Francis Maude calls for change to civil service performance management which would see bosses give staff individual rankings

Written by Jess Bowie on 29 April 2015 in News

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude tells CSW that performance management should move from a system where managers categorise set proportions of staff as performing well, acceptably and poorly to one where employees are individually ranked best to worst

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has called for a change to civil service performance management to stop Whitehall bosses from gaming the system.

Under the current model – introduced in April 2013 – managers are strongly encouraged to rank 10% of their staff as poor performers, 65% as middling and 25% as performing well.

It has been claimed, however, that some managers are subverting the system of distribution by putting only the newest employees – or those about to leave – in the bottom 10%.

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In an exclusive interview with CSW, to be published in full later this week, Maude said that while he had seen an improvement in bosses’ “gaming” of the distribution of the bottom 10%, the system should be further changed to make this less likely.  

“I think it has improved, but we’re nowhere near right. What you should probably do is move to a forced ranking, so not just a forced distribution. So you actually say: 'What order are people?' And then you avoid some of the gaming,” he said.

Maude told CSW he had been warned when the system was introduced that it was open to manipulation.

“I remember one of the trade union leaders said to me: ‘This will be gamed, because managers will immediately put anyone who is leaving within a year into the bottom box, [along with] anyone who has been newly promoted.’ People just need to be grown up about this, it’s not a game," he said.

Maude said he believed every organisation in the world should be looking at how to improve the performance of the bottom performing 10%.

"There are some who take a view that you should just get rid of the bottom 10%. I don’t think that’s right. The first step you should take is to coach and support them to improve their performance, and if that doesn’t work then you should be parting company, because they’re probably not doing the right thing either for them or for the country," he said.

While a 2012 CSW survey showed that civil servants generally want a tougher approach to performance management – particularly for identifying and supporting poor performers – the current model has proved controversial. Last year, a blog post about the system by the then civil service head Bob Kerslake prompted hundreds of angry comments from officials who said it was “unfair” and “divisive”.  

As CSW pointed out at the time, commenters weren’t against the principle of strengthening performance management, rather the perceived requirement that 10% of staff be designated as poor performers.

Responding to Maude’s comments, FDA general secretary Dave Penman said forced distribution was “already one of the most divisive and widely criticised aspects of the performance management system".

“Bureaucratic, opaque and almost unchallengeable, it ticks the ministerial box of identifying a quantifiable number of poor performers, but ask managers who have to administer it, or staff who want to challenge it, and you may get a different response," he added.

“Any system that measures performance in a way that can result in individuals achieving all objectives set of them and more, but still finding themselves in the bottom 10% as a result of being anonymously ranked against individuals doing very different jobs for different managers, should in itself be consigned to the ‘must improve' category."

Addressing Maude’s suggestion for a new system of individual rankings, Penman said: "The idea that this would be developed to individual rankings would only intensify the bureaucracy, resentment and challenge already inherent in the current system. Quite how this will improve team working and morale is beyond me."

You can read CSW's full interview with Francis Maude online nowSign up for our free daily e-mail bulletin here

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SB (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 10:20
Yet again tinkering with the appraisal system will mean that inherent discrimination will start to rear it's ugly head. It's always the BAME who are the first target for the poor performance, as they are the easiest and the weakest to pick on.

G (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 12:08
Seriously? i tihnk you'll find that it's much easier to target white males, since they can't claim any kind of discrimination.

Terence (not verified)

Submitted on 1 May, 2015 - 11:57
"Seriously? i tihnk you'll find that it's much easier to target white males, since they can't claim any kind of discrimination" I think you will find that the Equality Act provides white males such protection , in the event that there is evidence of unlawful discrimination. In practice, judging from recent results you may find that being a white does not make you particularly at risk of an adverse result , but being male, BAME, disabled, part-time, or over 54 does.

Elle (not verified)

Submitted on 5 May, 2015 - 07:21
Keith, Terence and SB - I don't think this debate should be turned into something that pitches colleague against colleague........let's leave that to the process suggested by Mr Maude. The current system is flawed, as is every system I've seen introduced in my 30+ years. what's interesting is the extent as to how flawed a system can be - yet we are still required to operate it (cottage industry comments noted!). To me, the fact that we do operate a curve and yet blur its 'mandatory' application is devisive in itself. As for a perfect system I don't think it exists and we'll see another tweak or new approach a few years down the line. Oh and one more thing, I was a must improve. Didn't see it coming. Clearly discussed openly at a meeting (no anonymity) and found lacking In something, still unsure as to what. And for the record, I'm a single white female, no disabilities, and under 54!

