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Performance Review and Staff Development (PRSD) 201515 Apr, 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Further to my last email of March 12, 2015 regarding the consultation exercise on the performance appraisal system, I am writing to set out the intended arrangements for the 2014-15 PRSD exercise.

2. On the advice of the consultant, HR has identified certain areas for modifications that can be introduced in the PRSD for non-academic staff for the 2014-15 exercise. These are set in the ensuing paragraphs with a sample form at https://intraweb.hku.hk/local/hr/prsd/ann13/185-415.pdf . To allow time for system changes to incorporate these modifications, there will be a slight deferral in the appraisal process this year as set out in para 7 below.

Modifications to PRSD

A. Defining the rating scales

3. The existing PRSD measures performance against competencies. To provide a clearer definition of the rating scales, all qualitative descriptions of the ratings (e.g. excellent, very good... and A, B, C ...) will be removed. The ratings will thus only reflect the extent to which expectation has been met.

4. The rating scales will also be reduced to a no more than five ratings, which is a more manageable range and is within the range commonly used by reviewers.

B. Objective-setting and linkage with performance measurement

5. We will elaborate and formalise on the goal-setting arrangement currently in place. The modifications will include:

(a) Objective setting - Apart from agreeing with the reviewee on the objectives for the coming year, the reviewer is required to highlight the criteria, qualitative or quantitative, upon which the performance of the reviewee will be assessed. This is intended to foster open communication between the reviewer and the reviewee, allow mutual development of future goals, and help in setting expectations for the year ahead. The agreed objectives will be carried forward to the next review year for reference and evaluation.

(b) Assessment against Objectives - To link the objective setting with performance evaluation, a new section will be included in the PRSD for the reviewer to assess whether the reviewee has exceeded, met, or not met the objectives agreed in the previous year. If the objective-setting is done properly, we expect that the vast majority should meet objectives.

C. Overall assessment

6. The overall assessment will be a summary assessment based on the evaluation on both the measurement of competencies and the measurement against objectives:
Consistently exceeds expectations on most, if not all, competencies, and makes exceptional or unique contributions in achieving objectives.
At times exceeds expectations on most, if not all, competencies, and makes significant contributions in achieving objectives.
Consistently meets expectations on most, if not all, competencies and consistently meets objectives.
Does not consistently meet expectations on several competencies (or one or more competencies that are important for the staff member's position) and does not consistently meet objectives.
Does not meet expectations on most, if not all, competencies (or those competencies that are important for the staff member's position) and does not meet objectives

2014-15 PRSD exercise

7. To allow time for the modifications to be incorporated in the electronic form, the 2014-15 PRSD exercise will be rolled out in May. Details will be announced shortly.


8. A series of workshop will be organised in April/May to explain the details of the modifications. In the light of feedback from colleagues during the consultation session, training sessions will also be organised for reviewers to develop appropriate skill-sets or techniques for goal-setting, tracking performance, conducting appraisal discussion etc.

Continual review

9. We wish to stress that the modifications to be introduced in the 2014-15 PRSD is only part of the process to refine and improve on the existing appraisal system. We are ready to review the effectiveness of these modifications in the light of operational experience, and to consider any further changes necessary until we can arrive at a suitable system for the long-term future. We thank colleagues in advance for their understanding and patience.


10. Enquiries or comments on the above may be directed to any of the following:

Jennie Wong, Director of Human Resources, Tel: 2859 1930, Email: jywwong@hku.hk  
Polly Lee, Assistant Registrar (Personnel), Tel: 2219 4555, Email: leepolly@hku.hk
Eva Fung, Administrative Assistant (Personnel), Tel: 2859 2244, Email: evafung@hkucc.hku.hk
Janice Tai, Executive Officer (Personnel), Tel: 2219 4596, Email: jwtt@hku.hk

Dr. Steven Cannon
Executive Vice-President
(Administration and Finance)

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