PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

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1 PERFORMANCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Document Number SOP File No. 08/ (D009/8429) Date issued 16 September 2009 Author Branch Director Workforce Unit Branch contact Strategic Projects Coordinator Division Corporate State Headquarters Summary Outlines the Performance Development Program Applies to Team Leaders Station Managers District Managers Paramedic Educators Clinical Educators Aeromedical Operations Officers Duty Operations Centre Officers Senior Operations Centre Officers Operations Managers Level 1 5 Health Service Managers Level 1 6 Review date September 2010 Previous reference SOP (Performance Planning Development and Review Program Policy and Procedure) Status Active Approved by Chief Executive Space Compliance with this policy directive is mandatory. SOP Page 1 of 15

2 Table of Contents Policy Statement...3 What is the Performance Development Program?...4 Related Policies...4 Who Will Participate in the Program?...4 Performance Development Program Stages...5 Operation Plans and Agreements...5 Performance Objectives...5 Development Objectives...6 Career Planning...6 Behaviour and Performance Review...6 New Employees...6 Fairness and Equity...6 Disagreements...7 Confidentiality...7 Program Documentation...7 Program Review...7 Poor Behaviour or Performance Counselling...8 Appendicies...8 Appendix A Guidelines for Supervisors and Employees Appendix B Checklist for Supervisors Appendix C Checklist for Employees SOP Page 2 of 15

3 Policy Statement The Ambulance Service of NSW is committed to building an organisation that is flexible, capable and supportive of all our staff involved in the various tasks involved in delivering ambulance services to the communities of NSW in a way that reflects our vision Excellence in Care. The role of managers in Ambulance is now more important than ever. The increasing range and complexity in clinical practice, communications systems and the relentless growth in demand for our services mean that managers are increasingly called upon to support and guide staff and to help establish organisational goals and priorities. The Performance Development Program (previously known as the Performance Planning Development and Review Program) aims to actively support individual managers to continually build management skills, knowledge and capability while at the same time providing clear and consistent descriptions of what is expected of our managers. The Program is being introduced at the same time as the Ambulance Management Qualification and in combination, these strategies will help us to ensure our management systems and supports are up to the challenges of a modern and dynamic ambulance service. Regular discussions to agree priorities, review performance and acknowledge achievement are an important part of management practice. The Performance Development Program is based on these principles and sets out a framework for constructive and cooperative management interactions. The Program applies to all Ambulance managers from first line managers to General Managers and will be progressively rolled out over the next 12 months. As with all new initiatives, the Performance Development Program will be reviewed after the first year of operation to allow further refinements and improvements to be made. Greg Rochford Chief Executive SOP Page 3 of 15

4 What is the Performance Development Program? The Performance Development Program provides a framework by which individual performance is linked to Ambulance s values, goals and priorities. The Program includes establishment and regular review of individual Work Plans against organisational and position objectives, providing an opportunity for individuals to develop competence, confidence and experience. The first step of the Performance Development Program is the establishment of team objectives. Team objectives are linked to the goals and priorities from Ambulance corporate planning and budget processes which are in turn linked to NSW Health and Government priorities. This will be followed by the setting of individual performance objectives, which will be a statement of desired end results, that are specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time bound. Individual performance objectives are then listed on the Work Plan. Every employee s Work Plan will also include behavioural objectives based on Ambulance s Vision, Mission and Values. In addition, supervisors and employees must also consider the development requirements of the employee. This requires supervisor and employees to jointly consider the employee s strengths and weaknesses and current competency level against what they are required to achieve during the review period and determine appropriate development objectives. Development objectives include a range of activities that help the employee develop skills for current and future positions. Information recorded will be used to contribute to the development of the Training Calendar for Ambulance and will be collected by Workforce on an annual basis. The Work Plan, including the behavioural, performance and development objectives, is to be reviewed progressively during the 12 month period culminating in a final assessment of the employee s behaviour and performance and the training and development provided to the employee. Related Policies Performance Management Policy and Guidelines (Premier s Department, 1998) Performance Managing for A Better Practice Approach for NSW Health, 2005_180 Who Will Participate in the Program? The Performance Development Program applies to all management positions from Team Leaders and equivalent levels and above as follows. Team Leader Station Manager District Manager Paramedic Educator Clinical Educator Aeromedical Operations Officer Duty Operations Centre Officer Senior Operations Centre Officer Operations Manager Level 1 5 Health Service Manager Level 1 6 Officers in the Health Executive Service are subject to a similar appraisal system with performance assessed by the Chief Executive and reviewed by the Director-General for Health. SOP Page 4 of 15

