Staff Performance Handbook


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Staff Performance Handbook

  1. 1. A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance: Aligning Employee Performance Plans with Organizational Goals UnitedStatesOfficeof Personnel Management PMD-13WorkforceCompensation andPerformanceService RevisedJanuary2001
  2. 2. Table of ContentsForeword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1Chapter 1 Performance Management: Background and Context . . . . . 3Chapter 2 Distinguishing Activities From Accomplishments . . . . . . . . . 11 The Fable of the Beekeepers and Their Bees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 A Balanced Measuring System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 A Word About Categories of Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Chapter 3 Developing Employee Performance Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Step 1 Look at the Overall Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Step 2 Determine Work Unit Accomplishments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Method A: Goal Cascading Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Method B: Customer-Focused Method . . . . . . . . . . 30 Method C: Work Flow Method . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Step 3 Determine Individual Accomplishments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Step 4 Convert Accomplishments Into Performance Elements . . . 41 Step 5 Determine Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Step 6 Develop Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Step 7 Determine How to Monitor Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 Step 8 Check the Performance Plan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63Chapter 4 Learning Aids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Performance Measurement Quiz With Answers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Quick Reference for Developing Performance Plans That Align With Organizational Goals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69Appendix A: Examples of Standards Written at Five Levels . . . . . . . . . 73Appendix B: Examples of Standards Written at Three Levels . . . . . . . . 77Appendix C: Examples of Standards Written at Two Levels . . . . . . . . . 81
  3. 3. ForewordThis handbook is designed for Federal supervi- C Chapter 1 gives the background and contextsors and employees and presents an of performance management that you willeight-step process for developing employee need to understand before beginning theperformance plans that are aligned with and eight-step process;support organizational goals. It also provides C Chapter 2 defines accomplishments— whichguidelines for writing performance elements and is key to using this handbook successfully;standards that not only meet regulatory require- C Chapter 3 includes a detailed description ofments, but also maximize the capability that the eight-step process for developing em-performance plans have for focusing employee ployee performance plans that are alignedefforts on achieving organizational and group with and support organizational goals.goals. C Chapter 4 provides study tools, including a followup quiz and a quick reference for theThe methods presented here are designed to eight-step process.develop elements and standards that measure C The appendices contain standards intendedemployee and work unit accomplishments to serve as illustrations of standards writtenrather than to develop other measures that are for appraisal programs that appraise perfor-often used in appraising performance, such as mance on elements at five, three, and twomeasuring behaviors or competencies. levels.Although this handbook includes a discussion ofthe importance of balancing measures, the main After reading the instructional material, studyingfocus presented here is to measure accomplish- the examples, and completing the exercises inments. Consequently, much of the information this book, you should be able to:presented in the first five steps of this eight-step C develop a performance plan that aligns indi-process applies when supervisors and employ- vidual performance to organizational goals;ees want to measure results. However, the C use a variety of methods to determine workmaterial presented in Steps 6 through 8—about unit and individual accomplishments;developing standards, monitoring performance, C determine the difference between activitiesand checking the performance plan—apply to and accomplishments; andall measurement approaches. C explain regulatory requirements for employee performance plans.The handbook has four chapters andappendices:A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 1
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  5. 5. Chapter 1 Performance Management: Background and ContextRemember the story about the naive student Performance management is the systematic pro-in his first English literature course who was cess of:worried because he didn’t know what prosewas? When he found out that prose was • planning work and setting expectations,ordinary speech, he exclaimed, “Wow! I’ve C continually monitoring performance,been speaking prose all my life!” • developing the capacity to perform, • periodically rating performance in aManaging performance well is like speaking summary fashion, andprose. Many managers have been “speaking” • rewarding good performance.and practicing effective performance manage-ment naturally all their supervisory lives, but The revisions made in 1995 to the Govern-don’t know it! mentwide performance appraisal and awards regulations support “natural” performance man-Some people mistakenly assume that perfor- agement. Great care was taken to ensure thatmance management is concerned only with fol- the requirements those regulations establishlowing regulatory requirements to appraise and would complement and not conflict with therate performance. Actually, assigning ratings of kinds of activities and actions effective managersrecord is only one part of the overall process are practicing as a matter of course.(and perhaps the least important part). Performance Management’s Five Key ComponentsA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 3
  6. 6. Performance Management: Background and ContextPlanning. In an effective organization, work atic standards. By monitoring continually, su-is planned out in advance. Planning means pervisors can identify unacceptable performancesetting performance expectations and goals for at any time during the appraisal period and pro-groups and individuals to channel their efforts vide assistance to address such performancetoward achieving organizational objectives. rather than wait until the end of the period whenGetting employees involved in the planning pro- summary rating levels are assigned.cess will help them understand the goals of theorganization, what needs to be done, why it Developing. In an effective organization,needs to be done, and how well it should be employee developmental needs are evaluateddone. and addressed. Developing in this instance means increasing the capacity to performThe regulatory requirements for planning employ- through training, giving assignments that intro-ees’ performance include establishing the ele- duce new skills or higher levels of responsibility,ments and standards of their performance ap- improving work processes, or other methods.praisal plans. Performance elements and stan- Providing employees with training and devel-dards should be measurable, understandable, opmental opportunities encourages good per-verifiable, equitable, and achievable. Through formance, strengthens job-related skills andcritical elements, employees are held account- competencies, and helps employees keep upable as individuals for work assignments or with changes in the workplace, such as the in-responsibilities. Employee performance plans troduction of new technology.should be flexible so that they can be adjustedfor changing program objectives and work Carrying out the processes of performancerequirements. When used effectively, these management provides an excellent opportunityplans can be beneficial working documents that for supervisors and employees to identify devel-are discussed often, and not merely paperwork opmental needs. While planning and monitoringthat is filed in a drawer and seen only when work, deficiencies in performance become evi-ratings of record are required. dent and should be addressed. Areas for improving good performance also stand out,Monitoring. In an effective organization, and action can be taken to help successfulassignments and projects are monitored contin- employees improve even further.ually. Monitoring well means consistently meas-uring performance and providing ongoing feed- Rating. From time to time, organizations findback to employees and work groups on their it useful to summarize employee performance.progress toward reaching their goals. This helps with comparing performance over time or across a set of employees.Regulatory requirements for monitoring perfor- Organizations need to know who their bestmance include conducting progress performers with employees where their perfor-mance is compared against their elements and Within the context of formal performance ap-standards. Ongoing monitoring provides the praisal requirements, rating means evaluatingsupervisor the opportunity to check how well employee or group performance against theemployees are meeting predetermined standards elements and standards in an employee’sand to make changes to unrealistic or problem- performance plan and assigning a summary rat-4 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  7. 