Performance Development Framework
To create a high-performance culture in NSW, it is essential to have effective systems for managing individual, team and organisational performance. The Performance Development Framework establishes the approach for managing employee performance and signals a drive to improve public sector culture to manage and develop workforce capability.
In November 2013, agency reporting showed significant variability in the implementation of the Performance Development Framework within each cluster and across the sector. On the whole, it showed the sector did not yet manage employee performance as effectively as it should.
The results indicated some evidence of setting expectations around employee roles, responsibilities and behavioural standards, as well as systems to provide employees with ongoing and regular opportunities to discuss work and receive formal and informal feedback on their performance. However, the results also showed significant gaps in critical practices including monitoring, planning, reviewing, recognising and developing performance.
Under the GSE Act, by July 2015 all agencies must have a performance management system that meets basic requirements set by the Public Service Commissioner.
Snapshot – Capability building
Department of Education and Communities
The Department of Education and Communities has
identified the need for systematic workforce planning
for our corporate workforce to better manage unplanned
short-term business requirements and anticipate medium -
to long-term needs.
A capability-based approach has been taken using a
four-step process for auditing capabilities, analysing
current and future business needs, identifying capability
gaps and applying solutions. Senior employees have been
trained internally and asked to report quarterly against each of the steps. Progress reporting to the Executive
in the early stages helped to embed the process across
Business units report a deeper appreciation of the
importance of understanding individual and team
capabilities and strengthening core capabilities across
the workforce. There is also a better understanding of role
analysis, including the importance of filling critical roles
with high-potential people to achieve business strategies.
The introduction of the Performance Development Framework made it a legal requirement for agency heads to meet the essential elements and there has been significant effort by agencies to do so.
The People Matter survey results from 2014 are more positive (see Figure 4). Overall, employee responses about performance management showed a modest improvement between the 2012 and 2014 surveys. Improvements were recorded against receiving a formal performance review (55%, up from 49% in 2012), assessing performance against clear criteria (65%, up from 61%), receiving informal feedback (70%, up from 66%), and receiving regular feedback (55%, up from 52%). Results were unchanged for improving performance via learning and development activities (69%).
NSW employees had a range of views about the usefulness of performance feedback. A third of respondents to the People Matter survey said the performance measurement criteria were unclear, while 41% did not believe the feedback was useful in enabling the delivery of required results.
Figure 4: Employee perceptions of performance
Figure 5: Employee perceptions
of performance management
Only half of employees thought that managers dealt
appropriately with poor performers. Furthermore,
lower-paid employees were less likely to have received
a performance review or a performance plan detailing
their objectives, and they were more likely to reply
negatively about questions relating to formal and
informal reviews. Fewer respondents indicated they
received useful performance feedback to deliver required
results (59%, down from 61% in 2012).
Comparisons to the Australian Public Service
and other states
NSW's performance management is comparable to
some other states but still lags well behind that of the
Australian Public Service (APS). For example, the proportion
of NSW respondents who received a formal performance
review in the past 12 months (55%) was similar to that
in Queensland (52% in 2013) but well below that of the
APS (more than 80% in 2013).
While good progress is being made in NSW, there is clearly
more work to be done across the public sector. Further
resources are being developed by PSC to support employees
and their managers to optimise individual and team
performance by developing the capabilities, experience
and knowledge needed for their current roles and potential