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DWP People Performance 2011: Objectives, Competencies and Discussions 22/02/2011

Posted by pcsdwpsheffield in Uncategorized.
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Republished from national DWP briefing 
Department for Work & Pensions Group

 To:  All Members in DWP, GEC
14 February 2011
 DWP/MB/12/11

Start of the Year Process
The People Performance year for, members in DWP, starts from 1 April 2011. Objectives and competencies should be agreed by end of April 2011.
The full People Performance Policy, Procedure and Advice are published on the DWP Intranet Human Resources site.
At the initial performance discussion, the manager and the employee should:
• Agree objectives and competencies
• Agree the personal development needs of the employee and update the development plan
• Agree the number and timing of performance discussions that will take place throughout the year, these must be quarterly as a minimum
• Record what has been agreed on appropriate forms.
Managers should also explain what the “Wholly Exceptional” criteria (Procedure 7.5) will mean in the employee’s own work context.

SSMART  Objectives
The employee and their manager will agree who will be responsible for preparing the first draft of objectives. If employees choose not to, then managers should set appropriate objectives for the employee. The manager will be responsible for ensuring that the objectives

are relevant to the job role, SSMART (Stretching, Specific, Measurable, Achievable & Agreed, Relevant, Timebound), and written using simple language about what is expected.  A “SSMART Checklist” is provided for further help on this area. (Procedure 2.1)

No more than six SSMART objectives (and a minimum of two) will be recorded at any one time, as these are to be reviewed at each performance discussion and updated whenever significant changes occur  (Procedure 2.3).

Competencies
There are six competency areas in the DWP competency framework. One of these is Delivering a Professional Service which is broken down into different professional areas. 
The manager and employee will agree which competencies are most relevant to the employee’s job role. (Procedure 2.4 – 2.7)

Performance Discussions
Performance discussions are vital to ensure that employees are aware of how they are performing against their objectives and competencies.
There is no laid down structure for the performance discussion, they can be as long or short as necessary. They may take the form of a conversation about work matters where new plans are made, objectives reviewed and feedback given on past work. (Procedure 3.3)
Generic Objectives
DWP targets or generic objectives should not be automatically set as work objectives.    Individual factors such as experience,       knowledge, any reasonable adjustments needed and working pattern must be taken into account. (Procedure 2.8 & 2.9 / Advice 4)

Stretching but Achievable
Stretching objectives are qualified by the SSMART criteria expectation for all objectives to be achievable and agreed.

Numerical Targets
Numerical targets which are not within the employee’s personal control should be opposed. Objectives must be within the employee’s capability.

Attendance Objectives
DWP has accepted that numeric targets for attendance are not within the active control of the individual and are therefore not necessarily achievable.
An attendance objective should, if used, only expect compliance with processes, application of policy and an understanding and commitment to overall business targets.

Team Work
Numerical targets should be qualified by the need for team work and recognise the individual is expected to make a contribution towards the achievement of a target. An example of an acceptable work objective would be: to accurately determine entitlement to new claims to benefit and to make an effective contribution towards the new claims clearance times of X days, as in the unit business plan.

Disability and Objectives
Disabled people must have objectives set which provide the same opportunity to meet or exceed objectives as any other employee. Reasonable adjustments must be made for their disability if that affects their performance.  (Procedure 2.11 & Advice 5).

Part Time Workers
Part time staff must have the time taken for learning, reading and keeping up to date etc. taken into account, for example, a member of staff working half the hours of a full time member of staff should expect to have objectives set at less than half that of the full timer to allow for these activitities.
(Procedure 2.12 & Advice 5)

Use Grievance Rights
Use the DWP Grievance Procedures to oppose unacceptable Objectives / People Performance problems or decisions which give cause for concern. (Procedure 8.32).

Employees have a right to a grievance hearing and the right to be accompanied by a Trade Union Representative.
 
Further PCS guidance for People Performance will be issued first on the Union website www.pcs.org.uk/dwp
DAVID BURKE
Group Assistant Secretary

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