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Department of Premier and Cabinet

Chapter 3 – Improving Performance Management Systems & Practices


Providing people with development opportunities supports employee engagement and is a strong contributor to productivity. At the individual level, providing new development opportunities for employees allows them to acquire new skills and knowledge. At the organisational level, investing in groups of employees, such as work groups and sections, is important in order to increase productivity and achieve organisational goals.

There is strong emphasis across the State Service agencies on improving performance reviews, performance improvement plans and related training and development activities.

In 2014-15, agencies undertook monitoring, review or evaluation of their current systems, practices and training frameworks. A number of agencies prioritised improving performance through focusing on capability identification in their organisation to better prepare the State Service to meet future challenges and provide professional and quality services to the Tasmanian community.

Agencies are also improving their performance management systems and practices through initiatives like renewing or issuing guidelines, and supporting managers to improve their recording of performance management. Communication about performance management has also been prioritised by a number of agencies, such as information sharing through news items, specific intranet sites, emails, newsletters, division/section meetings, and at induction and orientation sessions.

16 Agencies indicated that during 2014-15 almost 16 000 employees and officers had participated in a performance management review.

Performance Management Participation

Performance Management Participation

Number of Agencies/Authorities

Participation percentage


Less than 20 per cent


Between 60 and 76 per cent


Between 80 and 87 per cent


Between 90 and 95 per cent


100 per cent

Over 950 managers/supervisors participated in agency-specific performance management training during the reporting period. Comments provided by agencies indicated that this was part of the induction/orientation processes, and that individuals could seek further support, advice or training if required. It would also appear that there are different requirements across agencies regarding the frequency of such training. However, in most agencies, support for managers and supervisors is available in a one-to-one setting and includes mentoring, coaching, and the provision of toolkits, guides and templates.

Two Agencies were not able to report on the number and percentage of the total number of employees who had participated in a formal performance management review, as the numbers were not centrally recorded.

The People Matter Survey results indicate that 80 per cent of survey respondents have received both formal and informal feedback on their individual performance. Results to other questions about performance management indicate that further work is required to support employees understand how performance management helps them to identify and understand their own work priorities, and the link between their performance plan and what that they actually do/experience during the year.

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are designed to assist employees to gain skills, knowledge or experience to allow them to work effectively. This may also include training, supervision or peer support, task training and the setting of key performance criteria. Nine Agencies reported that a total of 33 PIPs were in place during the reporting period compared with 29 in 2013-14. In addition, in 2014-15 31 PIPs had been completed (across eight Agencies), compared with 50 the previous year. These results show that PIPs continue to be a useful and valuable tool for agencies to support their employees to achieve their potential in the State Service.

Other work that has been undertaken to support this priority area includes the efforts of The Training Consortium (TTC) and the work of the HR Integration Project.

In 2014-15, TTC continued to provide sector training that supports better performance management, such as the ‘Managing People and Performance’ course. In addition, the continued work and development on the HR Integration Project will extend the effectiveness and efficacy of performance management systems and processes. The specifications for a new performance management module were approved during the year, and it is anticipated it will be tested in late 2015. This module will support agencies by improving recording of performance management meetings, key milestones and outcomes, as well as reporting of individuals and groups’ training and development needs.

To build on these achievements, SSMO will continue to work with agencies to support their management of performance management, as well as their recording, and reporting on progress.

Employment Direction No. 26 - Managing Performance in the State Service requires agencies to implement a formal system of performance management and appropriate reporting frameworks. The purpose of this Direction is:

  • to emphasise that effective performance and managing for performance are critical for the State Service workforce to deliver quality services for Tasmanians;
  • to outline the performance management roles, responsibilities, administrative requirements and accountabilities of Heads of Agency, managers and employees; and
  • to ensure Performance Management Systems in the State Service are based on regular constructive feedback, support a clear link between the performance and development of individual employees, and achieve business requirements and other workforce management practices.


Continue reading:  Chapter 4 – Improving Workforce Data Collections – Development and Reporting