Changes have already taken place within the APS which reflect the research findings, designed to support the implementation of performance management systems in general. These include:
Changes to legislation
The findings of the Strengthening the Performance Framework project have informed amendments to the amended Public Service Act 1999 (the Act) and Public Service Regulations 1999, and the new Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2013, which were effective as at 1 July 2013. These amendments include a new section 10A which states that APS is a “career based public service that requires effective performance from each employee”.
APS Employment Principles
Chapter 4 of the new APS Commissioner's Directions supports the application of paragraph 10A(1)(d) of the Act and deals with performance management. Clause 4.1 provides that in upholding and promoting the Employment Principle in 10A(1)(d) of the Act, an agency head will support employees to achieve effective performance by ensuring that their agency:
- builds the capability necessary to achieve the outcomes properly expected by the Government;
- has fair and open performance management processes and practices that support a culture of high performance, in which all performance is effectively managed;
- provides each APS employee with a clear statement of the performance and behaviour expected of him or her, and an opportunity to discuss his or her responsibilities;
- requires employees to participate constructively in agency-based performance management processes and practices;
- invests in building the capability of managers to manage performance effectively; and
- uses its performance management processes to guide salary movement and reward.
Core skills: Performance Management Program
The Centre for Leadership and Learning has developed an APS Performance Management learning program to improve manager capabilities in performance management. This program will develop capabilities in the following areas:
- understanding the legal framework for performance management in the APS;
- linking everyday employee tasks and results to strategic/ business outcomes;
- developing performance agreements that are both meaningful and motivate employees because they are tailored to the individual and the context;
- identifying employee development and support needs;
- monitor, review and evaluate performance;
- providing interactive constructive feedback on performance;
- receiving feedback;
- managing levels of performance (including high and underperformance); and
- the use of appropriate performance management and organisational tools to assist the process.