By Patrick Stewart, Head of Employment.
I see that the Government is proposing to introduce new measures to improve performance within the Civil Service. The plan is to introduce ratings of performance to identify those who fall behind and then to exercise more rigorous performance management processes to deal with underperforming staff, ultimately by dismissal.
Whilst the introduction of systems to address underperformance is always welcome as it should in theory increase efficiency, there are two issues to my mind.
Firstly, the aim must be to improve performance, not create a means to dismiss employees.
Secondly, the system is only as good as the managers who run it. Sadly, my experience is that managers often fight shy of the confrontation which addressing underperformance raises - in effect conspiring with the employee to mask underperformance.
On balance, however, the introduction of better performance is to be welcomed - welcome to the real world, Sir Humphrey!