Employee framework for performance evaluation

December 27, 2023

The mandatory performance evaluation for public employees and civil servants: RD-law 6/2023

Among the new measures promoted by Royal Decree-Law 6/2023, of December 19, approving urgent measures for the implementation of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan in matters of public service of justice, civil service, local regime and patronage, we find one of the new key elements: the performance evaluation and professional career among public employees and civil servants.
In this post we answer all the questions that are arising before the new measures:

Table of contents


1. Introduction

1.1. What is a Performance Appraisal?

The evaluation of work performance is a key process for organizations of any size or sector. Every institution in the world depends on their human resources, so it is essential to align the individual development of each employee with the organizational development and objectives. To achieve this, Human Resources departments utilize performance evaluations because it allows them to implement continuous improvement processes and to have data for strategic decision making.
The evaluation measures how each employee performs according to their professional competencies and specific tasks, the achievement of goals/targets or how aligned they are with the corporate values.
An effective performance appraisal process enables proper talent management and has a significant impact on the organizational culture, employee satisfaction and motivation, and overall productivity levels.
These are some of the benefits of the Performance Appraisal:
· More motivated employees: Evaluations create opportunities for employees and the organization as a whole to become more efficient. This motivates each member to perform their tasks better, allows them to talk to their superiors and learn from them how to improve in their profession, thus increasing their level of confidence.
· It increases commitment and reduces burnout syndrome: the opportunity to express oneself and be heard reduces tensions. When employees are treated fairly, based on transparent recognition principles, they become more achievement-oriented.
· Talent detection: thanks to competency-based assessment, each employee's strengths and areas for improvement are identified. It also identifies previously unknown skills among the workforce.
· Improves communication: many problems resulting from a lack of communication could be solved with a participatory and transparent performance appraisal. The appraisal is an opportunity to describe what is expected of others, what goals are in place and what future is expected for the organization.
· Improves the employees' Career Plan: managers can design improvement programs in order to put into practice what has been learned with the results and to give employees a springboard. In this case, evaluation helps to ensure efficiency and facilitates the reassignment of tasks according to employees' specific strengths.
· Tracking an employee's historical performance: tracking the history of an employee's appraisals helps to draw conclusions about which actions taken actually achieved an improvement or, on the contrary, which ones need to be rethought. 
· Provide constructive feedback: the evaluation provides the basis on which to give employees feedback on the work they do, how they can do it better and how they can best contribute to the company. Always giving them the recognition they deserve and paying full attention to their comments.
· Saving costs: these processes help to increase productivity of each professional and that of the organization as a whole. By detecting problems or inefficiencies, it will be possible to act to solve them.

1.2. Performance appraisal in the Basic Statute of the Public Employee

The Article 20 of the EBEP in Spain, states that the Public Administrations will establish systems to allow the evaluation of the performance of civil servants and public employees, thus granting performance evaluation as a right of the employee, just as the right to have a professional career. 

2. Performance Evaluation

2.1. What is the Performance Appraisal for civil servants?

Just like the Performance Evaluation for any private company, the mandatory performance evaluation for public employees and civil servants promoted by the Government of Spain, "consists of a procedure in which the assessment of professional conduct and the measurement of the fulfillment of collective and individual objectives is carried out with the aim of improving the productivitof the different units and the quality of public services." (Royal Decree-Law 6/2023, December 19).

2.2. How will the performance evaluation for public employees be carried out?

Regulations will determine the general model and procedure to perform the evaluation in the State Administration (art. 118). However, the regulation does not recognize a univocal model of performance evaluation that serves for all ministerial departments and public bodies, but it does determine some guiding principles and criteria that must preside over all evaluation models, both those already in operation at present and those that are to be developed in the future.
The participation of public employees is foreseen through the collective negotiation of performance evaluation rules and through the respective monitoring commissions.

2.3. What are the benefits of passing the performance evaluation for a civil servant?

For those who pass these evaluations, there will be direct benefits in different variables. The first (as mentioned above) is in the remuneration of the performance bonus, which replaces the productivity bonus. Similarly, it will help career progression through merit-based competition for the provision of jobs and for access to training.
Specifically, the results of the performance evaluation will have effects on the following matters (art. 119 of Royal Decree-Law 6/2023, of December 19):
· Perception of complementary remuneration of a variable nature, under the terms provided for in this Royal Decree-Law or in the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
· Progression in the professional career.
· Criteria for the provision of jobs.
· Continuity in the job position.
· Assessment of training needs, including those to be offered to public employees on a mandatory basis, and encouraging participation in voluntary training actions.

2.4. Will performance appraisal be mandatory for all civil service personnel?

Yes, participation in performance evaluation processes will be mandatory for all public employees and civil servants, as well as personnel in active or assimilated service status (art. 117).

2.5. When will the Performance Evaluation for civil servants and public employees be applied?

The measure came into force in Spain on December 21, 2023, the day after its publication in the Official State Gazette, that legally regulates this process.

