Objective discussions

An objective discussion is a practical tool for the building of success, but it is most important to remember reflection, discussion, and sparring as part of everyday life. Objective discussions enable shared reflection twice a year that is deeper than everyday conversation.

Objective discussion on spring

The focus here is especially on the examination of the previous year's achievements and success and on the planning of the rest of the year and the setting of goals. 

Mid-term discussion

In this discussion the focus is on longer-term career planning and personal development, while examining the goals for the rest of the year.


  • One-to-one discussions year-round.
  • Feedback, discussion, and sparring as part of everyday work!    
  • If there are challenges, the matter is taken up immediately.

Objective discussion instructions for the employee

Preparation for the discussion is a prerequisite for a successful discussion.


    • Write down the results of the discussion together with the supervisor (Word document)
    • Finalise the form and send it to your supervisor. Agree about the form of documentation and saving it with your supervisor. Personec HR will be replaced with Workday during 2019 and the previously stored information does not automatically transfer between the systems.

    Keep in mind the content of the discussion, especially goals that have been written down, and monitor regularly how they have been implemented, together with your supervisor.


    When and how to do the work plan?

    Work duties are negotiated in the objective discussions and mutually agreed tasks are documented in four different task areas by 30 June. The time allocated for each task is registered in the work plan. In planning and allocating work time, it is advisable to consider the percentage of work for each task area according to the employee’s own work plan, although hourly work time division is also required.

    The work plan is updated during the academic year if duties or work time change substantially or if the initially planned work time allocation undergoes changes. Also longer absences (family leave, lengthy sick leave or leave of absence) often call for revisions in the work plan.

    Work plan for the academic year 2019–2020 is documented in the electronic form. The HR person/coordinator of the department will provide more detailed information.

    What is included in the work plan?

    The work plan includes main tasks for the upcoming academic year and an estimation of the time used in hours, and their relative share of the whole work time. In planning own work it is important to consider, for example:

    • What is expected of me during the next academic year? What is important in achieving the set targets?
    • How are required working hours divided between different periods of the academic year? How are working hours divided proportionally between different task areas?
    • How much time can I use for each area?
    • Are, for example, the hours I use in research/artistic activity and teaching in balance?
    • How do I prioritize duties if I do not have enough time?
    • Do I reserve a third of my working hours for task X or will I need more working hours for something more important?

    Although the work plan requires work time allocation in hours, it is essential to consider matters as larger entities and the share of duties in relation to the whole work time.

    In the work plan, the task areas are divided as follows:

    Task area

    Task are includes for example


    Fill in this field the time you are planning to allocate to teaching and/or lecturing (incl. online) on courses. In the digital form teaching time is allocated on a course level.

    Tasks related to teaching

    Fill in this field preparation and background work for a course that is/will be  in the curriculum during academic year; preparing and further developing the course, reading papers, correcting exams etc. Include also hours you are planning to allocate to developing a course that is not in the curriculum yet, educational leadership (e.g. academic committee memberships, acting as director of a study program) and personal development (e.g. pedagogical training).


    Fill in this field the hours you are planning to allocate to supervision and guidance of bachelor / master students, doctoral candidates and to academic advising/academic tutoring. In addition to estimate of the hours, please give an estimate of the number of the students you will supervise/guide during the next academic year.

    Research and artistic work

    Fill in this field the hours you are planning to devote for research and artistic work. This field includes also writing research proposals, project reporting and such research / artistic work related tasks.


    Fill in this field an estimate of the hours devoted to reviewing academic publications, lectures and activities in scientific community outside Aalto. Also expert statements and lectures (without extra fee) given in the public should be included in this field.

    Include also an estimate of the hours devoted in memberships in committees and steering groups in Aalto, such as Tenure Track recruitment committees, Tenure track committees, platforms etc. Also acting as the (vice) head of the department and other managerial tasks should be included in this estimate.

    This service is provided by:

    HR Services

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