Government execs in U.S., Canada take similar positions on performance pay

Government executives in the United States and Canada have remarkably similar attitudes about performance-based pay systems, recent surveys have found.

The latest survey, conducted by the Association of Professional Executives of the Public Service of Canada (APEX), shows that although most Canadian managers support the concept of performance-based pay, fewer than half believe that methods of assessing performance are fair and accurate.

In addition, slightly more than half of the executives surveyed believe that the benefits of Canada’s Performance Management Program, which was implemented four years ago, outweigh the costs.

“That’s not a ringing endorsement,” said Dal Hines, a visiting executive at APEX, speaking Feb. 28 in Washington, D.C., at a luncheon sponsored by the Senior Executives Association. The results of the Canadian survey were released at the luncheon.

SEA’s own survey last September revealed that U.S. government executives have similar takes on performance-management systems.

Common themes that emerged in both surveys are:

  • Executives support performance management principles, but they perceive ratings distributions to be the result of forced quotas rather than merit and feel they were predetermined by senior managers.
  • Executives are concerned about a lack of transparency and communication in performance-based systems.
  • There is a general failure to create meaningful distinctions and standards to measure performance.
  • Executives are dissatisfied with the ways pay is linked to performance.
  • Performance pay has little effect on motivation, quality of work or innovation in the workplace.

Featured

  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected

FCW INSIDER

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.