7. Performance Management: Background and Contexting of record. The rating of record is assigned dards, but they also take care to develop theaccording to procedures included in the organiza- skills needed to reach them. They also use for-tion’s appraisal program. It is based on work mal and informal rewards to recognize the be-performed during an entire appraisal period. havior and results that accomplish their mission.The rating of record has a bearing on various All five components working together and sup-other personnel actions, such as granting within- porting each other achieve natural, effectivegrade pay increases and determining additional performance management.retention service credit in a reduction in force. Employee Performance PlansRewarding. In an effective organization,rewards are used well. Rewarding means rec- Employees must know what they need to do toognizing employees, individually and as mem- perform their jobs successfully. Expectationsbers of groups, for their performance and for employee performance are established inacknowledging their contributions to the agen- employee performance plans. Employee per-cy’s mission. A basic principle of effective formance plans are all of the written, or other-management is that all behavior is controlled by wise recorded, performance elements that setits consequences. Those consequences canand should be both formal and informal andboth positive and negative. A Note About Performance Plans: This handbook is about developing employeeGood managers don’t wait for their organi- performance plans. However, there iszation to solicit nominations for formal another type of performance plan that youawards before recognizing good perfor- need to be aware of. The Government Per-mance. Recognition is an ongoing, natural formance and Results Act of 1993 requirespart of day-to-day experience. A lot of the each agency to prepare an annual perfor-actions that reward good performance—like mance plan covering each program activity setsaying “Thank you”—don’t require a spe- forth in its budget. These organizational per-cific regulatory authority. Nonetheless, formance plans:awards regulations provide a broad range of C establish program-level performance goalsforms that more formal rewards can take, that are objective, quantifiable, and mea-such as cash, time off, and many recognition surable;items. The regulations also cover a variety C describe the operational resources neededof contributions that can be rewarded, from to meet those goals; andsuggestions to group accomplishments. C establish performance indicators to be used in measuring the outcomes of each pro-Performance Management as gram.Prose. Good managers have been speak-ing and practicing effective performance We will be using organizational performancemanagement all their lives, executing each plans during Step 1 of the eight-step processkey component process well. They not only presented in this handbook. Organizationalset goals and plan work routinely, they mea- performance plans are key in the process ofsure progress toward those goals and give aligning employee performance with organi-feedback to employees. They set high stan- zational goals.A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 5
  8. 8. Performance Management: Background and Contextforth expected performance. A plan must elements, which can result in the employee’sinclude all critical and non-critical elements and reassignment, removal, or reduction in grade.their performance standards. Consequently, critical elements must describe work assignments and responsibilities that arePerformance elements tell employees what they within the employee’s control. For mosthave to do and standards tell them how well employees this means that critical elements can-they have to do it. Developing elements and not describe a group’s performance. How-standards that are understandable, measurable, ever, a supervisor or manager can and shouldattainable, fair, and challenging is vital to the be held accountable for seeing that results mea-effectiveness of the performance appraisal pro- sured at the group or team level are achieved.cess and is what this handbook is all about. Critical elements assessing group performance may be appropriate to include in the perfor-Federal regulations define three types of ele- mance plan of a supervisor, manager, or teamments: critical elements, non-critical elements, leader who can reasonably be expected toand additional performance elements. Agency command the production and resources neces-appraisal programs are required to use critical sary to achieve the results (i.e., be held individu-elements (although the agency may choose to ally accountable).call them something else), but the other twotypes can be used at the agency’s option. Non-critical Elements. A non-criticalBefore continuing further with this handbook, element is a dimension or aspect of individual,you should contact your human resources office team, or organizational performance, exclusiveto determine the types of elements your of a critical element, that is used in assigning aappraisal program allows. summary level. Important aspects of non-criti- cal elements include:Critical Elements. A critical element is anassignment or responsibility of such importancethat unacceptable performance in that element A Note about Group or Teamwould result in a determination that the employ- Performance: The term “group oree’s overall performance is unacceptable. Reg- team performance” can be confusingulations require that each employee have at least sometimes. When we say that critical ele-one critical element in his or her performance ments cannot describe group performance,plan. Even though no maximum number is we are saying that the group’s perfor-placed on the number of critical elements possi- mance as a whole cannot be used as a crit-ble, most experts in the field of performance ical element. This does not preclude de-management agree that between three and scribing an individual’s contribution to theseven critical elements are appropriate for most group as a critical element. The key towork situations. distinguishing between group performance and an individual’s contribution to theCritical elements are the cornerstone of individ- group is that group performance is mea-ual accountability in employee performance sured at an aggregate level, not for a singlemanagement. Unacceptable performance is employee. An individual’s contribution todefined in section 4301(3) of title 5, United the group is measured at the individual em-States Code, as failure on one or more critical ployee level.6 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  9. 9. Performance Management: Background and Context how an appraisal program is designed, thisNo Performance-based Actions. Failure on a need not be the case. Even though consider-non-critical element cannot be used as the basis ation of non-critical elements cannot result infor a performance-based adverse action, such assigning an Unacceptable summary level,as a demotion or removal. Only critical ele- appraisal programs can be designed so thatments may be used that way. Moreover, if an non-critical elements have as much weight oremployee fails on a non-critical element, the more weight than critical elements in deter-employee’s performance cannot be summarized mining summary levels above Unacceptable overall based on that failure. NOTE: Before you can use non-critical elements in employee performance plans, you must deter-C Group Performance. Non-critical mine if your appraisal program allows them. elements are the only way an agency can include the group’s or the team’s perfor- Additional Performance Elements. An mance as an element in the performance plan additional performance element is a dimension so that it counts in the summary level. For or aspect of individual, team, or organizational example, team-structured organizations might performance that is not a critical element and is use a non-critical element to plan, track, and not used in assigning a summary rating level. appraise the team on achieving its goals. To The essential difference between a non-critical do this, each team member’s performance element and an additional performance element plan would include the “team” element (i.e., a is that non-critical elements do affect the sum- non-critical element) and the rating for the mary level. Otherwise, the features and limita- team on that element would be counted in the tions of non-critical elements discussed above summary level of each team member. also apply to additional performance elements. Opportunities for using additional performanceC When They Can’t Be Used. Non-critical elements include: elements cannot be used in appraisal pro- grams that use only two levels to summarize C New Work Assignment. Managers and performance in the rating of record. This is employees may want to establish goals, track because they would have no effect on the and measure performance, and develop summary rating level and, by definition, they skills for an aspect of work that they do not must affect the summary level. (That is, in a believe should count in the summary level. two-level program, failure on non-critical ele- For example, if an employee volunteered to ments cannot bring the summary level down work on a new project that to Unacceptable, and assessments of non- requires new skills, an additional performance critical elements cannot raise the summary element describing the new assignment pro- level to Fully Successful if a critical element vides a non-threatening vehicle for planning, is failed.) measuring, and giving feedback on the employee’s performance without counting it inC Can Greatly Affect the Summary Level. the summary level. Sometimes the word “non-critical” is interpre- ted to mean “not as important.” Prior to C Group Performance. In a two-level 1995, this interpretation was prescribed by appraisal program, additional performance regulation. Now, however, depending on elements are the only way to include a discus-A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 7
