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Human Resources & Inclusive Community

Performance Management

Performance Management

Frequently Asked Questions

Pioneer@Work

2020-21 Performance Year Faqs

Is the Performance Review for the 2020-21 year going to include ratings?

Yes, we will resume our rated, standard annual review for the 2020-2021 performance cycle year. Last year, for the 2019-2020 performance cycle year, our executive leadership decided to move to an open-ended, non-rated year-end check-in between employees and managers in an effort to better address the current realities of work and needs of our employees, given the impact of COVID-19.

What are the Performance Review cycles and the dates?

The Performance Review period is 6 weeks long for both cycles. There are two performance cycles with the following Performance Review period:

  • Merit Year Review Dates
    • Launch Date: Monday, May 17
    • Due Date: Wednesday, June 30
  • Academic Year Review Dates
    • Launch Date: Monday, August 16
    • Due Date: Thursday, September 30
Are the ratings on the performance reviews tied to merit for the 2020-21 year?

The merit process for receiving bonuses or raises will remain suspended until summer 2022. We eagerly look forward to being able to restore this process, as it is essential to recognizing the incredible work and talent at the University.

What am I rated on?

You are rated on each of your job goals and objectives as well as each of the competencies. There will also be a space to add comments that details evidence for each of the ratings.

The five competency descriptions and rating scale can be found HERE

What happens if I did not achieve my goals? Will I receive a lower rating?

It is common in our work for priorities, resources, and needs to shift and thus requiring our original plans to be agile and adapt. In addition, we are in a time of tremendous change and uncertainty. If this changes our original plans, this is not a reason for a punitive approach. We recommend that you simply document the reasons for the change and your efforts to respond to the shifting demands and realities.

Overall Program Faqs

How do I update my manager listed or my job title?

Contact your Budget/Business Officer.

I was hired after July 1, do I still do an appraisal? Am I merit eligible?

All employees, regardless of hire date are included in the performance management process, including performance planning, quarterly check-ins, and year-end performance reviews.

If you were hired on July 2 or later, you will not be merit eligible for the current year. 

I am a part-time benefitted staff member. Do I need to complete a performance appraisal?

Yes, all benefitted staff are expected to complete a performance appraisal each year in order to be merit eligible.

What is the difference between Pioneer@Work and the old system?

Pioneer@Work is the new system for performance management, just like all past vendors. 

How do I use the Pioneer@Work platform?

Review the information on the Performance Management webpages for How-To Guides and videos and FAQs. Additionally, you can send an email to performancemanagement@du.edu to request assistance from the Performance Management team.

What is my username and password?

Your username is your DU email address and PioneerWeb password.

How do I reset my password or login information?

Contact IT Help Desk at 303.871.4700 for help resetting the password, verifying an email address or with any login error issues.

If an employee is on leave, do they need to complete an appraisal?

In the event that an employee is on leave during their division's 6-week appraisal timeframe (August 15 through Sept 30 for those divisions on the Merit Cycle year and mid-May through June 30 for those divisions on the Academic Cycle year) they do not have to complete an appraisal in order to remain merit eligible. If arrangements can be made to complete an appraisal ahead of time or when they return, it is always best practice to provide the employee with a fair and comprehensive review of their performance.

I am retiring this year, do I need to complete a performance appraisal?

An employee is welcome to complete an appraisal to gain feedback; however, they are not required to complete an appraisal in the year they are retiring. One thing to consider is timing; if an employee is granted a merit award, that will go into effect on January 1.

How do I find out which performance cycle I am on?

Your performance cycle is determined by which division you are housed. Visit the Performance Management overview page and look under the Timelines section to see which performance cycle your division adheres to.

Key Terms

Job Goals and Objectives: Start with the question, What do I need to do this year in order to be successful? By articulating what needs to be accomplished in the performance year. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound (SMART). This is the "what" or outcomes and deliverables of your job performance and how you make an impact on the overall mission, vision, values of the university. Employees will be rated on these during the Performance review at the end of the cycle year.

Competencies: Five competencies that all employees are accountable for demonstrating how they execute their job goals and objectives. Employees will be rated on these during the Performance review at the end of the cycle year.

Professional Development: Professional development enhance performance in the employee's current role, anticipate future needs of the employee's role and unit and in consideration of the employee's career aspirations. This section is not rated and is intended to support development efforts.

Training: Programs and services available through the People Development department in Human Resources and Inclusive Community, select "Add Training" to view a list of options.

Action Step: Custom professional development activity to support your professional development objectives. 

Alignment: The ability for all employees to select goals of their managers/divisional leader to align UP to.

Assignment: The ability of a manager to send goals DOWN to one of their direct reports or indirect reports.

PERFORMANCE PLANNING FAQS

How do I write a job goal and objective?

Start with this question: What do I need to do this year in order to be successful? By articulating what needs to be accomplished in the performance year. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound (SMART). This is the "what" or outcomes and deliverables of your job performance and how you make an impact on the overall mission, vision, values of the university. Employees will be rated on these during the Performance review at the end of the cycle year.

