Performance Management

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  • 1. human resources department Performance Management A Manager’s Guide
  • 2. Contents Page 3 Introduction 4 What is the purpose of Performance Management? 5 The Performance Management Framework 8 Holding an effective PPDR meeting 9 How do I set effective objectives? 10 Managing under-performance 12 How can I motivate my staff? 13 How can I give meaningful and constructive feedback? 15 How can I reward good performance? 
  • 3. Introduction The University of Southampton has a strategic aim to be a world class University across the range of its research, educational, entrepreneurial and management activities. Alongside recruiting and retaining the best staff it is key to that ambition to enable a full and effective contribution from staff and to facilitate their continuing high performance. Those with staff leadership or management responsibilities have a central role in enabling high performance; establishing the cultural expectations about outputs and standards of work and openly communicating with colleagues about performance and goals. Performance management is about maximising individual and team performance to achieve a motivated workforce resulting in the highest quality outputs. People have a right to know what it is that is expected of them, to engage in developing appropriate team and personal goals so to enable them to be motivated to perform to the best of their potential. This requires a continuous and flexible approach that encourages regular and constructive dialogue. This guide explains how to reward good performance and how to help poorer performers to the standards they seek. This guide aims to support those with management responsibility for others to take full responsibility for enabling the best possible performance from staff reporting to them. Through this guide, through skills development programmes and through advice from HR Client Partners we seek managers who can be confident in making consistent and fair judgements on levels of performance. Benchmark standards for all staff are stated in the Career Pathway Skills and Capability Guidelines and personal performance development and review processes exist to enable the dialogue which is so important to success. Tony Strike Director of Human Resources 
  • 4. What is the purpose of Performance Management? There are five main purposes: • to achieve the University’s strategic ambition to be a world class organisation across all areas of activity • to be an efficient and effective organisation to ensure it meets its financial commitments, and to continue to fund its ambitious plans • to be a well managed autonomous organisation • to be an employer of choice • to enable staff to give of their best The University requires those with responsibility for others (called ‘managers’ from this point for brevity) to facilitate high performance in their management role and this is underpinned and informed by a framework of interrelating processes that impact on performance. These are: • Recruitment • Induction • Probation • Performance and Development Review • Development • Reward Mechanisms • Skills and Capability Standards • Disciplinary and Capability Procedures These are discussed in more detail in the following pages. 
  • 5. The Performance Management Framework Managers are expected to engage in a whole range of interrelated processes which underpin successful performance; neglect is likely to lead to performance and management difficulties later on. Recruitment – recruiting the right people is essential and relies on having a well thought out job description and thorough person specification taking into account behaviours such as: ability to work in a team. This means knowing exactly what you want at the outset to ensure you attract the right person through appropriate advertising and selection processes. The organisational impact of poor recruitment is significant in relation to cost, time and reputation. Induction – the first few weeks of employment are vital to the success of any appointment and it is during this time that a new employee will form an overall impression of the University. The orientation of a new employee to their post is predominantly at a local level and is complemented by the wider University events and central information. Crucially, the induction process will identify the future development needs for that member of staff. Employees who do not receive appropriate induction take longer to become fully effective in their role, may not achieve their full potential and are more likely to leave in the early stages of their employment. Further details on Induction can be found on HR Web Site under Policies, Procedures and Guidance. Click on Induction Probation – an offer of employment is based on the mutual expectation that the individual is capable of and understands the requirements of the post. The probationary period is there to support the employer and employee in this period of development and assessment. During this time it is particularly important that support, feedback and training are provided and records are kept by the manager to enable an informed and timely decision to be made regarding confirmation of appointment. If it becomes clear at an early stage that despite the necessary support and guidance having been provided the probationer is not going to attain the necessary standards, prompt action should be taken in conjunction with HR to address the situation (which can include dismissal). When probation is not managed properly it can result in costly difficulties for all those involved at a later stage. 
