This is a new page. Your feedback will help us improve it.

Performance reviews and check ins

You can now receive regular feedback on your performance and have regular check ins to discuss your wellbeing and progress. This follows research and consultation which identified many of you felt:

  • you weren't given supportive feedback and recognition for the work you do
  • unaware of the service or directorate goals
  • change was poorly managed and communicated
  • your managers didn't check on your wellbeing
  • unaware of the wellbeing support available.

The performance reviews and check ins replace the employee development review (EDR) process.

Performance reviews

These reviews, which take place between April and June each year, help you to understand what your service and team is trying to achieve and how this links to the work that you do. These will be held at least once a year. Your manager will discuss and review with you:

  • plans for your service and team
  • what support you need
  • what good performance looks like and how it is measured
  • what you have done well
  • what hasn't gone so well and why
  • areas for improvement.

This will enable you to continue your personal development and learn new skills. You will discuss and agree some objectives which will be reviewed in your follow up meetings - the check ins.

Your completed performance reviews are reported and recorded on iTrent, except for those staff in the streets and grounds teams that already use eStars and if your manager is your interim manager and you don't appear under them on iTrent. We want to make sure everyone understands the role they play and receives feedback from their manager.

Employees with multiple roles

If you have more than one role with the council, iTrent will generate multiple performance reviews for you. Your manager(s) must access the relevant form and complete it. If you have the same manager for your multiple roles, then your manager may undertake one review and put the relevant outcomes into each form on iTrent.

New employees and transfers

If you are a new employee and still within your probationary period, you will continue to have your probationary reviews, and this would be noted on the iTrent form by your manager. Following a successful probationary period, you will have a performance review the following April or your manager may arrange an earlier one using the performance review - additional option in iTrent.

If you have been recruited as an internal transfer from another team and your new manager hasn't received confirmation of a performance review taking place, they will generate a review in iTrent. The following April, a notification will be triggered to inform your manager that the next one is due.

When performance reviews are not required

There might be some instances where you don't need to have a performance review. If you are:

  • on long term sick
  • on maternity leave - although we advise one is carried out before and after so that you leave on a positive note and return with a clear direction and know what has happened while you have been away
  • have given notice that you are leaving the council.

Your manager will note this on the current performance review.

Carrying out a performance review - employee guidance

You can follow the guidance below or download a copy of the employee checklist that details the actions you need to carry out before, during and after the review

Employee checklist

Before the performance review

You should make sure you do the following before the review takes place.

  • Agree a mutually convenient time and place. This can be virtual or face to face.
  • Allow time for reflection and to prepare for the review.
  • Reflect on what went well and what could be improved.
  • Think about what was achieved and how this was achieved. Also consider any factors that may have affected the outcome. Our commitment sets out the values and behaviours expected of you and the support you can expect from the council.
  • Gather some feedback using the 360 degree feedback tool.
  • Think about the future objectives. Service strategies and team plans are a good reference point.
  • Consider what good performance looks like. For some roles this could be outputs or outcomes and for others it could be progress and performance against areas of work outlined in your team plan or previous performance objectives.
  • Consider any training and support that may be helpful.
During the performance review
  • Your manager should ask you how you feel things have gone.
  • Discuss what has gone well and what could be improved - give examples, use our commitment, that sets out the values and behaviours, to refer to how tasks have been carried out, the support received and what more you would have liked.
  • Your manager should discuss the future plans for the team and agree some objectives with you. These can be personal development as well as work objectives. They should be SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound or FAST - Frequent, Ambitious, Specific and Transparent.
  • Discuss what good performance looks like - what is expected and how tasks are carried out.
  • Agree any support that is required and who is going to action this.
After the performance review
  • You should take responsibility for carrying out the agreed actions.
  • Make sure you have scheduled in your next check in.

Carrying out a performance review - manager guidance

You can follow the guidance below or download a copy of the managers checklist that details the actions you need to carry out before, during and after the review.

Managers checklist

We would advise you to use the document below to record details of your discussion with the employee and then transfer them to iTrent afterwards. This will avoid iTrent timing out if you try to use it during the discussion.

Peformance review discussion

Before the performance review

You should make sure you do the following before the review takes place.

  • Agree a mutually convenient time and place. This can be virtual or face to face.
  • Allow time for both yourself and your staff member to reflect and prepare for the review.
  • Reflect on what went well and what could be improved.
  • Think about what was achieved and how this was achieved. Also consider any factors that may have affected the outcome. Our commitment sets out the values and behaviours expected of employees and the support they can expect from the council.
  • Think about the future objectives. Service strategies and team plans are a good reference point.
  • Consider what good performance looks like. For some roles this could be outputs or outcomes and for others it could focus on progress and performance against areas of work outlined in the team plan or against performance objectives agreed with you.
  • Consider any training and support that may be helpful to your member of staff.