5 Performance Development Program Stages Below is a time line of activities that supervisors and employees need to follow to support the Performance Development Program. Stage 1 April/May Supervisors provide information on organisation objectives and discuss with teams. Team based objectives are established and employees consider their own objectives (including performance measures) and development needs, to achieve objectives. C Y C L E Stage 2 June/July Stage 3 Dec/Jan Individuals and their supervisor discuss the behavioural objectives and agree on performance objectives and development objectives/activities. Stage 2 on the Work Plan is completed and both parties sign the form. Individuals and their supervisor review objectives, performance and development activities after 6 months and assess any incidents or changes during that period. Stage 3 on the Work Plan is completed and both parties sign the form. Stage 4 June/July Individuals and their supervisor review performance against objectives and development activities. Stage 4 of the Work Plan and the Annual Review Form are completed and signed by both parties. The Work Plan is attached to the completed Annual Review Form and forwarded to next level supervisor for comments. Forms are then filed on the employee s personal file. Operation Plans and Agreements The Program is linked to Ambulance budgets, corporate plans and performance agreements. Work Plans will need to be adjusted each year to ensure they reflect current information and priorities. This communication of information and goal setting is intended to align each level to the level above ensuring that all levels of management are working towards the achievement of goals and priorities established at the budget and corporate planning stage. Performance Objectives Development of Work Plans will involve two aspects, the establishment of performance objectives and the negotiation of expected outcomes. Objective setting is the cornerstone of the Program as clear objectives help employees understand what they are expected to do and by when. Objectives provide an opportunity for employees to grow by increasing confidence as competency is achieved and extended. Objectives are set within the employee s delegation of authority and scope of responsibility. They should be realistic but also provide an opportunity for the employee to grow and develop skills, knowledge and confidence, and trust and respect for management. Therefore the goals set for individuals, whilst being realistic, provide a personal stretch for the individual. Objectives will include specific behavioural objectives linked to our Vision, Mission and our Values. SOP Page 5 of 15

6 Objectives are set during a formal two way interview between supervisor and employee that clarifies the objectives of the individual and the relationship these objectives have in contributing to the overall goals and priorities of the organisation. At this interview the supervisor and employee establish clear objectives and determine how and when objectives will be met. Six to eight objectives are generally set with two relating to human resource management activities. Development Objectives Once performance objectives under the Work Plan have been set development objectives should be established, such as completion of a course of study, on the job training or spending work time in a different functional area. This will assist the employee in reaching their performance objectives and goals under the Program. Coaching may also be provided to support an employee in reaching a goal or gaining a specific skill. Coaching includes guidance, advice, encouragement, reviews and feedback and may be provided by the direct supervisor or another suitably skilled person. Development objectives that highlight attendance at training courses assist in the development of the Ambulance s training and education plans. They also assist managers/supervisors in planning attendance of their staff at training courses. Development objectives will be collected by Workforce annually to assist in establishing the Training Calendar. Career Planning The ultimate responsibility for developing an individuals career rests with the individual. The Performance Development Program, however, can help employees review their present position, and assess and consider where they would like their career to head in the future. This is also an opportunity for management to plan individual and service wide succession planning processes. The Performance Development Program will provide employees with the opportunity to gain feedback on their strengths and weaknesses. By undertaking activities that provide an opportunity to address weaknesses, employees can identify and develop competencies in areas that may lead to further career opportunities. Behaviour and Performance Review Individual behaviours and objectives, including those listed under our Values, need to be monitored and evaluated in a timely manner. Review and feedback should occur throughout the year. Both the supervisor and the employee should agree on time lines and commit to a review and feedback process. Constant and timely reviews and feedback will ensure that the final 12 month review and performance rating will not deliver any unexpected results to the employee. New Employees The preparation of a Work Plan and establishment of objectives is to be part of a new employee s induction and undertaken within the first month of a new employee s commencement date. Fairness and Equity Supervisors are to be mindful of prejudices and assessments based on stereotypes and assumptions. Assessments of behaviour must be made against our Values and assessment of performance must be against clearly defined objectives and expected outcomes. Supervisors and employees must provide evidence to support the review and comments of an individual s performance. SOP Page 6 of 15