  • 6. Further details on Probation can be found on HR Web Site under Policies, Procedures and Guidance. Click on Probation Arrangement. Personal Performance and Development Review (Appraisal) – reviewing an individual’s performance with them must be carried out on a regular and consistent basis and will complement the more formal and mandatory PPDR meeting. The Career Pathway Skills and Capability Standards provide a fair and universal benchmark for performance expectation and establishing agreed priorities during the PPDR meeting. In addition, the individual’s development needs should be reviewed and planned. The PPDR is a key record of performance objectives and expectations and can be used to inform the reward, capability and disciplinary processes. It also informs local and strategic staff development planning. Further details on PPDR can be found on HR Web Site under Policies, Procedures and Guidance. Click on Personal and Performance Development Review. Also On HR Home Page click on: Staff Development. Briefing Sheets. Personal Performance and Development Review. Personal Development – contributes towards a motivated and high performing work force. Development needs should be discussed and addressed during probation, at the performance review meeting and also when an individual takes on new duties as part of their role. For development to be successful it should be included in all process change and always discussed openly. To be effective, it has to respond to genuine needs and contribute to organisational success. Although self-managed development is very much encouraged, there is an onus on all managers to ensure that staff are provided with opportunities for growth and development where possible. Further details on Development can be found on the HR Web Site. On HR home Page click on Staff Development. Reward Mechanisms – the University aims to offer a competitive base salary structure for the sector, and has the means for rewarding additional responsibility within the grade (known as Higher Responsibility Zones or HRZs) as well as a means to reward high performance (through accelerated increments and one-off staff achievement awards). Promotion and regrading procedures are clearly established in the University which can be used for high performing individuals when appropriate to the role being performed. 
  • 7. Further details on Reward Mechanisms can be found on the HR Web Site. Click on Managing People tab. Click on Managing Performance and HRZs. Skills and Capability Standards – are central to effective performance management and relate to all the performance management processes. They inform job descriptions and person specifications in recruitment. They determine the level and type of induction provided. They give a clear expectation of performance standards during probation and throughout employment. They provide a benchmark for reward and capability and they are a reference point for training and development planning. Further details on the Skills and Capability Standards can be found on HR Web Site. Click on Working Here tab. Click on Career Pathway Book. Disciplinary and Capability Procedures – formal warnings and dismissal are the final sanctions in managing underperformance. They are implemented when informal support mechanisms have failed to raise performance to the expected level for the role. Further details on Disciplinary and Capability Procedures can be found on the HR Web Site. Click on Managing People tab. Click on Managing Performance and HRZs. Click on Disciplinary Procedures. Performance Management Framework Development Reward and PPDR Recognition Performance Skills and Probation Management Capability Framework Standards Disciplinary Induction and Capability Procedures Recruitment and Selection 
  • 8. Holding an effective PPDR (Appraisal) meeting A PPDR meeting is likely to take place between an employee and their direct line manager, via a one-to-one meeting. For staff in the ERE (Education, Research and Enterprise) career pathway who are outside of probation this is usually every two years and for other career pathways usually annually. Below are some good practice tips for ensuring an effective meeting. • encourage the individual to prepare for their review and if necessary talk to them in advance about what they would like to discuss in the meeting • enable the individual to contribute to the discussion about their own performance; self review is a critical part of performance management • keep the meeting conversational and ensure that the individual is comfortable enough to be open and honest with you • consider the individual’s achievement against the level of expectation driven by the skills and capability standards of the job • prepare constructive honest and focused feedback. In other words, don’t use the meeting as a dumping ground for everything you want to say, then again, too vague or no feedback can come across as showing a lack of interest in that individual • consider and discuss any development needs that have become apparent • take ownership for any factors beyond the employee’s control • listen to the employee, but stay focussed on the purpose of the meeting • encourage the individual to propose actions to overcome any problems and review at next meeting • ensure clear objectives are set for the following review period On HR Home Page click on: Staff Development. Briefing Sheets. Personal Performance and Development Review. 