  10. 10. Performance Management: Background and Context sion of group performance in the appraisal Additional performance elements were intro- process. Even though the element assessment duced in the September 1995 performance does not count when determining the sum- appraisal regulations and have not been used mary level, managers and employees could widely, yet. We foresee their popularity ris-ing use it to manage the group’s performance. as agencies discover the possibilities they pres- ent for managing performance.C Awards. Additional performance elements can be used to establish criteria for determin- NOTE: Check the rules of your program before ing awards eligibility, especially in a two-level including additional performance elements in program that no longer bases awards solely your plans. on a summary level. Element Characteristics Required in Employee Credited in the Can Describe Performance Summary a Group’s Plans Level Performance Critical yes yes no* Elements Non-critical no yes yes Elements Additional Performance no no yes Elements *except when written for a supervisor or manager who has individual management control over a group’s production and resources.8 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  11. 11. Performance Management: Background and ContextKnow your program constraints U Again, it is important to stress that before you continue with this handbook, you need to find out the rules established by your appraisal program; specifically, you will need to know: C which kinds of elements your program allows you to use; C at how many levels your program appraises employee perfor- mance on elements; C how many summary levels your program uses; C if your program allows weighting of elements (see Step 4) ; and • whether the program requires specific elements and/or uses generic standards.Before continuing: This handbook uses an organization within OPM—the Support Branch in the Adjudication Division of the Office of Retirement Programs—as an illustration for developing measures at the group and individual level. To be able to understand and work through the illustration, you need to know the features of the Support Branch’s appraisal program (i.e., the same features listed above). The Support Branch’s appraisal program: C uses critical, non-critical, and additional performance elements; C appraises employee performance on elements at five levels: Unacceptable, Minimally Successful, Fully Successful, Exceeds Fully Successful, and Outstanding; C uses five summary levels, which are the same as the elements’ five levels listed above; C allows elements to be weighted according to importance to the organization; and C requires no specific or generic elements.A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 9
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  13. 13. Chapter 2 Distinguishing Activities from AccomplishmentsChapter 2 discusses what may be the most important concept in this handbook: thedifference between measuring activities and measuring accomplishments. The followingstory illustrates this concept. The Fable of the Beekeepers and Their Bees Once upon a time, approach communicated to each bee the goal of there were two the hive—to produce more honey. The bee- beekeepers who each keeper and his bees measured two aspects ofhad a beehive. The beekeepers worked for a their performance: the amount of nectar eachcompany called Bees, Inc. The company’s bee brought back to the hive and the amount ofcustomers loved its honey and wanted the busi- honey the hive produced. The performance ofness to produce more honey than it had the each bee and the hive’s overall performanceprevious year. As a result, each beekeeper was were charted and posted on the hive’s bulletintold to produce more honey at the same quality. board for all bees to see. The beekeeper cre-With different ideas about how to do this, the ated a few awards for the bees that gathered thebeekeepers designed different approaches to most nectar, but he also established a hiveimprove the performance of their hives. incentive program that rewarded each bee in the hive based on the hive’s production ofThe first beekeeper established a bee perfor- honey—the more honey produced the moremance management approach that measured recognition each bee would many flowers each bee visited. At consid-erable cost to the beekeeper, an extensive mea- At the end of the season, the beekeepers evalu-surement system was created to count the flow- ated their approaches. The first beekeeperers each bee visited. The beekeeper provided found that his hive had indeed increased thefeedback to each bee at midseason on his indi- number of flowers visited, but the amount ofvidual performance, but the bees were never honey produced by the hive had dropped. Thetold about the hive’s goal to produce more Queen Bee reported that because the beeshoney so that the company could increase were so busy trying to visit as many flowers ashoney sales. The beekeeper created special possible, they limited the amount of nectar theyawards for the bees who visited the most flow- would carry so they could fly faster. Also, be-ers. cause the bees felt they were competing against each other for awards (since only the top per-The second beekeeper also established a bee formers were recognized) they would not shareperformance management approach, but this valuable information with each other (like theA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 11
  14. 14. Distinguishing Activities from Accomplishmentslocation of the flower-filled fields they’d spotted bees worked together to determine the higheston the way back to the hive) that could have nectar-yielding flowers and to create quickerhelped improve the performance of all the bees. processes for depositing the nectar they’d gath-(After all was said and done, one of the high- ered. They also worked together to helpperforming bees told the beekeeper that if he’d increase the amount of nectar gathered by thebeen told that the real goal was to make more poor performers. The Queen Bee of this hivehoney rather than to visit more flowers, he reported that the poor performers eitherwould have done his work completely differ- improved their performance or transferred toently.) As the beekeeper handed out the the other hive. Because the hive had reached itsawards to individual bees, unhappy buzzing was goal, the beekeeper awarded each bee his por-heard in the background. tion of the hive incentive payment. The bee- keeper was also surprised to hear a loud, happyThe second beekeeper, however, had very buzz and a jubilant flapping of wings as hedifferent results. Because each bee in his hive rewarded the individual high-performing beeswas focused on the hive’s goal of producingmore honey, the bees had concentrated their with special recognition.efforts on gathering more nectar in order toproduce more honey than ever before. The The moral of this story is: Measuring and recognizing accomplish- ments rather than activities—and giving feedback to the worker bees—often improves the results of the hive.12 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  15. 15. Distinguishing Activities from AccomplishmentsAlthough it somewhat simplifies performance C file documents;management, the beekeepers’ story illustrates C develop software programs;the importance of measuring and recognizing C answer customer questions; andaccomplishments (the amount of honey produc- C write reports.tion per hive) rather than activities (visiting flow-ers). This handbook is designed to help youdevelop elements and standards that center Accomplishments (or outputs) are thearound accomplishments, not activities. products or services (the results) of employeeThe chart below depicts the type of measure- and work unit activities and are generallyment that should occur at each organizational described using nouns. The examples of out-level and includes measurements used by the puts used in the fable include the amount ofbeekeepers. nectar each bee collected and the honey production for the hive. Other examplesActivities are the actions taken to produce include:results and are generally described using verbs. C files that are orderly and complete; In the beekeeper fable, the activity being mea- C a software program that works;sured was visiting flowers. Other examples of C accurate guidance to customers; andactivities include: C a report that is complete and accurate.A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 13
