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Employment Law - Driving Great Performance in your Workforce

Author: Joan Finch, J Finch & Associates Published: 28th April 2015 10:48


Man jumping a hurdle on an althetics race track

For many businesses there are a number of pressures, whereby you may not be big enough to have a HR Manager or HR Team to deal with performance issues.  Dealing with poor performance can be lengthy and time consuming; not dealing with poor performance can have a very negative impact on the workforce itself, business quality and continued growth.  This article looks at performance in the workplace with a focus on ‘Driving Great Performance'.

Performance Management does not need to be a costly exercise, undertaking regular reviews i.e. 1-2-1's and annual appraisals can assist with good communication and more importantly it can be the ideal opportunity to give praise for good performance and constructive feedback when there is shortfalls in an individual's performance.

So what is the definition of great performance?

An example definition of great performance is:

"An employee is exceeding the required performance of the role"

So what is the definition of poor performance?

Poor performance can often get confused with poor conduct, so where poor conduct is a ‘won't do' attitude, poor performance is a ‘can't do'.  So an example definition of poor performance is:

"An employee is not meeting the required standard of performance for the role"

Food for thought

Implementing a performance strategy should be considered as an investment in your workforce and your business, if you have employees that are excelling within their role, could they be challenged more or achieve more?  If an employee is underperforming how will they know unless you tell them?  Training does not have to be expensive courses it could be for example:

  • On the job training
  • Refresher training
  • Coaching
  • Mentoring
Where to start?

A good starting point is engaging your workforce, by holding team meetings, getting their views and buy in.  The purpose of this exercise is to explain what you are doing and why including the benefits to the business as a whole and them as individuals.  Following this there is a number of different approaches you can take for example commence annual appraisals, but this maybe a big step for some businesses so you could start small by setting some department / team objectives then filtering these down to individual objectives.  When you are setting objectives always consider the following principles of SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measureable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Targets

As you want the employee to be challenged and engaged, but be mindful not to demotivate them and set objectives too far beyond their reach or the scope of the role making them unachievable.  Following on from this you can build on the objectives to develop the team and business further.

What happens if there is no improvement in performance?

If after setting objectives, providing further support and undertaking reviews and the employee is still showing no improvement and they are continue not to meet the required performance of the role, as a result you may need to start taking more formal action pending on what your policy states.  You may start with a letter of concern or a formal meeting; however you must be consistent with the action you are taking.  Be clear with the employee where the shortfalls in their performance are, offering further training or support if applicable, ascertain from the employee what help do they think will assist them to meet the required standard of the role before taking that formal action.

If you are looking to Drive Great Performance and implement a people strategy you will want to ensure you have structured, consistent and fair approach which is in line and supported by your employment materials, here at J Finch & Associates, we can provide you with practical advice and the tools to support your business in Driving Great Performance and the ongoing employer-employee relationship. 

Article by Joan Finch of J Finch & Associates Ltd

Thanks to Joan our AboutMyArea/EN9 editorial contributor for this informative article on "Driving Great Performance in your Workforce". Check out Employment Law section in the AboutMyArea Business Zone to read more of her articles.

Joan is an award winning, highly experienced, commercial, self-motivated HR professional who has operated within the sectors of Retail, Hospitality and Catering, specialising in Employees Relations. Joan is now the proud owner and creator of J Finch & Associates Ltd.  Joan's career spans over 10 years, and has broad experience within Human Resources, with initially being a HR generalist covering all aspect of HR from Recruitment, learning and development, training, Employee Relations, redundancy, restructures and TUPE. Since 2008 she has specialised in Employee Relations applying a commercial and practical approach to all ER related issues.

For more information on Human Resources, Employee Relationship and Employment Law issues you may like to take a look at J Finch & Associates website or call 0330 2230158.

When contacting J Finch & Associates please let them know you found their details on AboutMyArea website!


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