Performance Management


Category: Human Resources
Subject: Performance Management 
Division: Administrative Services
Policy Number: CA.52.01.105
Effective Date: October 16, 2017


The goal of performance management is to promote and improve employee and organizational effectiveness. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) believes that regular ongoing feedback between managers and the employees is critical to support a culture of high performance.  


This policy applies to all employees on WDGPH’s payroll engaged in regular performance.  This includes:

  • Permanent full-time employees;
  • Permanent part-time employees (any FTE); and
  • Temporary staff with an initial contract duration of 12 months or greater.

Performance Management Philosophy

The Agency’s performance management philosophy is based on the following principles:

  • It adds value to WDGPH and the individual;
  • It is job specific;
  • It aligns with WDGPH’s strategic direction and core values;
  • It is practical, easy to understand and to use;
  • It includes a collaborative process for setting S.M.A.R.T. goals and reviewing performance based on two-way communication between the employee and manager;
  • It monitors and measures results (what) and behaviours (how);
  • It establishes clear communication and expectations between managers and employees about what is to be accomplished;
  • It identifies areas for improvement and establishes plans for improving performance;
  • It supports staff in achieving their work and career goals by identifying training needs and development opportunities for improving performance; and
  • It includes specific and constructive feedback.

 Performance Management Review Cycle

Performance reviews will be completed once every 12 months. The date of each review established is based on an employee’s performance appraisal anniversary date. 


Annual Performance Review – review of an employee’s work performance conducted on a yearly basis to determine the degree that job responsibilities have been demonstrated during the year prior to the review date.

 Professional Development/Goal Setting Process – the process of the employee and manager establishing a plan that identifies what the employee will work on to further develop their job related skills and devising a plan to achieve the desired results.  This process will form part of the Performance Review.


Corresponding Procedure: CA.52.02.105 Performance Management


Manager, Human Resources


Interim Director, Administrative Services



Category: Human Resources
Subject: Performance Management 
Division: Administrative Services
Procedure Number: CA.52.02.105
Effective Date: October 16, 2017



Ongoing feedback between an employee and their manager is critical for effective performance management.  The performance appraisal (PA) refers to the annual documentation requirement that captures the conversations about an employee’s overall performance. 

Performance Management Review Forms

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) has identified three review forms aligned with the following job categories: administrative staff, professional staff and management staff.  These job categories are aligned to specific salary bands within the WDGPH compensation system. The competencies in each review form are based on the expectations, job duties and requirements for each category.

Job Category and Salary Band

  • Administrative Staff :  Bands 1-5
  • Professional Staff:  Bands 6-8 and ONA
  • Management Staff:  Bands 9 and above

Agency Performance Management Components

Three main components are to be captured on a performance review form are:

  • Results (Goals) – the “What”; linked to the Strategic Plan.
  • Behaviours (Competencies) – the “How”.
  • Continuous Learning (Training and Development).

S.M.A.R.T.  Methodology

To avoid performance management goals that are vague and difficult to measure, the Agency has adopted S.M.A.R.T. goals.  S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for criteria used in setting clear and measurable objectives.

S.M.A.R.T. refers to:

  • Specific – target a specific area for improvement.
  • Measurable – quantify an indicator of progress.
  • Achievable – state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources.
  • Relevant – how the goal is related to the Agency’s Strategic Direction.
  • Timely – specify when the result(s) can be achieved (likely within 12-month review cycle).

Results – the “What”

An effective goal should clearly describe the expected outcome/result in a qualitative and/or quantitative manner and set a timeline for reaching the expected outcome/result.  To support this best practice, the Agency has identified that all results (goals) will be aligned with S.M.A.R.T. goal setting principles generally linked to the strategic direction of the Agency.  Employees are required to establish between one to three goals.  These goals may be comprised of job description goals, project goals, stretch goals or behavioural goals. Refer to “Definitions” in this procedure for further information on these different types of goals. 

The review and professional development/goal setting process provides an opportunity for the employee and their manager to meet together to review the employee’s knowledge and professional goals. This process aims to meet the mutual needs of the employee and the organization.

Behaviours (Competencies) – the “How”

The Agency has identified core competencies that are critical success factors and the most important aspects of performance for all positions:

  1. Technical knowledge and skills
  2. Interpersonal skills
  3. Planning, organization and time management
  4. Teamwork and collaboration
  5. Ethics, diversity, integrity and equity
  6. Communication
  7. Public health approach
  8. Client centered focus
  9. Conflict resolution

Additional competencies appropriate for professional and management staff are:

  1. Leadership
  2. Policy, program planning, implementation, and evaluation
  3. Strategic alignment and environmental awareness

Continuous Learning (Training and Development)

Employees and managers will have the opportunity to set up continuous learning goals. During the PA process the manager and the employee will establish a minimum of one continuous learning goal. The continuous learning goal will follow the S.M.A.R.T. principle of goal setting.

