Performance Management for HR Practitioners: Week 4


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This presentation was delivered as part of "Performance Management for HR Practitioners," a social learning pilot course hosted by GovLoop and the U.S. Office of Personnel Development. For more information, please visit or contact andrew [at] govloop [dot] com.

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  • Welcome - Andy
  • Agenda - Andy
  • Learning Points:At the end of this lesson, you will be able to:• Explain the importance of each phase in relation to the overall performance management process• Identify the supervisor/manager responsibilities in each phase• Explain the practitioner’s role in each phase
  • Give instructions. Ask the participants to use the index card and pencil to draw a picture of a shoeand set a time limit of 45 seconds. Pause while participants complete this task.Conclude the activity. Announce the end of the activity after 45 seconds even if some of the artists are still working on their masterpieces. Debriefing  Ask how many participants looked at their shoes or their neighbors’ shoes to draw the picture. Note that very few participants took advantage of that opportunity. Present this major learning point in your own words:Most of us don’t look at reality, even though it is right in front of us. That is because we prefer to work with a mental model. We think with these mental models and we frequently base our performance on them. Psychologists call the act of creating mental models generalization, abstraction, concept acquisition, or stereotyping.It does not matter if you draw a picture of a shoebased on your mental model. However, it does matter if you come up with a company policy based on your mental model of a female employee or an employee of Asian origin. This is because your mental model could be distorted and, therefore, your policy may not produce the intended effect on the wide range of people it is supposed to affect.Learning Points  1. We act upon mental models instead of reality. 2. Our mental models frequently distort reality and may result in unrealistic decisions.
  • As you have seen in the previous sessions, here is the PM model. Today we will be focused on the planning phase.Learning Points:The performance management process contains three phases:1. Planning2. Monitoring and developing3. Rating and rewarding
  • Learning Points:• The first phase of the performance management process is the planning phase. The planning phase sets the stage for the success of the process for the rest of the year. If this is done well, monitoring, developing, rating, and rewarding go much more smoothly.• During the planning phase, supervisor/managers will meet with their employees and set their performance expectations for the upcoming year and how those expectations will be measured. For example, if the expectation is to provide customer service, how will that be measured? Is The employee expected to produce a product such as a processed claim within an established timeframeSay 5 working days? This is the phase where abstract, organizational Goals in your organization’s planning documents (e.g. strategic plan) get turned into specific, measurable results. The creation of elements and standards allows the employee to see how he or she will be successful over the course of the upcoming year and for what work he or she will be held responsible.
  • So what is a performance plan? It includes all of the written, or otherwise recorded, performance elements that set forth expected performance.It has two parts, the element, or the “what”, and the standards, or the “how”. Together they should clearly illustrate what work is to be done, and how well such work has to be done to be at the Fully Successful level (usually level 3 of 5). Learning Points:• Elements are distinct from standards in that an element is a description of work to be done, and the standard is the ruler by which the work is measured. • A performance plan can be adjusted throughout the year to reflect changes in the agency’s mission/goals.For example, as an HR SpecialistYou have the element of Technical Knowledge. And a Standard which states, consistently adjudicate veteran’s preference accurately for DEU and Merit Promotion announcements within 7 business days of case closing; respond to client inquiries regarding veteran’s preference within 1 business day. And that is aligned to Aligned to: OPM Strategic Goal 2.1:(Assist veterans to find a place in the Federal workplace by assuring veterans’ preference)Performance standard means the management-approved expression of the performance threshold(s), requirement(s), or expectations(s) that must be met to be appraised at a particular level of performance.
  • This is a summary of the responsibilities supervisors and managers have in each phase of the performance management process. The outcome is a performance plan for each of their employees. During the planning phase, it is the supervisor’s and manager’s responsibility to:1. Analyze the agency’s goals and translate them into tasks for their employees. 2. Translate these tasks into elements and standards. 3. Share the elements and standards with their employees. 4. Work with their employees to overcome potential objections and challenges. 5. Reach an agreement on a final performance plan.
