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Performance Management Reference Materials

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GSA Rewards Exemplary Performance Management Practices

Effective performance management practices were recently recognized and rewarded by the General Services Administration (GSA). During a performance management seminar held by GSA's National Capital Region, Tom Sherman, Acting Regional Administrator, gave awards to four of the Region's supervisors for demonstrating exemplary performance management practices. Award winners John Fitchell, Bob Goodman, Joe Schu, and Andrea Mones-O'Hara were nominated by their employees through the Region's e-mail system in response to Sherman's request for examples of good performance practices in the Region. Employees responded with specific examples of practices that they felt demonstrated an effective approach to performance management and improvement. (And using e-mail made this process easy and efficient!)

Effective Performance Management Practices

Some of the practices that the Region's employees described as effective included the following:

  • Involved Employees. Employees liked working as partners in creating critical elements. This improved employee "buy-in" and also gave them an opportunity to discuss priorities, activities not specifically addressed in the performance plan, and the training or development time needed to accomplish new tasks included in the performance plan.
  • Focused on Goals. Employees and supervisors talked about what was accomplished in the previous year and then discussed what they would like to accomplish in the upcoming year for work objectives as well as personal development. This goal-oriented approach focused on change, growth, and the management of future performance.
  • Developed Specific Plans. Employees expressed strong preference for performance plans that were specific to their work assignments. They preferred plans that addressed specialized functions assigned to them so that their work on these functions can be acknowledged and appraised.
  • Remained Flexible. Performance plans worked best when they were flexible so that as priorities or work assignments changed, performance plans changed as well.
  • Provided Feedback Often. Employees liked to know how they were doing in order to improve their performance. Supervisors and employees took full advantage of the progress review process to clarify goals, correct misunderstandings, and reaffirm priorities.

By recognizing supervisors for effective performance management practices, GSA is fostering a performance-oriented environment and strengthening its appraisal program.

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