Mid-year performance meetings between individuals and their line manager, except those in a ‘Test and Learn’ Team, are due to take place during October 2018.
DWP wants the emphasis for discussions at these meetings to be on line managers and employees having a high quality conversation which will focus on career and development aspirations and looking ahead as much as reflecting on recent performance. People Performance Procedure 6, available on the DWP Intranet, covers Mid-year Conversations and confirms under Procedure 6.3 that discussions will include the indicative performance rating. DWP has also prepared some basic tips to support the 2018 mid-year reviews for Individuals, Line Managers and Countersigning Managers:
- Update your People Performance Report by summarising your key achievements. This should only be a few bullet points and reflect both the “what” (delivery of objectives) and the “How” (demonstration of competencies and related behaviours). Consider any feedback you received at your quarter one check-in and any progress you’ve made on essential and aspirational learning.
- Update and refresh your mandatory checklist in the Security Code of Conduct which you should take to your performance discussion
- Review progress on your development plan and consider what else might do to widen your skills and improve your capability
- Following the mid-year review conversation line managers will need to award an indicative rating using box markings under the headings of Exceptional, Good, Developing and Poor.
- They should review objectives and ensure any personal circumstances that can affect performance are considered and reflected in performance standards
- If rated Developing, the manager must discuss with the employee the steps to be taken to improve their performance. A Line Manager toolkit is available to help managers improve the performance. A performance action learning plan must be in place clearly showing the areas of concern, development actions to be taken and review dates. The Developing rating is not appropriate simply because the employee is new to the job role, in their probation period, an apprentice or on a professional accreditation programme.
- Countersigning managers check-in meetings should already be happening and additional meetings should not be required
- Countersigning managers should be in regular contact with line managers and have a shared understanding of the performance levels of their employees
- Countersigning managers are also responsible for working with line managers to ensure that the appropriate standards are applied consistently
Rating your performance
People Performance Procedure 4 covers the process for rating your performance:
4.1 Performance is assessed against both the ‘What’ (delivery of objectives) and the ‘How’ (demonstration of competencies and related behaviours) achieved by the employee against known performance expectations, with equal weighting between ‘What’ and ‘How’. Performance levels will be assessed against four ratings: Exceptional, Good, Developing and Poor
4.2 The manager and employee should consider where an employee’s performance falls in relation to these ratings, taking into account the descriptors and the employee’s performance throughout the year against known performance expectations. The appropriate rating will always be based on a balanced consideration of the employee’s personal performance over the entire period. Most employees will fall under ‘Good’ or ‘Exceptional’. A team may have no one with a Developing rating at the end of the year. The Good rating encompasses the widest span of performance: at this level performance could be verging on needing development or generally satisfactory.
Ratings must be transparent, fair and reasonable
The terms of People Performance Procedure are intended to support appropriate use of the ratings:
- Ratings will always be arrived at based on a balanced consideration of the employee’s personal performance over the entire period and decisions must be transparent, fair and reasonable.(Procedure 4.4)
- When reviewing performance over a period it is important to remember that minor one-off “blips” are ok and no one should be given a “developing” rating based on a low-impact one-off event. (Procedure 4.5)
- The Developing rating includes employees whose performance has needed essential development over part or all of the year to address under performance – either on outcomes (the ‘What’), competencies and related behaviours (the ‘How’) or both. Development plans will focus on the areas requiring essential development to a satisfactory standard. The Developing rating is not appropriate simply because the employee is new to the job role, under Probation, an apprentice or on a professional accreditation programme. (Procedure 4.6)
Dispute unfair ratings
It is best practice to try to resolve disputes informally. However, you can raise a formal grievance and appeal under People Performance Procedure 10 but you must put your case for Management Investigation on form G1 within 30 working days of the original decision (Grievance Procedure 7.7). You may contact your local PCS Representative for advice, support and representation.