By defining key competencies, duties and responsibilities, the job description provides a great platform by which performance can be measured and monitored.
For new employees, it is common to have a probationary period.
If you notice performance issues during the probationary period, do not leave it until the last minute to start addressing the problems. Holding mid-probation reviews and regular feedback sessions to explain to the employee in what ways they are progressing well and what areas they need to work on ensures that everyone knows where they stand. If they are struggling, you should offer them all the necessary support and guidance to get their performance to the required standard.
For each employee, you need to consider what objectives you want the employee to meet and how they align to your organisation’s goals. Use the SMART acronym to ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely. You also need to agree with the employee how they will accomplish their objectives.
Carrying out performance appraisals should not be considered a chore. It should provide real value to both your organisation and your employees. For example, if your organisation is trying to increase customer satisfaction by 20% over the next 12 months, you may set your receptionist the objective of answering all clients’ calls within three rings and answering emails within four hours. By carrying out one to one meeting on a monthly or quarterly basis, you should keep monitoring this to ensure that they are on target and offer them support when they need it. This should be accompanied by formal reviews which you may decide to undertake once or twice a year.
In order to ensure consistency of approach across the organisation, all your managers should receive training on performance management. They should know how to identify poor performance, carry out appraisals, set objectives, develop a Performance Improvement plan, keep effective records and understand the process to dismiss. Using the support of a HR specialist will ensure that you are on the right side of the law when managing the performance of your team.