  • 9. Effective Objective Setting Objectives (or goals) describe something which is to be achieved. They can come in the form of targets where you are looking for a quantifiable result or tasks related to a specific piece of work or project. SMART is an acronym to describe a process for writing objectives. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. However, MARST is often a better way to actually write objectives. Measurable is probably the most important consideration. You will know that the objective has been achieved because you have the evidence and/or measure of success. It has often been said that ‘you can’t manage what you can’t measure’. Achievable is linked to measurable. There is no point in setting an objective that is unlikely to be achieved, or one that you cannot tell is completed. How can you determine if it’s achievable? • you know it’s measurable • others have done it successfully before • it is theoretically possible • you have access to the necessary resources If it is achievable, it may not be Realistic . If it isn’t realistic, it’s not achievable. Realistic is about resources, money and opportunity. You need to know: • who is going to do it • do they have (or can they get) the skills to do a good job? • where the necessary resources are coming from The main reason it is achievable but not realistic is that it’s not a high priority. Often something else needs to be done first, before success can be achieved. If this is the case, set up two (or more) objectives in priority order. You will know if your objective is Specific enough if: • everyone who is involved knows that it includes them specifically • everyone involved can understand it • your objective is free from jargon 
  • 10. • you have defined all your terms • you have used only appropriate language Timely means setting deadlines. These must be included otherwise the objective isn’t measurable. But deadlines must be realistic, or the task isn’t achievable. Managing Under-Performance When a manager considers that an individual is underperforming, this should be dealt with as quickly as possible. Early intervention will avoid the issue escalating and enable the manager with the employee to take full early control of the situation. Managers should advise the employee at an appropriate stage of the problem and seek together a plan to achieve the standards required. Clearly, if this fails advice can follow that if they fail to improve it will result in the applicable disciplinary or capability procedures being followed. Initially, however, this should be carried out informally to highlight your concerns to the individual. Exploring the causes • are there factors outside the individual’s control? • are there personal issues affecting performance? • has the individual received appropriate support? Consider if external support is required • Counselling Service • Occupational Health Identify responsibilities • clarify management responsibility and implications • clarify what the individual is responsible for • if others are involved in the work, have they taken responsibility for their contribution? 10
  • 11. Clarify expectations • be clear about what you expect of the individual • use the Career Pathways Booklet to confirm the expectations on the role • state clearly how this under performance is having an impact on the expectations made on the School/Department Clarify action to be taken • be clear about what you expect to be done • give clear time periods for actions • set clear qualitative/quantitative standards • arrange dates for review meetings • keep written records of all meetings and conversations • put all action points and timescales in writing to the individual • arrange counselling or occupational health intervention if appropriate Provide appropriate development • implement any development you believe will enable the individual to work to the required performance level eg courses, coaching, mentoring. The issue could be a ‘one off’ and things could go straight back to normal. However, the situation should always be reviewed over a length of time determined by the manager. The Performance and Development Review forms can be used as a framework and record for these meetings. It is good practice to provide the individual with a copy of these too. You should keep your own record of all meetings, outcomes and subsequent performance once your concerns have begun. If this process fails to bring about a change in performance, you should now enter the formal stage of disciplinary or capability procedures. This is not of itself a punishment but safeguards the rights of those involved while the issue is being properly managed. It is strongly recommended that you consult with your HR representative at this point. (Depending on your position it may be advisable to discuss this with your manager before consulting HR). The records kept during the informal stages will support you in any action taken during formal proceedings and make the whole process easier. The formal procedures for capability allow for hearings at which the member of staff is entitled to be represented 11
  • 12. or accompanied and given an opportunity to respond to the issues being considered; and these may result in formal warnings being issued, including a defined period of time within which the improvement is sought; and may ultimately result in dismissal. Further details on Disciplinary Procedures can be found on the HR Web Site. Click on Managing People tab. Click on Managing Performance and HRZs. Click on Disciplinary Procedure. How Can I Motivate my Staff? People join the university wanting to do well and succeed. If problems exist then the staff member should be equally keen to see the matters resolved which are impacting on work performance. Show people they are valued • through regular work discussions and giving feedback on their performance • by showing interest in what they value • by developing a positive atmosphere of approval and co-operation • by ensuring they understand the importance of their contribution to the team’s objectives Recognise achievements • praise and communicate individual and team successes • review team’s progress with them regularly • hold regular meetings to discuss individual progress towards objectives, advise and coach where necessary • explain the University’s results and achievements in context Support development • set targets • provide relevant on and off the job training • facilitate any necessary internal and external contacts • encourage and provide opportunities for people to coach/train others in the specialist skills they have • review tasks so that people have the opportunity to develop new skills 1
