Module 2 An Introduction to. The Performance Appraisal System

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1 Module 2 An Introduction to The Performance Appraisal System

2 Introduction THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM: We all want to get better results from the work we do - as individuals, as teams and as an organisation. Understanding and managing the way we work is key to doing it better. The Performance Appraisal System (PAS) will help by providing an agreed framework of planned objectives, standards and competencies that bring clarity to each job, it will; show clearly how organisational, team and individual objectives are linked so that we can all focus on what we have to achieve to make a real difference to how our organisation performs; be open so we can all see what is expected of us and how each of us can work as a member of a team; encourage effective communication between you and your manager about the job to be done; help you and your manager to agree on areas where further training and development can help you achieve your full potential. The system is based on the understanding that an organisation achieves only through its people and encourages managers to: keep talking with jobholders throughout the year and not just when the PAS is being completed; be open and approachable, recognising and appreciating each contribution; take responsibility for helping to nurture talent and develop and motivate people; identify jobholders who are not performing well and to work with them to improve this; provide a climate in which jobholders feel safe about questioning basic assumptions about how we work, and suggesting better ways of working. PAS is not an optional process for the Job Holder or for Reporting Officers. Each participant in the process has individual responsibilities that they will be expected to discharge. The purpose of this booklet is to provide you with more information about the Performance Appraisal System; the various stages to be undertaken each year and the roles and responsibility of you and your manager. We therefore strongly advise that you familiarise yourself with the information in this booklet to ensure that you fully understand your responsibilities. All employees have a right to a fair and impartial appraisal of their performance. In assessing and commenting on staff performance, reporting officers must not discriminate on grounds of gender, marital status, ethnic or national origin, disability, sexual orientation, age, part-time status or other factors unconnected with their performance at work. 1

3 Part 1 PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL SYSTEM PAS will operate on and annual cycle and requires you and your manager to devote time to complete the activities described at each of the key stages illustrated below. Stage Three End of Year Performance Review Stage One Prepare and Agree an Annual Job Plan Informal review (as appropriate) Informal review (as appropriate) Stage Two Mid-year Performance Review The activities required at each stage illustrated above, will be carried out by you and your immediate line manager. To ensure fair and consistent standards are applied and properly recorded a countersigning manager will review the activities as each stage is completed. This responsibility will normally be allocated to the head of the Directorate or Service Unit. The remaining pages in Part 1 provide more information of what is required of you and your manager at each stage of the process. From time to time, disagreements may arise as jobholders and managers undertake each of the stages described below. In the event of a disagreement arising, your manager will explain the process for resolving the dispute. 2

4 Stage One: Prepare and Agree Your Personal Job Plan You and your manager should work together to discuss and agree your personal objectives for the year ahead. This will form your Personal Job Plan. In agreeing the Personal Job Plan, you and your manager should; clarify the purpose of the job; identify around eight personal objectives covering every significant element of the job, making clear links to the overall operational objectives of the Directorate or Service Unit; identify desired and achievable results for each personal objective; be sure there are individual performance standards for each objective; and discuss and identify the core competencies that require action to ensure jobholders can performance to their full potential. Parts 2 & 3 respectively, describe the process involved in identifying and agreeing personal objectives and using competencies to improve effectiveness. If you are also a manager, you will be expected to deliver a mandatory management objective. This is to emphasise that good management is crucial in a modern Public Service. Once agreement has been reached, the plan is formalised in the form of a written annual Personal Job Plan. The Personal Job Plan will be the basis for future discussion and evaluation about your performance over the year. Appraisal forms are structured to help you and your manager prepare the Personal Job. Plan. Stage Two: Mid-year Performance Review Recognising and giving feedback on the performance achieved at regular intervals is an essential management practice. It helps both you and your manager assess your progress, discuss problems and issues that might be obstacles to achievement. You and your manager must complete at least one formal mid-year review to check progress against your Personal Job Plan. You will be expected to; discuss and agree any necessary changes to personal objectives that may have resulted from unforeseen circumstances and make sure these are recorded; examine your progress against the agreed set of personal objectives; and assess your performance against the core competencies and check progress against agreed action. At this stage, you will be told your provisional box marking. In particular, you must be told if your box marking is likely to be unsatisfactory (i.e. if you have consistently failed to meet your agreed objectives). Any agreed action to improve performance must be recorded. 3

