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HR Succession Planning: Performance Dimensions

Learn about the importance of performance dimensions in the succession planning process.

The Vision (Desired Future State)

A "Performance Dimension"; is anything an employee must demonstrate in order to be effective in a particular organization, job, and/or level of position. Typically, a Performance Dimensions model includes a number of competencies (such as "technical skills" and "honesty and integrity"), along with specific behaviors that fall within each competency. The vision for UC San Diego is to have a model of "Performance Dimensions" that:

  • Represents the knowledge and skills that are critical to success across various roles at UC San Diego
  • Includes critical aspects of performance within particular roles at UC San Diego
  • Serves as a common thread running through virtually all aspects of succession planning at UC San Diego

To illustrate, identification of these critical aspects of performance will help in the recruiting and hiring process by allowing those responsible for staffing a given position to develop interview questions related to the Performance Dimensions. Similarly, training and development efforts within UC San Diego will be aligned with the Performance Dimensions, to ensure that employees have opportunities to receive training and development in all areas that are critical to successful performance. And, of course, candidates for open positions within UC San Diego could be assessed relative to the Performance Dimensions.

The Challenge (Need for Change)

Currently, UC San Diego has 5 models of its "UC San Diego Performance Appraisal and Development" form (Models 1-4, as well as a Senior Management Group model). Each of these models includes UC San Diego Standards, which apply to all UC San Diego employees, as well as "Supervision" standards for managers and supervisors. In addition, one of these models includes performance dimensions that directly relate to the functions, projects, and/or goals being appraised, and it also allows supervisors to include other performance dimensions that are unique to their organizations.

The challenge is to build on the work that has already been done in the area of performance standards in order to develop a UC San Diego-wide Performance Dimensions model that:

  • Is based on analysis of factors that distinguish between average and high performing employees
  • Includes Performance Dimensions seen as being critical to both present and future success
  • Will be used not only for performance management purposes, but for all aspects of succession management as well

The goal is to develop a Performance Dimensions model that meets all of the criteria for facilitating effective succession management.

The Plan (Pathway to Success)

Performance Dimensions Why? When? Status
Assess results of pilot model, adapt as necessary, and roll out across UC San Diego To retain aspects of the "beta" model that prove to be effective, and to make needed adaptations before using on a wide scale across UC San Diego Continuing Continuing
Performance Dimensions Why? When? Completed
Pilot use of a Performance Dimensions model To assess the validity and usefulness of the Performance Dimensions "beta" model on a limited scale Q2, Q3 and Q4 2010

Started. Pilot project rolled out within External and Businss Affairs.

Develop initial Performance Dimensions model To incorporate existing UC San Diego standards, along with best practices for developing Performance Dimensions models, in order to create a “beta” model Q2 2009

The Performance Dimensions model was developed based on internal interviews and consultation.

Identify external partner for development of Performance Dimensions model To ensure that development of the Performance Dimensions model is based on current best practices in succession management, and the appropriate resources are devoted to this project. Q1 2009 Worked with external consultant to complete definitions of performance dimensions and corresponding behaviors.

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