I’ll declare now – my biggest pet hate in HR is managers who are not honest with their staff. How can a member of staff improve if they have been told that their work is ’fine’?
Over the years I have had a number of managers appear at my desk to tell me that an employee is ‘useless’ and we need to move them on. Ok, I say, let’s have a look at their last performance review, and see what you told them, and what targets you set. Would you believe it, you said they were great! An asset to the company! So what has gone wrong in the few months since you wrote that dear Manager? Nothing? They are the same as they were, but you were just filling the performance review form in to be kind.
Ok so I’ve merged many stories into one there, but they are all more or less the same. The poor employee thinks they are doing a great job, because that’s what they have been told. The rest of the team are fed up because so and so is not doing their job and the manager is doing nothing about it. It all makes a toxic situation that demoralises staff, and affects productivity.
A good manager is honest – they set clear achievable targets. If the employee then doesn’t achieve the targets, they look at why. Is there a training need? Is there a lack of understanding? There then needs to be revised targets. If these aren’t achieved then the employee needs to be clear that failure to meet the required standard could mean they lose their job.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but it’s quite clear to me, an employee is paid to do a job, if they are not able to do that job even after additional support and training, then it’s time to move on. It’s not fair on any employee to be left in a role where they are constantly told they are not achieving – how demoralising! Nor is it fair on a company.
A clear performance Management policy will help support you, and then effective fair implementation is needed. All managers need to understand the policy, and understand how to have honest conversations with their staff.
If you would like to discuss your performance management policy, or a performance issue, please get in touch!