ICYE UK Appraisal and Performance Management Policy 

1. Introduction

ICYE UK recognises the crucial role of staff members in its success, especially in achieving its key Mission statement:

  • Provide supported international volunteer opportunities that directly benefit local communities
  • Encourage young people from around the world to live, learn and work together 
  • Engage volunteers in the on-going development of the organisation

The processes governed by this policy allow for two-way communication up and down the organisation so that at every level individuals are working towards common organisational goals and importantly, see how their roles work to achieve these.  It provides a process for regularly reviewing and revising the training and development needs of all employees to meet these goals.  Action can then be taken to meet these needs and the process completed by evaluation of our achievement across the whole organisation.

This policy will outline relevant procedures and guidelines for staff around appraisals, supervisions and probationary reviews.  

1.1 Aims of the Policy

ICYE UK aims to support staff in their work to enable them to deliver the best possible outcomes for young volunteers and our other stakeholders. ICYE UK recognises that staff will perform better and be more motivated if the following principles are adhered to: 

  • Communicating to staff the organisation’s Mission, Vision and Values, as well as its needs and expectations
  • Being open to suggestions from staff about how the organisation might develop and improve by encouraging creative innovation
  • Valuing and praising the good work done by staff
  • Supporting staff in their personal and professional development
  • Working with staff to respond to and manage organisational change and/or changes in job requirements 
  • Ensuring that work is of the required standard and quality 
  • Where work is not up to the required standard, tackling this promptly and constructively
  • Recognising that staff have needs and responsibilities outside of work and that these can affect work performance

These principles will be achieved through regular supervisions and appraisal meetings between the line manager and individual members of staff and by:

  • Providing staff with clear job descriptions and workplace policies
  • Setting clear targets and standards  
  • Giving regular constructive feedback on performance, both recognising good work and raising concerns
  • Giving staff regular opportunities to discuss their own work and the work of the organisation and to consider how these could be developed and improved 
  • Identifying appropriate training opportunities and ensuring that training is adequately resourced 
  • Exploring with staff opportunities for them to develop new skills and experience
  • Following fair, consistent and confidential procedures to tackle under-performance 
  • Addressing as far as possible the personal needs and home responsibilities of staff 

In addition to the ICYE UK Office Manager reviewing the performance of staff on a day-to-day basis, it is ICYE UK policy that each member of staff participates in an annual appraisal of their performance, complimented by regular supervision meetings with their line manager. 

The overall goals of the appraisals and supervisions are to provide a forum for honest two-way communication about the effectiveness of the work of the member of staff; recognise achievements; agree future objectives, and review how their performance fits into the strategy and objectives of our wider work. In addition the process will identify individuals’ strengths and areas for development, assess what training and development needs there are for every member of staff and identify a Personal Development Plan.

2. Staff Appraisals

ICYE UK’s formal appraisal process for all staff is carried out annually depending on the start date of the employee. In addition all new permanent staff will have an informal mid-year review as part of their 6 month probationary period (see section 4).  

Appraisals are an integral part of the continuous process of management, supervision and development. They are an opportunity to review an employee’s performance and identify strengths and areas for development.  The appraisal is an opportunity to take an overall view of work content, to look back on what has been achieved during the foregoing period and agree objectives and training for the next as well as looking into employee engagement, job satisfaction and any need to change the scope of the appraisee’s job description. 

All appraisals should have the following characteristics in common: 

  • They should allow for a medium- to long-term annual overview of the work.
  •  They should be based on consideration of the whole period in question, not just the recent past 
  • There should be no new or unexpected matters raised that have not been discussed previously
  • They should link staff performance and objectives to the broader strategic aims of ICYE UK. 
  • They should link staff performance with the stated values of ICYE UK. 
  • They should be developmental tools – they should be positive and forward-looking 
  • They should deliver a ‘reward’ – this could be motivational and developmental but will also involve a decision on whether the employee should move up to the next pay scale level.
  • Conclusions should be evidence-based 
  • They should be open-ended, involving genuine two-way discussion with no foregone conclusions – both parties should ask and listen 

2.1 Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of every employee to fully participate in the appraisal process so they can assume ownership of their own performance development.  The process is a two-way participatory one, with the emphasis on the giving and receiving of open, positive and constructive feedback.