Descriptive Rating Scales

The Agency has identified descriptive rating scales for Goals, Behaviours (competencies) and Continuous Learning. Descriptive rating scales use narrative descriptions rather than a numeric score as outlined below:


  • Exceeds - Exceeded established expectation.
  • Meets - Completed goal to measurement.
  • Partially Met - Good faith effort to complete but measurement not achieved.
  • Deferred - Transferred to following PA cycle due to extenuating events (i.e. emergency response, etc).
  • Cancelled - No longer appropriate/required.  For example, role change/program change, etc. Typically a new goal would be identified depending upon cycle timing.
  • Did not meet (measurement) - Lack of professional accountability/negative behaviours exhibited.


  • Meets - Competency in alignment with expectations per competency description.
  • Progressing - Good faith effort to comply with competency requirement, inconsistently able to demonstrate competency expectations.
  • Does not meet - Rarely or never exhibits competency requirements.
  • Not applicable - Specific competency does not apply to the individual’s role.

CONTINUOUS LEARNING (Training and Development)

  • Completed - Continuous learning requirement completed.
  • Partially Completed - Good faith effort to complete but not achieved due to factors outside of employee’s control.  Not achieved.
  • Deferred - Transferred to following PA cycle due to extenuating events (i.e. emergency response, etc.)
  • Cancelled - Goal cancelled. Typically no longer required, role change/program change, etc. Typically a new goal would be identified depending upon cycle timing.
  • Not Completed - Continuous learning goal not completed as agreed.

Where required and/or appropriate, employees and/or managers will need to provide comments to explain their rating(s). 


Employees will:

  • Solicit regular and ongoing feedback from their manager in order to successfully complete their performance review; 
  • Identify areas that require additional training and seek support from their immediate manager;
  • If required, ask and solicit help in a timely manner from the manager in order to complete their performance plan; and
  • Actively reflect on their work practice, program needs and client needs in order to develop, suggest and provide input into their goal and continuous learning setting process. 

Manager will:

  • Provide clear expectations;
  • Provide regular and ongoing feedback with the employee in order to support a culture of high performance;
  • Regularly confirm with the employee that they understand and are receiving the necessary support and have the necessary resources to successfully perform their duties;
  • Ensure employees receive the necessary training and support required to perform successfully;
  • Identify additional developmental opportunities in order to support further development of the employee’s abilities;
  • Address all performance issues in a timely and effective manner;
  • Conduct performance reviews for employees reporting directly to them according to policy and procedures; and
  • Seek support from senior management and/or HR as appropriate.

Senior Management will:

  • Provide regular and ongoing feedback with the manager in order to support a culture of high performance; 
  • Confirm that performance reviews are conducted as required;
  • Coach and provide guidance to managers for effective performance management (as required); and
  • Conduct performance reviews for employees reporting directly to them according to policy and procedures.

Human Resources will:

  • Support regular and ongoing feedback between managers/supervisors and employees in order to support a culture of high performance; 
  • Assist and respond to inquiries from management and employees regarding the annual performance process; and
  • Coach and provide guidance to managers (as required) and employees (as required) to support effective performance management. 


Job Description Goals – Goals may be based on achievement of a pre-established set of job duties. These goals are expected to be accomplished continuously until the job description changes. Examples might be financial, customer-oriented, or process-or system-oriented goals.

Job description goal example – Complete a minimum of 60 high-risk public health inspections by December 31, 20xx in accordance with Ontario regulatory requirements. 

Project Goals – Goals may be based on achievement of a project objective. These goals may be set for a single year and changed as projects are completed. Job description and project goals are “what” needs to be accomplished.

Project goal example – Determine if an appropriate Enterprise Resource Planning software solution that meets the organization’s basic requirements can be purchased for less than $100k by June 30, 20xx.

Stretch Goals – Goals that are especially challenging to reach are referred to as stretch goals. Stretch goals are usually used to expand the knowledge, skills and abilities of high-potential employees.

Stretch goal example – Successfully roll-out new government immunization requirements which includes communication, training and workshops through the Upper-Grand District School Board to all area high schools by December 31, 20xx.

Behavioural Goals – Goals may be based on certain behaviours. These goals are expected to be accomplished continuously. Behavioural goals are “how” things need to be accomplished.

Behavioural goal example – Jack is most effective when dealing with colleagues/peers in person. When conflict arises, I would like Jack to forgo email communications as a primary communication medium and instead utilize his face-to-face communication skills.  When conflict is identified through e-mail with a colleague or peer, Jack is required to directly speak with the individual and should not attempt to resolve the situation through e-mail. 

Performance Review – An electronic documentation form that captures the key aspects of the formal performance discussion between the employee and the manager. Key aspects captured include the outcomes for the “What” (Goals), the “How” (Competencies), as well as continuous learning (training and development).  The Performance Review is just one part of the WDGPH Performance Management Process.


Corresponding Policy: CA.52.01.105 Performance Management
CA.52.01.102  Professional Development- Conferences, Seminars, Workshops
CA.52.01.109  Recruitment and Selection
CA.52.01.112  Orientation Employees, Students and Volunteers
CA.52.01.114  Probationary Performance Review
CA.30.01.124  Probationary Performance Review Form
CA.30.01.167  Performance Management Competency Definitions
CA.30.01.168  Performance Appraisal Approval Process
CA.30.01.169  Performance Appraisal Interim Review Process
CA.30.01.170  Performance Appraisal Final Review Process


Manager, Human Resources


Interim Director, Administrative Services