Jonathan Burg (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 11:26
isnt forced distribution illegal? PMS should rate people against a yardstick for their own role and periodic objectives and consider them against that measure of success, somebody who meets all objectives and carries out their rule with no derailers should be accepted as performing to standard, somebody who carries out their role but only some objectives or some areas of underperformance should be measured accordingly, and somebody who achieves everything in their role and goals plus a but, recognised as better or exceptional. Forced distribution and the very act of encouraging managers to rank into percentiles is not only unjust, but probably illegal. The role and objectives, with measures, forn a binding contract with the individual , so without evidence of underperformance against the defined standards, the employer risks challenge or non-participation. it also incentives managers to simply manufacturer evidence if weakness of they are under pressure to achieve a group score distribution. What would make sense is to provide individual local measurement, as to how people performed against predefined expectations - which everybody could fail or succeed at, on individual consideration - as well as using value measures which allow you to rank the best and worst in line with macro or group objectives, and collective performance. In this way, roles which perform well but produce little could slip down, on the relative scoring, and incentivise people to adjust. Staff would quicker find out if productive work was happening, or just frantic activity and replay accordingly. Grading people that way help them make sure over time that their work still has a consequence for the organisation as a whole. PMS is about increasing organisational value, not demotivating your staff. The idea that everybody can do their job but managers should then assign a fixed percentage as worst or best performers is simply naive.

Kenton Sussex (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 12:59
The whole (current) appraisal system is currently severely flawed and open to individual interpretation of the marking criteria. It is not fair and the concept of mandated performance criteria is unhelpful at best. As a RO for a number of staff I would love to tot-up the amount of time and effort I have expended in support of this process, all of which stops me from doing what I am actually employed to do - In effect the performance process is directly hindering my performance!

tom kelvedon (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 13:18
For someone who claims that public service is in his DNA, this shows a jaw-dropping ignorance about those civil servants who perhaps do actually have a calling to public service (and who, just by the by, have through pay cuts and increased pension contributions contributed £12 bn or probably more to this Government's ideologically-driven decimation of the public sector - sorry - 'hard decisions on public spending'.

Tom (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 13:28
Isn't it about time the performance system we have was scrapped and a much fairer system brought in? We have, for years been arguing about managers being pressured to put people in the bottom box and this new idea will only add fuel to the fire. For all the trouble it causes the whole system should be scrapped and the annual bonus should be worked out as follows: 100 workers, £100 overall bonus fund = £1 each regardless of grade no arguments, no fighting and in terms of savings ... this would be £ millions in not having managers taken away for weeks sitting on moderating panels and not having to follow up on and dedicate senior resource to the resolution of grievances etc. The only ones who don't get the bonus are those who are undergoing some kind of formal disciplinary procedure and quite rightly they get nothing.

C Hughes (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 13:33
While I see that we must have an Appraisal system and rightly so I feel it should br a true reflection of a persons worth . I cannot see how individually ranking staff is motivating or encouraging for the majority of people. While as a service we are moving forward with digitalisation into the 21st Century to bring in such a beurocratic Appraisal system would to my mind be a step backwards. Staff are in the main very aware of their strentghs and areas for improvement and should be if monthly 1 to 1's are being conducted correctly and openly. I think most staff have an issue with the enforced curve , a statistician will tell you that this is an indicative curve like all % it is not an exact science. I in some part agree with Francis Maude that games can be played but in my experience both myself and other managers are aware of poor performers and work diligently to improve that performance in most instances the bar is raised, the problem is we are raising the standards across all of our teams which means the lowest performers in reality will always be the lowest performers even when we raise their game ! I for one do not subscribe to the newly promoted or those leaving being the Must Improve if that mark is warranted it is given. Maybe its time to re think the whole Kit and Caboodle of Appraisals to look at what we are trying to achieve how we motivate staff to be the best and add value surely that is what it is all about .

