People Performance changes from 1st April 2019

06 Feb 2019

The Departmental Trade Union Side (DTUS) has been consulted about the People Performance Programme Test & Learn Trial through regular meetings with the Programme Team. The trial involved 2,300 people from 49 teams.

The outcome of the consultation process with PCS is that DWP will introduce significant changes for People Performance. These changes will mean that from 1 April 2019 everyone will stop using:

  • Individual ratings, or box-markings
  • Mid-year reviews
  • End-year reviews
  • Individual key work objectives

From April 2019 everyone will start using the new One-to-One Wheel to support their regular conversations with their line managers. Until now, one to one conversations did not always consider the person as a whole, and were sometimes focused exclusively on delivery of targets. Using the One-to-One Wheel to support conversations will make them more rounded and as much about an individual’s wellbeing, aspirations and development as it is about deliverable targets.

New process rolls out for teams

Starting in April 2019, some teams (listed on the DWP Intranet) will start using a new team-based performance approach. They will work together to discuss a team purpose, objectives and a commitment outlining what they aim to achieve together and how. In regular team reviews – called Team Talks as part of the new approach - healthy team indicators will be considered alongside what has gone well for the team and what they could do better.

Other teams will start using the new team approach at some point before March 2020.

Members who are not in a team moving to the team approach in April, will still stop using individual performance ratings, and start using the One-to-One Wheel. There will be no mid-year or end of year review for 2019-20. Members will have regular conversations with their line managers supported by the One-to-One Wheel.

A team-based guide for people performance will available in March 2019 which will include instructional information on how to set the team purpose, team commitment, team objectives and healthy team indicators. It will also give guidance on defining a team and how to have a successful team talk.

The One-to-One Wheel will help managers have better One-to-One conversations that focus on the whole person, including their development, wellbeing, performance and aspiration to progress in their career.

PCS advice for Branches

The PCS DWP group executive committee (GEC) considered the changes for introduction from 1 April 2019 and agreed that the GEC will support:

  • abolition of performance ratings for performance management in DWP
  • breaking the link between pay and end-of-year performance ratings
  • non-consolidated pay to be distributed through collective bargaining with trade union

The GEC also agreed that the risk of adverse equality outcomes for members in lower grades, those on part-time contracts, older members, those with disabilities and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members, must be carefully evaluated and effective measures introduced to safeguard against discriminatory practices. This means that a new People Performance Policy must be introduced, following consultation with the Departmental Trade Union Side, to support the new process. There must be effective equality proofing for a new People Performance Policy which supports wellbeing, regular holistic one-to-one conversations and team work.

DWP has provided more information about the changes from 1 April 2019 on the DWP Intranet. PCS will provide further advice for Branches.

End-of-year performance meetings between individuals and their line manager, except those in a ‘Test and Learn’ Team, will take place for 2018-19 and ratings will be awarded under the current People Performance Procedures. DWP has agreed that:  No one will be financially disadvantaged by taking part in the Test and Learn. Non-consolidated bonus) pay for 2019 will be for the annual pay negotiations with trade unions.

The GEC will provide guidance for members and representatives for the final end-of-year arrangements for 2018-19 for all members, including those in Test & Learn Teams. 

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