Friday, 09 November 2018 12:55

Managing Performance - Top Tips

Effective performance management isn’t rocket science. By implementing tried and trusted management practices we can nurture an engaged and motivated workforce where high achievers are recognised and rewarded and the under-performers are safely exited.

The challenge is applying these practices fairly and consistently. Many of the performance issues we are asked to help solve on our Employment Law Help Line could be avoided with a little more rigidity in the application of management practices. Sometimes difficult conversations are called for but that’s part of the territory.

Here are our top 3 tips for improving employee performance. Even if you are already doing these consistently it’s worth standing back to check how you’re doing. It’s easy to let things slip and get a little sloppy so a periodic review is always a good idea. If you’re not already doing these then get in touch if you’d like some support.

  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. Under-performers 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.

  4. 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 will reduce their own performance to match; or simply leave. A disciplinary route might be appropriate which could ultimately end in dismissal. Using the tips above will either shape them into one of your high performers or it will prove you acted fairly and 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 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


Read 1839 times Last modified on Friday, 09 November 2018 13:54


HR Champions provide first class HR and Employment Law support and advice to UK businesses; operationally and strategically. If you're an employer you'll potentially need some, if not all, of the services we offer.

We deliver excellent management and soft skills training suitable for all organisational levels. We are ILM and City & Guild accredited and Ken Blanchard approved.  





We are located in Gloucester in the West of the UK close to the M4 and M5 corridors. For a precise map and directions find us on Google Maps

We have clients all over the UK but predominantly within about an hour's drive time of our offices; in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Bristol and Swindon & Wiltshire.