SBR (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 14:16
The appraisal system is already massively bureaucratic, unfair and expensive to run. Let's not forget that the tax payer pays for this charade. A strong reality check is required by senior management.

MB (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 14:23
As if it's not bad enough being wrongly described as a 'must improve' let me assure Dave Penman that the bottom 10% are not ranked anonymously. Every moderating meeting I've attended has openly discussed their bottom players by name, often resulting in other managers forming a biased opinion of that person when the manager may have consciously decided to omit the positive behaviours, concentrating on the negatives to justify the 'must improver' they 'need' to satisfy the distribution curve. I have seen this system ruin the career of people who were originally very strong performers but had the extra mile knocked out of them due to being awarded a box three.

Billy D

Submitted on 2 May, 2015 - 08:45
I am indeed one of those people who were originally very strong performers but had the extra mile knocked out of them due to being awarded a recent poor performance. It has totally removed any emotional attachment I have with my organisation BIS for a number of reasons. - the imprecise nature of the markings. Anybody who tries to calibrate different people doing different jobs in different locations is a fool. -it is not a level playing field. People in the big offices are afforded big advantages in terms of training and the opportunity to move to other jobs The big bullying the small is only to apparent in downsizing - the so called enhanced development for the bottom 10% is largely symbolic rather than real - unconscious bias is only to prevalent. The company's own survey findings reveal this. If you are old, working class and have any ounce of self-deprecation run for the hills - the very fact of being placed in the bottom 10% not only damns you in the present but also the future. Your credit rating is ruined. Every day I wake up feeling bitter that my 30 year service has been resigned to the scrap heap because of the actions of over zealous senior managers looking to force the distribution. My emotional attachment has gone and I have no desire anymore in BIS to go the extra mile. It reminds me of my school days when I was doing well but still came bottom. It demoralised me and my performance went down. The PM system does the same. I see people getting box 1s who do much less than me. The positive side for me is that it has encouraged me to think about other avenues of employment. This isnt because I cant do my current job but b because i'm not sure ethically I can work for an organisation like this. As for Maude, I don't have enough bad words to say about him. Somebody causing untold damage just so he can impose his neo-liberal views on his little plaything the Civil Service. But then his views may have credence among the top managers who seem increasingly to come from the same background.

HDD (not verified)

Submitted on 5 May, 2015 - 21:08
Spot on, Billy D. My work was and still is described as excellent but because of my Aspergers I got a 'must improve' on behaviours for having had occasional meltdowns caused by trying to work in conditions which even senior management conceded were unacceptable at times. Once you're in that bracket there appears to be little or no hope of escape. I am dedicated to doing my job properly but even if I came up with some fantastic new idea to increase tax yield, I would still get a bottom marking. Where is the logic and reasoning behind that? There is none, and I have zero faith in the system as a result. There is a total failure to follow basic statistical procedures in any of this, whether through wilful ignorance or incompetence I can't say. Look up 'Forrester Wave' and then find the methodology behind it; we follow the chart but not the methodology for constructing it. It makes me even angrier that there will be staff elsewhere who do half what I do and sit at their desk picking their nose all day yet who will have an 'achieved' under this insane system. As you say, there is far too much variation in levels of job complexity, not to mention working conditions, none of which is taken into account. Furthermore, with the lack of properly defined statistical parameters it is simply not possible to definitively say that anyone is within the bottom 10% in a department, which makes me question the legality of it given that they appear determined to render people unemployable elsewhere, presumably out of spite as I cannot think of any other reason. The whole thing is an utter disgrace and so vague it would be regarded as disreputable in an academic field. What I think of Maude is unprintable, and I say that as an ex-Conservative. Ultimately the general public will also suffer from what is being done to the Civil Service thanks to the damage he is causing but he knows he is untouchable so probably doesn't care.

DC (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 14:42
Dave Penman is correct, the PMR process has become at cottage industry at what cost to the taxpayer? I have seen no evidence that the system actually drives the correct behaviour. The system still allows managers not to comply with the process i.e. no objectives set at the start of the year, no regular reviews. The worst culprits are senior civil servants. The system allows individuals to be categorised not on their performance but it is predominantly based on relationships between the manager and their staff (good and bad) and how effective their managers are at promoting their staff achievements. The stronger the manager’s personality the more chance there staff will benefit from better scores. Until the Civil Service address the basics of performance management, no system is going to work. We need to stop creating tick box processes that add no value and properly embrace performance management through clear objectives and stretching targets.

