Managing Staff Performance


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Initially presented in 2005
Management training session to make sure that they manage performance issues competently and fairly and without incurring unnecessary cost.

Managers will be able to differentiate between a poor and a satisfactory performance.
Managers will know how to deal with poor performance.
Managers will recognise the skills needed to deal with performance issues professionally and in a timely manner.

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  • Facilitators to introduce themselves – emphasize any business/team management experience. If attendees don ’t know each other do introductions. Either way ask all attendees to state why they are here. Need to set realistic expectations. This is only a 2 hour session, therefore can only deal with directly relevant questions.
  • Because this is a short session can only cover so much so at end may need to disucss what else is needed and how that can be addressed. I will send to your mail box a copy of Managing Performance Guidelines which will cover the course content plus more. Not formal procedures It ’s more – what happens before it gets formal. It ’s prevention – “Nip it in the bud”
  • Ask attendees to consider List responses on flipchart
  • Meeting the job requirements (job holder ’s objectives). After appropriate coaching and development has been offered. Exhibiting the appropriate behaviours such as respect of others Meeting Company requirements (terms and conditions) eg poor timekeeping
  • Ask attendees the question – “Which do you think of the three could be hardest to address?” Why?
  • Behavioural issues such as lack of respect / attitude problem can be difficult to deal with. Abuse of rules or failure to meet objectives can seem more tangible and easier to link to actual examples. Behavioural issue
  • Have you ever heard these responses? You can do a lot as a Manager to minimise the risk or performance deteriorating. Poor practice can cause performance issues in others. Lack of clarity of job role can mean performance is not as you expect due to misunderstanding of job requirements etc. The job holder may have a good reason for not performing so it could be worth considering WHY performance is deteriorating. As a Manager are you clear in your expectations, direction and feedback. Have you a good relationship with your staff? How you do your job can minimise the likelihood of poor performance developing.
  • You must deal with performance if: Other approaches have been attempted or failed. Performance needs to improve Developing (training and education) is not enough to improve performance The problem is not just ability but attitude and/or behaviour.
  • Most performance issues should be addressed through informal approaches initially, however, serious performance shortfalls should be addressed immediately using the formal procedures. Can you give me some examples of actions that would need to activate the formal procedures immediately? Example: Could be significant and serious failures in expected performance /behaviour such as theft, violence.
  • For less serious performance issues or as an initial approach when an issue is starting to develop – then sometimes all that is needed from the job holder is a slight adjustment in their behaviour or actions. This can usually be achieved by a quick fix as the first course of action. When would you consider a quick fix would be useful? eg. - First time an individual does not report absence - After someone has been late for a couple of important meetings. Address the issue sooner rather than later so behaviour does not become entrenched, or effects others, or you are seen as condoning the behaviour, or it gets worse! Note-taking – Keep notes of your meetings with individuals, however, be aware under Data Protection all written information held on an individual can be seen if requested – so think about how you record information.
  • If the “Quick Fix” approach is not appropriate due to the seriousness of the transgression Or the “Quick Fix” has been adopted but there has not been a satisfactory change then a more rigorous approach should be adopted. This is the three stage approach 1 – Prepare 2- Confront the Problem 3- Follow Up The following slides will go into this in more depth
  • Seek help from others for objectivity and to confirm you are right to proceed and/or know how to proceed. Prepare the facts. Be clear about what is wrong, and evidence it. Seek feedback from others if necessary – be sensitive – stress confidentiality. Prepare for meeting. Find somewhere quiet where you will not be disturbed. Turn off phone. Think about likely reactions so you are prepared for them. Key Skills It can be hard as a people manager to recognise that there is a problem so it is a skill to recognise it as a first step to addressing the issue. Being able to handle negativity does not come easy and if you are uncomfortable can mean you do not tackle the issue or – if you do – that you do not handle it well.
  • INTRODUCE – Be clear about why you are here. PRESENT – Explain clearly and concisely what is the problem and support with facts (well researched – not hearsay) DEVELOP – Draw out job holder ’s response. Allow any emotional response to surface so you can manage the feelings. Usually people have to go through this to get to the next stage – ie being receptive to change. If they don ’t see the need to change it won’t happen. If it is getting too emotional then take a break and allow the job holder the opportunity to collect their thoughts – after all you knew what you were going to discuss – they may have had no idea what was coming!! AGREE – mutually establish a way forward. This may simply be “I would like you to attend team meetings on time in future” and agree a date for review. Some performance improvements may require the completion of a performance objective to clarify and focus the expected change – particularly if you think this issue may not go away easily or could be a slow process. KEY SKILLS – Communication skills – clarity – directness – active listening – questioning – writing good performance objectives etc……….