7 The interview, objectives, time line for review, achievement of objectives and development program are to be expressed in plain English. Disagreements All endeavors should be made to agree on objectives, time lines and the final performance rating between the supervisor and employee. Differences of opinion may form part of the process of gaining clarification and agreement and should not be avoided but used to develop mutual understanding of job responsibilities, expectations and the developmental needs of the employee. Any differences should be fully discussed with the aim of seeking mutual agreement, development through continual learning and improvement and promotion of Ambulance as a professional and ethical organisation. If these discussions are unsuccessful and agreement cannot be reached, further review may be needed. The next level manager or the Manager Employment Services, Workforce Unit may be called upon to provide this assistance. Confidentiality Assessment and final review outcomes are confidential to the Program and are not discussed with other colleagues. A record of the process will be maintained by the supervisor who may refer to Work Plans or Annual Review Forms when providing a referee report as part of evidential support for an employee when applying for a position. Original forms are placed on the employee s personal file. Program Documentation The two forms required for completion in the Performance Development Program are the Work Plan and the Annual Review Form. Both forms are available from the Ambulance intranet. Work Plan - comprises behavioural objectives, performance objectives and development objectives and is used for ongoing review and finalised at the final review. Annual Review Form - is completed at the final review to record the supervisor s assessment of behaviour, performance, development objectives and agreed action and employee comments (if any). The Work Plan is attached to the Annual Review Form and forwarded to the next level supervisor. The relevant supervisor will make arrangements for the completed forms to be filed on the employee s personal file. Supervisors and employees should keep copies of all forms for their records. Program Review Completed Work Plans and Annual Review Forms are forwarded to next level supervisor for review and comments. This helps unit managers to review the unit, team and personal objectives for the next year. This review also provides opportunities for praise, reinforcing good behaviour and performance, and to identify problem areas that may need to be addressed. The Manager Employment Services, Workforce Unit provides a yearly report to the Executive Management Board on the Performance Development Program, including feedback from employees and supervisors, and recommendations to improve the Program. SOP Page 7 of 15

8 Poor Behaviour or Performance Counselling From time to time the Program will lead to the identification of instances of poor behaviour or performance. Poor behaviour or performance should always be addressed as it occurs. Appropriate action should be initiated as part of the normal day-to-day responsibilities of the supervisor and may include informal discussions, advice, identifying specific goals and achievements or in the case of more serious issues, reporting. A prompt response to poor behaviour or performance is important to ensure the employee is aware of the concern and to reduce the chance of escalation. When consistent poor behaviour or performance is identified, formal counselling is the next necessary step in the performance review process. The formal counselling session may need to be conducted separately to the review meetings. The counselling discussions should be focused on resolving the problem or problems, (not the person), with a view to reaching a positive outcome. Discussions should seek agreement on the description of the problem and the possible causes, proposed solutions and action to be taken, by whom and when. Arrangements should also be made for review and follow-up. Unsatisfactory performance should be dealt with in accordance with the Unsatisfactory Performance Guidelines, Attachment C of Professional Conduct Guidelines SOP Appendices Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Guidelines for Supervisors and Employees on how to complete the Performance Development Program Checklist for Supervisors to help: - establish team based and individual objectives; - create an interview environment that aids discussion and develops co-operation and trust with employees; and - review and report on the progress. Checklist for Employees to help: - contribute to the development of team and work place objectives; - reflect on their own performance and competence and pursue self directed and continuous learning and development; and - appreciate and be receptive to feedback. Further Information For further information, please contact Manager Employment Services on (02) , or your Divisional Personnel Officer/Personnel Officer Sydney. SOP Page 8 of 15