  16. 16. Distinguishing Activities from Accomplishments Outcomes are the final results of an agency’s Note on the performance pyramid shown on the products and services (and other outside factors previous page that accomplishments can be that may affect performance). The example of measured at two levels in the organization—the an outcome used in the beekeeper story was employee level and the work unit level. increased sales of honey for Bees, Inc. Other Employee accomplishments can be included in examples of outcomes could include: employee performance plans using all three C reduce the number of transportation-related types of performance elements. Work unit deaths; accomplishments also can be included in the C improved fish hatcheries; appraisal process—through non-critical ele- C a decrease in the rate of teenage alcoholism; ments if the agency desires to have work unit and performance affect ratings (and only if the C clean air. appraisal program uses more than two summary levels) or through additional performance elements if work unit performance is not to af-A Note about Federal Efforts to fect ratings. However they are used in perfor-Measure Outcomes and Outputs: mance appraisal, work unit as well as employeeBecause of the requirements set by the accomplishments can always be recognizedGovernment Performance and Results Act of through an awards program.1993 (i.e., the Results Act), Federal agenciesare measuring their organizational outcomes If supervisors, team leaders, and employeesand outputs. The Results Act requires agen- want to develop performance plans that supportcies to have strategic plans, which include the achievement of organizational outcomes,outcome-related goals and objectives for the they might try the second beekeeper’s approachmajor functions and operations of the agency. of sharing organizational goals with the hive,Those outcome goals must be objective, measuring and rewarding accomplishmentsquantifiable, and measurable. The Results Act rather than activities, and providing feedback onalso requires agencies to develop annual per- performance.formance plans that cover each one of theirprograms. Performance plans must includeperformance goals, which define the annual,often incremental, progress in achieving theoutcome goals in the strategic plan. Perfor-mance goals are often output oriented sincethey address single-year performance. Wewill talk about strategic plans with their out-come goals, and performance plans with theiroutput goals, much more in Chapter 3. 14 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  17. 17. Distinguishing Activities from Accomplishments A Balanced Measuring System This handbook focuses on measuring accomplishments at the work unit and employee levels. There may be situations, however, when activities, behaviors, or processes may be important to include in an employee’s performance plan. This handbook does not focus on how to develop those kinds of measures. However, we would be remiss not to include a discussion about the importance of balancing measures in your measurement system. Therefore, a short description of the balanced scorecard approach to measuring performance follows. Using a Balanced Scorecard Approach to Measure PerformanceTraditionally, many agencies have measured plex task of flying an airplane, pilots need de-their organizational performance by focusing on tailed information about fuel, air speed, altitude,internal or process performance, looking at bearing, and other indicators that summarize thefactors such as the number of full-time equiv- current and predicted environment. Reliance onalents (FTE) allotted, the number of programs one instrument can be fatal. Similarly, the com-controlled by the agency, or the size of the bud- plexity of managing an organization requires thatget for the fiscal year. In contrast, private sec- managers be able to view performance in sev-tor businesses usually focus on the financial eral areas simultaneously. A balanced score-measures of their bottom line: return-on-invest- card—or a balanced set of measures— pro-ment, market share, and earnings-per-share. vides that valuable information.Alone, neither of these approaches providesthe full perspective on an organization’s perfor- Four Perspectives. Kaplan and Nortonmance that a manager needs to manage effec- recommend that managers gather informationtively. But by balancing internal and process from four important perspectives:measures with results and financial measures,managers will have a more complete picture and C The customer’s perspective. Managerswill know where to make improvements. must know if their organization is satisfying customer needs. They must determine theBalancing Measures. Robert S. Kaplan answer to the question: How do customersand David P. Norton have developed a set of see us?measures that they refer to as “a balancedscorecard.” These measures give top managers C The internal business perspective.a fast but comprehensive view of the organiza- Managers need to focus on those criticaltion’s performance and include both process internal operations that enable them to sat-and results measures. Kaplan and Norton com- isfy customer needs. They must answer thepare the balanced scorecard to the dials and question: What must we excel at?indicators in an airplane cockpit. For the com-A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 15
  18. 18. Distinguishing Activities from AccomplishmentsC The innovation and learning perspec- appraisal is an effective way of getting a com- tive. An organization’s ability to innovate, plete look at an employee’s work performance, improve, and learn ties directly to its value not just a partial view. Too often, employee as an organization. Managers must answer performance plans with their elements and stan- the question: Can we continue to create dards measure behaviors, and improve the value of our services? actions, or processes without also measuring the results of employees’ work. By measuring onlyC The financial perspective. In the private behaviors or actions in employee performance sector, these measures have typically fo- plans, an organization might find that most of its cused on profit and market share. For the employees are appraised as Outstanding when public sector, financial measures could the organization as a whole has failed to meet its include the results-oriented measures objectives. required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (i.e., the Results By using balanced measures at the organiza- Act). Managers must answer the question: tional level, and by sharing the results with How do we look to Congress, the Presi- supervisors, teams, and employees, managers dent, and other stakeholders? are providing the information needed to align employee performance plans with organizationalTie-In to Employee Performance. The goals. By balancing the measures used inbalanced scorecard philosophy need not employee performance plans, the performanceapply only at the organizational level. A bal- picture becomes complete.anced approach to employee performanceA Word About Categories of WorkSometimes performance plans describe ele- C customer service (greets customers with aments using categories of work. Categories are smile, answers the phone promptly);classifications of work types often used to orga- C teamwork (cooperates with others, sharesnize performance elements and standards. If, information);for example, the first beekeeper in our fable had C communications (writes well, gives presen-used categories of work for his elements, he tations); andmight have used the broad category of “making C office duties (files papers, types reports).honey” as the element and then included agrouping that described all the activities the bees This handbook does NOT explaindid to make the honey, such as gather nectar, how to describe and measure cate-report to the drones, etc. Other examples of gories of work. Here you arecategories of work and the types of activitiesthat are often described under these categories asked to concentrate on measuringinclude: accomplishments.16 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  19. 19. Distinguishing Activities from Accomplishments Exercise:It is time to check your understanding of the differences among activities, accomplish-ments, and categories. Please check the column that best describes each item. Accomplishment Activity Category Trains employees Supervision A completed case Public relations Recommendations Customer service HR policy interpretations Writes agency policy Solutions to problems Develops software programs Ideas and innovations Files paperwork Writes memos Computer systems that work Teamwork A completed project Satisfied customers Answers the phone Assists team members(The answers are on the next page.)A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 17
