So … you’ve had some informal chats and casual feedback coaching with a staff member on a number of occasions – but despite rumination and dialogue – their performance hasn’t changed and they are not at the required performance levels necessary. It can be frustrating for you and daunting for them. Today’s Karen Gately blog gives you some basic guidelines on engaging in the performance management process with respect and integrity. Remember, by being honest and giving your staff memberfeedback you are helping both your staff member and your business.
You’ve been talking to your under-performing staff member, and casually observing their performance – but nothing is changing in their behaviour and they’re not fulfilling the most basic requirements of their role. This is the time that you may need to formalise the performance management process. Before commencing it is imperative to understand the two most important components of performance management.
· Firstly, the overall objective of performance management should always be to improve performance to a satisfactory level
· Secondly the outcome of this process may include termination of employment, so take every reasonable step to ensure your process and decision cannot be deemed unfair or unlawful
Integrity – The Golden Rules
A performance management framework will be ineffective if the overarching principles are not applied with integrity. For instance, performance managing someone out of a business simply because you don’t like them is not acting with integrity. Identified below are examples designed to test the integrity of your process;
· Are you communicating honestly and with compassion? These conversations are unpleasant for you as a manager, but always consider how the employee is feeling. It’s an extremely confronting and difficult time for the employee.
· Does it feel right? If a process or decision doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t!
· Have you set and maintained realistic timeframes? Be fair and reasonable with the performance improvement expectations.
· Are you providing adequate support to facilitate learning objectives? Don’t set the employee up to fail.
· Have you analysed any constricting factors? Should an existing process be redefined, has the employee been off sick or on leave, is a particular client very difficult to contact, is there enough management support?
· Is your intention to help the employee be successful in the role?
In light of these ‘rules’, evaluate your position of integrity in formalising the performance management of your staff member. If you are setting realistic expectations and timeframes, providing support and relevant skills support and maintaining kind, professional communication – you’re on the right track to helping your staff member grow, or find a more suitable environment to develop in.