Performance management

Managing employees' work performance is critical to achieving agency objectives and a responsibility of all managerial or supervisory jobs in the NTPS. This information is currently under review.

To do this effectively managers need a range of skills and tools and this site provides information for managers and supervisors to assist them to manage employees' work performance. To use this site, refer to information about Legislation and the roles and responsibilities of managers and employees here. Also refer to the side navigation for more information on the Informal and Formal Inability Process, Managing Unsatisfactory Performance, Accessing Support Services and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Legislative basis

Performance management is covered by PSEMA sections 24(f), 24(g) and 28(g) and Employment Instruction Number 4.

The manager's role

All managers have responsibility for managing the work performance of their employees. Agencies are required to have Performance Management Systems in place.

Employment Instruction 4 - Performance Management sets out the minimum requirements for this. Managers should check with their HR section to find out what performance management system is operating in their agency.

In addition to these Performance Management Systems, ongoing performance management is a continuous part of good management.

While the agency Performance Management System may take the form of a formal review of an employee's performance on a regular basis eg six-monthly, day to day performance management can be the basis for continually improving individual performance and thereby improving the outcomes of the work unit and agency.

Starts from employment

Performance management starts when an employee commences in the NTPS. The first performance assessment is carried out during probation. Section 32 of the Public Sector Employment and Management Act and Employment Instruction 2provide the legislative requirements for assessing probation. Agencies are required to have a probation process, so managers need to follow the process operating in their agency.

Performance management should continue throughout an employee's public sector career.

Forms of performance management

Performance management can range from a quick informal word about something done well or in need of attention, to a formal counselling session on an aspect of performance which requires improvement. If a manager treats informal and formal performance management as part of the day to day operation as well as contributing to the strategic outcomes of the work unit, it will come to be accepted by staff as an integral part of their employment. It also builds a good working relationship between manager and staff, when feedback is regularly sought and given.

Some managers feel uncomfortable with managing performance. This can be the case with praise, but is more likely to be the case when identifying unsatisfactory performance. Regardless of the label we give to feedback, 'feedback is feedback'. Whether feedback is considered to be positive, constructive or negative is largely up to the person receiving it and the extent to which they accept it. The 'Guide to Giving and Receiving Feedback' will help make the process easier by providing tips for managing and improving performance.

Last updated: 06 January 2017