  • Agency goals should ideally cascade down from leadership to managers and supervisors. So managers and supervisors should already be aware of the goals that fall within their area of responsibility. Your managers and supervisors might also use other more drilled-down planning documents that are aligned with agency goals such as an operating plan, which links strategic goals and objectives to tactical goals and objectives. When I run strategic planning sessions most supervisors and managers are already thinking tactically.The tasks given to the should be able to be completed within the performance cycle. If a task or project is expected to cross fiscal years, encourage managers to break it down into chunks with measureable milestones throughout the year.• These tasks need to be specific and in line with the employee’s job and salary level. You do not want managers using the same tasks for a GS-12 or 13 engineer at their FPL as you would for a GS-9 developmental position.(if time permits) An operational plan describes milestones, conditions for success and explains how, or what portion of, a strategic plan will be put into operation during a given operational period, in the case of commercial application, a fiscal year or another given budgetary term. An operational plan is the basis for, and justification of an annual operating budget request. Therefore, a five-year strategic plan would typically require five operational plans funded by five operating budgets
  • Once you know what tasks have to be done, you can create elements or standards.The difference between a task and an element and standard is a subtle but important distinction: Task descriptions focus on activities, while elements and standards focus on results.Some examples of activities might be:-“Facilitates coordination across work groups”-“Attends technical training”-“Communicates with other work unit members in a professional manner”-“Has the knowledge and skills necessary to complete the work”Some Examples of Elements and Standards that are results focused:-“Issues final report on completed audits by July 1. Report meets all requirements established in agency Standard Operating Procedures manual”-“Over a year’s time, completes an average of 10-17 cases each week, meeting quality standards established in the case processing manual…”
  • So with the draft elements and standards in hand, it is now time get the employee involved. This will get the employee involved in the process and increase ownership in the performance plan. In this performance planning meeting the manager should communicate the elements and standards, why they are important, and link them to organization goals. If the manager fails to link individual employee goals to managerial, functional, and corporate goals. The employee likely will:-Not understand why my goals matter-Won’t understand my goals-Is going to keep doing what he or she was doing last year
  • During the meeting, the supervisor should explain the draft elements and indicate which elements are critical and non-critical. If the employee has input on additional standards or revised standards, they should be considered. Remember one of the take-aways from the drawing exercise is that your mental model of the job me be different from those around you. Two-way communication in the performance planning process helps to address this bias.
  • It is important to note here that when finalizing the performance plan, it is not final until both parties, the supervisor and the employee, sign the performance plan. The employee can also indicate a refusal to sign, which is far from the ideal outcome, but it does finalize the plan, pending an agreement to resolve the issue(s) or a revision of the performance plan. Getting employee agreement or at least communicating performance elements at the start of the process, ensures the employee is not blindsided when the end of the year rating meeting comes up. Having informal or formal feedback meetings about progress on the plan elements also helps manage performance and expectations. Remember the performance plan is used to allow the supervisor to rate the employee at the end of the performance cycle. Learning Points:• Finalizing the plan necessitates, but cannot require, agreement between the supervisor/manager and the employee.• Having the employee agree to the performance plan at the start of the year means he or she will not be surprised during the end-of year meeting.• Remember that the purpose of the performance plan is to allow the supervisor/manager to apply a performance rating to the employee at the end of the performance management cycle.
  • Learning Points:Performance plans have:• Critical elements• Non-critical elements• Additional performance elementsPerformance elements directly relate to the performance tasks identified earlier. Elements capture what needs to be done; standards capture how well something needs to be done.Elements are often synonymous withcompetencies (for example Oral Communication). A competency is a set of defined behaviors that provide a structured guide enabling the identification, evaluation and development of the behaviors in individual employees. So take the example of Oral Communication, which is found in many plans: Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to non-verbal cues, and responds appropriately.