The key to the performance review is to prepare well in advance and to encourage your employee to do so. It will help if you cover the relevant elements during the discussion. For example asking the employee to consider where they have demonstrated the values and behaviours and whether they have received support as outlined in our commitment. This will mean that the elements of our commitment will be embedded in your discussion with your employee.

During the performance review
  • You should ask your employee how they feel things have gone.
  • Discuss what has gone well and what could be improved - give examples, use the use our commitment, that sets out the values and behaviours, to refer to how tasks have been carried out, the support they have valued and what more they would have welcomed.
  • Discuss the future plans for the for the service, team and individual and agree objectives based on this. These could be development objectives as well as work objectives. To make sure these objectives are measurable and will be easy to discuss, review and refresh with you, there are 2 models for effective objective setting in use. Either can be used as appropriate.
    • SMART objectives:
      • Specific - state a desired outcome, be clear on what needs to be achieved
      • Measurable - how will you know when an objective is achieved?
      • Achievable - but also challenging
      • Realistic - relate to the team, department or council
      • Time bound - when does it need to be achieved by?
    • FAST objectives:
      • Frequently discussed - through ongoing check ins
      • Ambitious - in scope, but relevant
      • Specific - goals should be measurable by metrics and milestones
      • Transparent - both you and your employee know the objectives
  • Discuss what good performance looks like - being clear to explain both the what is expected and the how tasks are carried out in terms of expected behaviours. Our commitment, that sets out the values and behaviours, are a useful basis for setting out our expectations of the how
  • Agree any support that is required and who is going to action this.

You may decide to hold separate discussions on past performance and future plans with your employee. In this case, please make sure you record both discussions into iTrent.

The word document below can be used for entering the information initially and then transferring to iTrent. This will avoid being timed out if you try to use iTrent during the discussion.

Performance review discussion

After the performance review
  • Once the review has been completed, you need to record the performance review discussion on iTrent MSS. Attachments can't be uploaded and once saved your employee can view the information.
  • Reviews for your employees are automatically generated in April each year - there is no need to attach a new performance review.
  • Make sure any training highlighted is booked and put in place.
  • Schedule and carry out check ins to review progress.

Access and log the reviews

Notification of performance reviews

Every April your manager will be notified that performance reviews are due for your team. Once the review has been completed you will be notified so that you can access the review via iTrent.

Access your performance reviews
  1. Login
    Login to iTrent - Employee self-service (ESS) using your username and password.
  2. Select performance
    Select Performance.
  3. Select the review you would like to view
    Select the performance review you'd like to view. Make sure the All filter is selected.
  4. Select start or print
    Select Start to view the form or Print to download a PDF version of the document.
  5. Select back to reviews
    Select Back to Reviews to go back to the list of your performance reviews.
Interim managers carrying out performance reviews

If you are acting as an interim manager and the employee does not show as your employee on iTrent, complete the review using the performance review discussion word document. This is located in the manager guidance section.

You must provide the employee with a copy of the completed word document and store one yourself (not on iTrent). These reviews are not included in the quaterly monitoring.

Record performance review details on iTrent - manager guidance

We advise you to write your comments on the performance review discussion word document, located in the manager guidance section and then copy and paste them into the boxes within the form as after 90 minutes of inactivity, iTrent will time out. This will avoid you losing any of the work.

  1. Login
    Login to iTrent - Managers self-service (MSS) using your username and password.

    Please note: we advise you to use Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome to access iTrent. Other browsers may cause issues.
  2. Select My Reportees
    Select My Reportees.
  3. Select the relevant employee
    Select the employee you'd like to add a review for.
  4. Select performance reviews
    Select Performance Review.
  5. Add performance review process
  6. Select Performance Review process.
  7. Please note: there are 2 parts to each review, the lifecycle (that has already been set up) and enables the employee to access it on ESS, and the form itself.

  8. Check the job title is correct for the member of staff.
  9. Select Save.
  10. Select generate to create the review form
    Select Generate to create the form.
  11. Select start to open the review form
    A summary screen will appear with an explanation of the review form. Select Start.
  12. Complete the review form
  13. Complete the form following your discussion with the employee.
  14. Select Save.
  15. Please note: once you save the form, the details are visible to the employee on the ESS version of iTrent.

  16. View a summary of the form
    Select Summary from the dropdown menu at the top of the screen.

    Please note: once you have submitted the form, you cannot edit it again so please check the details.
  17. Submit the review form
    Select Submit.

    Please note: the submit button will only appear when all mandatory fields on the form have been completed and it has been saved.
  18. Select ok to confirm submission
    Select Ok.

    Please note: a confirmation email will be sent to you and the employee when you submit the form in iTrent. If you don't receive this, check you have selected the submit button and haven't just saved the form.
Generate a performance review if there isn't one showing on iTrent - manager guidance

You can carry out an extra review for one of your employees, if for example, their duties have substantially changed, or for a new starter. Check whether a new performance review form has already been attached to the employee in iTrent to avoid duplicate reviews being generated.