What does it mean to align to divisional goals and the 5 Strategic Imperatives?

One enhancement to the Performance Management program starting in 2021 is that the 5 Strategic Imperatives are now built into the forms. HRIC has asked leaders to enter divisional goals and align them to the 5 Strategic Imperative. Each employee/user is now able to set a goal and 1) align to their divisional goals and 2) select a strategic imperative.

Do I need to align each of my goals to the divisional goals?

It is strongly encouraged that you align each of your goals to your divisional goals and/or your team goals. If you have questions, please consult with your supervisor for direction and clarity.

Do I need to select a Strategic Imperative for each of my job goals/objectives?

We recommend aligning each of your goals to at least one strategic imperative. However, there is an "N/A" option if your goals do not align. The Strategic Imperative drop down menu is a required field and allows you to select one or multiple Strategic Imperative(s) or you can select the 6th option of N/A (Not Applicable), if one does not apply.

How do I search for my supervisor's goals or divisional goals?

When you are creating a goal, select "Align", then select the icon in the search bar, then type in your manager or division leader's name. Click on the search icon and if they have anything entered, it will be displayed. For step-by-step instructions, please go to the Resources page and look for a user guide, Performance Planning User Guide for Employees. The information on aligning goals can be found on page 4.

How do I search for and align to another team member's goals?

When you are creating a goal, select "Align", then select the icon in the search bar, then type in team member's name. Click on the search icon and if they have anything entered, it will be displayed. For step-by-step instructions, please go to the Resources page and look for a user guide, Performance Planning User Guide for Employees. The information on aligning goals can be found on page 4.

What if my division leader did not set divisional goals?

It is ideal for division leaders to set divisional goals that set the priorities and inspire team goals and individual goals. In the absence of divisional goals, please consult with your manager for guidance and direction about strategic alignment of goals.

What If I have had an interim role during the Performance Planning year? How  does that affect my goals?

We encourage you to discuss the interim responsibilities with your supervisor and create goals that reflect the interim role. Job goals and objectives should be reflective of the current work you are doing in your role and intended to be agile in changing as your work changes.

What should I do if I need guidance on how to determine my goals for the past year?

We recommend referencing your job description (which can be provided by HR Compensation) and talking with your manager. You can also refer to team and divisional goals, and each goal can be aligned to one of the Strategic Imperatives.

What is the value in attaching my job description to my performance plan? Is this visible to my manager when they are reviewing my performance plan?

Attaching your job description can be an asset to you both in your planning, clarifying performance expectations and scope of work. Any items you attach within the system are visible to your manager.

How do I edit a job goal that has been assigned to me?

In the Job Goals and Objectives stage, locate the goal and click on the dropdown arrow next to it. Choose "Edit" from the dropdown arrow and make any needed changes to the goal description, due date, etc.

I'm a faculty member and I have been assigned goals. What should I do?

If you are a faculty member and you have been assigned goals, it is likely your divisional leadership has set goals for your entire unit. However, you will NOT complete performance planning or performance evaluations in Pioneer@Work. This will still be in Activity Insight.

If you receive an email notifying you that you have been assigned goals, no further action is required on your part. Please contact performancemanagement@du.edu with any questions.

Can I modify goals?

Goals are a dynamic function and can be modified throughout the year to reflect changing priorities. 

How do I reflect status changes of a job goal and objective? 

As you take steps towards completion, edit the status drop-down in the Performance Plan to reflect your progress.

When are these goals to be assessed?

Final goal review will occur during the year-end review.

How do I modify a job goal and objective?

Click HERE for a How-To Guide for step by step instructions.

Do I have to keep the start date and due date for job goals to match the performance cycle year or can I change these?

Each of the forms will default to the performance cycle year of your division. You are welcome to change the dates to better reflect the reality of your job goals and objectives.

Can my goals be future dated (i.e. 2025)? Are there any pros/cons to this?

Each of the forms will default to the performance cycle year of your division. You are welcome to change the dates to better reflect the reality of your job goals and objectives. If you do choose to change the due date to a future date, this item will display in future forms. There is no specific disadvantage, however on the positive side it will preclude you from entering this item multiple times in future year's forms.

NOTE: if the goal due date is future-dated (i.e. 2025), it would appear on every performance plan and performance review for 2021-22, 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25.

How do I record a multi-year job goal and objective?

When you are creating a job goal or objective you will have the option to set the dates at which time you can enter dates beyond the current performance year. 

What does the progress percentage mean?

Once you move past a section, the section will turn solid in the left-hand section list and the percentage will update. The percentage is a simple indicator of the sections you have completed, regardless of entering information (because it is not required).

What is the difference between a Development Objective and Future/Career Development Objective in the Professional Development Plan?

A Development Objective is focused on short-term goals related to one's current role, which a Future/Career Development Objective is focused on long-term career goals.

