The unique challenges of performance management in local government and councils

Roly Walter
28th July 2021

To be continued....

Local government departments and local authorities have had to embrace a radical transformation in recent months as they make the move to remote working while simultaneously being under pressure to prop up and support local businesses and residents suffering from the coronavirus restrictions.

You have to have sympathy for them: many commercial tenants must be renegotiating their rents or vacating council-owned properties, handing out £10,000 grant given to small businesses that currently claim business rates relief, the difficulty of providing care and support services safely and negotiating their own furlough schemes. All this will be chipping away at the funds considerably. And the central government extra top-ups don't go far enough according to some (English councils warn latest Covid funding still falls short).

So what about performance management, feedback, check-ins and goals? How do you manage large teams of remote workers in this new age? How do you get the best from people, how do you motivate and inspire people stuck behind laptops on the dining table?

This has become a call to arms for companies like Appraisd, and those who, like us, claim to be able to develop and improve one of the most fundamental relationships most people encounter in their lives: between an employee and their boss.

Local authorities rely on a workforce of a broad range of ability and motivation. It's no secret that councils tend to pay less than the private sector, relying in some cases on a sense of pride and purpose in the role combined with stability and certainty.

At the same time they are often criticised for not weeding out the underperformers, for people reach places beyond their ability and thereby preventing ambitious newcomers from achieving great things within the organisation.

In situations like this, we have used Appraisd to achieve a number of specific outcomes:

  • Giving managers "authority" to assess performance and articulate expectations. It's incredible to think that many managers are nervous about setting standards and calling people up on them.
  • Giving employees the authority to ask for career advice and t