  • Critical elements broadly tell us what is most important in the jobLearning Points:• A critical element is an assignment or responsibility of such importance that unacceptable performance in that element would result in a determination that the employee’s overall performance is unacceptable. • Every employee covered under Title 5 must have a performance plan thatcontain at least one critical element.Because they are the cornerstones of an employee’s performance rating, the critical elements included in the performance plan must be within the employee’s control. For most employees this means that critical elements cannot describe a group’s performance. That is except when written for a supervisor or manager who has individual management control over a group’s production and resources. A lot of you might not have very much freedom in choosing elements or competencies for your plans. You may have a pool of elements to choose from. Others have their elements handed to them depending on the job series. Common examples of Critical Elements are:  Writing/Written Communication  Planning & Evaluating Problem Solving
  • • A non-critical element is an aspect of individual, team, or organizational performance. Non-critical elements are always separate from critical elements, but can still be considered in the performance rating.• Unlike critical elements, failure to achieve a non-critical element does not automatically result in an employee’s earning an overallUnacceptable summary rating. • Non-critical elements are also applicable to a group of employees. They are the only way that a group or team’s performance can be included in an individual’s performance plan.• Despite the term “non-critical,” non-critical elements are stillimportant in the performance review. Non-critical elements can adda lot of weight to a performance review; they just cannot result in an automatic rating of unacceptable. For example in GS-12 and 13 performance plans, I have seen Organizational Awareness as a non-critical element.Knowing the organization’s mission and functions, and how its social, political, and technological systems work and operates effectively within them. *BEFORE YOU CAN USE NON-CRITICAL ELEMENTS IN EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE PLANS, YOU MUST DETERMINE IF YOUR APPRAISAL PROGRAM ALLOWS THEM. Your performance management system description on file with OPM should mentionthis.
  • An additional performance element is a dimension or aspect of individual, team, or organizational performance that is not a criticalelement and is not used in assigning a summary rating. The essential difference between a non-critical element and an additional performance element is that non-critical elements do affect the summary. Additional elements also do not require performance standards . Otherwise, the features and limitations of non-critical elements we discussed earlier also apply to additional performance elements. You might include additional elements if you need to set expectations for:• New work assignments that are to be tracked, measured, and developed, but that should not impact an employee’s performance rating.-For example, if an employee volunteered to work on a new project that requires new skills, an additional performance element describing the new assignment would provide a nonthreatening vehicle for planning, measuring, and giving feedback on the employee’s performance without counting it in the summary level. • A second use for Additional performance elements is group performance goals. For example, in a two-level appraisal program (pass/fail), additional performance elements are the only way to include a discussion of group performance in the appraisal process. Even though the element assessment does not count when determining the summary level, managers and employees could use it to manage the group’s performance. Because no standards are required, additional performance elements also might be appropriate when the organization has not decided what measurements are valid or who the most credible rater is for certain work. • You might also use additional elements as criteria for determining eligibility for awards that may not based on performance ratings.---------------------------------------------------------In essence, Additional Elements are dimensions or aspects of overall performance the agency wishes to communicate and appraise, but which will not be used in assigning a summary level. Their major distinctions from non-critical elements are they cannot be used in assigning a summary level and additional performance elements do not require a performance standard. They allow agencies to factor group or team performance into the performance plan of employees under two-level (Pass/Fail) summary appraisal programs. Including additional performance elements encourages a dialogue among supervisors, employees, and peers that might not have taken place if they had not been included in a performance plan or goal statement. An agency could include items employees are not ready to have affect their ratings of record, but which may be used in the future as non-critical elements. One example would be appraising "team interaction" in a group that has not had sufficient time or experience with such concepts and behaviors. Because no standard is required, additional performance elements also might be appropriate when the organization has not decided what measurements are valid or who the most credible rater(s) is.Assessments on additional performance elements that make distinctions above the Fully Successful or equivalent level may be used as the basis for granting awards. Such a use of additional performance elements is a perfectly reasonable way to meet the legal requirement at section 4302(a)(3) of Title 5, U.S.C. to "use the results of performance appraisals as a basis for rewarding employees."