2.2 Process

All members of staff will have an appraisal with their line manager every 12 months in line with when they joined the organisation. In the case of the Office Manager, the Chair of the Board of Trustees will carry out the appraisal.

The Office Manager will provide employees with a copy of the Appraisal Form, 2 weeks prior to the appraisal process beginning. Both the line manager and the employee should consider the issues, successes, future objectives and developmental needs that should be discussed.

The line manager will arrange a suitable time and place for the meeting to take place. Prior to this meeting the line manager will facilitate a 360 degree feedback process with other members of staff and Board members that the appraisee has worked closely with. After the meeting the manager will write up the appraisal form and add their comments. This form will 

then be passed to the staff member who can add their comments, should they wish, sign the form to acknowledge its contents and objectives and pass it back to their manager. The manager then provides the staff member with a copy of the form for their records.

Both appraisee and appraiser should prepare thoroughly for the appraisal meeting – guidance notes are available for this. To aid this preparation, about two weeks before the appraisal meeting, the appraiser should ensure that the appraisee has a blank copy of the appraisal form, a current job description, guidance notes and, for all appraisals after the first, a copy of the previous appraisal form.

The appraisee will also be given a self appraisal form which they will be expected to complete in advance of the meetings. This is a self-reflection tool to assist with the process. Please see: ICYE HR Forms – 4. 

The appraisal form should be completed after the meeting by the appraiser and signed as an agreed record by the appraisee. Please refer to ICYE Personal Development Plan.

2.3 Staff Objectives and Personal Development Plan

A major part of the appraisal process is agreeing objectives and goals through a staff personal development plan. This will take on board areas for development and improvement, an action plan to achieve this, set performance objectives for the year ahead, explanation on how it is linked to the ICYE UK’s strategic plan and values as well as an agreed deadline. 

Performance objectives and the personal development plan should be recorded in the Staff Objectives form (ICYE HR Forms – 3) at the end of the appraisal process and should be signed by both the employee and line manager. The employee should be given a copy of this for their own records. 

As part of their induction to ICYE UK and their role all new employees will meet with their line manager within 2 weeks of their start date to agree objectives and goals for their role over the next year. It is important that this is a 2 way process and the new employee is given sufficient space to actively participate in putting this together. As with existing employees the Staff Objectives Form should be used to record objectives and goals. 

Objectives and development goals agreed in this form should be reviewed by the employee and line manager at supervision meetings.  

2.4 Recording of appraisals

The self appraisal form, completed by the appraisee, remains confidential between the supervisor and supervisee and is destroyed once the appraisal has taken place.  A copy of the rest of the form will be passed on to Board members with responsibility for personnel matters to identify any training and to assess organisational performance. Any notes of the self appraisal form should be agreed with the appraisee before being passed on. 

Appraisal reports fall under the Data Protection Act and the ICYE UK GDPR policy. This means that any information must be processed fairly, lawfully and for limited purposes; must be adequate, relevant and not excessive; must be accurate, must not be kept for longer than is necessary and must be securely stored. All employees have the right to ask to see their appraisal reports. 

2.5 What to do if appraisal is not functioning well

A vital part of the appraisal process is that the Board of Trustees and Office Manager get an opportunity to ensure that the supervision, appraisal and line management arrangements are generally functioning effectively. If the appraisee is unhappy with their management or the content or conduct of the appraisal in any way they must raise it. If they are not, they cannot expect the Board of Trustees to intervene to improve matters.

If there is a disagreement on any aspect between appraisee and appraiser which cannot be resolved, the appraisee has a right to record her/his differing view on the form in the space for her/his comments. The appraisee may discuss any disagreement with the Chair of the Board or the Board member with responsibility for personnel matters.   

2.6 Training and Development

Training objectives form an important component of the appraisal process. Training methods include workshops, mentoring, reading, e-learning, work experience, job swaps and shadowing and attendance at training courses. 

In order to take account of budgetary constraints, the Line Manager will have to discuss with the Board of Trustees on how to prioritise external training courses in the best interests of ICYE UK. Please refer to the Training and Development policy for more specific information. 