5 Stage Three: End of Year Performance Review The key aim of the end of year review is to determine to what extent you have contributed towards the overall objectives of the Directorate or Service Unit in which you work. At the end of the financial year, a formal review between you and your manager will take place. The review should; compare actual performance against the agreed personal objectives, targets and standards; identify reasons why performance either, succeeded or failed to achieve the agreed objectives, targets or standards; measure, in light of 1 and 2 above, the overall performance and support this assessment with reasons; consider your remaining development needs and possible changes in job for development purposes; and record to what extent you and your line manager agree on the appraisal and any remaining disagreements. The assessment referred to above will be graded in one of four categories as follows; Box 1 Far Exceeded An outstanding performance where the job holder far exceeded agreed objectives and in addition took on and succeeded in extra activities that significantly contributed to the organisation s improvement. Box 2 Exceeded Highly effective performance where the job-holder met all of the agreed objectives and exceeded in some Box 3 Met A satisfactory performance where the job-holder met almost all objectives Box 4 Did not Meet An unsatisfactory performance where the job-holder consistently failed to meet agreed objectives. Note: Informal reviews PAS also makes provision for informal reviews between jobholders and their managers. These reviews are intended to provide the opportunity to discuss progress and overcome obstacles that stand in the way of success. Managers are encouraged to adopt this good management practice in order to keep closely involved with the people they manage and gain a better view about progress. After all, it makes little sense to wait to the formal review stage if problems arise earlier. The extent to which managers undertake informal reviews will differ from jobholder to jobholder and are likely to be required more often for people new to a job or were there are obvious deficiencies in performance. 4

6 PART 2 SETTING OBJECTIVES Objectives are a set of statements about what you, your Directorate and your organisation intend to achieve with the resources available. These statements in effect become to targets against which you, your Directorate or organisation s performance can be measured in terms of either succeeding or failing to deliver. The PAS process is an important part of achieving our objectives and making sure everyone is clear about how their work fits into the wider picture. The process of setting objectives is undertaken at three levels; High level objectives objectives relating to what the Organisation intends to achieve; Operational objectives objectives that each part of the organisation needs to achieve if the organisation is to be successful; and Personal objectives objectives you will need to achieve if your part of the organisation is to make a positive contribution to the organisation s mandate. Operational Objectives Personal Objectives High Level Objectives Contribution required by each Unit in the organisation Contribution required by Jobholders in each Unit What the organisation is seeking to achieve Ministry Operational Objectives Contribution required by each Unit in the organisation Personal Objectives Contribution required by Jobholders in each Unit Directorates or Service Units Jobholders PAS enables everyone to link and relate their personal objectives to the operational objectives set for their Directorate or Service Unit which in turn link up to organisational objectives. Work to establish objectives for your organisation has already been undertaken and further activity is currently in progress to establish the objectives for the Directorate or Service Unit in which you work (operational objectives). When this task is completed, your manager should be able to explain to you; which high level organisational Objectives(s) your Directorate or Service Unit supports; and how your personal objectives fit into this wider picture. 5

7 Identifying personal objectives You and your manager should work together to discuss and agree your personal objectives for the year ahead using the operational objectives established for the part of the organisation in which you work. This will form the major part of your Personal Job Plan and needs to be undertaken with care. This process will be time consuming until both you and your manager become familiar with PAS, however, investing time at the beginning of the year helps to ensure everyone is clear about their contribution to organisational success. In agreeing the your personal objectives, you and your manager should; clarify the purpose of your job and its main components; identify around eight objectives covering the main components of the job, making clear links to the overall operational objectives set for your Directorate or Service Unit; identify the aim of each main activity and the desired results expected of the you, and; be sure there are individual performance standards for each of your objectives. In discussing your objectives, it is important that each significant element of the job as set out in the job description is reflected in an objective. As a working guide, about eight objectives would be the most that could be tracked properly. If you are also a manager, you will be expected to deliver mandatory management objectives. These are crucial to good management practice and relate specifically to two areas as follows; the application of management techniques that motivate and enhance performance; and managing in a way that encourages and develops staff to achieve their full potential. Your manager will guide you through this process and ensure that your objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time limited, Evaluated and Reviewed (SMARTER). Measuring Personal Objectives Measuring objectives (in terms of quality, quantity, time and money) will make it easier for you and your manager to assess whether or not they have been achieved and also enable you to monitor your own performance. Setting and agreeing standards for personal objectives is part of a two-way process between you and your manager and is aimed at reaching a shared understanding of what is achievable and realistic, and identifying likely barriers to delivery. Your manager will tell you the Directorate or Service Unit s standards which will form the basis for agreeing your individual performance standards and the information needed to measure them. 6

8 PART 3 USING COMPETENCIES What are competencies Competencies are the skills and attitudes that need to be displayed to do a job effectively and are used extensively in modern management processes including performance appraisal. Research into the skills and behaviours that civil servants will need to display in order to perform effectively has been undertaken in TRNC involving many civil servants themselves as well as their managers and other key stakeholders. The outcome of the work has enabled the development of competency frameworks for; Senior Civil Servants Line Managers Operational Staff For those who provide leadership, manage people and other resources at Director level and above. For those civil servants in jobs below Director level who are involved in the management of other civil servants. For all those civil servants below managements levels involved in the delivery or support the delivery of services. For each of these groups, competency frameworks have been developed that set out the 6 core competencies essential to deliver an effective performance. They are intended to describe what effective performance looks like. Competencies are used to identify strengths and weakness and to assist in this process, each core competency includes examples of some of the positive and negative behaviours that might be displayed. Using Core Competencies As part of the Personal Job Plan preparation, you and your manager should use the appropriate competency framework and; discuss how each of the core competencies will contribute to your ability to achieve each objective, identify your strengths and weaknesses based on current performance, agree on action to be taken to overcome any weaknesses. record agreed action in the Personal Work Plan During discussion, the focus will inevitably be on equipping the jobholder for their current job and current personal objectives. But it is also important to address their long-term development needs to enable them to take on greater responsibility (if they want it) and for their future career. The result of these discussions and any agreed action should be recorded in the Personal Job Plan. This will give the jobholder an idea of how well they are doing and help them to plan their development. 7

