Performance Management

On 6 July, Herrington Carmichael and Reality HR, will be hosting a seminar on performance management with a particular focus on managing performance in a post-Covid environment.

Many employers are gearing up for a full office return on 19 July when it is expected all restrictions will be lifted but some will continue remote working or adapt flexible working as the ‘new normal.’ Whatever working arrangements are used, it is important to consider what steps and processes are put in place to monitor performance after an unsettling time.

Performance Management

Coming out of the pandemic, it is important to get on top of performance management to create a sense of stability for staff, boost morale and maximise work productivity where it may have dropped. If an employer fails to deal with performance issues, it may result in a loss of connection and a high turnover of staff.

Best Practice in a post-Covid World

The pandemic has undoubtedly caused a raft of issues for performance management due to the visibility of employees, less collaboration and a general loss of motivation. In addition, some job roles may have changed as a result of the pandemic and ‘targets’ may have slipped. We have therefore considered some best practice points to follow moving forward.

Firstly, communication is key. As an employer, you should ensure that clear and defined goals are set for individuals. If there is no clear, communicated goal or target, it can lead to misunderstanding and bad performance of duties. As a result of the pandemic, it may be necessary to make amendments to existing performance review procedures to adapt to the ‘new normal’ such as adjusting individual goals, resetting expectations around working hours and ensuring employees are equipped to adapt to daily goals.

Over the past eighteen months, there has been significantly reduced communication and face-to-face interaction. It is important to prioritise regular catchups with employees about their performance and general well-being. It is important to consider and/or identify any external issues which may be affecting performance, and offering support for this, before embarking on a performance management route.

Don’t wait for performance to slip. Performance should be consistently reviewed through day to day management as well as annual appraisals, capability processes and salary reviews. These reviews offer an excellent opportunity for employers to set clear expectations and for employees to receive feedback regularly. It is important to take a handle on slipping performance as soon as the issue arises. If an employee has over two years’ service, it is crucial that an employer follows a fair performance process and therefore the management team should fully understand their legal duties and review their performance management process.

This reflects the law at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought as appropriate in relation to a particular matter.

Darren Smith
Partner, Employment
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This reflects the law and market position at the date of publication and is written as a general guide. It does not contain definitive legal advice, which should be sought in relation to a specific matter.

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