  • So effective performance elements • Should be clearly defined stand-alone segments of an employee’s responsibilities. Some competency based plans may overlap in certain areas of the work, but the performance standards should be unique to each element.• Should outline responsibilities that are essential to the work of the organization.Performance elements can, and in most cases should, cascade from the supervisor’s performance planand should reflect the supervisor’s goal when used for team leads.
  • In this table there is a concise summary of the different features of performance plan elements.
  • Learning Points:Supervisors/managers need to be well prepared when going into a planning meeting with an employee. This will not only result in a more efficient meeting and send the proper message to the employee, it will also lead to better performance plans. Before going into a planning meeting, supervisors/managers should:• Know how the employee’s responsibilities fit into theorganization’s priorities.• Prepare a list of questions to solicit employee perspective.Once supervisors/managers are conducting a planning meeting, they should:• Discuss work done at a program or project level to avoid discussion of details.• Share with the employee the importance of each element and objective and together classify them as critical or non-critical.• Use a checklist or agenda for each meeting.
  • Learning Points:Supervisors/managers are not alone as they prepare for their planning meetings. As an HR Practitioner, it is your job to offer support and guidance as needed to the supervisors/managers in your organization by:• Offering a pre-planning meeting with them.• Providing guidance on preparing for and conducting a planning meeting.• Assisting with, reviewing, and providing guidance on writing good elements and standards.• Providing guidance to supervisors/managers on Individual Development Plans (IDPs).Create a checklist or a flysheet for supervisors.
  • This is an example of aligning organizational goals to an employee performance plan. Specificially, this is uses the Cascading Goal method. It is from a fictionalagency called the "Federal Benefits Bureau," (FBB), NOT OPM, which is an agency that specializes in benefits and retirement services. If this were a TV show this is the part where we would flash the disclaimer “All characters and events in this show-–even those based on real people–-are entirely fictional. All celebrity voices are impersonated.....poorly”.One of the key components of increasing organizational performance is to make sure you have goal alignment throughout the organization. That is, ensuring that the lowest level employee to the top managers are all working towards the same org goals. Responsibility for achieving goals/objectives should cascade down from SES, managers, supervisors, to front-line employeesYou have the option of aligning the element or competency as a whole OR aligning individual standards within the element. For a competency based plan it is MOST critical to align the results-focused element like the one in this example which is based on the element of Work Accomplishment.Instead of beginning at the bottom of the organization with the position description toDevelop goals for employee performance plans, you should begin the process by looking at your agency’s goals and objectives. Gather the following information:What are your agency’s general outcome goals as outlined in its strategic plan? -The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993 (i.e., the Results Act) and GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 require all agencies to develop a strategic plan that includes objective, quantifiable, and measurable performance goals. -The Results Act also requires each agency to have an annual performance plan that sets out measurable goals that define what will be accomplished during a fiscal year. The goals in the annual performance plan describe the incremental progress toward achieving thegeneral goals and objectives in the strategic plan. Performance plan goals are usually more specific and may be more output-oriented than the general outcome goals found in the strategic plan. Since performance plan goals should be used by managers as they directand oversee how a program is carried out, these are the goals to which employee performance plans should be linked.What performance measures are already in place? You should be aware of the measurement systems that you can access for information on performance, including measures used for determining progress toward achieving Results Act goals and customer satisfaction surveys.
  • In February, 20,374 federal employees retired — the highest total for that month since at least 2010, the earliest year for which monthly statistics are available, and more than three times the number of feds who put in their retirement papers in February 2012, according to the Office of Personnel Management.With the 22,187 retirements recorded in January, 42,561 federal employees have retired in just the first two months of 2013. That is more than half of the 84,427 feds who retired in 2010, and 40 percent of the 106,550 feds who retired in 2012.
