Results-Oriented Cultures:

Insights for U.S. Agencies from Other Countries' Performance Management Initiatives

GAO-02-862: Published: Aug 2, 2002. Publicly Released: Aug 2, 2002.

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J. Christopher Mihm
(202) 512-3236


Office of Public Affairs
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Strategic human capital management challenges face public sector organizations both here and abroad. The United States is not alone in examining how government agencies can use their performance management systems as a tool to foster a more results-oriented organizational culture. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has reported that its member nations have increasingly moved towards performance-based pay and appraisal systems that reward employees, hold them accountable for the quality of their work, and connect their efforts to organizational results. Four OECD member countries--Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom--have begun to use their performance management systems to achieve results. Although the performance management initiatives in these countries reflect their specific organizational structures, cultures, and priorities, their experiences developing and implementing results-oriented individual performance management initiatives may provide U.S. agencies with information and insights as they implement strategic human capital practices. These countries have begun to use their performance management systems to create a "line of sight" between individual and organizational goals, use competencies to provide a fuller assessment of individual performance, link pay to individual and overall organizational performance, and foster organizationwide commitment to results-oriented performance management. Another way agencies seek to foster commitment in more results-oriented performance management systems is to involve stakeholders and include employee perspectives when designating or reforming their performance management systems.

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