  • Day to day informal activities need to happen to make sure you are aware of any/or no changes and providing recognition for an improvements made. Formal follow up will have many similarities to the original meeting. Detail progress – with evidence – acknowledge improvements or adapt – and extend time – if you think appropriate. If successfully completed, let job holder know. If you think it is not appropriate to extend time and/or there has been no satisfactory change in performance then it is likely you will need to escalate to the formal procedure. Contact HR/ let your Manager know if appropriate. Might be appropriate to do this before you have the meeting with the job holder so you know what are the next stages and can communicate these to the job holder. Remember my comments re Data Protection and note-taking.
  • Group work 20 minutes or adjust to suit Ask one group to present back
  • Reference is made in the process to agreeing actions. Using objectives as an approach will ensure clarity and can be used to measure success. It will also be useful if you have to pursue formally and compete an Improvement Plan within the Capability Procedure. Good quality performance objectives will clearly and specifically establish in writing what is required and how it will be measured. If you don ’t use them at this point then you will have to write them if the situation has to go to formal stage.
  • Talk through each example.
  • The right people are recruited. New staff are inducted adequately. Probation periods are conducted and used properly. Job holder ’s capabilities are continually developed. Good working relationships are formed. Good day-to-day management happens. Job holders know the rules and are given reminders. COMMON SENSE!
  • You are a People Manager Taking Action – it is not acceptable to do nothing Fully investigate the situation before meeting the job holder Meeting with the individual – ideally face-to-face to explain what is wrong, what needs to change and by when. Monitoring and encouraging progress Contacting your Manager and HR if the situation does not resolve itself.
  • As a Manager there are potential personal consequences for you if you do nothing. Doing nothing or not taking action using our own procedures can be at risk of being taken to an Employment Tribunal (if an individual decides they have a case). The Tribunal does not look favourably on companies that have not followed their own procedures and has not been fair and reasonable.
  • Managing Staff Performance

    1. 1. MANAGINGPERFORMANCEDate: 14 September 2005
    2. 2. Introductions:IntroductionsWho are you?What do you do?What do you want to achieve?
    3. 3. Aims and ObjectivesAimTo ensure that Manager’s manage performanceissues competently and fairly and without incurringunnecessary cost.Objective To be able to differentiate between a poor and asatisfactory performer. To know how to deal with poor performance. To recognise the skills needed to deal withperformance issues professionally and in a timelymanner.
    4. 4. Agenda What is poor performance? Preparing for the discussion? Confronting the problem Setting objectives for performanceimprovement Monitoring progress and follow up Using the formal procedures Action Planning
    5. 5. What is it?What is Poor Performance?
    6. 6. What is Poor Performance? Unacceptable performance against objectives, orother job requirements. This would include skills deficiencies, such as, failure to acquire skillsdespite coaching and other support or an inability or unwillingness touse existing skills. Transgression of “rules” or other misconduct For example, poor attendance, timekeeping Inappropriate behaviour Such as repeated and material disregard for company values eg.Integrity, Diversity, Respect
    7. 7. Principles & Values InitiativeInnovation, creativity, going beyond what is expected ExcellencePerformance exceeds expectations IntegrityHonesty, loyalty, commitment, professionalism DiversityAdaptability, multi-skilled RespectTeam working, relationship with Manager/Customer Client FocusCustomer service skills, commitment, flexibility
    8. 8. QuestionOf the three types of Poor Performance which canpotentially be the hardest to address?
    9. 9. QuestionOf the three types of Poor Performance which canpotentially be the hardest to address? Inappropriate job performance and transgression of rulescanbe easier to address than behavioural issues.
    10. 10. Prevention is better than cure There are usually good reasons why people don’t do what they aresupposed to do, and there are interventions you can make toprevent these from happing e.g.“I don’t know what I am supposed to do!”“I thought something else was more important.”“I don’t know how to do it!”“I can’t cope – I have enough problems outside of the office!”“So what if I do well – no one notices.”“I always thought this was acceptable!”“I think I am doing it right already!”
    11. 11. Dealing with PoorPerformance Other processes have been tried unsuccessfully The job holder needs to move from unsatisfactoryto satisfactory level of performance The gap between current and requiredperformance is too great to bridge by developingperformance alone The performance problem is linked to attitude andbehaviour as well as ability
    12. 12. Managing PerformanceMost performance issues can beaddressed informallyHowever, some issues are so seriousthat formal procedures should beactivated immediatelyCan you give me an example ofwhen you might need to moveimmediately to a formal response?
