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Top Tips for Maximising Staff Performance

matthew grant and fiona martin at brighton community works

Managing capability issues in the workplace take up a lot of valuable time and many managers struggle with poor performance issues.

If you follow these suggestions not only will you end up with a positive and productive workforce but you will also feel confident that your fair but firm approach is benefiting everyone.

  1. Provide all new recruits with a three to six month probationary period. This enables busy managers to monitor, set-up a performance review and dismiss fairly if the new recruit is the wrong person for the job.
  2. Quarterly one-to-ones with a yearly ‘job chat’ will ensure that you are communicating regularly and positively about performance.
  3. Job descriptions should be regularly updated so they reflect your employee’s responsibilities.
  4. Difficult conversations around performance should be initiated by you or your managers as soon as there is an issue.
  5. Your employee should be invited to set-out their own perspective before any decision is made to place your employee on a formal performance review.
  6. If it is apparent that there are management issues, such as lack of training or under-resourcing, put support in place, first.
  7. Set-up a formal performance review process with agreed goals and targets to be met within a fixed period. Any goals and targets not met need to be carried forward.
  8. If necessary, issue formal warnings, usually two, with dismissal being the final sanction if there is no improvement. Three months is a fair starting point for a performance review, but this can be extended.
  9. Ensure that this performance review is formally recorded and if dismissing, give your employee the right to appeal.
  10. Dismissal will be ‘on notice’ unless there has been gross negligence.

For all managers, business owners and HR professionals who work in the Digital Media sector in the Gatwick and Crawley area, on 5 May 2016 Fiona Martin will be running a session on Maximising Staff Performance in partnership with Wired Sussex.

For more information visit our HR Digital Media events page.

About the author

Fiona Martin


I lead the employment teams in our solicitors’ offices in Brighton, Eastbourne, Shoreham, Gatwick & Crawley and Croydon. As founding Director, I am also responsible for the firm’s marketing. I provide expert opinion for the press, disseminate employment law round-ups through my employment law blog and campaign on important issues such as maternity and disability discrimination. I train employers and HR professionals to be best practice managers and I am also a CEDR accredited mediator.

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