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Performance development change in the Public Sector


We recent­ly host­ed a webi­nar which focussed on the chal­lenges pub­lic sec­tor organ­i­sa­tions face with per­for­mance, and we were lucky to have (among oth­ers) Leatham Green on the pan­el. Many of our cus­tomers and read­ers know Leatham: he runs the Pub­lic Ser­vices Peo­ple Man­agers Asso­ci­a­tion and has years of expe­ri­ence in senior peo­ple roles, includ­ing a long stint at East Sus­sex Coun­ty Council. 

As ever, Leatham got straight to the heart of the mat­ter. Here are three key tips we took from his talk. For more details, check out the link to the full webi­nar at the end. 

Good PM is com­mon sense

He con­trast­ed his life in HR with his pre­vi­ous incar­na­tion in the hos­pi­tal­i­ty indus­try, par­tic­u­lar­ly the sort of acci­den­tal­ly good’ per­for­mance man­age­ment that just makes great com­mon sense: reg­u­lar review of what’s worked and what hasn’t; clear feed­back and can­dour. It’s not about process and method­ol­o­gy so much as see­ing the human need that good PM plays to.

Old habits can die hard

Be sen­si­tive to the process of change. It’s nev­er help­ful to tell peo­ple they’re wrong in pur­su­ing the old ways of appraisal, forms and process. Leatham argues that phras­ing your desire for change in a pos­i­tive way — explain­ing that the old way of doing things may have been right at the time, but that now we have new tools that will deliv­er bet­ter out­comes — is an impor­tant way of bring­ing peo­ple along with you. 

Clar­i­ty is key

Being real­is­tic about the scope of what you do is vital for high per­for­mance. The high­est-per­form­ing indi­vid­u­als and teams have a real­ly clear focus on the key pri­or­i­ties that they need to deliv­er on to move things forward. 

There’s plen­ty more detail in the talk, plus some incred­i­bly lucid think­ing from Izzie Hur­rell of Basis, who led the imple­men­ta­tion of Clear Review per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware at Waltham For­est Coun­cil. And, of course, it’s all facil­i­tat­ed and held on course by our own Dan Anticich. 

Lis­ten to the webi­nar right here. We have a library of oth­er great webi­na­rs with thought lead­ers from across the HR sec­tor: have a browse here.

Is public sector performance management due an appraisal?