Most watchers of government might have suspected that restructures and redundancies were used to quietly get rid of the worst performers. Some have se
We recently moved our readers to a new system. You may need to reset your password here to login.
Not a member ? Join here for free.
Forgot your password?
Home Features Accentuate the positive: take lead on performance management
Text size :
TAGS National, Australian public service, Australian National Audit Office, ATO, leadership, APS, Australian Public Service Commission, Employment, enterprise bargaining, performance management, CPSU, underperformance, high performance, APSC, DHS, human resource management professor, diagnostic tool
The Australian Public Service Commission starts a new era of high-performance management 15 years in the making. If it’s going to stick, senior executives need to lead by example.
There isn’t much love in the Australian public service for the dysfunctional system that currently passes for performance management. In last year’s employee census, only 42% felt their most recent evaluation would help them improve, while 18% said they received no feedback at all in the preceding year.
In the worst cases, performance evaluations are seen as something you do at certain intervals because you have to, and then get back to your real work — a loathsome exercise for both the reviewer and the reviewed. In the best examples, managers regularly and cheerfully talk to staff about what they’re doing well and how they can improve. The latter is the essence of high performance management, and it could finally be coming to the Commonwealth.
At the end of July, a research team put together by the Australian Public Service Commission gave senior executives a new tool to tweak their organisations for high performance. This new diagnostic instrument distils a comprehensive three-year project — itself built on a decade of prior research — and provides a step-by-step guide to putting its findings into action.
The centrepiece is the 2013 report Strengthening the Performance Framework: Towards a High Performing Australian Public Service. According to human resource management professor Michael O’Donnell, who worked on the project, most of the mandarins believed performance management was code for dealing with underperformance.
Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.
The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.
Read Related Content
Most watchers of government might have suspected that restructures and redundancies were used to quietly get rid of the worst performers. Some have seen it first hand. Now, it's official.