In this section, it is assumed that the work unit has goals, and that the supervisor has a clear idea of what they are. A good way of thinking about the unit's goals is to consider how one would justify the continued existence of the unit if someone suggested changing or eliminating it. If your unit doesn’t have clearly articulated goals, you can seek assistance from the Center for Organizational Development & Leadership.

In considering a position's contribution to unit goals, it is important to think in terms of the position and not the incumbent. A superior staff member contributes far more than expected to a specific position compared to a poor performer who contributes little. The contribution statement should be fairly general. Some examples are provided.

Example 1: Supports research activities of faculty by ensuring work settings meet safety guidelines under federal, state, and university regulations, supporting the goal of being top-tier research university.

Example 2: Provides computer software support and training to faculty, staff, and students ensuring effective use of university resources and enhanced effectiveness of research, service, administrative, and learning activities.

In determining what the contributions are by answering the question: What would be likely to happen to the unit if the position were suddenly abolished? What would be most difficult for the unit to accomplish?

It may also be helpful to ask the employee to provide an answer to this question, to ensure there is a relationship between the viewpoints. The supervisor has the responsibility to determine the most appropriate answer. If employees are to perform well, they need to know what general contributions they are expected to make.

Next, you can identify key duties and priorities associated with the position.