New Process: Performance Management


The organisation was based in Central Government and had an internal reputation for not having the “difficult conversations”, when it came to performance management.  Managers and Directors would typically opt to move staff around the organisation, which only moved the “problems” around to different areas of the organisation.

Furthermore, there was a great need/desire for the organisation to align itself to the wider civil service in general.  Therefore the review of talent management and what behaviours constitute leadership and how leadership is measured needed to be considered along with current government views on priorities.


  • Senior management performance did not have a rigorous assessment process and was seen as bonuses delivered based on “favouritism”
  • Due to the sensitivities of managing performance, many times the unions would be involved in individual cases, which had a high risk of publicity.
  • Needed to change the hearts and minds of the managers and directors in the benefits and priorities in managing performance effectively..
  • Needed to equip staff with the skills to have difficult conversations and in the new processes in short timescales.
  • Needed to quickly obtain Board agreement to align the leadership behaviours and skills with the wider civil service framework. Many of the Board members had helped create the current organisation leadership vision/behaviours.


A process was created in collaboration with the wider civil service learning networks that included a comprehensive development programme for identified talent.  This generated incentive for the managers to be involved as it would progress their careers and open opportunities that were previously unavailable to them.  The civil service framework was also mapped directly onto the organisation’s leadership framework, demonstrating to the Board the similarities in the frameworks (just a difference in language), which enabled them to easily adapt the “new” approach.  A series of workshops were also rolled out to include all managers and directors to ensure they all had the knowledge and skills to implement the new process into the immediate and existing timescales, to reduce disruption to workloads and work cycles.  Furthermore, there were monitoring groups established to ensure consistency of application and messaging.


  • A clear definition of what constitutes leadership within the organisation was established and measured
  • Clear development plans were implemented for managers that previously did not exist
  • There was full participation from the managers and directors leading to more effective management of performance and timescales were met by all 220 members
  • All budget constraints and restrictions were met within time of the existing organisational work cycles