  • KevinStrategic planOperational plan or annual performance planAgency scorecardOther
  • KevinNot until the next performance cycleAt mid-year/mid-cycle reviewC. QuarterlyWhenever external or internal events require an adjustment in priorities
  • KevinNoSometimes if there is a manager and employee disputeWe review a representative sample of performance plansWe only review upper management and executive performance plansOther
  • Organizations that communicate, cascade, and align corporate goals to employee goals establish a connection between the overall organizational strategy and individual employees“Without a clear goals cascade, you can’t begin to leverage individual performance against corporate goals.” -Chief Financial Officer Seagate TechnologyQuote reference note: Based in Northern California, Seagate Technology, LLC, is a global high-technology company that provides storage (computer disc drive) technology, products, and services. The company has more than 45,000 global employees and generates revenues of more than $6 billion.Once organization-wide alignment is obtained, static goal systems make it challenging for organizations to maintain alignment as conditions and needs change over time.
  • Performance Management for HR Practitioners: Week 4

    1. 1. Performance Management for HR Practitioners Week 4: The PerformanceManagement Process – Part 1 Instructor: Kevin Galliers S
    2. 2. Introductions: Your Host Andrew Krzmarzick GovLoop, Director of Community Engagement
    3. 3. Week 4 AgendaS Logistics, Last Week and S The Planning Meeting Introductions - Guide, pp. 86-87S The Performance S HR Practitioner Scenario / Story Management Process – S Interactive Chat: How do you Guide, p. 67 determine critical vs. non-criticalS Planning – Guide, p. 68 elements?S Performance Plan – Guide, p. S Q&A 69 S Summary - p. 148S Supervisor / Manager Roles S Week 4 Assignments – Guide, pp. 70-75S Performance Elements – Guide, pp. 76-83
    4. 4. Lesson ObjectiveS At the end of this lesson, you will be able to: S Explain the importance of each phase in relation to the overall performance management process S Identify the supervisor/manager responsibilities in each phase S Explain the practitioner’s role in each phase
    5. 5. LogisticsS Let’s continue to be interactive: S Submit questions in the chat box - our expert will field them, during and/or at the end S We have a designated time for chat as wellS If you have any technical difficulties, use the chat window S Direct it to “Bryce Bender” (not “all participants”)S We are recording each session S After the session, you will be able to find a link to the archived version of the webinar on the Week 4 page of the course group on GovLoopS Don’t forget your reading, discussion and partner reflection!
    6. 6. Introductions: Your Instructor Kevin Galliers Human Resources Consultant, U.S. Office of Personnel Management
    7. 7. Draw me a Picture
    8. 8. The Performance Management Process Coaching and Coaching and Feedback Feedback Coaching and Feedback
    9. 9. Why Is Planning Phase Important?S The planning phase sets the stage for the entire performance management cycleS Planning sets the performance expectations for the employeeS Planning aligns the employee’s objectives with the organization’s mission and goals Planning
    10. 10. What Is a Performance Plan?S A performance plan has two parts: S Elements: what is to be accomplished S Standards: how accomplishments will be measuredS A performance plan can be adjusted throughout the year to reflect changes in the agency’s mission/goals Planning
    11. 11. Supervisor/ManagerResponsibilities in Planning Phase1. Analyze agency’s goals and translate them into tasks for their employees2. Translate these tasks into elements and standards3. Share the elements and standards with their employees4. Work with their employees to overcome potential objections and challenges5. Reach an agreement on a final performance plan Planning
    12. 12. 1. Analyze Agency GoalsS Link the agency mission to specific goalsS Link the goals to specific employee tasksS Align the tasks within the employee’s job and salary level Planning
    13. 13. 2. Translate Tasks into Elements and StandardsS Once you have created tasks, you can convert them to elements and standards.S Elements (the “what”) measure results that the employee directly controls and should be essential to the work of the agencyS Standards (the “how”) express how well an employee must perform his or her job Planning
