Performance management program for employees

What's new?

We've made changes to this page to serve you better!

The site now offers "just-in-time" information that you will need at key points in the performance management annual cycle: at the beginning of the year, at mid-year and at year-end. Consult the complete list of topics related to performance management.

There are also tips to help managers/supervisors offer ongoing support to employees, and easy-to-access reminders about the performance management responsibilities of both managers/supervisors and employees.

We are now focusing on the year-end performance assessment. The performance agreement, along with these pages, will help you prepare for it:

Note: The PSPM App can only be accessed on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s internal Publiservice Web site.

What is performance management?

Performance management is a tool for improving the work performance and productivity of individuals, teams and organizations. It is increasingly important in the public sector in responding to budgetary and fiscal pressures, increasing demands for public services, and the need for more transparency in reporting on the use of government funds.

Its proper implementation in the public service can help build and maintain trust between employer and employee, and create conditions to allow all employees to maximize their contributions and provide world-class service to Canadians.

The Directive on Performance Management sets out the responsibilities of deputy heads, or their delegates, regarding the administration of a consistent, equitable and rigorous approach to performance management across the core public administration.

The focal point of performance management is the performance agreement, which spells out the work expectations for each employee.

The performance management annual cycle

Performance management is an ongoing process that involves planning, developing, coaching, providing feedback and evaluating employee performance. The process must meet the requirements of the Directive on Official Languages for People Management.

Some performance management requirements are time-specific:

Other requirements are ongoing and apply to activities throughout the year and for employees on probation. These include review panels.

Figure 1. Performance Management Annual Cycle
Figure 1
Figure 1. Performance Management Annual Cycle - Text version

This figure depicts the performance management cycle. It is described in four boxes: three boxes in a row from left to right represent the key time periods in the cycle, and a fourth box, underneath, represents ongoing activities.

The box on the left side of the row labelled "At beginning of year," contains the following statements:

  • "Employee’s work objectives and learning and development plan are set or updated for the forthcoming fiscal year, and performance agreement is signed" and
  • "Manager/supervisor develops talent management plan or action plan with employee if applicable."

An arrow points from the first box to the second.

The box in the middle of the row, labelled "At mid-year," contains three statements:

  • "Manager/supervisor reviews employee’s progress in achieving work objectives and competencies, provides feedback, and adjusts performance agreement if required or action plan if one exists."
  • "Employee identifies any issues affecting his or her performance."
  • "Manager/supervisor reviews learning and development plan with employee and updates it if required."

An arrow points from the second box to the third.

The third box, on the right, is labelled "By year-end." It contains the following statement:

  • "Manager/supervisor conducts formal year-end assessment and rates employee’s performance."

The fourth box, below the other three, contains the following statement:

  • "Continuous feedback and coaching, employee recognition, performance development through the employee’s learning and development plan, and development of action plan if required to address unsatisfactory performance."

A two-headed arrow runs from left to right under the fourth box, indicating that the activities identified in the statement occur throughout the performance management cycle.

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