CDR FAQs

Answers to the most common CDR queries

This page answers many of the most common queries about the CDR process for professional services staff. Please get in touch at HR.Learning@lse.ac.uk if you have a CDR question which is not addressed here. 

When should I set objectives for my team?

Objectives and/or performance standards for professional services staff should be set across the School at the start of each new financial year e.g. from August onwards. These will be done as a cascade, i.e.:

  • The Director agrees the Chief Operating Officer’s objectives
  • The Chief Operating Officer then agrees Service Leaders’ objectives
  • Service Leaders then agree line managers’ objectives
  • Line managers agree staff objectives

This will ensure that objectives are aligned for all professional services staff.

How many objectives should be set?

Each individual should have up to 7 objectives; between 5 and 7 is ideal.

Do objectives have to be developmental/stretching?

Whilst we strongly support developing staff and would encourage stretching and developmental objectives, this may be difficult to achieve for all staff and all roles.

All objectives should be:

  • Specific -  it should be clear what is expected
  • Measurable - how will you know what has been achieved ?
  • Framed within a defined period of time - whilst some objectives might be ongoing, all objectives should have a review date(s)

What should be included in objectives?

Objectives should be aligned to both the plans of the Department/Centre/Divisions and LSE 2030.

Objectives can include:

  • Citizenship activities
  • Developmental projects
  • Student support

Objectives for line managers should include at least one objective about people/team management.

As outlined earlier, objectives should be written in such a way that they are:

  • Specific - it should be clear what is expected
  • Measurable - how will you know what has been achieved ?
  • Framed within a defined period of time whilst some objectives might be ongoing, all objectives should have a review date(s)

Who should set the objectives?

This depends on the role the employee holds. For some roles, the objectives are set by the line manager, for other roles they can be set jointly by the line manager and employee. For all roles, the final objectives should be jointly agreed by both the manager and the employee.

How often should one-to-ones be held?

The frequency of one-to-ones depends on the employee’s role. As a minimum, they should be held at least once a term. However, in some areas they are held monthly or fortnightly.

What should be covered in one-to-ones

The format for these one-to-one catch-ups can involve:

  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Prioritising workloads and ensuring a good work/ life balance
  • Monitoring work and work performance
  • Sharing information relevant to work
  • Clarifying task boundaries
  • Identifying learning and development needs
  • People management (if relevant to role)

A one-to-one should also include, where appropriate, pastoral matters relating to personal issues that have been raised through work, such as:

  • Discussing whether (and how) any outside factors are affecting the employee’s work
  • Supporting the employee if stress is a factor, and signposting them to further resources

Do we have to document one-to-ones?

Whether or not you record one-to-ones depends on the role and your local arrangements. Some areas have introduced a form to capture one-to-one conversations; this is a local decision by each area.

It is a good idea to capture progress against objectives as you go through the process. The progress review form has been designed to allow you to do this. This will make the progress review meeting simpler.

Can I do one-to-ones remotely?

Yes. It is vital when remote working that regular contact is maintained between the employee and line manager, and one-to-ones are a good way to do this. In fact, when remote working one-to-ones should be held more often. Microsoft Teams is a good way to undertake one-to-ones remotely. 

When should progress reviews be held?

The progress review should be held and recorded between June and July each year. This can be used to inform any Contribution Pay nomination. HR will track completion of the reviews and these will be reported to the Chief Operating Officer.

Who should draft the progress review paperwork?

The employee should complete the review part of the CDR form in preparation for the meeting, ideally at least a week beforehand so that their manager has time to read the form and consider the contents. When completing the form, the employee should aim to include:

  • Their key achievements against their performance standards and objectives.
  • Any other achievements on top of their objectives, including wider activity beyond the scope of their role. The nature of these other achievements may vary but could include involvement in Green Impact teams, School networks (such as Spectrum, Power, Embrace and Parents and Carers), or contribution towards School achievements (such as Athena SWAN or Investors in People).
  • For headings of the Effective Behaviours framework relevant for their role, examples of how the employee has behaved in a way that supports these areas (the employee can refer to the Effective Behaviours Guidance for examples). This framework is designed to support the LSE’s Ethics Code, which sets out six core principles underpinning life at LSE and applies to all members of the School community. 

Following the progress review conversation, the manager should complete the “Manager's overall comments on performance” section of the form.

How do I upload the paperwork to the system?

Once completed, the form should be uploaded to the LSE Sharepoint site.

Full guidance for this process can be found in the CDR Sharepoint Site Guidance.

Who uploads the paperwork on to the CDR site?

The CDR site is linked to the School’s active directory; this means that the employee - and not the manager - must upload the form to the site.

What should be covered in the progress review?

The progress review is a summary one-to-one so as such should cover similar areas as one-to-ones:

  • Key achievements against the employee’s performance standards and objectives.
  • Any other achievements on top of their objectives, including wider activity beyond the scope of their role.
  • Headings of the Effective Behaviours framework relevant for the role.
  • Details of any learning and development undertaken.

Who has access to the progress review once it has been uploaded to the CDR?

CDR forms uploaded to the CDR site can be seen by:

  • The employee
  • The employee’s line manager
  • Their Senior Manager (their line manager’s manager)

HR can also see that a form has been uploaded and will report the number of completed progress reviews for each Department/Division/Centre to the Chief Operating Officer.