LTB 406/14 - BT - Performance Management

BT - Performance Management

Please find attached a letter from BT Group detailing further progress on the issue of Performance Management in BT.
As part of our Agreements on Performance Management and Sick Absence Management, the Union, at national level, receives detailed statistics of the numbers of people being dealt with under the formal procedures in BT Group and by Line of Business (LoB).

This also includes a great deal of diversity information. This information is provided on a quarterly basis and enables the Executive and National Teams to monitor progress and identify any issues. This information is provided to the Executive on an "in confidence" basis and not for onward cascade. For some time now the Union have been arguing that not all this information needs to be considered "in confidence" and would be useful to demonstrate to members that progress is being made in the areas that have become issues between us.

BT are now actively reviewing what information could be made more widely available to demonstrate progress being made.
In addition to performance and sick absence data the Union has asked for detail on grievance, content and outcome, discipline, equality and long-term health.
Another issue raised by the Union has been the frequency of performance review. Quarterly reviews have meant that for many members the only conversation they have with their managers is performance related. The Union has asked that BT consider our representations in this area.

BT has announced a new set of measures providing a more holistic view of people moves within and in and out of the Company.
As part of Organisational Health, all managers from CEO to first line will undergo training in its principles. A number of CWU representatives have had the same training as the top 600 managers.

The new escalation procedures recently agreed do appear to be working. Please find attached slides from the CWU Branch Forum which detail escalations and outcomes (slides 8 and 9) since our Agreement last September .
Dr Nita Clarke, has now completed her Independent Review and arrangements are being made to present the findings to the Unions.

The Company have indicated their disappointment with the consultative ballot that we are conducting given the progress made on this issue. The Officer will respond in due course explaining the democratic process and how the Executive is bound by CWU Conference decisions.
The National Team welcome the letter from the Company and believe it reflects the further progress that we are making in this important area for our members.


Yours faithfully,
Colin O'Callaghan
Assistant Secretary


Dear Colin,

Performance Management within BT


Thank you for our meeting on 09th June 2014 where we discussed the Group wide approach to performance management and the positive progress we have made in working together on this agenda.


Our meeting with Carol Waldron (Director of Meritocracy) centred on a number of elements with particular focus on how we can further strengthen our approach and keep a strong focus on embedding our joint agreement on performance. My letter serves to note the elements covered within the meeting.


We recognise that the ability for the CWU to support our Meritocracy agenda is linked to not only the quality of the detail we provide but also the level of information that can be used by the CWU in demonstrating the significant progress we have made to date. On that basis we have provided a commitment to reviewing and establishing what data can be utilised by the CWU. We do recognise that it is essential for us to work with the CWU in demonstrating the ongoing step change in approach. The CWU set out their views on future actions and data provision, you also identified the following areas of exploration:


  • Consideration on moving from a quarterly to a 6 monthly performance review
  • Data that can be utilised by the CWU to demonstrate progress including an increase in communication on Organisation Health Index, (OHI).
  • Grievance levels
  • Discipline, equality and long term health cases


We also discussed the new measures which will provide a much more holistic view as to all people moves that will inevitably occur both within and outside of the business, it will be our intention to provide detailed information on this measure within future data packs, this will cover:


  • Promotion
  • Attrition
  • External hires
  • Development moves
  • Unretained talent
  • Demotions (including Pay and Pension Protection moves)


The 'Challenging Leadership in action' management training course was also discussed, including the unprecedented step of providing the opportunity for the CWU to attend. To date we have had in the region of 50 CWU representatives attend and experience the training that our management team undertake, this is a significant investment and one which we expect will provide a collective understanding of the meritocratic, high challenge, high support approach.


We also discussed the escalation procedure and the low level of cases that are currently being raised, I see this as a very positive step forward in that the system is working well and the limited amount of cases being raised is indicative that progress is being made.


In terms of actions coming from the meeting I have also provided a commitment to book a meeting with Nita Clark which will cover her report on management practices and wellbeing.


I would reinforce that we are committed to working collectively to make sure that we deliver the joint performance management agreement with you. I would go further to reinforce that we have and will continue to take any breach of this process very seriously and have the agreed escalation process in place to do just that.


Taking all this into account I must register BT's disappointment that the CWU have indicated that you plan to conduct a consultative exercise on this subject. We recognise the CWU's right to consult and feel that we have made considerable progress to date. That said we will continue to work with the CWU to make further improvement in all possible areas.


Please let me know if you require any additional information at this time, I look forward to your response.


Yours sincerely


Matt Rogers
Employee Relations Manager