Principle 1: Clarity in what High Performance represents and clear role purpose
The first step in attaining high performance is for government, organisations, groups, teams and individuals to clearly define what high performance means at each of these levels within the specific context being addressed, enabling the purpose at each level to be outlined.
Principle 2: Alignment between high-level strategies and individual goals and integration between human resource practices and organisational systems
Organisations should pursue alignment between high-level strategies and group and individual goals to ensure employees have a clear ‘line of sight’ between their roles and both the governmental and organisational objectives. Alignment can be achieved through the integration of human resource practices with one another and with other management processes. Effective systems are also required to support managers and employees to achieve the goals and workplace behaviours expected of them.
Principle 3: Mutuality of employee and management participation in performance management and awareness of what drives employee motivation towards High Performance
Performance management can only improve if mutuality and employee participation are promoted. Employees and managers can be encouraged to develop joint ownership of the performance management process and the outcomes achieved. This will require managers and employees to actively participate in the development of meaningful performance agreements and in the assessment and evaluation of performance outcomes.
Principle 4: Adaptability of performance in a changing environment and progress towards organisational and government outcomes
There is a need for adaptability of performance in a changing environment. Consequently, processes need to be flexible and open to review. Organisations are encouraged to develop systems that support the measurement of progress towards organisational and government goals throughout the performance cycle and not just at the completion of the cycle.
Our findings point to three foundation elements which underpin the four principles and the attainment of high performance.
Foundation 1: Evidence and data
There should be a strategic approach to collecting data that is relevant to goal attainment and strategic and operational decision-making. Available data should be used to enable performance improvement though the effective communication of performance trends, targets and attainments.
Foundation 2: Pragmatism
Performance management (and other processes) should have realistic goals, plans, and be ‘fit for purpose’. They need to be appropriate for the organisational context, reflecting any specific requirements or conditions relevant to individual organisations.
Foundation 3: Capabilities
To become a high performing organisation, the resources, routines, structures, systems and processes of an organisation are brought together and leveraged. The focus here is on ensuring they complement one another and enable high performance. The competencies of all employees are a critical part of this foundation element as it will be the leadership, management, support services and employee competencies which will enable the long term development of the organisational capabilities.