I finished the first part of the Performance Planning process and submitted my Job Goals and Objectives, Competencies, and Professional Development Plan. I cannot see my goals now. What do I do?

You will be able to view your goals and professional development plan once your manager approves these and you complete the employee acknowledgment. You will NOT be able to view your goals and development plan until then.

After you complete the employee acknowledgment, you can access the goals and development plan from the "Your Goals" and "Your Development Plan" widgets on the Pioneer@Work homepage.

If I am having difficulty accessing Pioneer@Work, how do I complete the Performance Planning process? 

You can complete a Word document of the form; please contact performancemanagement@du.edu for more details. Please also connect with your manager that you will be using this document to complete performance planning.

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Title IX can also provide support on accessibility options by contacting titleix@du.edu.

QUARTERLY CHECK-INS FAQS

Is a quarterly check-in meeting required?

No; however, it is strongly encouraged.

Is it required to document my meeting and add notes in my Performance Plan?

No; however, it is strongly encouraged.

When is my quarterly check-ins?

Quarterly check-ins occur in different months of the year depending on the performance cycle of your division. Visit the Performance Management overview page and look under the Timelines section to see which performance cycle your division adheres to.

Who initiates the quarterly check-in?

It is the responsibility of the supervisor to drive the performance management process for each of their direct reports, including all steps: Performance Planning, Quarterly check-ins, and the year-end Performance Review. However, either the supervisor or the employee can initiate the check-in meeting. 

How do I record notes and including supporting documentation from quarterly check-in meetings?

Use this How-To Guide for step by step instruction  (LINK)

PERFORMANCE REVIEW FAQS

How do I complete a performance review for a part-time temporary hire?

All benefitted staff participate in the Performance Management at DU program and are required to complete performance planning and reviews regardless of their hire date. 

How do I view my completed year-end review?

You can view your completed form by navigating to the hamburger menu icon in the top right-hand corner in Pioneer@Work, then click on Performance > Performance Reviews. On the Performance Reviews page, check the box next to “Show completed and expired tasks”.  

What do I do if I don't have a job description? 

Job descriptions are not located in Pioneer@Work. Job descriptions are kept in the units. Ask your budget/business officer and/or supervisor if they have a copy on file. You are encouraged to attach your job description to the Performance Planning and/or year-end Performance Review. 

Can I include documents to demonstrate projects or work accomplished over the past year?

Yes, you may add up to three documents to a section you are rating yourself on to share work and accomplishments that have occurred. These can be added on the Overview screen of the Performance Review form, or to each individual goal under the "Your Goals" widget. To add attachments, navigate to the "Your Goals" widget on the homepage. Click on the dropdown arrow next to a goal and choose "Edit". Next, scroll down to the Attachments section, where you can upload up to 3 files. The maximum file upload is 1 MB.

Does a manager have to complete their direct reports' Performance Plan?

Yes, a supervisor is required to complete their step of the Performance Planning process for each of their direct reports. 

How do I rate myself on a competency that doesn't apply to my job?

All five competencies are applicable to every job on campus. Think about who your customers are (internal/external, peers/vendors, etc...) and apply the competencies to the work you do for them.

Priorities changed and I was not able to complete one of my goals. How do I rate myself?

Rate yourself on the progress you made on the specific goal given the change in priorities.

I've changed roles this year and the goals that fed into my appraisal form are from my old job. What do I do?

Goals are a dynamic function and can be modified throughout the year to reflect changing priorities. You can still reference work done on goals that had been set, prior to the change, and that while those goals may not be applicable to curent role, they can still be accounted for. Also – with a new role and goals, the period of time you have had to complete those goals has also changed, and typically would be in place for a shorter time period.  

What do I do if I don't agree with my manager's ratings and comments in my performance review?

The Performance Review is a three-step process beginning with your self-review with ratings and comments. The Professional Development section does not include a numerical rating so you will not be asked to rate yourself, but you can input relevant development activities or initiatives over the past year (Note: These should be added to your professional development plan under the “Your Development Plan” widget BEFORE you submit your performance review).  The second step belongs to your manager for their ratings and comments, as well as your manager hosting a Manager-Employee Review Meeting with you. This is your opportunity to discuss your performance and professional development work including your ratings and the ratings and comments offered by your manager. At the conclusion of this meeting, your manager signs off and then the review comes back to you as the employee for your sign off and Acknowledgment that the review has taken place. If you still do not agree with the ratings or comments, you can select the “Decline to Sign” box on the final sign off page and add any comments to the comments box.  

How do I know when my performance review is complete?

This three-step process is completed with your (employee) sign-off. Once you enter your name and click "Submit", your review is complete. You can view your completed form by selecting Performance Reviews under the hamburger menu in Pioneer@Work, then check the box next to “Show completed and expired tasks”.

Can I change my self-review ratings after I submit the form to my manager?

If you find that you need to modify your self-review, you can ask your manager to send it back to you by selecting “Reopen Step” when they open your Performance Review form in Step 2; this will send it back to Step 1 for your modifications.