9 Appendix A Guidelines for Supervisors and Employees This document provides both supervisors and employees with guidelines and tips on how to complete the Performance Development Program. Establishing SMART Objectives Ambulance has adopted the SMART approach to objective setting. The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, agreed, realistic and time-bound. SMART objectives aim to be challenging and allow progress and success to be measured against pre-determined benchmarks. Objectives should state as specifically as possible team and individual achievements expected. They should be phrased in such a way that it will be clear whether or not they have been achieved or at least the extent to which they have been achieved. Ideally they should be expressed in terms of measurable quantities. For example: a) reduce absenteeism by a least 50% by the end of the year; b) ensure all staff trained to the new standard by Easter; c) ensure each sector has been visited at least three times during the year; or d) circulate final draft of report at least two weeks before the next meeting. Notice that these statements refer to products or results. They indicate aims, targets, goals or deadlines. They refer to the expected outcomes of activities. Just as importantly objectives can act as performance indicators in two ways: 1. SMART objectives help monitor the work of a team and allow corrective action to be taken where non-critical but important objectives are not being achieved, or where new objectives need to be introduced; and 2. SMART objectives can help assess an individual team member s contribution to the achievement of team objectives. Communication Strategies Communication skills are vital in building a rewarding work relationship and conducting and participating in performance appraisal interviews. The following provides tips in effective communication. Important Do s - Listen without interrupting - understand what is being said without planning your own response - State your own thoughts, feelings, needs and wants - allow the other person to absorb what you have said - seek feedback before introducing a new point - Put yourself in the other person s place - Share information - Acknowledge the others thoughts, feelings and point of view - Negotiate expectations and objectives - mention what is positive about the other person s comments before you state where you disagree - explore what is meant or the intention - look for common ground and understanding - always assume the other person has good intentions unless proven otherwise SOP Page 9 of 15

10 Important Don ts Don t Provoke - Provoking is irritating someone. It maybe a one off and may appear as a minor problem but it can damage a relationship. Provoking may include mimicking the other person s expression and/or tone of voice, focusing inappropriately on a known sensitivity or point of irritation that is not directly relevant to the topic being discussed or refusing to listen without a good reason. Don t assume - Don t assume you know why a person is behaving in a certain manner, how they will react to information or think about certain issues. It s a common error to ascribe meaning to someone s behaviour, rather than finding out what the behaviour really means. Don t attack - Avoid starting a sentence with you. Try starting the sentence with I. For example you are rude try a softer approach I find it hard... Managers and employees need to be mindful of their behaviour and eliminate interrupting, criticising, judging, exaggerating, sarcasm and ambushing. Decision Making Decisions are required to be made at each step of the Performance Development Program. There is a process that goes into achieving a decision, although many people seem to think it just happens naturally. Also people can arrive at a decision in many different ways. The following provides some valuable rules for effective decision making. Be direct - hinting or making indirect comments may not be correctly understood, may be ignored or cause frustration - never assume that the other person understands that there is a decision to be made - start by saying I think we need to discuss. and make a decision - alert the other person to the fact that you consider the matter needs a decision State very clearly what the issue is Take into account the other person s decision making style Realise that decision-making is not winning - do not attack what you understand to be the other person s sore points (poor relationship with a colleague) - do not collude with each other by blaming external factors (the organisation, senior management) - do not gang up against the other person (managers are reminded that responsibility rests with them in making a decision but employees contributions will help for a more informed decision) - try to find a solution, rather than a victory Document the final decision Conflict Resolution Strategies Conflict resolution strategies can be useful when you are discussing anything that may be emotionally sensitive. Some may regard the Performance Development Program as an emotionally charged or sensitive issue, however the Program has been designed to ensure that employee performance is linked to the achievement of organisational objectives. Understanding the purpose of the Program often helps to reduce employee s concerns by objectively determining what is important and what is a priority. SOP Page 10 of 15

