By The Editor
Identifying deficiencies and gaps in your employees’ output can necessitate the implementation of a performance management or improvement plan. This process can be uneasy for employer/manager and employee, so here are some tips to get the performance management process right, while maintaining high employee engagement.
Don’t solely rely on the performance review
A planned performance review need not be the only time to raise performance issues with an employee – if you identify an issue, raise it with the employee in a prompt fashion, in a constructive and sensitive fashion. Ensure there is evidence to back your claim should it be questioned by the employee. While a performance review is periodical, performance management should be ongoing at all stages of the year.
Have a management checklist
A performance management checklist is a handy tool to refer back to judge if anything needs to be rectified about an employee’s performance. Ensure it includes information about company values, goals and responsibilities, and allows managers to describe the gap between the performance achieved and the level of performance expected.
Achieve employee ‘buy-in’
Managers/business owners must be able to clearly communicate the aspect/s of performance that need addressing so the employee will understand what areas they need to improve in, and how to achieve that. Listen to the employee’s views, as they may provide a fresh perspective on the issue and identify a method of improvement themselves. A co-operative approach is far more likely to achieve positive results than an adversarial one.
Help your employee improve
You’ve identified a performance issue, so how can you ensure it is rectified? Discuss with the employee what steps can be taken, such as additional training or perhaps establishing a mentor/mentee relationship with an experienced staff member, or getting the employee to conduct a self-evaluation to identify their own areas of improvement
If an action plan of some kind has been implemented, make time at regular intervals to follow it up and monitor progress, and modify along the way if necessary. If improvements aren’t made, part of the performance management process is a system of warning letters that an organisation may use. Managers also need to be aware that any employee is entitled to have a support person present if they are having a performance management discussion.
Remember to consult the Fair Work Act before making a decision on discipline, or seek advice from VECCI’s Workplace Relations consultants.
Learn how to get the best from your staff what you need to implement an efficient performance management system at VECCI’s one day Performance Management course, or as part of our one day Day-to-Day Management and Supervision of Staff course.
How have you successfully managed employee performance before? Let us know!