    14. 14. 3. Share with EmployeeS After creating your list of elements and standards, meet with the employeeS Communicate how elements and standards relate back to agency goalsS Including the employee will increase employee ownership Planning
    15. 15. 4. Work with EmployeeS Treat your proposed performance plan as a rough draftS Discuss the importance of each element and identify as critical or non-criticalS Consider employee’s input as he or she may recognize some issues that you may have missed Planning
    16. 16. 5. Reach Agreement or Final PlanS Reduce the discussion into a final written performance planS It’s important for the employee to understand and sign the performance plan Planning
    17. 17. Performance ElementsS Performance plans contain: S Critical elements S Non-critical elements S Additional performance elements Planning
    18. 18. Critical ElementsS Failure to achieve a critical element must result in a rating of unacceptableS The employee should be able to control the outcome of the critical elementS Every performance plan has to have at least one critical element Planning
    19. 19. Non-Critical ElementsS Failure to achieve a non-critical element will not necessarily result in an unacceptable ratingS Non-critical elements count toward the performance ratingS Non-critical elements can include team or organizational goals Planning
    20. 20. Additional Performance ElementsS Additional elements do not contribute to the performance ratingS Additional performance elements provide agencies with another tool for communicating performance expectations important to the organization Planning
    21. 21. Effective Performance ElementsS Should be clearly defined stand-alone segments of an employee’s responsibilitiesS Should outline responsibilities that are essential to the work of the organizationS Can cascade from the supervisor’s performance planS Should reflect the supervisor’s goals when used for team leads Planning
    22. 22. Elements Summary REQUIRED IN CREDITED IN THE CAN DESCRIBE A PERFORMANCE SUMMARY LEVEL GROUP’S PLANS 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 individualmanagement control over a group’s production and resources.
    23. 23. The Planning MeetingS Before entering a planning meeting, you should: S Know how the employee’s responsibilities fit into your organization’s priorities S Prepare a list of questions to solicit employee perspectiveS Once you are in a planning meeting, you should: S Avoid a discussion of details S Share the importance of each element and standard and classify them with the employee S Use a checklist or agenda for the meeting Planning
    24. 24. The Practitioner’s RoleS Offer guidance for conducting planning meetingsS Assist with writing good job elements and standardsS Provide guidance for creating IDPs Planning
    25. 25. Scenario
    26. 26. Scenario No more than 2-3 errors per quarter, as spotted by the supervisor. No more than 4-5 late cases per year (processed later than 10 working days fromIndividual Goals for receipt).Retirement BenefitsSpecialist No more than 3-4 valid customer complaints per year, as determined by the supervisor.
    27. 27. Let’s Hear from You! Poll 1: AlignmentWhat organizational documents do your managers use to align employee performance plans?
    28. 28. Let’s Hear from You! Poll 2: Monitoring How often do managers and employeesin your organization review and/or revise their performance plans?
    29. 29. Let’s Hear from You! Poll 3: AuditDo you as an HR practitioner audit the performance plans in your organization to ensure they are in compliance?
    30. 30. Questions? Ask the expert!Submit your questions in the chat window. S
    31. 31. Key Points (1 of 2)S The Planning phase sets the stage for the rest of the performance management process.S A well-written performance plan is a road map for the employee.S Involve the employee in the creation of the performance plan to increase ownership.
    32. 32. Key Points (2 of 2)S Critical elements are the cornerstone of an employee’s performance plan.S Unclear goals and misalignment can impede both individual and organizational performance.S The performance plan should be revised as necessary throughout the performance cycle.
    33. 33. Week 4 Assignments Attend Webinar ✓ Complete Readings o “The Performance Alchemist” (Blog Post) o “Learning Plans Are a Crutch and I’d Rather Learn Without One” (Blog Post) o “Crowdsource Your Performance Reviews” (Blog Post) Engage in Group Discussion (Thursday, March 21 at 2p ET) Submit Reflection to Class Partner by Friday COB Look for next week’s Email
    34. 34. Thank YouPlease send questions or course feedback S