  20. 20. Distinguishing Activities from AccomplishmentsAnswers to page 17 Exercise: Accomplishment Activity Category Trains employees U Supervision U A completed case U Public relations U Recommendations U Customer service U HR policy interpretations U Writes agency policy U Solutions to problems U Develops software programs U Ideas and innovations U Files paperwork U Writes memos U Computer systems that work U Teamwork U A completed project U Satisfied customers U Answers the phone U Assists team members U18 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  21. 21. Chapter 3 Developing Employee Performance PlansYou are now going to begin an eight-step pro- and responsibilities in the position description allcess for developing employee performance begin with a verb. They describe activities,plans that support organizational goals. Before not begin, however, we want to briefly review aprocess for developing performance plans that A performance plan for a Federal Retirementyou may have followed in the past but will NOT Benefits Specialist follows on page 21. It wasbe learning here. written by copying the simplified position description from the previous page onto theTraditionally in some organizations, performance appraisal form. Note that by copying the activi-plans have been developed by copying the ties from the position description onto theactivities described in an employee’s job appraisal form, the Support Branch has devel-description onto the appraisal form. This hand- oped a performance plan that only measuresbook asks that you NOT begin with the posi- activities, not accomplishments. Also, bytion description. Even though a performance developing a performance plan without using aplan must reflect the type of work described in process that links accomplishments to organiza-the employee’s position description, the perfor- tional goals, the organization has lost the oppor-mance plan does not have to mirror it. tunity to use the appraisal process to communi- cate its goals to its employees and to alignThe next two pages illustrate what happens employee efforts with its goals.when you develop a performance plan solelyfrom a position description. Page 20 is a sim- (Remember that the Support Branch’s appraisalplified position description for a Federal program appraises employee performance onRetirement Benefits Specialist within our elements at five levels. The form on page 21example organization—the Support Branch of shows five possible levels of performance:the Adjudications Division, Office of Retirement Unsatisfactory (U), Minimally SuccessfulPrograms, Retirement and Insurance Service, (MS), Fully Successful (FS), Exceeds FullyOPM. Notice how the duties Successful (EFS), and Outstanding(O).)A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 19
  22. 22. Developing Employee Performance PlansPosition Description:Notice how the duties and responsibilities in the position description all begin with a verb.They describe activities. Position Description: #JJJ666 Federal Retirement Benefits Specialist, GS-0270-12 Introduction The incumbent of this position serves as a Senior Federal Retirement Benefits Specialist in the Office of Retirement Programs (ORP), Retirement and Insurance Service, Office of Personnel Management (OPM). This is a highly-responsible position in an office accountable for the adjudication of claims for retirement and insurance benefits arising under the Federal retirement systems administered by OPM. The work requires the skills of an experienced, fully-trained Federal Retirement Benefits Specialist who is responsible for the adjudication of a broad range of assigned claims, project work which he or she may lead, monitoring workloads, and assignments to solve retirement system-related problems. Major Duties and Responsibilities C Adjudicate cases of unusual technical difficulty. C Review and approve recommendations and decisions made by other Specialists, and provide advice and assistance. C Respond to inquiries from various customer sources and provide clear, responsive explanations of actions taken and the bases for them. C Provide assistance in developing formal lesson plans. Ensures adequate training is offered. C Serve as task force leader or project coordinator for team-related initiatives in processing retirement claims, post-retirement actions, and for special activity in response to legislation, etc. This simplified and edited position description describes only a few of the major duties of the GS-12 Federal Retirement Benefits Specialist position in OPM’s Support Branch in the Adjudication Division, Office of Retirement Programs, Retirement and Insurance Service. Approving Authority Signature: Date:20 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  23. 23. Developing Employee Performance Plans Performance Plan:THIS IS NOT THE TYPE OF PERFORMANCE PLAN THAT YOU WILL DEVELOPIF YOU FOLLOW THE METHOD PRESENTED IN THIS HANDBOOK. Employee Performance Plan Name Effective Date Job Title, Series, and Grade Name of Organization Federal Retirement Benefits Specialist Office of Retirement Programs Elements Type Standards Rating Technical and Policy Expert Critical Fully Successful: 9U C Adjudicates cases of unusual Cases are usually completed correctly and 9 MS technical difficulty. in a timely fashion. 9 FS C Reviews and approves Customer inquiries are routinely addressed 9 EFS recommendations made by timely. 9O other Specialists. Provides advice. C Responds to customer inqui- ries. Training Critical Fully Successful: 9U C Ensures adequate training is Arranges for or presents high-quality train- 9 MS offered. ing as needed. Training is specific to 9 FS C Develops formal lesson plans. employee needs. 9 EFS 9O Branch ombudsperson Critical Fully Successful: 9U C Serves as task force leader or As needed, regularly leads work teams to 9 MS project coordinator. the accomplishment of their assignments. 9 FS 9 EFS 9O Comments: This is a fictional employee performance plan constructed for this handbook. It was developed by using only the simplified position description of the Federal Retirement Benefits Specialist position shown on the previous page. It is included here to represent a typical performance plan that might be used in appraisal programs. Notice the similarity to the position description on the previous page. Also notice how the elements describe work activities, not work accomplishments. Appraising Official Signature Employee SignatureA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 21
  24. 24. Developing Employee Performance PlansHaving reviewed how to develop a performance plan thatfocuses only on activities, we will now develop a performanceplan that establishes elements and standardsaddressing accomplishments that lead to organizational goalachievement.Each step in the eight-step process we present in this hand-book builds upon the previous step; you cannot skip a stepand end up with good results.22 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  25. 25. Developing Employee Performance Plans Step 1: Look at the overall picture.Instead of beginning at the bottom of the organi- goals are usually more specific and oftenzation with the position description to develop more output-oriented than the general out-employee performance plans, begin the process come goals found in the strategic plan. Sinceby looking at your agency’s goals and objec- performance plan goals should be used bytives. Gather the following information: managers as they direct and oversee how a program is carried out, these are the goals toC What are your agency’s general outcome which employee performance plans should be goals as outlined in its strategic plan? linked. The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (i.e., the Results Act) requires all C What are your agency’s customer ser- agencies to develop a strategic plan that vice standards? In September 1993, Presi- includes objective, quantifiable, and measur- dent Clinton issued Executive Order 12862, able performance goals. Agencies submitted “Setting Customer Service Standards,” which their first strategic plans to Congress in Sep- requires each agency to establish customer tember 1997. You will be referring to your service standards and to measure its perfor- agency’s strategic plan while creating mance against those standards. In most employee performance plans. cases, these goals and standards have been folded into the agency’s strategic plan andC What are the specific performance goals annual performance plan, but if they have not, established for your program area as you will need to know what they are. outlined in your agency’s annual perfor- mance plan? The Results Act also requires C What performance measures are already each agency to have an annual performance in place? You should be aware of the mea- plan that sets out measurable goals that define surement systems that you can access for what will be accomplished during a fiscal information on performance, including mea- year. The goals in the annual performance sures used for determining progress towards plan describe the incremental progress to- achieving Results Act goals and customer wards achieving the general goals and objec- satisfaction surveys. tives in the strategic plan. Performance planA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 23