  • 13. Provide challenge • provide opportunities for individuals to take greater responsibility • encourage ideas and empower people with the responsibility for implementing them Motivation is important in gaining discretionary effort from high performing individuals - unless individuals feel fully motivated they may not be inspired to give of their best. Having a sense of achievement, being given responsibility and recognition, the nature of the work itself, and opportunities for personal growth are often motivating factors for individuals. Practical ways of achieving these are to: • allow people the freedom to work in their own style • encourage them to take responsibility • keep the role challenging • give feedback and share feedback you have received • link their contribution to University success • encourage activity in the wider University Experiencing a poor relationship with an immediate manager is a primary reason for an employee to leave an organisation. Anyone with responsibility for managing others should spend a few minutes each day reflecting on how far they have inspired and energised, instead of asking, or even worse, demanding that someone perform. Line managers need to think about the impact their words and actions have on employees’ self confidence and self-belief. Does their ‘constructive criticism’ leave people feeling more or less confident in their ability to do their job? How Can I Give Meaningful and Constructive Feedback? The purpose of feedback is to help employees understand how well they are meeting performance expectations and achieving results. 1
  • 14. It is helpful to address: • behaviours and attitudes in respect of both performance and relationships with colleagues and clients • progress and achievements in meeting goals and undertaking tasks • development needs and capability standards critical to work success • any other matter that is linked to expectations and performance of the job Feedback is a regular process that acknowledges and informs continued good performance or improves the current situation or performance. Giving Feedback • Feedback is most effective when it is given as soon as possible after the situation occurs • Don’t forget to give positive as well as negative feedback • When you discuss performance and goals on an ongoing basis, people know where they stand at all times, so they are more likely to raise issues themselves • Be clear about the issues you are discussing; the behaviour and effects of this. Providing feedback in terms of previously outlined goals and expectations is better understood and accepted • Offer comments as perceptions, to be checked for clarity and understanding, rather than the truth. Be alert to issues over which the person has little or no control • Don’t overload. Choose one or two critical issues to concentrate on • Focus on specific behaviours that the person can change Describe the impact of their action on individuals or the group. Keep your comments objective, don’t get personal, deal with the facts of the current situation, and describe the effect the performance has had on you • Be specific in giving feedback. Describe exactly what happened so that facts, not impressions, form the basis of the feedback • Check the feedback to make sure your understanding is accurate and fair. Check with others to avoid misjudging the situation • Include observations on constructive behaviour as well as negative ones. People need to know what success looks like. You may want to refer to others in the team to illustrate success and meeting your expectations • Offer specific suggestions for improvement • Offer encouragement and end on an optimistic, but realistic note • It is best to end a feedback discussion with clear action steps, including follow up dates. Keep a written record of the issues discussed during the feedback sessions 1
  • 15. How Can I Reward Good Performance? We should remember that employment is a mutually beneficial process where individuals develop skills and perform a particular role for the University, and in return they are rewarded through their salary and other benefits. The University’s reward structure aims to be transparent and fair. It also provides managers with the tools to reward good performance. For consistent high performance, staff can by discretion be rewarded with accelerated increments if they have headroom within the core zone of their pay grade. For specific one-off achievements, staff can be recommended for non-recurring ex- gratia payments through the Staff Achievement Scheme. Where consistent high performance is followed by staff assuming additional responsibilities, movement into and through the Higher Responsibility Zone of the pay grade may be appropriate. In some instances the appropriate Career Pathway can be used to seek the promotion or regrading of an individual where the staff structure and affordability allows, and where the member of staff concerned will be able to fulfil responsibilities at the next Level in the Career Pathway structure. Further details can be found on the HR Web Site. For Rewards and HRZs: Click on Managing People tab. Click on Managing Performance and HRZs. Click on Staff Achievement Scheme; or Additional & Discretionary Increments; or Higher Responsibility Zone. For Promotion and Regrading: Click on Managing People tab. Click on Promotion and Regrading. 1
  • 16. Human Resources Department George Thomas Building Level 4 Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ When you have finished with 75% This leaflet is printed this leaflet please recycle it on 75% recycled paper Printed on 70% recycled paper.