Caption: The Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra delivers his remarks at the launch of the SDA Process and iPerform system. Also in picture is the Executive Director Human Resources at USP, Heather Stadel (right) and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration and Regional Campuses), Dr Esther Williams (left).
The University of the South Pacific has put in place revisions to the performance management practices to build an environment where its staff feel their academic and professional work is valued, recognized and rewarded.
The revised process called the Staff Development and Appraisal process (SDA) also includes the iPerform online system – the first automated performance system in the Pacific region. THE SDA Process will develop, align and engage staff to reach their full potential in contributing positively towards the University’s strategic goals and objectives.
The Staff Development & Appraisal (SDA) Process and iPerform Online System, which was launched on 7 March 2013, will review, refine and improve the performance management of the following categories of staff at USP:
- Comparable; and
- Intermediate, Junior and Hourly Paid.
The SDA and iPerform system activities will include having appropriate processes to support staff development and reward excellent performance, which is a standard human resource strategy for enhancing organizational performance, managing employee engagement and retaining quality staff. Development plans are included with the SDA process to frame career and succession planning and ensuring that individual performance is broadly congruent with an organisation’s strategic agenda.
The system was developed in-house by the iPerform Project Team using open source tools. The Project Reference Groups was led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration and Regional Campuses), Dr Esther Williams.
The Executive Director Human Resources at USP, Heather Stadel, spoke briefly on the three goals of the SDA process. These include:
- Individual development opportunities for staff so that they continue to learn best skills and practices to use in their work and stay current to maintain or improve their career security and opportunity;
- A high degree of alignment so that there is a direct link between the goals assigned to staff and specific university or school/section goals; and
- Engagement within USP is enhanced by staff which creates improved commitment and enthusiasm because staff feel they are valued for the achievements of the work assigned to them.
Speaking at the launch, the Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra emphasized that people lie at the heart of any organisation, especially in the case of universities because of the relative dependence of staff to achieve the goals of the institution in achieving excellence and knowledge creation.
The Vice-Chancellor made particular mention of the University’s new Strategic Plan 2013-2018, saying that it lays out a bold and ambitious agenda of excellence, regionalism, relevance and engagement.
“We need to find ways of being able to implement the Strategic Plan in ways that engage our staff, promote their capabilities, show transparency, and above all, align what our staff do to the vision and mission of the University,” he stated.
Professor Chandra explained that the iPerform system represents a very shared and collegiate way of establishing a world-standard smart system of staff development, engagement and performance management.
He gave his assurance that the USP Senior Management Team is committed towards the implementation of the SDA process and the new online system.
The SDA and iPerform system will be supported by the University’s Human Resource Office and facilitated by certified faculty/section trainers and advisors.