Performance development and review of RMIT University



The organisation that we have chosen is RMIT University. It is a wholly owned Australian university with branches located in Melbourne CBD, Brunswick, Point Cook, Bundoora, Hamilton and overseas in Vietnam. RMIT runs a larger number of courses at their campuses giving students with updated course structure and better learning outcomes leading to satisfying jobs. With more than 70,000 students studying at RMIT campuses in Melbourne, in Vietnam and online the university is one of the largest in the country. As an innovative, global university of technology, with its heart in the city of Melbourne, RMIT has an international reputation for excellence in work-relevant education and high quality research, and engagement with the needs of industry and community. The HR manager that we interviewed was Grant O' Rourke. He is the senior Payroll & HR Systems Manager at RMIT (Human Resources) and we thank him for the time he spent with us and for sharing his views with us on different HR related topics.

Performance Development and Review

Please briefly explain the overall performance development and review (PDR) process in your organisation. For instance, is it a technology managed system?

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Performance development is reviewed every mid and the end of the year for all the employees working at RMIT. At RMIT performance development and review process is done through templates called General Staff Workplan. It focuses on each and every individual and how work is aligned with RMIT goals and directions, behaviour and ways of working, career progression, and discussion with manager on how to improve work performance. It is a technology based system rather than paper based.

How often is each employee's performance reviewed in your organisation?

RMIT reviews each and every employee's performance every year to make sure everyone is meeting their KPI (Key Performance Indicators) . Also there is a mid year meeting where performance is reviewed for everyone.

What method(s) of performance appraisal or review is (are) used?

These days all organisations rely on systems as they make work more convenient to perform and it is done in a timely manner. Most of the systems that RMIT uses are SAP and Peoplesoft and psychological tests are performed to ascertain the level of performance /development the staffmenber can acheive.

How long has this process been in place?

This process has been in place for almost 7 to 8 years.

Had training for both supervisors and employees on the PDR process been provided?

Training for both supervisors and employees has been provided to make sure work is performed to high standards. Also training for TAFE teachers, managers everyone who works with RMIT all have to go through performance development review. If one is not performing according to the standards, training and feedback are provided.

How are performance deficiencies addressed? Is training and development regularly provided?

Training and development is provided regularly for the employees focusing on key areas where one needs improvement. The key areas where one needs improvement are kept in a database for all employees to monitor their progress.

Is career path planning and related development discussed as part of the PDR process?

RMIT is part of an annual review process, career path planning and related development has always been considered for employees. When going through the PDR process, promotion and further development is discussed with the employees.If one is already performing well within the organisation they will be approved for further career promotion and if one needs improvement their performance will be monitored and on- going advice provided to ensure future advancement.


Looking at the organisation RMIT ,we can see RMIT uses templates and the latest technology to keep up with the performance development at the workplace. As performance development and review is an important part of the organization,it is reviewed in the middle of the year and yearly for all the employees. RMIT uses a General Staff Workplan template to review employees performance. RMIT relies on systems such as SAP and Peoplesoft for their organisation's performance. It focuses on each and every individual and how work is aligned with RMIT goals and directions. This process has been going on for 7-8 years and changes have been made to keep up to date with the current trends and technology. Training for all the employees employed at RMIT is provided and they have to go through performance development reviews to make sure work is performed to higher standards. Regular checking of the performance is done and if one is not performing to the required standard, more training is provided on a regularly basis. On going through the performance development process, career path planning and related developments are discussed to motivate employees within their career progression. They are notified of their key areas for improvements and if performed well by the next PDR review they get bonus rewards which leads to career progression within the organisation.

Critical Analysis

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The contribution of human resources in any organisation is to increase performance. Human Resource Management techniques are designed in such a way that it evaluates ones individual performance, increases job commitment and satisfaction. "Individual performance management outputs include opportunities for remedial skills development, retention, career development, training and up skilling programmes" (Nankervis & Compton 2006, p.85).

Nankervis & Compton (2006) describe the companies which utilise effective Performance Management System (PMS) have not only performed better in terms of financially but also those companies, who manage performance of people have outperformed as well.

Training and development of employees is essential in this competitive world. It contributes to performance and productivity. When it comes to improving the performance it not only involves teams and individuals but also employees, managers and trainers. According to Nankervis & Compton (2006) programmes like performance review are the logical, and preferable means to appraise, to develop, and to effectively utilise employees' knowledge and capabilities and research shows 96% of organisations report using performance management systems


For training and performance development purposes mostly template approach is being followed to improve skills and is being focused on vital parts of the training.

"Performance Template is a process, a tool, and a result and represents a comprehensive approach to learning and improvement" (Lyons 2010, p.7). According to Lyons (2010) performance template has broad applicability as it may be used to assist individuals and groups in: understanding a process or practice; training in various skills; improving some on-the-job performance and enhancing the development of managers and trainers.

The general features of the template include: Identifying critical performance events, plan and design training activities, deciding which critical performance should be included in the training, adjusting and improving the template and using the template on the job and implementing and following it. Template is designed to improve the performance of each individual and also helps in reviewing the mistakes done as well and to correct the mistakes. They are kept as records in the database and can be followed up anytime for further consideration. Studies have shown performance ratings were higher by managers in the template group than in the conventional group and it shows that template training has value and effective training leads to better performance. (ref)

From the findings in appendix 1 - General Staff Workplan, we can see RMIT uses template for performance development which is being reviewed in the mid and at the end of the year. It aims on achieving the key areas from the staff working at RMIT on how one's work is aligned with RMIT to meet the organisational goals and directions, career progression and other development activities, ways of working and improving them, amount of workload being carried out, discussion with manager on how to improve one's performance.

Firstly It sets workplan goals on how activities are being carried out and targets are related to those activities. Secondly it focuses on values and behaviours, the way people behave at RMIT and how it supports effectively to meet RMIT goals. It focuses on areas of how one can continually improve performance with their ongoing job, whether one is bringing new ideas to work, behaving in a respectful manner at the workplace, showing commitment to work, working as a team and building relationships. Thirdly it focuses on Code of Ethics and compliance training and staff understanding rules and regulations as per set guidelines. Fourthly it focuses on Development Plan with on job learning, formal training, educational study, other professional development, training modules. It records in which area development needs, what is the agreed activity by the employee, timeframe for completion and to review an agreed date was it completed or outstanding. It also ensures feedback on long term goals and how one's work area can assist in achieving those goals. Lastly its Performance feedback where feedback is being provided from the employee and from the manager about what worked well, what didn't work well and it is rated as outstanding, excellent, good, satisfactory, not satisfactory.


RMIT has efficient performance development policies and procedures in place, however, they could continue to get better by improving or bringing in some of these recommendations. These measures can be employed by the organisation to be able to have a competitive edge in today's ever changing world.

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It should break up into more categories, more streamlined opportunities of different groups of people and tailor more opportunities. One should follow guidelines and follow the PDR process thoroughly.


Looking at performance development and review we can see it plays an important role in an organisation. By using templates and analysing one's individual performance it tells us how one is performing according to organisational standards. If there is no performance review then there would be no track of one's performance and would be more loses to any organisation. Performance review through templates has made reviewing easy and fast as the data can be stored on different systems like SAP and Peoplesoft. With the help of systems one can refer back to the key areas where performance should be improved and can review it until the next PDR meeting. It helps employees to perform better towards achieving their goals and targets and also gives opportunities to upgrade the skills, stay longer with the company and further career development in various fields