    13. 13. Dealing with PoorPerformanceQuick FixShould be used for minor performance problems, but should still give a clearmessage about what needs to change.It is particularly appropriate – For the first time a problem occurs For giving reminders about house rules and other minor transgressions of “rules” When an immediate response to an isolated incident is requiredThe following tips should help to make your Quick Fix effective – Deal with the problem directly and promptly (ideally within 24 hours). Do notavoid it, overlook it, overreact or complain to others about it. Deal with the problem privately away from others, ideally face-to-face. Be specific, using examples, about what you want to change or to occur Gain commitment that this will happen Advise the job holder about the consequences of it not happening
    14. 14. Key StagesPREPARECONFRONT THE PROBLEMIntroducePresentDevelopAgreeFollow Up
    15. 15. Stage One - Preparation Seek HelpSpeak to your Manager (or local HR) early on. They should be able to offer objectivity anda different perspective. Prepare the FactsBe clear about what is wrong and what needs to be improved / done differently. Seekfeedback or evidence if appropriate. Prepare for the MeetingPrivate place, write a meeting plan, consider likely reactions, focus on the facts. Key Skills1. Acknowledge the problem. There are many “reasons” why this is not oftendone.As a result, a common outcome is to avoid confronting the problem.2. Preparing for negative reactions.Do not fight the job holder’s reactions – fix the performance problem.
    16. 16. Stage Two – Confront theProblem1. IntroduceProvide an overview of the meeting2. PresentPut the problem in context and present the facts3. DevelopConcentrate on obtaining the job holder’s response and theirreason for the problem4. AgreeMutually agree a way forward. If appropriate set SMARTobjectives and record them.Key SkillsCommunicate clearly and directly in Phase 1 & 2Recognise and respond to job holder’s reactions in Phase 3Develop understanding by asking Questions in Phase 3.Gain commitment and Plan in Phase 4.
    17. 17. Stage Three – Follow UpFollow Up can be both informal and formal……Actions for informal follow up include – Monitoring and observing Keeping in touch and checking back Giving feedback Encouraging and acknowledging improvements Sticking to the actions agreedActions for the formal follow up meeting include – Build on the original meeting, using same skills and techniques.The emphasis will be on providing feedback on the agreed changes. Eg you willneed to prepare new evidence, with examples of changes in performance. If matter resolved satisfactorily – acknowledge to individual. If issue unresolved or re-occurring – escalate through the capability /disciplinary procedure. Contact HR if assistance is required.Key Skills More of the same!
    18. 18. Group WorkBreak in to groups to consider case studiesusing the 3 stage modelConsider scenarioWhat should you consider?What should be the reasons?How would you prepare?(getting evidence, meeting plan,emotive responses)
    19. 19. Dealing with PoorPerformanceSMART Performance Objectives When setting performance objectives you shouldensure that they are ‘SMART’S – SpecificClear and UnderstoodM – MeasurableTargets and qualitative outputsA – AgreedAccepted by the employeeR – RealisticAchievable and fairT – TimelySet target dates
    20. 20. Performance ObjectiveExamplesObjective MeasureTo ensure consistent quality ofwork.Met set deadlines in a timelyfashion.Fully understands requirementsset and queries when required.To improve team working Attended all team meetings.Contributed to the weekly teamstatus report.Received positive feedback fromother team members.Participated equally on phonerota.To comply with Companyprocedures.Arrived at desk by 1000 hrs.eachday.
    21. 21. Formal ProceduresFormal Procedures If informal methods of managing poorperformance have not worked, Capability orDisciplinary processes may be used. Contact HR for advice and assistance. Policies can be found on the Intranet and inthe Employee Handbook
    22. 22. Dealing with PoorPerformanceIn summary Poor Performance can usually beavoided if: Recruitment and selection methods are thorough androbust. New employees receive adequate training and inductioninto the Company. Performance is developed to equip job holders with skills,knowledge and experience needed for current and futurerequirements. Good working relationships are formed; which encouragetrust, open communication and motivation. Good day-to-day management, e.g. giving regularfeedback, direction, support. Job holders know the “rules”, giving reminders wherenecessary. And common sense!
    23. 23. Your Responsibilities as aPeople ManagerWhat you are responsible for: Taking action Investigating the circumstances fully Meeting with the individual Preparing and agreeing a plan tocorrect/improve performance Monitoring and encouraging progress Contacting HR if the situation does notresolve itself and formal proceduresneed to be introduced.
    24. 24. ConsequencesConsequences of not doing anything for you could be …. Not meeting your responsibilities Negative impact on delivery of capability Other team members could copy cat Team morale affected Increased likelihood of having to manage a bigger problem later Moving poor performers around the organisationConsequences of getting it wrong are …. By not following the correct procedures the Company is at risk of beingtaken to an Employment Tribunal. This can:- Cause stress to staff- Put pressure on limited resources- Damage the Company’s reputation- Damage employee relationsAn employer must show that they have acted fairly and reasonably in theparticular circumstances, and have followed written procedures.
    25. 25. Action Planning What have your learnt? What will you do with it? How will you remember? What else do you need?