Managing Performance

What is performance management?

Performance management is the process of mitigating the impact on a business of workers that are not meeting financial or other productivity targets, producing poor quality work, or experiencing a breakdown of relationships with colleagues and managers.

Poor performance can manifest as workers being regarded by their co-workers as ‘lazy’, ‘not committed’, ‘disengaged’, ‘unreliable’, ‘disinterested’, ‘incompetent’, ‘disruptive’, or simply being a ‘troublemaker’ with a ‘bad attitude’.

Performance management is often linked with absence management.

Performance management not only involves dealing with specific individual cases as they occur, but also with putting in place pre-emptive company-wide measures for the future.

Why is performance management important?

Performance management is critical to the smooth running of a business, not simply from a productivity and financial point of view, but because it is often one of the the first visible signs of underlying wellbeing issues.

Consequently, managing performance is not necessarily about following a disciplinary process. Indeed, prematurely adopting such a heavy-handed approach could result in exacerbating the situation by triggering claims of discrimination in relation to the Equality Act 2010.

Depending on the job role, poor performance may be due to psychological ill health or musculoskeletal disorders, so performance management can often become a matter of supporting long-term sickness and disability.

Likewise, it can be a symptom of substance misuse.

Alternatively, it may be a consequence of non-medical issues, such as poor management, insufficient training, bullying, or the pressures of caring for a family.

Widespread poor performance can also be a sign of low workforce morale or a problematic company culture.

Such issues will typically become progressively worse if they are not identified and dealt with in a timely manner.

Importantly, poorly performing staff can place additional strain on those colleagues who need to pick up the slack, which in turn can affect their own wellbeing. This then risks causing a cascade effect.

In addition to directly benefiting employees, the provision of such support offers an excellent return-on-investment (ROI) in terms of mitigating against a number of significant business risks:

How can we help you manage performance?

We can identify the underlying causes for specific cases of poor individual staff performance, and then help you undertake the most appropriate course of action to deal with them, such as referral to occupational health services, providing coaching and training, or indeed through a disciplinary process.

We can also help you put in place wider company policies and procedures to monitor and incentivise performance, so that any areas of concern become flagged as early as possible, which is when they are easiest to address.

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