  1. Login
    Login to iTrent - Managers self-service (MSS) using your username and password.

    Please note: we advise you to use Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome to access iTrent. Other browsers may cause issues.
  2. Select My Reportees
    Select My Reportees.
  3. Select the relevant employee
    Select the employee you'd like to add a review for.
  4. Attach new performance review
    Select Attach new Performance Review.
  5. Add date and select life cycle template
  6. The attach life cycle to person screen should appear.
  7. Add the date of the performance review.
  8. Choose Performance Review process from the available Life cycle templates.
  9. Please note: there are 2 parts to each review, the lifecycle (that you need to set up for reviews outside the normal April to June period) and enables the employee to access it on ESS, and the form itself.

  10. Select generate to create the review form
    Select Generate to create the form.
  11. Select start to open the review form
    A summary screen will appear with an explanation of the review form. Select Start.
  12. Complete the review form
  13. Complete the form following your discussion with the employee.
  14. Select Save.
  15. Please note: once you save the form, the details are visible to the employee on the ESS version of iTrent.

  16. View a summary of the form
    Select Summary from the dropdown menu at the top of the screen.

    Please note: once you have submitted the form, you cannot edit it again so please check the details.
  17. Submit the review form
    Select Submit.

    Please note: the submit button will only appear when all mandatory fields on the form have been completed and it has been saved.
  18. Select ok to confirm submission
    Select Ok.

    Please note: a confirmation email will be sent to you and the employee when you submit the form in iTrent. If you don't receive this, check you have selected the submit button and haven't just saved the form.

Please note: as a manager, if an extra review is showing on iTrent for an employee that you have already completed a review with, a new performance review may have been generated in error. You need to email the iTrent team for this to be removed.

Check ins

With more people working remotely and in a more blended way between the office, home, or other locations it's more important than ever that your manager touches base with you and your team and checks in on your wellbeing. You've told us how important it is to you to have regular contact with your manager and how connected to the organisation and supported this makes you feel.

The check in conversations should be:

  • regular, as agreed with your manager - but at least quarterly
  • supportive
  • a less formal, coaching style one to one conversation, providing the opportunity to talk openly about your:
    • wellbeing
    • job
    • learning opportunities
    • future.

It is important that you feel heard, valued, and respected, so we encourage you and your manager to have regular check ins.

Carrying out a check in

You can follow the guidance below or download a copy of the checklist that details what should be covered during the check in.

Checklist

Before the check in

You and your manager should make sure you do the following before the check in takes place.

  • Agree a convenient time and place. This can be virtual or face to face.
  • Allow time to prepare and think through any issues you would like to discuss.
During the check in

The following areas should be considered and discussed during check ins. Not all these areas need to be covered for every check in.

Wellbeing

This should be covered first and be part of every check in. It is important you assess how you are feeling and what is impacting on your health and wellbeing. You and your manager should consider the whole of your wellbeing (physical, mental, emotional, social, financial, lifestyle, safety) and identify areas where you might need support. Your wellbeing should be monitored over time.

There are lots of resources and support available in our new health and wellbeing area.

As a manager leading the check in discussion, this about the way you ask about wellbeing so that conversation is open. A simple 3 step process of Ask, Acknowledge and Answer can help.

  • Ask - think of conversation openers, what is natural and think about your body language.
  • Acknowledge - we all want to be heard and acknowledged so make sure the conversation is non-judgmental and supportive.
  • Answers - you may not have all of the answers but you can signpost to available resources and support that we offer internally and that is available externally via our new health and wellbeing area.

Job

Discussions about your job should give you the opportunity to:

  • provide progress updates on objectives agreed in performance reviews
  • share your challenges and observations so any issues can be resolved quickly
  • discuss the work environment and your work relationships.

Learning

Conversations about your learning can help you to consider how you can develop in your current role and beyond. These opportunities can range from:

Visit our learning opportunities page to find out more

Future

Chats about your future provide a useful opportunity to share news about changes facing the team, service, or organisation and to discuss how this could impact you. The discussion could also include your future plans for career progression or if you plan to leave the council. Knowing about any potential plan to leave will allow your manager and team the time to put plans in place to enable the team to continue providing the current level of service.

After the check in
  • Your manager will keep a record of your check in, so that it can be used to refer to for the next one. They are not required to upload this anywhere.
  • Make sure any training highlighted is booked and put in place.
  • Schedule and carry out the next check in or performance review.

Further guidance

If you'd like to find out more and learn about our performance principles or how to set effective objectives, you can download our guidelines document below.

Performance reviews and check ins guidelines

Skills development for managers

As a manager, it is important you show leadership and knowledge during performance reviews and check ins. Make sure you take the time to familiarise yourself with the tools that are available to you. Be honest with yourself and use the resources available to you to understand how you can offer support and signpost to relevant information. By recognising your own gaps in your knowledge will support your development as well as your team's.

There are several skills, courses, and resources available to support you, such as:

.

Share your views

Whether you like this new page or there's something not quite right - please let us know!