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DATE: 17 June 2016
PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT IN PT OPERATIONS
Generic Performance Management Reports (PMR) issued to members without PCS agreement – Advice for members
PT Operations have this weeks issued generic PMRs across the business which have not been agreed with PCS. Official side (OS) shared a generic PMR with the Union’s PT Operations negotiators in the middle of May, and suggested a ‘face to face’ meeting would be desirable. PCS responded agreeing to a meeting and made a number of suggested amendments to the PMR, concurring that due to the number of amendments, a meeting would be the best way forward. OS then approached PCS for a meeting, giving us around three days’ notice for the suggested meeting date which PCS - due to prior commitments - were unable to attend. We did however, suggest some dates in the following week that we hoped were mutually convenient.
Without any attempt to set a further meeting or telephone conference, PCS were informed that OS intended to roll out the generic PMRs. Whilst the PMRs had been amended to include some of the changes requested by us they still contain many areas where PCS cannot agree, like the imposition of hard targets within the PMR. Some measures which we believe are unachievable and other measures which have been used to justify ‘Must Improve’ markings in the past.
Advice for Members
HR71004 states “the manager and jobholder are jointly responsible for making sure they discuss and agree objectives and that the jobholder understands their objectives”. Members should engage with this process and attempt to agree a PMR that it is achievable. To assist members with this the issued generic PMR has been amended to make it achievable. This is included at Appendix A of this briefing, and members are encouraged to use this PMR when setting their own objectives.
Members are encouraged to ensure that their objectives are achievable and fully under their own control. So we strongly advise members to:
- Not sign up for hard targets or KPI’s as these fluctuate at different times of the year depending on lines of business and various work pressures
- Ensure any reasonable adjustments you need which can affect your performance/behaviours are reflected in your PMR
- Not to agree any measure you do not have control over. For example don’t agree to be “widely recognised as a role model” if you don’t have opportunities outside your team to display this
- Remember that your recognised Trade Union is opposed to management’s ‘Building our Future’ plans; and ‘fully co-operating with the imminent or eventual closure of your office’ is not something you can or should have included in your report as an objective.
HR71004 also states “Every effort should be made to agree the objectives with the jobholder but, if disagreements cannot be resolved, the manager must make the final decision and set the objectives”. Where members are unable to agree reasonable and achievable objectives with their manager then a suggested letter has been supplied at Appendix B. Please complete the letter (which can be copied and pasted from the PCS website) and forward onto your manager to record alongside your PMR.
Members including those that are managers should remember that HR71004 tells us that “The manager is responsible for setting objectives with the jobholder at the start of the performance year” – as such no manager should feel obliged to impose hard targets.
HR71004 affirms that managers may still be expected to impose objectives on jobholders. Managers should feel under no obligation to impose any objectives or hard targets on members which are unreasonable, unfair or unachievable. Should managers come under pressure from their own manager to do this, please let PCS so that we can raise with OS centrally.
People engagement scores across HMRC and PT Operations in particular continue to be the lowest across the whole civil service. PCS believes, simply, that a happy workforce is generally the most productive workforce; and HMRC should be working with us to improve working conditions within the department. The way to an engaged workforce is not by issuing generic PMRs which are unacceptable to the recognised union; and it is certainly not productive to impose unrealistic, unachievable objectives which members have no control over.
Group Executive Committee
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