  26. 26. Developing Employee Performance PlansExample of Organizational GoalsAgain, the main example used in this handbook refers to the Federal Retirement Benefits Specialistposition in the Office of Retirement Programs (ORP), Retirement and Insurance Service, of theOffice of Personnel Management (OPM). This position is found in the Support Branch of ORP’sAdjudication Division and handles a combination of administrative and front-line assignments.OPM strategic, outcome-oriented goals and two of the Office of Retirement Programs’ perfor-mance goals established in OPM’s annual performance plan serve as examples of organizationalgoals. You will use this information in the next step of our eight-step process.OPM Strategic Goals:24 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  27. 27. Developing Employee Performance Plans OPM’s 199X Annual Performance Plan Goals for the Retirement and Insurance Service (RIS) RIS Goal #14: Maintain at previous year’s levels, customer satisfaction, processing times, and accuracy rates pertinent to processing new claims for annuity and survivor benefits. (Directly linked to OPM’s Goal #4) Means: (Only two means are presented here.) C Reduce claims processing error rates by providing increased training in workplace competencies. C Continue to streamline work processes when such opportunities occur in order to reduce claims processing times and improve processing accuracy. Outcome Indicators: 1. Customers who received their first payment either before or when they expected. (The goal is to reach 90 percent.) 2. Annuitants who indicate overall satisfaction with the handling of their retirement claims. (The goal is to reach 95 percent.) Output Indicators 1. Interim payment processing time (The goal is 4 days.) 2. CSRS annuity processing time (The goal is 35 days.) 3. CSRS annuity claims accuracy (The goal is no more than 4.0 percent errors.) RIS Goal #15: Maintain at previous year’s levels, customer satisfaction with RIS teleservices and the timeliness of written responses to inquiries. (Directly linked to OPM’s Goal #4) Means: (Only one mean is presented here.) Improve the accuracy and professional appearance of complex correspondence while reducing staff effort by developing additional PC-based “smart” letters that can be tailored to meet different fact patterns, and personalized by retrieving information from selected databases. Outcome Indicators: 1. Overall satisfaction with the content and timeliness of written responses. (The goal is 90 percent for each.) Output Indicators: 1. Percent of priority correspondence answered within 8 days. (The goal is 95 percent.) 2. Percent of regular correspondence answered within 15 days. (The goal is 95 per- cent.)A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 25
  28. 28. Developing Employee Performance PlansStep 2:Determine the accomplishments at the work unitlevel.The next step in this eight-step method is to Because not all types of work situations anddetermine the accomplishments (i.e., the prod- structures are the same, this handbook offersucts or services) of the work unit. Identifying three different ways to determine what to mea-work unit accomplishments lets you identify sure at the work unit level:appropriate measures in the following steps ofthis process. C a goal cascading method;A work unit is a small group of employees that, C a customer-focused method; andin a traditional work structure, is supervised bythe same first-line supervisor. Work units are C a work flow charting method.generally the smallest organizational group onthe organizational chart and usually include be- You can use one or all three methods, depend-tween 3 and 15 people. A work unit can also ing on what fits your situation. Whichever yoube a team—permanent or temporary—where use, remember to describe accomplishmentsthe team members work interdependently (using nouns) rather than activities (using verbs).towards a common goal.26 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  29. 29. Developing Employee Performance PlansMethod A: Cascade the agency’s goals down to the work unit level.The goal cascading method works best for C Which agency goal(s) can the work unitagencies with clear organizational goals and affect? Often, work units may affect onlyobjectives, such as those established in the stra- one agency goal, but in some situations,tegic plans and annual performance plans that agency goals are written so broadly thatagencies have prepared under the Government work units may affect more than one.Performance and Results Act. This methodrequires answers to each of the following ques- C What product or service does the worktions: unit produce or provide to help the agency reach its goals? Clearly tying workC What are the agency’s specific goals and unit products and services to organizational objectives? These can be found in the goals is key to this process. If a work unit agency’s annual performance plan and cus- finds it generates a product or service that tomer service standards. (Note that this does not affect organizational goals, the work question repeats Step 1 of the eight-step unit needs to analyze the situation. It may process.) decide to eliminate the product or service. Cascading Agency Goals to Work UnitsA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 27
  30. 30. Developing Employee Performance PlansExample of Cascading Agency Goals to a Work Unit: An OPM OPM Goal #4: Strategic Goal: Deliver high-quality, cost-effective human resources services 9 to Federal agencies, employees, annuitants, and the public. Some RIS Goal #14: Maintain at previous year’s levels, customer Retirement and satisfaction, processing times, and accuracy rates pertinent toInsurance Service (RIS) processing new claims for annuity and survivor benefits. Annual Performance RIS Goal #15: Maintain at previous year’s levels, customer Plan Goals that satisfaction with RIS teleservices and the timeliness of written Cascade from responses to inquiries. OPM Goal #4: 9 Some a. Continue to streamline work processes when such oppor- Office of Retirement tunities occur in order to reduce claims processing times Programs (ORP) and improve processing accuracy (re RIS Goal #14). Goals: b. Reduce claims processing error rates by providing 9 increased training in workplace competencies (re RIS Goal #14). c. Improve the accuracy and professional appearance of complex correspondence while reducing staff effort by developing additional PC-based “smart” letters that can be tailored to meet different fact patterns, and personalized by retrieving information from selected databases (re RIS Goal #15). ORP’s Achieve the following accomplishments: Adjudication C accurately settled claims (re “a” above); Division’s C competent, well-trained employees (re “b” above); and C accurate and professional written correspondence (re “c” Support above). Branch Goals : (Note: The Branch supports Adjudication Division Benefits Specialists in reviewing and settling retirement cases. Support is in the form of clerical support, training, consultation, guid-28 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  31. 31. Developing Employee Performance Plans Exercise on Cascading Goals:In the space below, begin mapping your agency’s strategic and performance goals and how thosegoals cascade or “trickle down” through your organization. Try to show how your work unit’sproducts or services link to your agency’s goals. Remember to describe work unit accomplishmentsin terms of products or services (i.e., the end result of all the unit’s activities.) Your Agency’s Goals: Your Organization’s Goals: Your Work Unit’s Products or Services:A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 29
  32. 32. Developing Employee Performance PlansMethod B: Determine the products and services the work unit provides for its customers.The customer-focused method works well when function, most of its customers may be inter-there are no clear agency goals and when the nal to the unit knows who its customers are and C What products and/or services do thewhat they expect. Oftentimes, this method is customers expect? Remember to describeeasier to apply to administrative work units that accomplishments, not activities.provide support functions, such as a humanresources unit, an acquisitions unit, or a facilities One way to approach this method is to build amaintenance unit. This method focuses on map, as shown below. Place a box representingachieving customer satisfaction and requires the work unit in the center of a blank piece ofanswers to each of the following questions: paper. List the customer groups around the box and descibe the products or services the cus-C Who are the customers of the work unit? tomers expect in the blank space between the If the work unit provides a support work unit and the customer groups. Focusing on Customer Satisfaction30 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  33. 33. Developing Employee Performance Plans Example of Identifying Customers and Their Expectations:The example below diagrams the accomplishments of the Office of Retirement Programs’ Adjudica-tion Division’s Support Branch from a customer-focused approach. Note that the accomplishmentslisted are the RESULTS of the team’s work. Retiring Correspondents First annuity Solutions to payment Problems, Information Support Training, Guidance pA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 31
