Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Developing an engaged and productive state workforce

<p>Director Neal Alexander&#39;s Op-ed about the state&#39;s performance management plans appeared in the Wilmington Star News. Read more about how NCVIP ensures employees have a clear understanding of the performance expected of them and how their individual work contributes to achievement goals of the organizational mission <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Aug 3, 2016

This month, tens of thousands of people who work for the State of North Carolina will begin the evaluation process of the performance management system known as NCVIP (Valuing Individual Performance). Managers, supervisors and employees have collaborated throughout the year to achieve results that will now be documented on the individual employee level. NCVIP ensures employees have a clear understanding of the performance expected of them and how their individual work contributes to achievement goals of the organizational mission.

On the surface, this may seem typical, but you might be surprised to learn that it’s never been done on this scale before in state government. Private corporations routinely establish performance plans and conduct performance evaluations, but this is the first time all state agencies and universities in North Carolina are following a standardized performance management process, which includes a standardized timeline for activities and evaluations.

Prior to Governor McCrory’s administration, there was no standardized statewide performance management system, which created a host of challenges. In 2010, the State Auditor’s office conducted a performance audit of the Departments of Correction, Health and Human Services, and Transportation for fiscal year 2008. The audit found a lack of monitoring of performance management across the state, ineffective performance management program administration in agencies, and excessive ratings inflation. For example, 81 percent of state employees received “Outstanding” or “Very Good” ratings and less than 1 percent received “Unsatisfactory” ratings. The audit revealed taxpayer dollars were being wasted on ineffective and inefficient performance management processes.

Gov. McCrory authorized the Office of State Human Resources to develop NCVIP to increase efficiency, improve communications and foster ongoing dialogue between employees and managers. Developed by a cross-agency team, NCVIP was formally implemented in July 2015 and unites all state agencies and universities under a common philosophy, policy, and process. This is an accomplishment because we’re changing the culture and expectations as well as the way performance management is done in state government, utilizing a modern approach aimed at creating an engaged and productive workforce.

Since NCVIP was implemented, there has been more open dialogue between employees and their supervisors. It encourages employees to be more proactive with their career plans while clarifying expectations and increasing accountability since performance results are monitored and measured. NCVIP measures both individual goals as well as values, the behavioral attributes expected in how the work is accomplished (e.g., Customer Service, Safety & Health).

NCVIP provides consistent performance management practices and processes, and a standard way of doing business across state government. By reinforcing the importance of employee engagement, it is changing the performance management culture in state government. In the process, it’s helping to further attract and retain the best candidates to serve the people of North Carolina.