As this article by Staff Writer Steve Losey reminds us, the federal sector’s record of success in using pay-for-performance systems has been pretty dismal.
Agencies that have tried it (Defense Department, Homeland Security Department, intelligence agencies, and others) have been criticized for botching the way these systems are executed and managed. Performance ratings and bonuses are often viewed as unfair, even discriminatory. Many feds covered by these systems often quotas regulate the performance ratings and payouts. Often, ratings are overturned by managers who have never worked with the employees being rated. Transparency is often in short supply.
So does all that mean that pay-for-performance systems simply cannot work in the federal sector? Or does it mean that agencies simply need to keep working to perfect the way they are managed and executed until they are perceived as fair and transparent? Please tell us what you think in our discussion forum.