Performance Management

In order to manage performance, one must start with establishing what is required of the role and the individual fulfilling it.

A role might be reviewed and assessed by way of the following:-

Job evaluation and banding

A comparison of jobs to establish a position in authority and pay. It is not an evaluation of individuals. This is an important exercise as a foundation for fair and equal pay, with the aim of avoiding discrimination.

Behavioural guidelines

In addition to disciplinary rules, rules of conduct should provide information to the Employee as to what is considered as appropriate conduct and good behaviour.

Competence Statement

An explanation of the knowledge, skills and capabilities required for a job.

Appraisal

An opportunity for the Employee to evaluate their role and performance with their line manager. It is further an opportunity to consider future aspirations and training requirements.   These are important documents which can be used in subsequent disciplinary procedures, promotion decisions and redundancy selection so care must be taken to ensure fairness and transparency. An appeal process should always be considered where an employee does not agree with their line manager’s appraisal.

Performance Management Review

Similar to appraisals, these are a job outcomes focussed continual review of performance intended to create an action plan to improve performance whilst identifying areas of required training and closer supervision.

360 degree feedback

An assessment and feedback on performance from peers, those over whom the employee has management responsibility, themselves and their line manager.

Benchmarking

The comparison of key performance indicators with best practice or “industry best”. These might be relevant to ISO standards or even Investors In People.

It is a contractual obligation (implied rather than express very often) for the Employee to carry out their work to a satisfactory level. Employers, conversely, should set realistic and measurable standards. Despite performing regular appraisals, good access to training and appropriate supervision or embarking on a Performance Management review, poor performance may still be an issue.

In the event an Employee does not perform to the required standard, then the Employer is obliged to investigate and establish the reason for the failure. It may be that the role has changed and more training is needed or there is a redundancy situation, there is a sickness or disability which is causing the problem and consideration should be given to dealing with the matter as a capability one. In some instances, it is merely a lack of application or interest and a disciplinary procedure ought to be followed based on conduct.

As ever, an informal conversation ought to take place in the first instance to try and alleviate the issue quickly and avoid animosity. To the extent that is not possible or has been tried and failed, then an Employer should utilise the disciplinary procedure. Unless there is very serious misconduct, it is often most appropriate to sanction misconduct with a warning, giving the employee the opportunity to improve and setting a reasonable target, reviewed on an appropriate timescale with necessary assistance. Criticism should be constructive and aimed at helping the Employee to improve on a sustained basis. All meeting s should be properly recorded and information retained on the personnel file.

The number of warnings an Employer choses to give and the time in which improvement is expected is fact sensitive. A senior executive might be given less time than others to improve and less warnings offered as one would expect them to be entirely suited to the role.

If performance is not improved despite warnings, additional training and assistance, then the employer should consider alternative roles if available, within the organisation before taking the decision to dismiss. If there is no contractual provision for an Employer to change the Employee’s role, such variation will need the Employee’s consent.