9 Competencies for Operational Staff 1 Problem Solving and Delivering Results Demonstrates a planned approach to work, taking responsibility for resolving problems within their own scope of responsibility; displaying energy and drive to achieve the necessary results. Positive Behaviour Displays determination to achieve personal objectives and desired outcomes. Takes the initiative when coming up with solutions to problems; weighing up different alternatives to identify the best result. Plans and prioritises activities and delivers a value-for-money service and meets personal deadlines. Negative Behaviour Unreliable, easily knocked off course and lacks the determination to meet personal objectives and targets. Does not take the initiative, and lacks ideas to deliver effective solutions to even the most routine problems. Requires constant supervision; lacks consistency and self-discipline and, unable to deliver to deadlines. 2 Customer Focus Demonstrates a desire and a willingness to meet the needs of external and internal customers and a commitment to continuously improve the service provided. Positive Behaviour Knows who their external and internal customers are, workings with them to understand and meet their needs. Demonstrates a willingness to deal promptly with a customer enquiry, giving 100% of their attention to the customer. Demonstrates a determination to give the correct guidance to customers, including passing them onto the right contact point if they are unable to help. Demonstrates through own personal behaviour that all customers are treated fairly, objectively and with dignity regardless of age, gender, religion, rank or disability. Negative Behaviour Displays little awareness for their customers and is ineffective in meeting their needs. Slow and unenthusiastic response; fails to meet the standards the organisation is seeking to achieve. Unhelpful and reluctant in giving comprehensive advice; failure to overcome the barriers for the customer to access services. Personal behaviours present an unprofessional image of the organisation; is unhelpful, discourteous impatient, demonstrating little awareness of customer service skills. 3 Communication: Demonstrates that all written and oral communications with colleagues and customers is clear, accurate and understood. Positive Behaviours All written and oral communication is clear and understandable and conveys a professional image of the organisation. Demonstrates ability to follow written or oral instruction; listens carefully and seeks clarification when in doubt about what is required. Information is shared with everyone who needs to know it. Negative Behaviours Does not use plain language; uses jargon unnecessarily and without explanation Fails to grasp all but the simplest of instructions; requires constant prompting of the action to take. Retains information that should be given to others. 8

10 4 Working Together Demonstrates the genuine intention to work productively and co-operatively with others; to be part of a team working together rather than separately or competitively. Positive Behaviour Displays a high standard of professional and ethical behaviour both publicly and privately, treating others with respect. Maintains a positive, can-do attitude to the task at hand. Demonstrates a willingness to be flexible; willingly helps out when colleagues are under pressure or are in difficulty Negative Behaviour Fails to meet satisfactory standards of behaviour; is disrespectful to others resulting in discord within the team. Lacks commitment and enthusiasm in tackling the job. Is not a team player; performs to a minimum standard, is inflexible and unwilling to contribute to team tasks. 5 Manages Other Resources Effectively Demonstrates through own performance that effective and efficient use is made of the resources available to them (e.g. time, finance, people and equipment) in order to carry out their job function. Positive Behaviour Uses time, material and other resources available to best effect. Adept at applying knowledge and skills in utilising available computer and telephone technology to carry out their work. Is open to learn and apply changes in technology that are introduced in the workplace. Negative Behaviour Fails to allocate time effectively to tasks and is wasteful of materials and other resources. Displays serious weaknesses in using available technologies in every day activities. Inflexible and slow to utilise technology initiatives 6 Continuous Improvement Seeks continually to improve personal skills, knowledge and performance. Positive Behaviour Is open to new ways of working and adapts flexibly to change. Regularly reviews personal training and development needs and takes action to meet these needs. Willingly participates in vocational training and puts learning into practice. Shares learning from training programmes with colleagues. Seeks opportunities to improve professional and academic qualifications related to their job and keeps up to date with developments in their own field of expertise. Negative Behaviour Is resistant to new ideas and avoids taking on challenges. Does not recognise own development needs or accept the need to improve. No detectable improvement following training, fails to apply new learning in the workplace. Is unwilling to support and assist with the development of others. Weaknesses in performance through failure to keep abreast of developments in own field of expertise. 9

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