11 Communicating organisation objectives, establishing team objectives and setting aside time to discuss personal objectives are the first steps in reducing any concerns that may be held by employees. This is designed to ensure employees do not feel unprepared and that supervisors also have the opportunity to prepare ahead of any discussion. At any discussion, both supervisor and employee should aim to listen, reach mutual agreement and be prepared to consider each other s perspective. When an issue is raised that has potential for conflict, both parties need to address the issue, not brush it aside, and work towards a resolution. Problem Solving The following strategies will help in problem solving. 1. Each person says what they believe the issue to be - this may require refinement and may resolve the conflict instantly if misunderstanding has occurred - spend time understanding each other s point of view 2. What does each person feel about the problem - do not jump to a solution stage - understand the emotional importance of the issue for the other person - listen to the emotions, it is not about solving anything at this stage 3. Consider many possible solutions - both parties should aim to contribute ideas - a common mistake is to try and come up with right solution straight away - brain storm, list as many solutions as possible 4. Consider the pros and cons of each solution 5. Pick a solution and try it - you may come up with a solution and it may be proven not the right thing to do 6. Evaluate - over the coming weeks monitor the action you take and determine if you have come up with the right solution. SOP Page 11 of 15

12 Appendix B - Checklist for Supervisors STAGE 1 - Setting Team Objectives - Ensure you understand the organisation s objectives - Clarify with appropriate manager - Provide the information consistently across the organisation - Reflect on team s ability to contribute to achievement of behaviour and performance objectives - Gather information to help team understand organisation objectives (budget plans, workforce plans, establishment) - Discuss behaviour objectives under the Vision, Mission and our Values and employee responsibilities - Identify parameters team must work within (budget, number of employees) - Discuss the setting of six to eight performance objectives to be set for each employee - Two of the objectives must reflect a human resource management strategy (ie OH&S, equity and diversity, industrial harmony, training and development of staff, return to work programs for employees on workers compensation etc) - Set a time to discuss objectives with team - Remain non-defensive to criticism, objection and resistance - Encourage flexibility through open discussion, draw on team to overcome problems - Confirm team based objectives STAGE 2 Setting Individual Objectives Before the interview - Review employee s current position description - List all current employee projects and work load - Consider skill level of employee - Reflect on current work relationship with employee, is there mutual trust and respect - Map out proposed objectives - Map out proposed development activities - Clear diary, organise a room, make appointment with employee and ensure no interruptions (i.e. notify the Operations Centre of meeting time and who is involved). At Interview - Confirm employee s understanding of organisation and team objectives and the Vision, Mission and our Values - Review current workload and work arrangements - Listen and consider employee s ideas and concerns - Discuss and agree on objectives - Remain flexible and aim to reach mutual agreement - Complete Stage 2 on the Work Plan, including the development objectives - Discuss employee s career aspirations - Listen and consider employee s ideas and concerns - Set time line for progress reviews and flag time for six monthly review - Confirm what was discussed, agreed to and time lines - Ensure you and employee sign the forms (Work Plan and Annual Review Form) SOP Page 12 of 15

