'Performance appraisal of public servants, a must' | Daily News


'Performance appraisal of public servants, a must'

The performance appraisal of an employee's performance on his/her assigned duties and responsibilities is a must to gain success in all sectors, especially to forge effective working relationships, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said.

He was delivering the keynote address at the National Conference on Good Governance and Performance Management System for Public Service in Colombo yesterday.

The event was jointly organised by the Public Service Commission, Public Management Reforms Department of the Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry and other government institutions to design a rational performance management system for public service.

The Secretary said the performance appraisal system has not reached the final stage though several segments have been developing better performance appraisal systems during the last two or three decades.

"If you do not measure success, you cannot gain anything from failure. If you cannot see success, you cannot reward. Similarly, if you cannot see success you cannot learn from it. If you cannot recognise failure, you cannot correct it. If you can demonstrate results, we as public servants could probably better serve the public" the Secretary added.

He highlighted that there should be a performance plan and a performance management mechanism prior to carrying out performance appraisal. But, on most occasions, attention is drawn only on the final sage of performance appraisal than the performance planning and performance management. The performance appraisal system should be downward, understandable and most reliable. If an institute does not have a performance appraisal plan nothing can be evaluated or appraised.

Secretary Weeratunga said many employees are not satisfied with their performance appraisal systems. There are some elements in traditional performance appraisal system, which have to be eliminated. The mechanism should be most un-bias.

"A performance appraisal is a review and discussion of an employee's performance of assigned duties and responsibilities. The appraisal is based on results obtained by the employee in his/her job, not on the employee's personality characteristics. The appraisal measures skills and accomplishments with reasonable accuracy and uniformity. It provides a way to help identify areas for performance enhancement and to help promote professional growth. It should not, however, be considered the supervisor's only communication tool, he said.

"Each employee is entitled to a thoughtful and careful appraisal. The success of the process depends on the supervisor's willingness to complete a constructive and objective appraisal and on the employee's willingness to respond to constructive suggestions and to work with the supervisor to reach future goals. Periodic performance reviews help supervisors gain a better understanding of each employee's abilities. The goal of the review process is to recognize achievement, to evaluate job progress, and then to design training for the further development of skills and strengths. A careful review will stimulate employee's interest and improve job performance," Secretary Weeratunga said. 

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