3. Performance evaluation methodology

3.1. How to make a performance evaluation for civil servants and public employees?

According to the official text, TITLE IV special mention is made of professional public management personnel (Articles 123, 124, 125) where aspects such as the minimum levels required are mentioned:
· The standard has a "competency-based management approach in line with the Recommendation of the Council on Leadership and Capacity in the Public Service of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Competency-based management focuses its attention on the way the job is performed which is embodied in a 'know how', 'know how to do', 'want to be', 'want to do', in addition to the values and objectives of the organization." 
In this regard, Hrider is perfectly adapted to the requirements established for the performance evaluation for public employees and civil servants. Our tool allows the model to be "flexible and adaptable according to the competencies, skills and knowledge required for access to the different bodies, scales, or categories, and mixed, i.e., based both on knowledge and on the evaluation of competencies and skills."
In addition, our platform makes it possible to complete the model with its social dimension, to ensure social and territorial diversity in access to public employment.
· It will have to contribute to the achievement of the strategic objectives of each unit and the motivation of people (art. 116, point 2.a).
A goal is useless if we do not evaluate it; we need to monitor our objectives to know if we need to make adjustments or create new ones. In addition, allowing employees to define some of their own objectives, in collaboration with their Supervisor, will generate greater accountability towards the achievement of what they have committed themselves to. In Hrider, these objectives can be imported or added directly into the model by the supervisor or by the tool administrator.
· The promotion of teamwork and transversal and inter-organizational relationships (art. 116, point 2.b).
Communication is the nervous system of an organization. People must always be connected and able to communicate with their colleagues at all times. In addition, good communication also enables collective intelligence to exist
· Professional development and promotion of public employees (art. 116, point 2.c).
Thanks to performance evaluations, as long as we choose an agile software, we will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, and we will know how to create the best action plan for talent to flourish even more. In this way, we will help to foster continuous learning and even prepare employees for future internal promotions.
· Improving communication and information exchange (art. 116, point 2.d).
A good internal communication strategy ensures that all members of a team are aligned with the organization's purpose. And the good news is that absolutely everyone can and should participate in creating a culture of open communication.
· The acquisition of new professional competencies by identifying the training and qualification needs of public employees (art. 116, point 2.e).
At Hrider, after the evaluation, each supervisor has the reports with the necessary data to give the best feedback and create an action plan based on that feedback. As supervisors, we must find out what is to be achieved, what strengths can be leveraged, what competencies can be taken to an even higher level and what areas of improvement are necessary or simply do not affect the person's tasks.
· Innovation and continuous improvement of procedures (art. 116, point 2.f).
To grow as an organization, we need people motivated to find new ways of doing things that help us improve every day. Encouraging creativity and continuous improvement in our employees and achieving environments where innovation flourishes is key.

3.2. Performance appraisal methodologies

In order to perform an appraisal, it is essential to determine the right methodology we are going to apply for each job position: 90, 180, 270 or 360 degrees. When designing your evaluation in Hrider, you can also decide the relevance (% weight) you want to attribute to each of the roles involved. Depending on the type of indicators we are measuring, we can determine which roles are the most appropriate to measure.
Of course, we can choose different methodologies depending on each role. It is possible to receive feedback only from the direct Supervisor (90º), also from Peers (180º), fromemployees we manage directly -if we have them- (270º) and from internal/external Customers or suppliers with whom we also work (360º)..

3.3. Rating scales to measure performance

The different types of scales that we can utilize to measure compliance with qualitative and quantitative indicators in Hrider include:
· Graphic scale
· Descriptive rating scale
· Numerical selector
· Objectives and KPIs
Optionally, the system also allows us to mass import goals for all the participants from an external file, and even determine if evaluators can edit them or add new ones.

3.4. How often will performance appraisals be conducted in the public administration?

These performance evaluation processes will be carried out once a year.

4. Professional career in the civil service

4.1. Does failure to pass the performance evaluation result in dismissal for a civil servant?

No, negative results will not result in the loss of civil servant status. Training processes will be implemented to improve the performance of those employees who have not passed the performance evaluation.

4.2. Will the performance evaluation influence the promotions of public employees?

Yes, promotions will take into account the professional trajectory and the result of the performance evaluations, as well as the fulfillment of any specialized training itinerary and the acquisition of additional professional competencies necessary for the specific tasks of the position (art. 122).
The performance evaluation has a direct impact on the progression of the professional career, on the accreditation of merits for the filling of jobs, on the continuity in the job and on the perception of complementary remuneration of a variable nature. In addition, participation in voluntary training actions will be encouraged.

4.3. The importance of the Action Plan in a Career Plan

An Action Plan is a guide to correctly plan the management of each employee's career in an organization. It serves to define goals and deadlines, to measure the achievement of the different objectives established and to optimize performance at the individual and organizational level.
Each objective or improvement challenge can be broken down into small actions to make these goals more manageable and easier to achieve, in addition to tracking each of these milestones and verifying progress.

5. Horizontal career path for the public employee 

5.1. What is horizontal development in the career plan and what are the benefits?

Horizontal career is a plan to progress in the job through specialization, but without having to change positions. With this strategy, an institution can improve the organizational structure and enhance the capabilities of the teams, building talent, loyalty and transforming employees into true experts in their area of work.

5.2. What is the horizontal career path for public employees?

The horizontal career, of a voluntary nature, consists of the recognition of professional development and progression through promotion in a sections-based system. These sections are defined as the successive stages of the result of an objective evaluation and do not imply the need to change jobs.

6. FAQs

Are these performance evaluations mandatory?

Yes, performance evaluations are now mandatory for all public employees and civil servants in active service.

Can I be dismissed based on the results of my performance evaluation?

No, performance evaluations are not linked to dismissal.

Will I receive bonuses if my performance evaluation results are positive?

Yes, there will be two types of bonuses: career bonuses, rewarding your trajectory, and performance bonuses, linked to specific performance evaluations during your career.

How often will performance evaluations happen?

They will be carried out once a year.


7. Conclusion

Any organization, including a public administration, needs to move towards a talent management model based on competencies and skills. In the case of public employees and civil servants, this measure is a major step towards equipping employees with the necessary skills to perform tasks that meet public needs and society's demands, and strengthen administrative structures.