Astounded of Luton (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 14:52
Amazing! Last year we had forced distribution done to us based upon the alphabet in my department. How can Francis think that creating more targets will reduce 'gaming' behaviour!? Targets create 'gaming' behaviour. I'm unsure how he thinks that forcing 10% of the workforce into the lower box will benefit anything/one. Strong performers who work in an outstanding team will be consigned to the rubish box. This process doesnt fit with the competency framework and should be stopped.

Anonymous (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 14:53
I concur SB, the BAME are the first target. No matter how much work BAME puts in, they are still at the receiving end!

SK (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 15:19
Another comment to demonstrate how out of touch managers at the highest level are. Happy new PMR year!!

Had Enough (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 15:56
As already noted, it's an appaling and DIVISIVE system. It comes down to a manager's integrity when representing staff - few managers these days seem to have the necessary degree of authenticity to represent their staff in the full round, when set against peer managers doing the same. I fully agree with the comments that because peer managers are present at the moderation meetings, then they may unfairly form an unbiased view on those individuals who, either known to them or not, end up in the bottom or towards the bottom. It also takes up so much resource and time. How can we justify that in terms of loss productivity? And yes, the morale of those who are in the bottom is, in my exposure, massively affected. It almost seems cruel.

Keith (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 16:47
If Maude is being honest: that we already operate a "forced distribution", then our departmental senior management has been telling porkies to thousands of staff for some time. Scandalously, large amounts of HR guidance, training modules and key messages churned out by the HR/PMR industry are exposed as redundant. As for "forced ranking"- this will ratchet up all the worst and wasteful aspects of the current system and do nothing more to actually address poor performance where it lies.

Poacher (not verified)

Submitted on 29 April, 2015 - 19:42
This proposal would end team and collaborative working.

Steve (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 09:50
Spot on. Do the same in a football team and watch team members tackling each other to try to impress the manager. That manager would probably criticise the goalkeeper for not scoring enough goals! The people who come up with these ideas are not idiots. They know the actual result this will cause, and it's not improvements in performance - it's demoralisation, chaos, voluntary retirements, and reductions in staff numbers. Aaah. It's all clear now.

R E Former (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 08:08
If it is such a good idea, why dont we start using it for Westminster. MPs could be rated on their attendance, performance etc and a league table published of MPs rankings.

18 years as civ... (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 08:32
Stunning naiviety by Maude - so in an organisation like DWP (c. 70,000 people) or HMRC (c.60,000) people we want to individually rank people from 1 to 70,000 or 60,000? One of the issues for Ministers - and in fairness this applies to Maude less than others - is that their experience of running large organisations with thousands of people is very, very little and you can tell. PMR is embedding now and beginning to work where I am so leave alone for a while....

SEB (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 08:40
Current system is demotivating, completely and utterly subjective, and bureaucratic - and when my department tried to actually rank people using necessarily subjective judgements it wasted even more time and effort, trying to separate people doing very different jobs with a cigarette paper. Perhaps it is aimed at tying up the civil service in knots so that FM can argue we're not doing anything useful and everything should be privatised. However, I've not seen any evidence to show that BAME are the first target - so any system should be challenged on what is truly wrong with it (as above) rather than the usual knee-jerk diversity objections.

Terence (not verified)

Submitted on 13 May, 2015 - 05:31
BAME's being the first target would be inaccurate, but as a group there is evidence to suggest are finding PMR particularly detrimental nonetheless, as do other discrete groups. This data from Prospect magazine provides a fair summary. BAME civil servants account for 27% of the lowest performance category, but make up around 10% of the workforce 30% of disabled staff in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills received the lowest performance rating compared to 17% of non-disabled staff and those who did not declare their status 12% of staff aged over 50 in the Department for Communities and Local Government received the lowest performance rating compared to just 7% of their younger colleagues. This report also gives a fuller picture of how BAME are affected by PMR and explores the reasons behind the apparent disparities.

SA (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 10:18
I never understood the logic of 10% and agree it's always the BAMEs who suffer the consequences of tinkering and 'bulb light' thinking.

