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Overview By Topic

Click on the tabs below to read overviews of a particular topic. To read the rest of the overview and explore resources, visit the overview page.

Fewer, more meaningful goals

Fewer, more meaningful goals focused on outcomes achieved and the positive impact created. New goal structure is SIMple goals:  specific, important and meaningful.


Change focus from completing a form to having ongoing performance conversations. Coaching and feedback throughout the year is key to Performance Excellence, so that the end of year performance discussion is a re-cap of conversations that have already occurred.    

Fewer, more inspirational values

Fewer, more inspirational values shared by staff, faculty and students. Individual behaviors will not be rated at end of year, supervisors and staff should keep Northwestern values and associated behaviors front of mind, incorporating them into feedback and coaching conversations.    

Fewer rating levels

Rating levels will be reduced and given written descriptions rather than numbers. The rating system is intended to facilitate motivating, realistic conversations and recognize high performers.    

Online experience in myHR Learn

Many aspects of Performance Excellence will be conducted through myHR Learn, including goal-setting, editing goals and tracking progress, registering for learning and development opportunities end of year self-review and supervisor review and rating.   

The new three-phase process is based on the following core beliefs:
  • Northwestern staff members want to grow and feel engaged in their careers here
  • Staff members and their supervisors are mutually accountable for performance and growth:
    • Staff members are primarily accountable for their learning, performance, and career
    • Supervisors inspire, guide, and help remove the barriers that stand in the way of learning, performance and fulfillment
  • In promoting growth, we will make Northwestern an even stronger institution and a destination of choice for talented people

Northwestern’s Performance Excellence is a year-round experience, conducted through myHR Learn

Infographic outline the three phases of the process: set goals, enhance performance, and review results.

Set goals

Drives alignment and expectations

Having a direction is key to getting there. Setting audacious goals and living our values starts the journey to meaningful results. Learn about setting goals by visiting the goal-setting section of the site.

Enhance performance

Drives performance and development

Performance and learning happen everyday. Coaching and feedback can help you grow faster. Learn about enhancing your performance by visiting the enhance performance section of the site.   

Review results

Drives differentiation and rewards

Understanding where I stand and my strengths is important. Knowing this sparks continued growth and development. Learn about reviewing your results by visiting the review results section of the site.