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Internet-Based Performance Management

Internet-Based Performance Management

Imagine a time when Federal employees accomplish each agency's mission by making full and appropriate use of every information technology tool."
Access America, Vice President Al Gore

The report, Access America, clearly gave agencies the authority and the responsibility to use information technology wisely and progressively. This article discusses how the Department of the Navy and the Department of Energy are creatively using the Internet to improve customer service, conduct the agencies' missions, and communicate with employees.

Department of the Navy

In May 1997, the Human Resources Center (HRC), Naval Sea Systems Command, posted the Internet version of its Awards Toolkit on the HRC home page, with general information and details on monetary and honorary awards. HRC wanted to make information on awards more accessible to everyone, and identifying types of awards and their criteria easier for managers and employees. Basically, HRC wanted to put awards information at the employees' fingertips.

HRC achieved their stated objectives and more. On the Internet, the Toolkit improves services to employees and enhances communication between the human resources office and employees. The Toolkit lists all the awards employees are eligible for, a description of each award, criteria, and restrictions. Co-workers, customers, and supervisors can print online certificates to recognize employees on the spot. The Awards Toolkit specifies:

  • what types of contributions are recognizable under the awards authority;
  • who is eligible to receive awards; and
  • who is authorized to nominate and approve award recipients.

Department of Energy

The Richland Operations Office in the state of Washington wanted to provide better customer service and easier access to human resources information to employees. Therefore, in the late 1990's the Human Resources Office (HRO) put its performance appraisal and awards programs on the Internet.

The Performance Management page addresses many issues that otherwise would have been handled through telephone contact or personal visits to the HRO. The HRO uses the Internet page to disseminate timely information to Richland employees. Richland uses a 360-degree (multi-rater) assessment process for developmental and evaluation purposes. The web page—

  • explains 360-degree assessment;
  • shares frequently asked questions on 360-degree assessment;
  • lists the 360-degree evaluation deadlines and process;
  • provides online instructions on how to operate the appraisal software for evaluations;
  • views and prints forms used during the 360-degree evaluation process;
  • identifies common evaluation errors; addresses giving and receiving constructive feedback;
  • focuses on developmental opportunities; and
  • suggests steps for performance improvement.

The online Recognition and Awards Program includes all the information in a typical paper awards handbook. The "Description of Programs" section includes a list of awards Energy employees are eligible for, criteria, approval and nomination procedures, award forms, and examples of contributions worthy of recognition. Those interested can download the forms necessary to nominate deserving employees. Richland also included its awards catalog, with a list of all award items and a picture of each.

Agencies use the power of the Internet because it makes sense and it's good business practice. Using the Internet to communicate performance management programs is efficient and enhances intra-agency communication.

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