  34. 34. Developing Employee Performance PlansExercise for Identifying Customers and Their Expectations:Use method B—the customer-focused method—to develop the product(s) or service(s) that yourwork unit provides. Begin with identifying your work unit’s customers. Next, determine whatproduct(s) or service(s) your work unit supplies or provides to its customers. Your Work Unit32 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  35. 35. Developing Employee Performance PlansMethod C: Develop a work flow chart for the work unit, establishing key steps in the work process.The work flow charting method works well for a work process or project. It begins with thework units that are responsible for a complete first step of the work process, maps out eachwork process, such as the processing of a case, successive step, and ends with the final productthe writing of a report, or the production of a or service. To illustrate a simple work flowcustomer information package. This method chart, the figure below depicts a work processasks work units to develop work flow charts. A for building a flow chart is a picture of the major steps inSome Key Steps in Building a House A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 33
  36. 36. Developing Employee Performance PlansTo help you build your work flow chart, As you map out the process, you may find your-answer these questions: self describing activities. Try to group the activi- ties into key steps by describing the results ofC How does the work unit produce its those activities as one step in the process. As an products or services? List the most basic example, the activities described in the following steps in the process. For this purpose, you columns are all the activities that a publication do not need to list all the activities required. team described when it was trying to create a (If you were analyzing the work to find ways work flow chart for the process of developing a of improving the process, you would need to newsletter. By grouping the related activities list every activity.) into the same columns, it was easier for the team to determine the results of those activities.C Which are the most important steps in Those results are written at the top of the column the process? By determining these steps, and became the key steps in the work flow you highlight areas for performance measure- chart. ment. The plan for the The draft version of The edited version The camera-ready next issue. the articles. of the articles. art mechanical. --brainstorm ideas --interview contacts --review articles for --crop pictures errors --meet to discuss --get contact review --make suggestions --develop the original ideas and edits of article for improvements graphics --research various --get pictures or --make necessary --create layout resources for ideas graphics, if used changes boards --get management --write article --consider the overall --format issue approval of proposed effect of the plan entire issue Plan for Draft Edited Art Next Issue ¾ Articles ¾ Articles ¾ Mechanical34 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  37. 37. Developing Employee Performance Plans Another Example of Work Flow Charting:This example of the results of method C—which focuses on the work flow and the key steps in thework process—uses a work flow chart developed by the Office of Retirement Programs. The workflow chart below maps the key steps in processing retirement claims. Notice that the steps aredescribed as products. In other words, all the activities to complete the steps are not listedindividually but have been grouped and described as products. These key steps are good candi-dates for measurement. Nondisability Annuity û Case Received Computation ü An authorized 1st annuity An updated payment annuity roll û for master record Treasury to disperse ü A completed and filed caseA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 35
  38. 38. Developing Employee Performance PlansExercise on Work Flow Charting:Select a product or service that your work unit provides. As best you can, map out the workprocess your unit uses. Focus on the major categories or steps of the work. You may need to firstlist the smaller steps of the work and then group them into sub-products. Remember to describeproducts and services when you can, not activities.36 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  39. 39. Developing Employee Performance Plans Step 3: Determine individual accomplishments that support work unit goals.The performance elements that will be measured must produce to support the unit’sin the overall employee performance plan can accomplishments. To build the matrix, list theinclude both individual and group assignments work unit’s products or services across the topand responsibilities. The most important, row of a table. List each member of the workresults-oriented aspects of a unit’s performance unit or each job position down the left column of(which are its products or services) were identi- the matrix. For each cell of the table, ask thisfied in Step 2. (Other types of processes that question: What must this unit member producework units may want to measure and include as or perform (i.e., accomplish) in order to supportelements in their plans—but which are not prod- this particular work unit product or service? Listucts or services and would not be identified those employee products or services (i.e.,through Step 2— include internal group dynam- accomplishments) in the appropriate cell. Theics processes, such as decision-making or products or service you list for each unit memberproblem solving processes, or group/team are possible performance elements that might bedevelopment.) included in the employee’s performance plan. All performance elements should be eitherElements that address individual accomplish- quantifiable or verifiable and should bements can be identified using a role-results described as accomplishments (nouns), notmatrix. A role-results matrix is simply a table activities (verbs).that identifies the results each work unit memberA Role-Results Matrix Unit Unit Product Unit Product Unit Product Unit Product Employees or Service or Service or Service or Service Employee 1 Accomplishment Accomplishment Accomplishment Accomplishment Employee 2 Accomplishment Accomplishment Accomplishment *N/A Employee 3 Accomplishment *N/A Accomplishment Accomplishment Employee 4 *N/A Accomplishment Accomplishment Accomplishment *The employee had no part in this work unit product or service. A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 37
  40. 40. Developing Employee Performance PlansExampleAn example of a role-results matrix is shown the work unit level or the individual level that youbelow. It was built for a work team that pro- may not be able to measure (i.e, the effect aduces a bimonthly policy newsletter. The team human resources program has on organizationalhas five members: the editor, three writers, and performance) or over which the unit or thea graphic artist. The final product or output is employee has no control (i.e., a portion of thethe newsletter. (The expected outcome is better product must be completed by someone outsideeducated Federal employees.) The team cre- the work unit). Also, certain aspects of perfor-ated a work flow chart, which identified four key mance may cost too much to measure or thesteps in the work process. The team then used agency may not have the resources to measurethese key steps to build the matrix and will use it them. You should not include these aspects ofto develop performance elements. performance as elements in the performance plan but they are still legitimate parts of the role-Note that the main steps of the work process results matrix.are laid out along the top of the matrix. Theteam members are listed down the left hand A role-results matrix is a valuable managementcolumn. Accomplishments are listed for each tool. When supervisors involve employees in theteam member. Also, note that not all members process of completing the matrix, everyone’shave assignments or responsibilities for every role in the work unit is very clear, which isteam accomplishment. (This often will occur in important to the successful performance of thecross-functional work units that include a variety group. The whole process of determining workof different job series.) unit products and services, and then completing a role-results matrix, is a beneficial team-buildingWhen building a role-results matrix, you may exercise.identify certain aspects of performance at eitherA Role-Results Matrix for a Newsletter Team: Team Accomplishments± The draft The edited The Team The plan for the version of version of the camera-ready Members next issue the articles articles mechanical Editor Topics to be cov- Articles that have ered been edited Writer A Recommendations A draft for articles article(s) Writer B Recommendations A draft for articles article(s) Writer C Recommendations A draft for articles article(s) Graphic Recommendations A completed Artist for layout mechanical38 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  41. 