Criticism of performance rating not justified
An employee disputed a performance rating of ‘not on track’ based both on their output and behaviours. The employee also claimed that their manager was treating them unfairly and that the agency had breached their workplace rights in the way they were managed during the performance cycle.
The employee’s performance agreement was goals focused and included no performance expectations. The employee drafted their agreement, and in doing so, included only their career goals including an aspiration to pursue a career outside the agency. However, the Merit Protection Commissioner was satisfied that the employee was aware of the performance expectations of their role. The employee’s team had team expectations document that covered outputs and behaviours.
There were documented discussions between the employee and the manager on the level of output expected and the manager’s concerns about the employee’s output. The employee disputed that the output expected was reasonable. The Merit Protection Commissioner gave weight to the manager’s views as the manager was accountable for the performance of the team. In addition, the documentary evidence of the way the manager explained the requirements to the employee, and responded to their concerns, did not suggest that the manager’s requirements were unfair or arbitrary.
The Merit Protection Commissioner was also satisfied that the manager’s concerns about the employee’s behaviour were valid. The employee displayed a lack of judgement in their email communications with colleagues, and the manager, as well as their behaviour in the workplace. In the Merit Protection Commissioner’s view the employee’s behaviour was inconsistent with the behavioural requirements for the team which included collaborative working and respect for colleagues.
The Merit Protection Commissioner observed that, as evidenced by email communications, the manager had responded to the challenges involved in managing the employee with professionalism, patience and courtesy. The Merit Protection Commissioner found that the outcome of the performance management process was fair, complied with the agency’s policy framework and that the employee’s manager had treated him fairly in assessing and rating of their performance.