Improving the performance management system is one of the five reforms the commission has initiated 

RCSC: With the new Performance Management System (PMS) pilot tested in all government agencies since last month, the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) has begun the process of differentiating performing and non-performing civil servants.

The PMS will be pilot tested until June next year and RCSC would implement the system from July.

For the pilot testing, the commission has asked all civil servants below P1 level to develop an Individual Work Plan (IWP) and Core Competencies (CC) for July 2015-June 2016. It should be submitted to the commission by August 31st.

RCSC’s chairman, Karma Tshiteem said that improving the current system of Performance Management System is one of the five key reforms initiated by the commission.

Organisation Development (OD) exercise, Civil Service Well-being, Bhutan Civil Service System Reforms, and Succession Planning and Leadership development are the other reforms.

Developing Individual Work Plan and Core Competencies, he said, is a key process of this initiative. IWPs and CC will follow from the Annual Performance Agreements that agencies’ have to deliver, he said, and will provide the objective basis for an individual’s performance assessment.

“PMS pilot will be implemented across all position levels. It will have processes and tools in place for measuring the performance of executives and specialist,” he said.

The chairman added that one of the reform areas is the Bhutan Civil Service System (BCSS) to address the issues and challenges that have arisen due to the Position Classification System (PCS) such as career progression/stagnation and career entry positions and paths for different categories of professions, and mixing of professions leading to loss of professionals.

“Ultimately the objectives of the BCSS reforms is to ensure right person for right job, upholding meritocracy and equal pay for equal work,” Karma Tshiteem said. “OD exercise and BCSS reforms are two distinct but complimenting tasks in the achievement of the over reaching objective of strengthening the civil service.”

Individual Work Plan should detail out the work that each civil servant is assigned and target its need to achieve within that year. It is an annual work plan for an individual, he said.

The new PMS will differentiate between performers and non-performers among the civil servants and the performers would be recognised and rewarded.

Non-performers would not be terminated but become targets for HR actions, including training, to improve their performance.

Currently, the culture of planning performance between the supervisor and the staff is very weak in the civil service, the chairman said. Developing IWPs will institutionalise the culture of planning performance for appraisal period, provide more objective basis for assessment, ensure alignment of individual work plans to the agency’s objectives and enhance accountability for performance.

Last year, RCSC initiated a ‘daily log of activates’ in the civil service as a one-time tool used for OD exercise to analyse the activities that civil servant were involved in to gauge the work responsibilities and workload.

Daily log of activities, Karma Tshiteem said, was required, as the job description and responsibilities of civil servants in many cases, have changed from their initial job description.

“It has been a useful exercise for better understanding what a job entails and what people actually do on a daily basis,” he said.  “We plan to conduct such exercises from time to time and also encourage all agencies to do so as it will help in optimising use of human resources.”

By Nirmala Pokhrel