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CWU meets with Telstra on performance principles

The Telstra unions – CWU, CPSU and Professionals Australia (formerly APESMA) – met with Telstra on 26 March to discuss the operation of Telstra’s performance management systems. 

Under the current Enterprise Agreement (EA), such consultations are scheduled to take place on a quarterly basis –or more or less often if that is agreed. The CWU last met with Telstra on the issues last year when both the performance pay matrix and the introduction of My Future were discussed. 

At the most recent meeting, Telstra provided further information about the use of My Future and about other changes to their approach to performance assessment and management. These involve: 

  • A change to the grading system, with a numerical range (1-5) replacing the current performance categories (Meets Expectations etc).
  • A “success plan” replacing the PDRP.
  • A reduction in the number of “goals” against which performance is assessed (from 8 to 5).
  • More regular and targeted performance discussions during the 12 month assessment period.

Telstra says its aim is to encourage a more developmental approach to performance management but as the unions pointed out much will depend here on the willingness and ability of local one-up managers to implement such a change.

The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.  

The CWU would welcome an approach to performance that emphasised development, through training and mentoring, rather than simply providing management with a crude tool to reward or punish employees. But such an approach should also involve limiting the proportion of an employees pay that is “at risk” through performance assessment.

CWU continues to oppose a system which gives management the wide discretion over pay outcomes that currently exists under Telstra’s Job Family model.

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