“Their performance is not up to standard”

“My manager is bullying me”, “I’m being micro-managed”, “I have unachievable targets”

As a Workplace Investigator over many years I have witnessed the negative impact of flawed performance management all too often. The lack of a transparent record of steps taken to help improve performance and a worker without a clear understanding of improvements needed and why, time and again setting the scene for allegations of bullying, harassment, and discrimination. In addition to the impact on the business there is also the toll on individuals, manager, worker and bystander, distracted, anxious, drifting deeper into conflict, irretrievable breakdown and a situation which could have been avoided.

How can we ensure a clear distinction between firm management and negative management practices?

Allegations that stem from flawed performance management can become unwieldy and costly, including absence, low morale, poor productivity, investigations, appeals and legal avenues.  A despondent workplace where negative behaviours thrive.

A useful perspective, to support productive working relationships, is that a manager has the right to manage and an individual has the right to be treated fairly. At the same time, the fair and consistent implementation of organisational policies and procedures, underpinned by accurate, transparent and timely recording, is integral to successful performance management.

A clear outline of the low performance and standard required, support and development pathways to improve and motivate, benchmarks to measure progress and a thorough audit trail are also intrinsic to healthy performance management. Managing poor performance without these vital components can transform a situation from one of handling underperformance to an environment overwhelmed by allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Following these steps, in your performance management, can not only reduce the risk of distracting and potentially costly conflict they can help to build productive working relationships based on open dialogue and healthy management.

Building the workforce of the future

TRAINING and TOOLS to equip leaders with knowledge, skills and confidence to manage performance and build healthy working relationships.

CLARIFY and COMMUNICATE the low performance, impact on team, business and why it needs to improve.

IDENTIFY and IMPLEMENT support mechanisms and development initiatives.

REVIEW and RECORD progress against clear benchmarks.


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