects of contribution, and any
evidence that might be used to support a contribution reward nomination. This
will be in the form of a report that will be considered by the School/ Department/
Business unit Performance Development Reward panel.
The report should include a formal recommendation about whether the individual
should receive a reward under the scheme and the type of payment to be made.
In so doing the line manager will have taken account of the criteria for making
awards as set out in this paper. A recommendation should be evidence based.
Any recommendation that is not substantiated by evidence will be rejected.
The School/Departmental/Business unit Development Reward Panel* should
consider the value and type of reward to be made under the scheme at a
meeting. The panel should comprise the Head of School/Department and at
least one senior member of staff as a minimum.
* Panel members should not be present for consideration of their own award; the
Head of School/Department should ensure that the meetings are reconstituted
(or seek guidance from HR) so that this does not occur.
Suitable arrangements should be in place for the decision of the Performance
Development Review Panel should be communicated to those concerned.
Appropriate feedback should be given to individuals and to line managers
involved in the process.
Timing of awards
Accelerated increment and contribution increments will normally be effective from
1 August immediately following the year of review.
One off payments (Annual Review) will be made as soon as possible following
the conclusion of the review year; however a one off payments (Special
Contribution) can be awarded at a different stage during the year if a
circumstance justifies it.
The process will be linked to the performance development review which comes
into effect from the start of the 2007/8 academic year, with the first payments
under this policy to be made after August 2008.
When schools/departments meet to consider award recommendations they
should monitor the pattern of recommendations in accordance with the
University’s normal equality and diversity monitoring guidelines to ensure that the
pattern of recommendations and proposed awards is justifiable.
The actual distribution of awards across the University will be reviewed
retrospectively by the University’s Human Resources department. An annual
report detailing the distribution and amount of awards using the University’s
normal monitoring categories in accordance with its equality and diversity policies
will be sent to the appropriate committees and to the Joint Unions Committee.
This information will be incorporated in the University’s equal pay reviews.
The Performance Development reviews for newly appointed staff who are subject
to probationary procedures should incorporate and take account of all aspects of
the processes and procedures set out in this document.
Grounds of Appeal
Grounds of appeal would normally be where the appellant is of the opinion that:
there has been a failure of process in which the original panel may not
have taken into account something that was relevant to the award or were
influenced by something was not relevant.
the type of award is inconsistent with the nature of an individual’s
the amount awarded was incompatible with the level of award provided to
others within the same School/Department/Business unit
Appeals Process
Appeals should normally be made in writing to the Executive Dean/Head of
Department within four weeks of the member of staff receiving notification the
contribution/performance award. An appellant may seek assistance in this from
the Human Resources Division and/or their union representative.
The Appeals panel will take into account all of the relevant information (including
the appellants letter) and will be able to either confirm the decision of the
Development Reward Panel or increase the value of the appellant’s original
award. The decision of the Appeals panel will be final, If a member of staff
believes that the decision contravenes other staff policies then they can go
through normal grievance procedures
Appeals Panel
Appeals panels should be established by Executive Deans and Heads of
Departments and should, as a minimum, comprise:
three senior members of staff who were not members of the original
panel (one of whom may be from another School/Department
dependent on the circumstances)
the Executive Dean or Head of Department
A Human Resources team member should also be present at Appeal hearings
Centre for Staff Development will make available training for all managers who
will be involved in the Performance Review process. Training should be
undertaken before a manager can carry out a review Training arrangements will
be publicised and for further information please contact Patrick Buckley ext.4601.
It is important that staff are aware that the University has established a Mentoring
facility to offer support in relation to all aspects of their employment at Aston.
Details of the Mentoring facility can be found attached at
Appendix 1
All documentation will be confidential to those that are involved in the review
The Performance Development and Reward scheme will be reviewed after the
first year of operation in partnership with the Joint Unions and at least every three
years thereafter.
Appendix 1
Mentoring For Staff
The performance development review element of the scheme ensures that each member
of staff has at least one structured meeting with his or her line manager or an appropriate
individual nominated by the Head of School/Department, during the year. In is anticipated
that managers will organise other informal meetings to provide a more frequent review of
progress. In addition to this the University will make available a voluntary mentoring
scheme which will provide staff with the opportunity to discuss their personal development
with someone not directly involved in making judgments about their performance. This
might be particularly valuable for those who have taken on new roles, or those whose
performance is not considered to be sufficient to merit a reward.
Help an individual to become more aware of their skills and their development
Provide a focus to help individuals identify alternatives or approaches for selfdevelopment, with a view to improving performance
Provide a forum to help staff consider how to resolve issues that might be affecting
their performance.
Promote positive action in relation to personal development
Mentoring will be entirely confidential and independent of the performance and
development review. Mentors will not be asked to provide feedback to an individual’s
line manager, and will not get directly involved in resolving any issues that might be
discussed with the member of staff.
Members of Schools and Departments will be invited to put their names forward to
become mentors in the scheme. All mentors who volunteer, and all staff who request a
mentor, will need to attend a (maximum) half-day briefing event to ensure they
understand fully the nature and boundaries of the mentor role and the mentor scheme.
The Centre for Staff Development will keep a database of mentor’s, and will support the
‘pairing’ of a member of staff with a mentor when this is requested. Once the ‘pairing’
has been made there will be no continued involvement of Staff Development in the
relationship, and it will be for the mentor and member of staff to decide how the
relationship develops, the frequency of meetings, and how long the arrangement will
continue. However, to ensure that the time commitment to this scheme is reasonable for
both the mentor and the member of staff, it is envisaged that there would be no more
than one meeting per term.
Executive Deans and Heads of Departments should ensure that all new staff are made
aware of the arrangement, and that staff are allowed the time to be involved in the
scheme, whether this be as the mentor or the member of staff receiving mentoring.