41. Developing Employee Performance Plans Another Example of a Role-Results Matrix:The example below uses the data gathered the top of the matrix. Employees are listedfor the Office of Retirement Programs’ down the left side of the matrix. Work accom-Adjudication Division Support Branch plishments are included in each cell. Notice thatusing the cascading method as described on the work responsibilities are described (in ital-pages 27-28. Note that the products or ser- ics) as accomplishments (i.e., products or ser-vices (i.e., the accomplishments) identified vices) rather than activities or behaviors.through the process of Step 2 are shown alongRole-Results Matrix for ORP’s Adjudication Division Support BranchEmployees Work Unit Products or Services $ Branch Accurate and Pro- Chief Accurately Settled Competent Division fessional Corre- Claims Employees spondence Team C An efficient adjudi- C ORP training needs C A correspondence Leader cation process. assessment. review and com- C ORP training plan. plaint resolution process. Senior C Guidance and C Recommendations C Responses contain- Federal technical assis- for training needs as- ing requested infor- Retirement tance to lower- sessment. mation or solutions Benefits graded Specialists. C Lesson plans that to customer Specialists C Recommendations meet training needs. complaints. for improvements to C Workbooks and work process and course handouts. ADP systems. C Effective training C Cases of unusual course(s). technical difficulty that are completed. Clerk C Decisions that are C Workbooks and C Correspondence Typist formatted and handouts that are that is formatted, typed. formatted, typed, and mailed, and filed. C Case files that are xeroxed. organized effec- tively.A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 39
  42. 42. Developing Employee Performance PlansExercise for Building a Role-Results MatrixFill in the role-results matrix for your work unit. Place the work unit products or services that youdeveloped in Step 2 along the top of the matrix. Fill in the names or the job titles of the work unit’semployees in the left-hand column. Then fill in the employees’ accomplishments that contribute toeach work unit accomplishment. Work Unit Products or Services $ Employees Organiza- tional Chief40 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  43. 43. Developing Employee Performance Plans Step 4: Convert expected accomplishments into perfor- mance elements, indicating type and priority.In Steps 2 and 3 of the process presented in this the element would result in a determination thathandbook, you developed the expected accom- an employee’s overall performance is unaccept-plishments for the work unit and the unit’s able. Defining critical elements must be doneemployees. Now, in Step 4, you will: thoughtfully because an employee’s unaccept-C identify which accomplishment(s) should be able performance on any critical element could included as elements in the performance plan; be the basis for an adverse action. To helpC select which type of element to use; and decide whether an element should be classifiedC assign weights or priorities. as critical or not, answer the following questions:All employees must have at least one critical C Is the element a major component of theelement in their performance plan. Critical ele- work? If you answered “yes,” the elementments must address individual performance only, might be critical.except in the case of supervisors who may be C Does the element address individual per-held responsible for a work unit’s products or formance only? Elements measuring groupservices. Work unit performance can be performance cannot be criticaladdressed through non-critical or additional elements, except as explained for supervisorsperformance elements. In appraisal programs and only under certain circumstances.with only two summary levels, work unit perfor- C If the employee performed unacceptablymance can be addressed only through additional on the element, would there be seriousperformance elements. consequences to completing the work of the organization? If employee error on theOnce you have classified elements as either criti- element affects the work unit’s accomplish-cal, non-critical, or additional, and if ments, the element may be critical.your appraisal program allows, prioritize them so C Does the element require a significantthat work units and employees know which amount of the employee’s time? If youelements are most important. One way to do answered “yes,” the element might be critical.this is to distribute 100 percentage points acrossthe elements based upon each one’s importanceto the organization. (Programs usually allocate Unless prescribed by your appraisal program,weights in 5 percent increments.) there is no fixed or uniform number of critical elements to be included in the performance plan;How can you determine which the number varies with the work assignmentselements are critical? and may vary from year to year in response to changing program emphases. How-Remember that critical elements are work ever, every employee must have at least oneassignments or responsibilities of such critical element.importance that unacceptable performance on A Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 41
  44. 44. Developing Employee Performance PlansExample of Identifying Elements:The Support Branch of the Office of Retirement (2) Because the Branch decided to use thePrograms’ (ORP) Adjudication Division has non-critical group element for “Competentbeen used on the following page as an example Division Employees,” it also decided not toof identifying elements. (This example does include the individual accomplishmentsnot represent actual elements currently in under that cell of the matrix. It was notuse; it was developed for this handbook practical or logical to measure this perfor-only.) The expected accomplishments of the mance at the individual level. The matrixSenior Federal Retirement Benefits Specialist shows that those four elements have been(as outlined in the role-results matrix on page crossed out and will therefore not be39) are listed down the left-hand side of the included in the performance plan.matrix on the next page. A work unit accom- (3) The Branch decided that “Recommenda-plishment for the Support Branch is also listed. tions for Improvements” should not affectThe next column shows how the branch chief the summary level, but the Branch wantedand employees designated elements as critical, to track and measure the value of the rec-non-critical, or additional. Finally, priority points ommendations for awards purposes.are assigned to each element to give them rela- Therefore, it was included as an additionaltive weights. (Remember that ORP’s appraisal element and given a weight of 0. Theprogram uses five levels to appraise employee Branch plans to use the results of perfor-performance on elements and summarizes per- mance on this element as a criterion forformance overall at five levels and that non-criti- awards recognizing innovation within and additional performance elements are (4) The Branch determined the priority of eachallowed.) element by distributing 100 points across the elements. The priority points letNote the following in the matrix on page 43: employees know which elements are more(1) The Branch concluded that the work important to the organization. Priority accomplishment of “Competent Division points also are used in this example to Employees” was so interdependent that it affect how the summary level will be deter- was not practical or logical to measure per- mined. Note that the non-critical group formance at the individual level for this element “Competent Division Employees” accomplishment. As a result, the Branch was given more priority points (25) than the decided to include “Competent Division critical “Adjudicated Cases” element (10), Employees” as a group element and to even though failure on the critical element measure performance at the group level causes performance to be determined to be only. Since this Branch is under a five-level Unacceptable. Using this method allows appraisal program and it wants to count this non-critical elements to count significantly in element in the appraisal process, this group the summary level determination. (Failure element will be a non-critical element. (If it on the non-critical element would not cause were under a two-level appraisal program, performance to be Unacceptable; it would the group element would have to be an merely count as 0 priority points and could additional performance element.) The other lower the summary level—but not to group products and services will not be Unacceptable.) included in employee performance plans.42 Performance Management Practitioner Series
  45. 45. Developing Employee Performance Plans Example:ORP Adjudication Division Support BranchSenior Federal Retirement Benefits SpecialistEmployee Assignments and PriorityResponsibilities Type of Element PointsC Guidance and technical assis- tance to lower-graded Special- Critical (CE) 40 ists.C Recommendations for improvements to work process Additional (AE) 0 and ADP systems.• Cases of unusual technical diffi- Critical (CE) 10 culty that were completed.C Recommendations for training needs assessment.C Lesson plans that meet training needs.C Workbooks and course hand- outs.C Effective training course(s).C Responses containing requested Critical (CE) 25 information or solutions to cus- tomer complaints.Support Branch Work Productsor Services:Accurately settled claimsCompetent Division Employees Non-critical (NC) 25Accurate and Professional Corre-spondenceA Handbook for Measuring Employee Performance 43