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Human Resources



What's the purpose of CAP?

​​​​​​CAP (Conversations About Performance) is a process and a system that promotes managers and employees to have conversations throughout the year around the employee's development.  The conversations center around goal setting and developmental questions but have no boundaries. The CAP philosophy and system both reinforce the idea that timely and continued conversations are helpful for both the employee and manager development.

Is the manager or the employee the main driver/influencer of CAP?

​​​Both employees and managers are equal stakeholders in this process.  We want employees to feel informed and empowered so they receive the same information, resources, and guidance around CAP that managers do. Additionally, employees get to draft their goals in Kick-Off and summarize the year in Wrap-Up first before their manager reviews.  Managers, however, are prompted first with the mid-year Check-In task.

Why is CAP so open ended?

​​​​​There is a wide variety and scope of jobs/roles at Bentley, so the goals portion of CAP is open ended to account for employee and manager individualization. 

Who sees the employee's CAP?

​​​​Just the employee and their manager- L&D only reports aggregate data on CAP phase completion, they do not read individual CAP comments.

Who is eligible to participate in CAP?

CAP is a performance development system/philosophy that full-time and part-time Bentley staff participate in,  Union members and contract/seasonal staff members are exempt from the process. Faculty members participate in a different evaluation process. 


What are the types of goals?

Individual Goals:

Setting clear expectations around job duties is important for both managers and employees. An individual goal should focus on specific tasks, projects, and actions that employees need to be complete over the  year.

 Some questions to consider when creating and reviewing individual goals:

  • What tasks, projects, and actions related to your specific role are vital over the next year?
  • How will you support departmental operations and goals through your actions and contributions?
  • What committees or initiatives (internally within your department, or collaboratively/cross-campus) are you contributing to or assisting with?


Inclusive Excellence Goals:

Bentley University has named Inclusive Excellence as an enabling feature of our strategic plan, driving our mission to become a more just, inclusive, and equitable campus. 

Some questions to consider when creating and reviewing Inclusive Excellence goals:

  • What changes or actions can you take in your role to actively engage historically underrepresented and underserved populations?
  • What do you need to learn about communities and identities that are different than your own?
  • What tools or skills do you need to learn to engage in brave dialogue across difference?


Developmental Goals:

Employee development is an important part of the CAP process.  A developmental goal focuses on an area where an employee can grow over the next year.

Some questions to consider when creating and reviewing development goals:

  • What are your career ambitions or professional goals?
  • What can the manager do to support your development?
What informs goals?

​​​​A variety of things! Reviewing the position description could inform goals.  Creating alignment with department or divisional goals could inform goals.  The feedback an employee received in Wrap-Up can inform goals for the future year.

Are there rules and guidelines for how to write or structure goals?
  • The only rule for goal setting is employees must have at least one of each goal type (individual, developmental, inclusive excellence).  Realistically, employees typically have a few goals per goal type.  We encourage employees and managers to use a "SMART" goal framework when writing goals, so they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely/time bound.
  • Personalize goals as it makes sense for the employee’s role, team, and development.
  • Goals are for employee development and should not be treated as a project management tracker, or a list that needs to be "checked" off.


What's the purpose of Check-In?

​​​​​Check-In is what it sounds like, an opportunity for the manager and employee to check-in on how progress for the year is going.  The task is brief, encouraged to take place during a one on one meeting, and is meant to discuss what’s going well and what might need to change.

CAP Check-In is open, but I don't see a task in my inbox.

​​​​​Remember that although Kick-Off and Wrap-Up phases begin with the employee, Check-In begins with the manager.  If you don’t see a Check-In task in your inbox, that’s okay, it’s with your manager, so touch base with them to see if there’s time in your one on one to review and discuss Check-In together.


What happens if an employee doesn't complete a goal set for the year?

​​​​​Talk about why the goal wasn't met.  Did the department priorities shift?  Was the employee asked to take on additional projects that took priority away from said goal?  Was the employee or manager a bit too ambitious with the number of goals set for the year?  Is the employee needing to grow in a certain area or expertise in order to achieve the goal?  Is the goal still important, but there wasn't time formally aside for the goal, so it should be rolled over for next year?

Is there a final employee rating in CAP?

​​​​​No, CAP is about employee development, not about a "score" for the year. If you are looking to have a more three-dimensional conversation about employee performance, development, while summarizing progress towards goals, we encourage employees and managers to utilize the "What and How" Matrix tool.

Leaves of Absences and New Hires

What should employees do if their manager is out on leave?
  • If an interim manager has been assigned to you, the task will route to that new manager. 
  • If your manager went on leave mid-CAP phase, email and they can assist with getting the task manually routed to the appropriate interim-manager.
What should a manager do if their employee is out on leave?

​​​​Hang tight- since Kick-Off and Wrap-Up begin with the employee, the manager would only have access to the task.  However, the manager can always review employee goals, prior CAP phases etc. in Workday.  It's good to be familiar with employee goals and think about how the time spent on leave might impact or shift goal timeline or priorities. 

What should an employee/manager do if they start employment at Bentley mid-CAP cycle?
  • Remember, goals can be added and/or edited in every phase of CAP and that CAP is about continuous conversations between employee and manager around employee development. 
  • Thus, even if the timing is a bit wonky, the employee and manager should still meet to discuss CAP, discuss what are some goals they can focus on for the remainder of the cycle.