13 STAGE 3 - Six Monthly Review Before the Interview - Do not wait for six months to review progress, set short informal meetings along the way - Reflect on previous and informal meetings with employee - List employee s current projects and work activities - Note progress and any hindrance toward achievement of objectives - Think about performance and have evidence to support proposed feedback - Clear diary, organise a room, make appointment with employee and ensure no interruptions At Interview - Discuss employee s behaviour against the Vision, Mission and our Values - Confirm and review current projects and work activities against objectives - Discuss priorities, progress and any hindrance toward achievement of objectives - Give equal time to review of work and development objectives - Aim to focus and motivate employee on achieving objectives - Agree on plan of action to address problem areas - Provide necessary support (time and resources) - Document discussion and complete Stage 3 of the Work Plan - Ensure you and employee sign the Work Plan - Continue with planned informal meetings STAGE 4 - Annual Review - Follow the guidelines for six monthly review (Before the Interview) - Reflect on employee s overall performance At Interview - At interview aim for agreement - Acknowledge and praise achievement of objectives and how employee has promoted and worked within the Vision, Mission and our Values - Acknowledge attendance and completion of training and development activities, provide example of visible evidence of improved performance - Where there is strong discrepancy to your opinions listen to the employee s reasons - Review evidence that you and the employee are using to support ratings - Document discussion as required - Complete Stage 4 of the Work Plan - Complete the Annual Review Form, attaching the completed Work Plan - Upon agreement sign forms (Work Plan and Annual Review Form) - Forward original to next level supervisor - Explain record keeping to employee - Copies retained by supervisor and employee - Original forwarded to next level supervisor for review - Original forms filed on the employee s personal file - Workforce provide a report on the Program to the Executive SOP Page 13 of 15

14 Appendix C Checklist for Employees STAGE 1 - Setting Team Objectives - Attend information session on objectives - Listen, reflect on objectives and consider how you can contribute to the achievement of behaviour and performance objectives - Listen to the information provided regarding the Vision, Mission and our Values - Six to eight objectives are to be set for each employee - Two of the objectives must reflect a human resource management strategy (ie OH&S, equity and diversity) - Remain open minded to new ideas and changes - Ask questions - Seek support and guidance if objectives feel overwhelming - Work towards agreement STAGE 2 - Setting Individual Objectives Before the Interview - Review current position description and prepare a list of current projects - Consider team objectives and how your role can contribute to achieving these - Reflect on skill level and consider development needs - Consider career plan and positions of interest - Reflect on current work relationship with supervisor - is there mutual trust and respect - Make yourself available for the interview At Interview - Participate in discussion about organisation and team objectives and parameters, show that you understand what is expected - Participate in discussion about the Vision, Mission and our Values of the organisation - Honestly communicate ideas and concerns - Review current work load - Identify areas of concern and seek ways to address these - Remain flexible and aim to reach mutual agreement - Discuss and agree on objectives - Discuss development needs and career aspirations - Develop and agree on a development objectives - Set time lines for progress reviews and flag time for six monthly review - Commit to what was discussed, agreed to time lines - Stage 2 of the Work Plan will be completed at this interview, on agreement sign the form SOP Page 14 of 15

15 STAGE 3 - Six Monthly Review Before Interview - Do not wait for six months to review progress - Set short informal meetings along the way - Reflect on previous informal meetings with supervisor - Provide supervisor with list of current projects and work activities - Note progress and any hindrance toward achievement of objectives and have supporting evidence - Think about ways to overcome hindrances - Make yourself available for the interview At Interview - Review your behaviour against the Vision, Mission and our Values and consider how you have promoted these Values - Review current projects and work activities against objectives - Discuss priority, progress and any hindrance toward achievement of objectives - Review development objectives - Stay open to feedback and actively participate in discussion - Stage 3 on the Work Plan is to be completed, signed and dated - Commit to meeting informally with supervisor STAGE 4 - Performance Review Annual Review - Follow the guidelines for six monthly review (Before Interview) - Reflect on your overall performance At Interview - At interview aim for agreement - Willingly provide your assessment of behaviour and performance and provide reasons - Where there is strong discrepancy to your rating listen to your supervisor s rationale - Remember this is useful information to help you develop competency - Your supervisor will be documenting your discussion - Stage 4 on the Work Plan, will be completed - The Annual Review Form will be completed and the Work Plan will be attached - Upon agreement sign the Work Plan and the Annual Review Form - All forms are forwarded to the next level supervisor for review and comments - Forms (Work Plan and Annual Review Form) are then filed on the employee s personal file - Your next level supervisor may undertake further discussion with you or your supervisor to clarify areas, follow through on areas of concern, support behaviour and/or performance development strategies - Workforce Unit provides a report on the Program to the Executive SOP Page 15 of 15

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