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Improve performance with effective performance management

Posted in Employers on Oct 09, 2017 by Keeley Edge

What is performance management?

Performance management is an ongoing process whereby managers and employees work together to ensure employees are meeting their work objectives. Performance management is not just an annual review, it is a process of planning, tracking and reviewing an employee’s contribution to the organisation.


How to develop an effective performance management process

The key to effective performance management is good communication. Employees must understand what the expectations are, what tools are available and the consequences of not performing.

Set clear goals

The first stage of effective performance management is setting goals. Documented job descriptions and clear company policies will ensure there is no confusion around what is expected.

Make sure that each employee understands the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) on which their performance will be measured.

Provide appropriate tools and support

Ensure you provide employees with the right tools, support and training and development opportunities to carry out their roles and meet objectives.

You also need to support your team through effective leadership and management. Leading from the front is vital. Make sure your managers and leaders are setting good examples and meeting company standards.

Monitor and track performance

Regularly review the performance of individuals, departments or teams and the company.

If there is a problem throughout the entire company or a specific department then management, training, equipment or processes could be inefficient. You will need to find the issue and resolve it.

If there is a problem with an individual performance then that employee may benefit from additional coaching or extra training. If this doesn’t work or the problem is more serious then you may need to take disciplinary action.

Reward and reprimand 

Let employees know when they are doing the right things through rewards and praise. This could simply be verbal praise or you could hold company-wide recognition ceremonies, offer incentives or run employee of the month schemes.

As well as letting employees know when they are doing the right things, you also need to let them know when they are not meeting expectations. This could be a formal or informal reprimand depending on the seriousness of the issue.

Be consistent

It’s important to have fair and transparent policies so that all employees work to the same standards. You must be consistent with your expectations, rewards and reprimands.

Review and evaluate

Annual appraisals are a good opportunity to discuss in detail where an employee has met expectations and any areas that need improving. Acas have created a ‘managing performance for small firms’ document which gives good advice on conducting appraisals.

Managing poor performance

Make sure your policies for dealing with disciplinaries and grievances are documented. Ensure these are always adhered to, regardless of an employee’s role, length of service or past performance.

If you have clearly set expectations then managing a performance issue will be much easier.

When a performance issue is raised, you need to investigate fully. This means gathering facts and speaking to the employee to find out their version of events and any underlying issues.

Once you have completed an investigation and gathered the facts you may need to move to formal disciplinary action.

The code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures from Acas gives basic information on how to handle a disciplinary. There are more in-depth guides available but we recommend you get professional HR advice before you take any formal action against an employee. This could be from your internal HR manager or an external HR expert.

Need help with performance management?

At Key Appointments, we work closely with several HR specialists and Employment Law Solicitors. If you would like to know more about performance management or have a specific performance issue that you need to discuss then we can connect you.

Our aim is to help companies recruit the best talent for their business and retain those people. Good performance management ensures you build an effective team who will drive your business forward.

If you would like to know more about our recruitment solutions or would like us to connect you with a trusted partner then get in touch.

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