At Coleman Greig we work with clients on a daily basis in
relation to the performance management of their employees, and
it's clear to me that for many of them, engaging in the process
is a notoriously daunting task!
In many instances the task is perceived as "daunting"
as a result of the following negative connotations which are
typically associated with the process:
it's time consuming;
it's often met with backlash;
the items for discussion can be difficult to
articulate/explain/provide examples of.
To overcome some of these perceptions it's important to put
the need to performance manage an employee in perspective, and to
start the process with the following points in mind:
it may be hard but it's necessary (if you aren't happy
with the way an employee is performing their role then it's to
everyone's benefit to make sure that the requirements and
expectations of the role are clear on both sides – otherwise
how does your employee know that they aren't meeting your
standards/doing a good job?);
it's not always going to lead to termination of the
person's employment – and that point should be made clear
through the language you use, and the way in which the plan is
packaged and presented to the employee
it's a process not an event, and it should be attended to
it's a skill that requires training (and at times
professional assistance); and,
it should happen routinely and consistently across the
The basic steps in the process include:
What standard do you expect? Communicate it!
What are your concerns? Communicate them!
Set a time frame for improvement. Communicate it!
Monitor what's happening moving forward (including
scheduling in advance follow up meeting/s).
What happens if I short cut the process?
Your employee is going to have difficultly achieving the
The end result is more likely to be the termination of the
relevant person's employment (which means you'll need to
find a replacement and you'll probably be up for additional
recruitment and training costs); and,
There is a greater chance that the employee will make an unfair
dismissal or adverse action claim (and it's likely to be harder
for you to combat/defend).
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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An employer's duty is very high and can include engaging experts to inspect things such as stairways for latent defects.
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