Employees are the key to business growth and success, so it should be no surprise that helping staff to perform well is an important part of running a successful business. Despite this, performance often gets pushed to the bottom of the to-do list or, worse, put in the too-hard basket.
Performance development doesn’t need to be overly formal, complicated or time consuming, for most of your staff you’ll just need to make sure you’re on the same page and keep talking. It’s only if you have an issue of ongoing poor performance that you might need to provide some more structured support for improvement.
Having a Performance Policy is important to let staff know how their performance will be monitored and how any issues will be addressed. It’s like a heads-up about what is going to happen.
Get on the Same Page
To perform well, your staff need to know what you expect of them. Start by making sure you record your expectations of each role in a Job Description, setting out what the job is and what is expected.
Then find the time to sit down with each of your staff once a year to go over the Job Description for their role. Make sure it still fits what they are doing, point out what they are doing well and talk about what they could work on. Come up with some performance goals together and note them down.
Rather than surprising staff by saving up all your performance concerns and raising them out of the blue at an annual performance review, have regular catchups throughout the year about how they are doing and their progress towards their goals (if they’ve met them all, set some new ones!).
Giving employees constant feedback is bound to have mutual benefits and will also help to set up a culture of talking about performance so employees feel they can ask for help if they need to.
Even your best performers will benefit from these regular catch-ups – even if it’s just to boost their confidence by hearing they are awesome on a regular basis.
If you keep brief notes of these catch-ups alongside the goals you set at the beginning of the year, the “formal” performance review at the end of the year is simply that, a “review” of where you started, how the employee has grown through the year and where they could continue to improve, which leads nicely back into setting goals for the upcoming year and the cycle starts again!
Addressing Poor Performance
In most cases, having regular performance catch-ups should be enough to keep things on track because it means minor issues can be fixed without festering and turning into major problems. However, if things just don’t seem to be coming right a more formal approach may be required, which usually involves implementing a Performance Improvement Plan. It’s a good idea to seek advice from us if you are unsure on how to do this as this process can lead to dismissal, so it’s important to do it right.
Make 2021 the year you establish good performance practices for your business. Stop putting it in the too hard basket and see the benefits of a happy and fulfilled workplace. If you require any guidance or assistance, our experienced Employment law team at Wakefields Lawyers are happy to help. Please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or 04-970-3600.