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Staff Performance Management

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Practice Advice on Human Resource Management

Staff Performance Management (OECD)

Description: The use of performance assessments for individual staff, work groups and at the organisational level has been rolled out in order to strengthen incentives to improve performance. When used properly, performance assessments allow for the recognition of individual and collective efforts in an objective and transparent manner. Such practices also function to clarify organisational goals for staff so that they gain a better understanding of their role within the organisation and therefore how to best implement change and contribute towards strategic organisational objectives.

Commentary:  Performance incentives include career opportunities (such as promotions) and pay. Performance-related pay (PRP) in the form of bonuses or merit increases to basic pay has been used more frequently in recent years. PRP can vary according to the range of staff positions to which it applies, whether the targets and the incentives apply to individuals or to groups, the extent to which rankings are used, and the size of awards.

The index on performance assessment is composed of the following variables:

  • Existence of a formalised performance assessment;
  • Use of performance assessment tools (meetings with supervisors, frequency of meetings, written feedback, etc.);
  • Performance assessment criteria used;
  • The importance of good performance assessments for career advancement, remuneration, contract renewal on the same job/remaining in the same job and employment contract renewal in the public service.

The index on PRP is composed of the following variables:

  • The use of a PRP mechanism and for which staff categories;
  • The use of one-off bonuses and/or merit increments;
  • The maximum proportion of basic salary that PRP represents.

Both indexes range between 0 (no use) and 1 (high use). Missing data for countries were estimated by mean replacement. These indexes provide information on the formal use of performance assessments and PRP in central government, but do not provide any information on their implementation or on the quality of work performed by public servants.

Source: OECD (2011)  “Staff performance management”, in Government at a Glance 2011 at (accessed 13 November, 2012).

Page Created By: Matthew Seddon on 13 November 2012. Updated by Ian Clark on 2 January 2013. The content presented on this page is drawn directly from the source(s) named above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases of material drawn from it. The opinions expressed in the source and presented on this page do not necessarily reflect the official institutional positions of the organization responsible for the source’s publication.

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