170,000 Canadian officials to have their performance rated in March

By on 16/01/2015

More than 170,000 Canadian government officials will have their performance assessed as part of a mandatory process for the first time this March.

Following the Directive on Performance Management, which came into effect April 1 last year, a performance management process which has already been mandatory for the Canadian senior civil service, was extended to the rest of the government workforce, which is predominantly unionised.

Coleen Volk, deputy secretary for senior personnel, business transformation and renewal, to the Cabinet of the Privy Council Office, told Global Government Forum that “many of these employees may well have participated in a performance management process in the past; some managers did, some didn’t – it was sort of adhoc. But it is now mandatory.”

As part of the process, each official signs a performance agreement with his/her line manager and gets feedback on this as part of a mid-year review. At the end of the financial year, each official is then assessed against the agreed objectives and ascribed a numerical rating.

Volk said that “March 31 this year will be the first time that many of our unionised workforce will be getting a performance review, so it’ll be an interesting spring and summer period as people work through that.”

Officials should not face any significant surprises on their ratings, because they would have had their mid-year review in which “you get a sense of what’s coming”, Volk said: “if you’re not used to getting constant feedback on your performance it’s a big change.”

The move has provoked negative reactions from unions and the media, according to Volk, who said they are “concerned that this is really more targeted at poor performance.”

But, she added that using performance management is “just a fundamental part of running an excellent business.”

For more information, read our full interview with Coleen Volk here

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World - the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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