Lead for high performance

The Queensland public service seeks to be a high performing, fair and responsive workforce that puts the people of Queensland first.

This means we need to continually develop our workforce with the right skills and capabilities to deliver quality services to the community.

By attracting, developing and retaining great people we will ensure that we have a service-driven and productive public sector. Our leaders need to continually challenge and develop their teams to stay engaged and focussed on high performance.

 

1. Self-awareness as the foundation for leading for high performance

  • The technical skills that helped secure your first promotion might not guarantee your success as the leader of a team. To successfully coach teams, manage stress, deliver feedback, and collaborate with others you need to develop your leadership skills.
  • Self-awareness is at the core of leadership development. It is your ability to understand your strengths and development areas and recognise the impact on you and your team’s performance.
  • To bring out the best in others, first bring out the best in yourself. Understand your strengths and development areas through the lens of the Leadership competencies for Queensland, and gain insights into your own behaviour and motivations by completing LEAD4QLD or the Competency compass.
  • Understanding yourself as a leader, will also reduce the chances of introducing unconscious bias into your assessment of your employee’s performance.

 

2. High performance starts with recruitment and onboarding

  • Emphasise achieving a good match between the skills and competencies required for the role, and the successful candidate’s skills, experience and abilities. Use the Leadership competencies for Queensland to analyse and prioritise the key competencies required for the role. 
  • Induct people effectively by articulating tasks and duties clearly from their first day in the job. Turn these conversations into a formal performance and development agreement (DOCX, 127 KB) so you can maximise the opportunity to work with the new employee’s strengths and become aware of development needs early. 
  • Discuss with them their responsibility to always conduct and present themselves in a professional manner, and demonstrate respect for all persons, whether fellow employees, clients or members of the public.

 

3. State your performance expectations

  • Make a clear connection to the job and the agency’s vision and strategic goals, create a clear line of sight that provides purpose and meaning. Foster engaging workplaces has a number of resources to assist with these conversations. The Performance and development template (DOCX, 127 KB) provides a step-by-step process for setting expectations.
  • Communicate performance expectations and standards, along with public sector values and culture, explicitly and consistently across all areas of an agency. This allows all parties – employees, supervisors and managers, human resources (HR) and ethical standards practitioners – to deliver outstanding services to the Queensland community.
  • Use our values as an opportunity to talk with staff about performance and conduct expectations.
  • Use the Leadership competencies for Queensland to describe the desired behaviours in the workplace.
  • Present all staff with opportunities for development based on personal strengths, development areas, job role and interests. Take a broad approach to learning opportunities, formal and informal, both in and out of the workplace.

4. Be diligent as leaders and managers

  • Timely, open, regular and constructive communication is the mutual responsibility of managers and employees, who should work together to improve work performance and outcomes.
  • Managers/supervisors  must have regular formal and informal performance and development conversations with staff. This is the most effective way to manage performance and development. Foster engaging workplaces has a number of resources to assist leaders.
  • The process for managing unacceptable work performance must be supportive, directed to the positive performance management principles in section 25A of the Public Service Act 2008 and the directive relating to positive performance management, and take into account factors (work and non-work related issues) that may be affecting the employee.
  • Respond in a timely, proportionate and relevant manner when employee performance needs improvement.
  • Engage early where there are performance or conduct issues for a quicker resolution.
  • Recognise and reward exemplary performance and learning to motivate and encourage others to improve.
  • Make a habit of highlighting accomplishments. Point to specific tasks and projects that highlight their best work.

Demonstrate persistence and resilience in managing performance and development

  • The Working for Queensland workplace climate index for performance and development recognises the importance of ongoing efforts in creating positive workplace experiences.
  • Building your own resilience is a key factor for success, including your own health and wellbeing
  • Seek support from peers, senior managers and HR advisors to increase your confidence (and willingness) as a manager/supervisor to deal with all areas of performance and development, especially when there are performance issues. As a manager, there are a number of resources for managing employees to assist you in this process.

5. Be measured and reasonable

  • Be measured and reasonable when setting performance expectations and holding employees to them.
  • Be balanced in your feedback, highlight accomplishments and opportunities for improvement. Provide specific examples to demonstrate your assessment.
  • Consider the most appropriate response when an employee’s conduct or performance requires attention.
  • Refer to the process for managing unacceptable work performance in the directive relating to positive performance management, and to the positive performance management principles in section 25A of the Public Service Act 2008.