Coffeepot Chatter: The New GPS

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Harry: Maria, Tom, have you looked at the new GPS tool? We have forms.

Maria: Really? Forms we can work in now?

Harry: Yes, actually, you work in sections of the form. You don’t see the entire form like the old GPS.

Tom: What else is different?

Harry: I’m not sure but it has a different look. And you can access your PD in the GPS tool.

Maria: That’s helpful. I should sign up to attend a new GPS workplace learning session.

Tom: Yeah, me too.

Lots of staff members have been attending training sessions to get familiar with the new GPS performance appraisal tool. In presenting these workshops, HR’s Linda Parks has found three changes that she thinks might need more explaining for staff and supervisors. 

1.    The Position Description (PD) information in the GPS tool is only as good as your PD.

If your PD isn’t finalized, your position description information will not populate in the GPS tool. 

What you can do: 

  • Finalize your PD and sync your GPS tool with your finalized PD. 
  • One click will then update the PD information in your GPS tool, but any progress and outcomes or comments entered in the tool before the sync with the finalized PD will be lost. 
  • If you’ve done any work on your GPS prior to syncing, be sure to print the form before you sync.

Some staff members attending the Meet the New GPS sessions are finding their PD information is very outdated. If this is your situation do not update the information in your GPS. Instead, have your supervisor request your PD be unlocked by Lori Claudio or Toni Lee Febbo in HR and make the necessary changes. When those changes have been made and the PD is again finalized you can sync the new PD with the GPS form.

2.    A key accountability is a goal.

This was true for the old GPS too but given the structure of the new GPS you will see this very clearly in tabs and form sections. Think of key accountabilities as static goals. They generally remain the same year after year. In contrast, performance goals, special progress and assignments and workplace learning/development goals usually change from year to year. 

If your PD is finalized your key accountabilities will immediately appear in your GPS tool and the Goals tab. As you add performance and other goals established for 2013, those sections of the form will populate and become accessible to you.

3.    Weightings may now include key accountabilities, performance and special project and assignment goals.

In the old GPS, your key accountabilities’ weights needed to add up 100% and other goals were handled separately. Not anymore. Now key accountability, performance and special project and assignment goals can be weighted but only the key accountabilities must be. In other words, weighting performance and special project assignment goals is optional. Workplace Learning/development goals cannot be weighted. 

The rule of thumb here is, “If you want to rate, you need to weight.”  So, if your supervisor wants to rate you in one or more of your performance or special project and assignment goals, you need to weight it. All of the items weighted must not exceed 100%. 

Don’t weight a goal if you are not going to rate a goal because this will reduce your overall weighting. The best thing to do is discuss this with your supervisor before you add weightings.



It’s new, it’s different. You might have questions! Your first step is to register for an upcoming Meet The New GPS workshop. There are a number of sessions scheduled for December, so check the Online HR Training Registration tool for a time and date that works best for you.

If you’ve already taken the workshop and still have a question, there are several members of the HR team who can help you. Contact Mary Ann Cahalan via email or extension 83698 and she will help you find the answers you need.