Peter Drummond (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 11:17
By manipulating box markings and playing a numbers game we are finding that the same individuals working in the percieved silky projects are rewarded and the hard working individuals in lesser noticeable projects get lip service at their PAR. I feel we should do away with box markings and agree with individual ranking, this identifies the best and worst performers. I also believe that individual special bonus should be retained and the top 25% bonus removed completely. This would obviously be unpopular to 25% of the staff, however, 75% of staff will not be de-motivated by what they percieve as unjust markings.

Richard Hazell (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 12:37
Typical Civil Service: micromanagement of those trying to deliver actual outcomes for the public; activity creation on an industrial scale solely to enable those at the top to say to ministers "something has been done"; and an unequivocal demonstration that those at the front line cannot be trusted to run their own offices.

G (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 12:55
As someone else noted: Targets create a system to be gamed. Any target-based system ends up with perverse incentives. Maude's proposal makes no difference to the gaming he describes - manager will still just rank leavers at the bottom. It's silly. Right now we have a system for the non-SCS that is a guided distribution - but is actually a forced distribution in all but name. Managers are told they have percentages to hit... there's nothing guided about it. It's dishonest, unfair and it encouages poor behaviour from both managers (spend the year looking for reasons to put someone in 'must improve' to hit your quota) and their staff (knifing others in the back). Private companies dropped it because of these reasons and because their staff spent more time on their rankings than working. Madness. I'm all for taking a tough line on performance but stack ranking isn't the way to do it.

How fied? (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 14:00
People, people! Why the complaints? You're working in the Civil Service. If you were a boxer you'd have to deal with having your face bashed in. If you were a car mechanic you'd have to deal with engines. As you're civil servants you have to deal with hair-brained ideas, absurd bureaucracy and amateurism. That's the way it's always been and it's no good saying that it shouldn't be. Comedians have forged whole careers writing about it.

HDD (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 14:44
Appalled but not surprised. Maude is not naive, far from it, he knows exactly what he's doing; the aim is to drive people out and get rid of others deemed not to be good enough regardless of the facts. Trying to cope with Asperger Syndrome under PMR is difficult enough as it is as behaviours are particularly targeted, regardless of the fact the same condition means that there are some aspects of my job I am particularly good at. Of course, Aspies are only fit to be thrown on the scrapheap, aren't they!!!

B (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 15:41
This sounds like Primary School. I was 2nd in my year at Maths and hated the person who was 1st. I can't imagine whoever came out 50th in the year was that motivated to become 49th. Sadly many Civil Servants, who have been working with the same group of people for years, still have a Primary School mentality towards their colleagues - so this would create resentment rather than motivation. Plus an average performer will still be penalized if they happen to be in a team of strong performers. The current process is absurd as standard deviations apply across large populations and not teams of a dozen people. This proposal is worse than absurd.

Turbotroll (not verified)

Submitted on 30 April, 2015 - 18:05
The path of PMR is beset on all sides by the common sense of working men. Blessed is he who, in the name of PMR, destroys the weak in the valley of bureaucracy. For he is truly Excom's keeper and the finder of £20,000 bonuses. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy PMR. And you will know I am the Maude when I lay my vengeance upon you.

Miles Nelson (not verified)

Submitted on 1 May, 2015 - 07:37
Let us hope that Maude moves on to something more suited to his talents before he wrecks Civil Service morale utterly. He has no clue about managing or motivating people. If there are about 32 ministers, I rank him 32nd.

AK (not verified)

Submitted on 1 May, 2015 - 08:54
Oh here we go again,,, Ranking in Reports,, so the way we are promoted will be looked at also?,,, As guess what, this is how the military are graded,,, they are ranked within their peer group,,,,,, but that goes towards them getting promoted,,, Morale is at an all time low, don't throw anymore rubbish into the pot, without rectifying what is out there already or you are prepared to change the promotion system along with the reporting system.

John (not verified)

Submitted on 6 May, 2015 - 12:08
At least, by saying "What you should probably do is move to a forced ranking, so not just a forced distribution." he has tacitly accepted that it is a forced distribution; something that has been denied thus far.

