PMDS is a method of looking at your work

 PMDS is a
method of looking at your work targets and production and evaluate if you have
achieved what you set out to achieve or not. The discussion establishes your
contribution, feedback on your achievements and deals with any issues there may
have been.  So you can reach you goals
through identifying your improvement / training needs.  PMDS was introduced in the “Croke Park”
agreement with commitment from management and unions to the process.

PMDS is the
process used to deliver on objectives of the Annual Service Plan for Cavan
County Council as follows:

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•              
Corporate
Plan (5 Year Plan )

•              
Business
Plan/Operational Plan (January)

•              
Team
Development Plan (Mid/Late January)

•              
Personal
Development Plan (February)

 

The primary
purposes of PMDS includes role clarity, agreeing duties, responsibilities and
objectives for the year, developing and improving performance and supporting
and developing staff.  The significant
elements in PMDS include:

·        
Full
Performance Cycle comprising of three conversations during the PMDS Year ie
Start of Year, Mid-Term Review and End of Year Evaluation Conversations. 

·        
End
of Year Evaluation

·        
Formal
Protocol for addressing and resolving Underperformance

·        
Link
to Incremental Progression

 

Cavan
Local Authority Team Development Plans

The purpose
of the Team Development Plan is to help them meet the objectives as set out in
their Annual Business Plans.  There are
18 business plans in Cavan Local Authorities. Most sections already work in
‘Teams’, PMDS puts a clear structure in place as to how the Team works, who is
in the Team and who is responsible for what within specific sections. Having
looked at the Template supplied to local authorities the PMDS Trainers felt it
was too prescriptive so decided that each section should design the Team
Development Plan to suit their particular section. The suggested format is as
follows:

·        
Outline
the objectives of the Annual Business/Operational Plan

·        
Outline
the Team Structure/Action Areas

·        
Clarify
staff roles, who is responsible for what within the section

·        
Look
at development issues for the Team

 

This PMDS
suits Cavan County Council and not the other way round so what works in one
section may not necessarily work in another section. Each section rolls out
PMDS whatever way it works best in their section.

After
deciding the Team Area and electing staff to specific Teams and introducing
responsibilities within the Team the line manager along with Team staff decides
if there is any training needed in order to meet objectives.

Cavan County
Council Team Development Plan includes the following:

·        
Improved
internal communication; e.g. weekly/fortnightly meetings

·        
Awareness
of what is in the Annual Business Plan and staff participation in future plans’
development

·        
Identify
people/staff and clarify their specific role in the section

·        
Implement
PMDS

·        
Educate/Awareness
on Health and Safety Issues/Insurances etc

·        
Identify
Team Training requirements if necessary

·        
Customer
Service

·        
Awareness
on Council Policies – e.g. Employment Assistance Programmes

·        
Coaching
and feedback on performance

 

Challenges

PMDS can be
seen as a different activity or a mind boggling, tedious assignment that
requires a gigantic exertion – it has to be seen as just a foundational organised
way to deal with overseeing work and supporting staff to improve their
advancement and execution. The object is both to ceaselessly audit, enhance and
learn. PMDS should make a positive commitment to the full association.  When PMDS was originally introduced in Ireland
we were experiencing economic growth, staff recruitment was continuous and spending
plans were generous, when the revised model of PMDS was implemented, all
resources were constrained. PMDS is required to help the association through an
alternate and troublesome business setting. For PMDS to be effective and
effectively installed in any
organisation there must be important and obvious responsibility and leadership
from Senior Management.  The
non-compliance with PMDS Full Performance Cycle, inside the agreed timeframes
and with significant involvement between employee and line managers, brings the
effectiveness of the system under inspection and supports the trust and dedication
of employee’s in the system. It additionally deflates the remarkable endeavours
made by HR to get the system up and running.

 

Cavan
Local Authority Personal Development Plan (including the role of the line
manager).

Start of Year Performance Planning

The start of
year discussion between line manager and employee concentrates on role clarity,
aims for the year, key business related qualities and areas for improvement,
short and long term development needs. Work
and improvement objectives for the coming year are agreed by the employee and
line manager.  These objectives are
aligned with the department and organisational objectives, which is expressed
in the team development plan for the department.  The employee considers their development
needs in light of their previous end of year evaluation meeting and the
priorities for this year.  The line
manager reviews the department objectives and what may be priority objectives
for the employee and any development needs that the employee may need in order
to help them meet their objectives.  Objectives
and goals should be described in a manner that is SMART.

 

 

Mid-Year Review

These
meetings are an opportunity for the line manager to give feedback and if
necessary, to provide coaching and formally
agree variations to the work plan in light of changing priorities. The employee
also has an opportunity to give feedback and to outline any difficulties that
may have arisen. This is recorded, along with any changes or additions to the
work or development plan or any other comments agreed. The line manager needs
to review the progress made on department objectives and specifically in
relation to the status of employee objectives. 
The line manager should complete the Mid-Year Review Form and both
parties need to sign off on the progress recorded and follow up action is
agreed.

 

End of Year Evaluation

The meeting
between the line manager and employee takes place in advance of completing the
End of Year Evaluation form. The meeting involves agreeing the achievement of
objectives and discussing how they were achieved, development needs met and any
issues that may have arisen during the year impacting on the achievement of
objectives. The line manager completes the Form and both parties need to sign.

 

Challenges

PMDS should
be adequately secured into the business planning system as there would be no
objectives to follow.  PMDS should to be
viewed as a critical procedure from the employee point of view. While some
staff may have reservations about the advantages, it is the job of the Line
Manager to express these benefits.

Good
communication and continual feedback, not only at each conversation of the Full
Performance Cycle but continuous throughout the year, is imperative.  Though the paperwork trail and reporting are
important and essential it is the conversations and the continuous
communication that is the spine of PMDS.  Quality and significance of the conversation
is imperative and can be challenging for both line manager and employee. This
can be a tedious task for line managers.  Supervision and performance is a vital task
for all line managers in Local Authorities. It is a continuous task that can
motivate staff and inspire better performance when integrated correctly. Line managers
need to carry out constructive and relevant performance assessments and there
must be fairness and consistency throughout. 
The significance of finishing the full cycle is important with regards
to incremental advancement, managing underperformance and general assessment.  To successfully deal with underperformance challenges
line managers. It is vital that the employee and line manager address any issue
of underperformance as soon as it becomes evident or when either become
concerned.  The priority of this strategy
is on enhancing employee’s performance when it gives rise for concern and
ensuring all required supports are in place to help employee’s to progress. Meeting
deadlines is essential in regard to the Full Performance Cycle which can be a
challenge in a hectic organisation. 

 

The Corporate Plan

Every one of
the objectives purposed in Cavan County Council Corporate Plan is displayed in
the Annual Departmental Business Plans. Logical goals are assigned in these
plans and these are examined through the Performance Management Development
System (PMDS) which is in operation in Cavan County Council. Every Departmental
Plan and corresponding goals is examined on a yearly basis and a yearly
evaluation of the Corporate Plan will be submitted to the elected members. Execution
of Performance Management systems can prove challenging for both line managers
and staff and successful managers can manage performance continuously. The
regular process of annual objective setting and end of year evaluation is no
longer sufficient. Managers must constantly arrange and re-arrange their
employees’ work in response to changing conditions, which helps employees to
focus on the right results in their heavy workloads and priorities.

Conclusion

Organising
employee achievements is a constructive system for improving employees and
Cavan County Council future progress. By defining Cavan County Council goals,
turning these into logical personal goals, and assess these goals frequently.
PMDS presents a considerably organised and essential management instrument. 

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