Media and Corporate Communications Tel: 01691 680717   Email Jools Payne

It’s good to talk

Performance Management is probably best described as a continual conversation between line management and colleagues.

Older readers will probably easily recall that famous BT advert strapline from the late 1980s ‘it’s good to talk’. It resonated so powerfully precisely because it is an inarguable truth. Yes, it is good to talk.

The performance management conversation is essentially a process; one that seeks to improve organisational effectiveness through individuals, teams and the leadership. It is a regular cycle of appraisal, development, agreed targets and review.

Delivered well, Performance Management links with Talent Management and career progression for high performers, or to encourage improvement in under performers. It also recognises the importance of allowing colleagues to self assess their own performance and to involve them on a route to enhanced performance through realistic targets.

High performers at the top end of the scale step up into the Talent Management programme where leadership training and career development opportunities await. Succession planning has its shortlist of candidates.

At the lower end of the scale, under-performers know that their inability or resistance to develop and improve can result in Capability Procedures.

Successful performance and talent management makes an individual aware of the areas where they consistently fall below required standards. Poorly performing colleagues should be supported and helped to attain targets through Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs). But the PIP shouldn’t be at the expense of continued regular dialogue with your under-performing colleague. You should be very clear that failure to improve may have serious consequences for their on-going employment.

Like all good HR practice, the aim is to use capability and disciplinary procedures as an opportunity to improve a colleague’s performance, not as a tool of dismissal.

There’s a lot of chatter around at the moment about plans to make it easier to fire people. Do you believe it’s good to talk or better they walk?

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