The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued two memorandums in the last week to agencies on guidance for employee awards and performance management in FY2020.
OPM said the first memo provides agencies additional flexibility to recognize and reward employees’ contributions in a way that can help retain key personnel.
” Currently, most awards are tied to rating-based performance awards,” OPM said. “We encourage agencies to reexamine, and adjust as appropriate, the balance between rating-based awards and individual contribution awards (e.g., special act awards). When granting rating-based awards, agencies should allocate awards in a manner that provides meaningful distinctions in performance. In doing so, agencies are expected to honor all collective bargaining obligations and agreements to the extent consistent with law and regulation.”
The second memo OPM issued is for agencies to apply rigor in the performance management process.
“Agencies should ensure only employees who have demonstrated the highest levels of individual performance receive the highest annual ratings of record and the highest performance awards,” said OPM. “This is implemented most effectively when performance plans contain rigorous performance standards upon which employee performance will be assessed.”
The memo is intended to help managers apply clear and defined performance standards in their review process and help agencies reward truly outstanding people as well as address low-performing employees.
The full text of the memos is below: