The hallmarks of a fair performance management process are:
- Setting the standards of reasonable and acceptable performance for each job;
- Ensuring that these standards of performance are clearly communicated to staff members;
- Implementing and consistently applying ways of measuring/assessing individual performance (e.g. one to ones; appraisals; performance reviews);
- Providing informal feedback and advice to help maintain and improve individual performance;
- Where there is a genuine and reasonably held view that a staff member is performing below expectation, notwithstanding informal feedback previously provided, introducing a structured performance improvement plan (PIP);
- Giving notice of and instigating formal performance/capability procedures if the staff member does not achieve the standards set out in the PIP.
The hallmarks of the formal procedure are:
- Meetings during which the manager should provide the evidence of poor performance and explore the reasons for it (at which the staff member may be accompanied);
- Exploring what steps can reasonably be taken to support the staff member to improve his/her level of performance in the specific areas identified;
- Allowing a reasonable amount of time for the staff member to improve with the support in place;
- Setting clear expectations for improvement;
- Explaining the potential consequences of failure to improve;
- A series of escalated warnings up to and including dismissal.
The aim of any formal procedure is to achieve an improvement in performance to the reasonable and acceptable standard expected from the outset.
What difference do measures introduced as a result of the Coronavirus make? Read the full guidance note here.