NEW Appraisal of contract agents “3b”…. What is it for???

How staff performance is managed in an organization determines to a large extent the success or failure of this organization. Indeed, a central reason for the use of performance appraisals is to improve staff’s performance. Appraisals can be valuable tools for communication with staff about how the job performance matches organizational expectations, and thus can contribute to an organization’s higher effectiveness. The other fundamental justification for performance appraisal includes Talent Management policy as a basis for any employment decision like promotions, terminations or transfers.

Therefore, improving appraisal for every staff member should be among the highest priorities of a modern organization, especially of the European Institutions which should give example to all Member States. This is valid for permanent officials (see articles above) but also for temporary staff.

What is the European logic behind the annual appraisal for colleagues CA type 3b?

Referring to the new general implementing provision = GIPs (in force since 2017), any eligible contract agent type 3b must be assessed as from his/her third year of engagement. The whole appraisal process involves several steps, from self-assessment to dialogue with the Reporting Officer until the final report. Theoretically, it is an important opportunity for every agent to take stock of the past year and reflect on the future. Furthermore, this exercise should help the agent to answer two key questions:

  • “What are the organisation’s expectations for me?”
  • “How am I going to meet these expectations?”

However, for contract staff “3b” there is no evaluation of the general performance (“satisfactory” or “unsatisfactory”); so the appraisal reports for contract staff “3b” will be finalized with the “N/A” conclusion. Is this really the best practice to improve staff’s motivation and efficiency? Moreover, despite the fact that contract agents type 3b are subject to an assessment of their competences, performance and conduct in the service, merit and performance cannot be rewarded since there is no possibility for a reclassification decision.

In the real, professional life outside the EU Institutions…..

When appraisals are not carried out appropriately, legal issues can result that place the organization at risk. Appraisals are often used in organizational disciplinary procedures in addition to promotional decisions within the organization. If the improper application and use of appraisals affect employees negatively, this can lead to legal actions against the organization. The Commission is very insecure about its treatment of CA3bs, maybe this explains why its appraisal procedure is void of any real content as far as Contract Agent type 3b are concerned.

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