Managing Employee Perfomance

An improving economy and the effects of Brexit on foreign workers coming into the UK has made it increasingly difficult for businesses to recruit good quality staff. Employers are therefore driven to maximise the productivity of their existing employees so carrying underperformers becomes intolerable. Here are our top three tips for performance managing your staff, enabling you to retain and reward your good workers and safely exit the underachievers.

1. Clear Job Descriptions: Employees need and respond to knowing exactly what is expected of them. Ambiguity or vagueness will enable staff to float between tasks, never really achieving anything. Clear and defined job roles will give them a sense of purpose and a structure that they can be held accountable to. By all means include a clause that allows you to ask more of them but fundamental key roles and responsibilities are a must.

2. SMART Objectives and Targets: The acronym SMART which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound should be exercised against just about every task or target you set for your staff. Without it employees can’t be held to account. Increase sales! By how much? Paint that wall! By when? Improve customer Service! Compared to what? Appropriate objectives and targets should be the cornerstone of your performance management strategy.

3. Regular Reviews: Performance must be regularly reviewed to measure employees’ outcomes against their targets and objectives. Overachievers might need a reward such as praise to keep them motivated or higher targets to keep them challenged and aid retention. Underperformers might need to be offered training or support, or other action. Reviews don’t have to be onerous. Five minutes might be enough. Make sure though that they are regular and appropriately frequent and use them to set new objectives.

Bonus Tip. Consequences: If someone isn’t meeting expectations there needs to be consequences or you and your team will just continue to carry them leading to disgruntled good workers who willreduce their own performance to match or simply leave. A disciplinary route might be appropriate which could ultimately end in dismissal. Use the above tips to keep it a fair process and to prove you acted appropriately in case of a Tribunal claim.
If you need further help and advice with performance management talk to us by calling 01452 331331 or e-mail

05 January 2018, 13:18