Denise Walters (not verified)

Submitted on 6 May, 2015 - 19:20
I have been a loyal over achieving civil servant for 36 plus yrs. Ive had my pay, conditions and pension erroded year on year despite my every effort to represent value for money in the eye of the tax payer. I give more each and every day than anyone I know in the private sector. No one from outside industry would put up with the stress of being a member6 of DWP than some of us do. We get no recognition, no reward, no acknowledgement for dealing with those within our society that can be most difficult to deal with. I currently do my managers job and my own. I have done so for yrs now for very little financial reward. On fraud I currently also have to deal with and organise the migration of council staff that have and will continue to be on better pay and condititions than I have ever encountered. Im sick of running the show at my area level for nothing. Its time civil servants who perform were rewarded. Im not an advocate for all civil servants. Dint get me wrong. Many are overpaid. Many are under performers but when you pay peanuts you get only monkeys so thats a no brainer really. But there are few....that are worth their weight in gold. We should not all be tarred with the same brush. We deserve better. If it causes misgivings amongst the rest if us ...tough. Get in my shoes for a while...see how you cope and we'll compare notes and stress levels honestly!!!!!

JC (not verified)

Submitted on 6 May, 2015 - 23:59
I have recently witnessed some decent, hard-working staff totally distraught at suddenly finding themselves in the Lower 10%. As an employer that prides itself on 'equality' and 'fairness' the current Performance Management regime is a worst case example of corporate bullying. Scrap it now.

Scott T (not verified)

Submitted on 7 May, 2015 - 13:55
He's wrong. Evidence from companies including Yahoo and Deloittes show this will be counterproductive. I advocate a system of year round feedback and continuous improvement as an alternative to PMRs.

jd (not verified)

Submitted on 18 May, 2015 - 13:23
the current system is designed to pick the favourites or argumentative individuals for the exceed marking and must improve for the soft individuals who wont say boo to a goose. We are constantly reminded that the 10% is accross the wider department but in reality the ratio distibuted is 10% must improve 70% achieve and 20% exceed from each team. The current sysytem should be audited to determine that fair markings has been distributed. The validation of box marking is biased. The marking is validated by your own group when high percentage of markings are biased and unfair. The markings sjhould be validated by an independat group.

CG (not verified)

Submitted on 18 May, 2015 - 14:54
Sorry but this comment just appears to be sour grapes (?). The existing PMR process does appear to provide 'competition' between colleagues and the process is there to weed out the people who seem to be coasting along and not interested in devleoping themselves or the business. Too many colleagues expect to recevie exceed or achieve markings when in reality they have not proved themselves at all.

Teence (not verified)

Submitted on 27 May, 2015 - 04:30
"Sorry but this comment just appears to be sour grapes (?). The existing PMR process does appear to provide 'competition' between colleagues and the process is there to weed out the people who seem to be coasting along and not interested in devleoping themselves or the business. Too many colleagues expect to recevie exceed or achieve markings when in reality they have not proved themselves at all." As the great majority of staff have fairly modest, routine jobs, following standardized processes why is there a business need to introduce "competition" ? The argument for doing so should be based on an obvious business need, not dogma.

cassandra (not verified)

Submitted on 2 July, 2015 - 13:57
Of course the real fly in the ointment for these lofty schemes is that the process of ranking is a load of rubbish, and the assessments are amateurish, biased and discriminatory. And actually, figures demonstrate that older workers, whatever their other characteristics, get the bum end of the process to a degree which knocks all other groups into the shade

Jayne (not verified)

Submitted on 16 July, 2015 - 20:32
As a manager I find the process overly bureaucratic. I spend over 20% of my time on this process. I engenders parochialism and does very little to motivate. It is one of the greatest disengaging factors of civil servants. Little focus is spent on reaching 20% exceeded in comparison to the inordinate amount of time looking for minor flaws to knock someone into Must Improve. I have been a civil servant for 30 years. I have never known this level of discontent with a process. Furthermore there is an inconsistent approach within and across departments. Either bin it or drastically change it to become an engaging process that drives performance not bashes it.

Stephen Mooney (not verified)

Submitted on 12 January, 2016 - 09:01
This new marking system does not take in to account peoples individual medical history with their disabilities so they are capabil to perform at the required standards. Line managers are not taking this in to account why ?

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