3. Supervision

Formal supervision does not replace the informal supervision and support that takes place on the job on a day to day basis. Formal supervision complements this informal support and the Appraisal process. 

The frequency of supervision meetings will be, to a certain extent, governed by the nature of the work and the needs of the staff member and their manager. Ideally supervision meetings should occur at least every 6-8 weeks. In the case of the Office Manager Supervision meetings will happen quarterly with the Chair of the Board of Trustees. 

3.1 Ground rules 

Ground rules will be established at the beginning of any supervision relationship, for instance at a new employee’s first supervision meeting or whenever a new line manager takes over the supervision of existing employees. The ground rules for any supervisory relationship may vary depending on the nature of the work and the preferred style of the line manager and the experience of the employee, but might include some or all of the following:

  • When, where and for how long will supervision take place?
  • How often will it take place?
  • How and in what circumstances will it be re-arranged?
  • What formal record will be kept?
  • What preparation is necessary by each person?
  • What are the agreed boundaries of confidentiality?  Is there information that the line manager may have to share with the Board of Trustees?

3.2 Content of Formal Supervision meetings

The content of formal supervision will be agreed at the beginning of the meeting, using a combination of lists brought by both parties. This will be recorded by the line manager on the Record of Staff Supervision meeting form (ICYE HR Forms – 2) and signed at the end by both parties. A copy will be kept in the employees file and they will also be given a copy.  

The supervision meeting should also include:

  1. A review of the previous meeting and action points arising from it
  2. Review of objectives agreed in the Staff Objectives form at appraisal or induction.  
  3. Review of amount of sick leave taken this year
  4. Review of annual leave taken and planned according to allocation given
  5. A review of the supervisee’s overall work and workload
  6. Review of specific items of work of special concern
  7. Review the value of any recent training undertaken by the supervisee 
  8. Any other business
  9. Date of next session

3.3 Mentoring

ICYE UK recognises that outside of the formal supervision process staff may benefit from a more informal space to receive support around their work and share ideas. As such each employee is to have a mentor from the Board of Trustees. Mentoring seeks to provide a safe environment where the mentee shares whatever issues affect his or her professional success. Mentoring relationships work best when they move beyond the directive approach of a senior colleague giving clear direction, to one where both learn from each other. An effective mentoring relationship is a learning opportunity for both parties.

It is also seen as a useful way of keeping employees in touch with the work of the Board of Trustees. Unless otherwise agreed, discussions at these meetings shall remain confidential between both parties. 

There is no set guideline on the regularity of these meetings and as they remain informal there is no need to document issues discussed as with supervision. It is important that mentoring does not duplicate or undermine the more formal and performance review based approach used in supervisions.  

4. Probationary Reviews

A formal review meeting will be held one month before the probation period expires and, unless probation is extended for any reason, a final review will be held at the end of probation. The probationary period for all employees on permanent contracts or fixed term contracts over one year is 6 months. Employees on fixed term contracts of under one year are to have their probation review at 1 to 3 months depending on length of contract.  

The review meetings will address specific issues covering:

  • The extent to which the new employee is meeting the requirements of the job description 
  • Any training or development that is needed to improve performance or to gain new skills 
  • The policies and procedures of ICYE UK and whether these are understood and accepted 
  • ICYE UK’s Mission, Vision and Values and working culture
  • Workplace relationships 
  • Any other issues raised by the line manager or the new employee 
  • Recommendations for next steps, including improvements to be addressed, strengths to bring out, extension of probationary period or confirmation in post. 

Supervision sessions should also be used to review how the new employee is performing and feeling with reference to goals and objectives agreed in the Staff Objectives Form. 

In cases where concern is raised around the performance of the employee there may be a need to provide  further support to the employee or commence disciplinary proceedings including warnings and meetings to discuss this further. Please refer to the ICYE UK Disciplinary Policy for more detailed information.  

Review of policy and procedures

The Trustee responsible for personnel issues will be responsible for reviewing the use of the above mentioned procedures every 12 months alongside this policy and will meet with the Office Manager to evaluate their benefits and discuss any changes that may be needed. This will be fed back to the rest of the Board of Trustees.