Performance management program for employees

What is performance management?

Performance management is a tool for improving the work performance and productivity of individuals, teams and organizations. It is increasingly important in the public sector in responding to budgetary and fiscal pressures, increasing demands for public services, and the need for more transparency in reporting on the use of government funds.

Its proper implementation in the public service can help build and maintain trust between employer and employee, and create conditions to allow all employees to maximize their contributions and provide world-class service to Canadians.

The Directive on Performance Management sets out the responsibilities of heads of human resources regarding the administration of a consistent, equitable and rigorous approach to performance management across the core public administration.

The focal point of performance management is the performance agreement, which spells out the work expectations for each employee.

The performance management annual cycle

Performance management is an ongoing process that involves planning, developing, coaching, providing feedback and evaluating employee performance. The process must meet the requirements of the Directive on Official Languages for People Management.

Some performance management requirements are time-specific:

  • At the beginning of the fiscal year, when performance expectations are established;
  • At mid-year, when performance is reviewed; and
  • By year-end, when performance is assessed.

Other requirements are ongoing and apply to activities throughout the year and for employees on probation.

Figure 1. Performance Management Annual Cycle
Performance Management Annual Cycle. Text version below:
Figure 1 – Text version

This figure depicts the performance management cycle. It is described in four boxes: three boxes in a row from left to right represent the key time periods in the cycle, and a fourth box, underneath, represents ongoing activities.

The box on the left side of the row, labelled “At beginning of year,” contains the following statements:

  • “Employees’ work objectives and learning and development plans are set or updated for the forthcoming fiscal year, and performance agreement is signed”; and
  • “Manager develops a talent management plan or performance improvement plan with employee if applicable.”

An arrow points from the first box to the second.

The box in the middle of the row, labelled “At mid-year,” contains three statements:

  • “Manager reviews the employee’s progress in achieving work objectives and competencies, provides feedback, and adjusts performance agreement if required or performance improvement plan if one exists”;
  • “Employee identifies any issues affecting their performance”; and
  • “Manager reviews learning and development plan with employee and updates it if required.”

An arrow points from the second box to the third.

The third box, on the right, is labelled “By year-end.” It contains the following statement:

  • “Manager conducts formal year-end assessment and rates employee’s performance.”

The fourth box, below the other three, contains the following statement:

  • “Continuous feedback and coaching, employee recognition, performance development through the employee’s learning and development plan, and development of performance improvement plan if required.”

A two-headed arrow runs from left to right under the fourth box, indicating that the activities identified in the statement occur throughout the performance management cycle.

If you are an employee of the public service, more information on the performance management program for employees is available on the GCintranet (accessible only on the Government of Canada network). If you are not an employee of the public service and have questions about this program, contact TBS Public Enquiries.

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