Staff Performance - Management & Reviews

By April Harrington.
31 May 2022

Your people are your greatest asset. They are what makes your business profitable and successful. By extension, performance management is the key to your organisation’s success.

A good, structured plan means your staff know what is expected of them. Your teams have clear goals and the necessary support to achieve them.

But what makes a good plan? And, how do you effectively manage staff performance?

Those are the questions we aim to answer in this article…

How to measure staff performance

The first thing you need to know is how to monitor staff performance.

Objectives are key to management. If you’re uncertain what objectives to set, start with the employee’s job description. This can help you identify key responsibilities and set objectives that reflect the tasks they carry out. Remember, your objectives should be fair. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be challenging, just within the bounds of their role.

If you’re still struggling, try using a SMART objective. This stands for:

  • Specific ­- what exactly does the employee need to do?
  • Measurable - how will the manager and employee know that it has been achieved?
  • Achievable - while it should be challenging, is it something the employee is reasonably capable of achieving?
  • Relevant - does it relate to the needs of the team/department/business?
  • Timebound - when does it need to be achieved by?

Make sure you agree all objective with the employee. This means they know and understand what is expected of them. Discussion is key to performance management. Failure to communicate with the employee could result in issues going unaddressed. This, in turn, can have a negative impact on morale and retention.

Once you have your objectives in place, you can assess staff against their performance measurements. You can measure this simply by marking them as “met” or “not met”. However, there are other ways to do this. You can utilise a scale system, for example 1 to 5. Or, if the measurements are based on figures, you can measure using metrics such as percentage increases. These types of metrics, sometimes known as key performance indicators (KPIs), can help you navigate business success. Make sure they’re data driven and accurate before using them for performance management.

Whatever method you choose, you must ensure that the performance measurements you set don’t discriminate against employees based on a protected characteristic. The most common examples of this happening usually include disabled employees being put at a disadvantage.


measure staff performance


How to manage staff performance

There isn’t one way to go about it. You must choose which techniques work for your business and your people. Managing staff performance is a delicate balancing act. On one hand, you risk micromanaging your employees, on the other, they have little direction and productivity drops. To ensure the balance doesn’t tip too far one way or the other, implement a personal development plan (PDP)

This should set out achievable goals for the individual you are managing. Also, it should highlight smaller action points to help attain those goals. Map out the progression you want to see in the employee from now until the next performance review. Highlight any training they may need, as well as issues or notes the employee themselves has. This will help them to feel invested in the business and their future within it.

Another great method of managing performance is peer reviews. This allows teams to provide positive and constructive feedback. Done well, it can be a massive boost to morale and brings teams closer. You should note any actions that come out of a peer review and follow them up.

More staff management tips

In recent years, staff management has changed. This was largely due to the pandemic, as remote working took centre stage. The most recent statistics indicate that output per worker was 0.6% below pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, despite a rise of 0.3% in the quarter.

With this in mind, it’s vital that you manage and measure staff performance correctly. So, here are a few additional tips to enhance employee performance:  

  1. Make your expectations attainable – be clear about expectations and explain what measures will be used
  2. Be collaborative – Engage the employee in the process to glean ideas and influence business goals
  3. Provide training and coaching – strengthen staff skills and promote their constant development and improvement
  4. Don’t leave feedback until the end of the year – have regular face-to-face meetings or appraisals with your employees to discuss progress and challenges


managing staff performance


When to conduct employee performance reviews

Although communication should remain throughout the year, you should always schedule an official employee performance review at a regular interval. This could be quarterly or yearly. We wouldn’t recommend an official meeting more frequently than once a quarter. A 2019 study found that nearly half of UK employees are indifferent to, or dread, their performance reviews. As a result, holding an appraisal more frequently could have a detrimental effect to productivity and morale. If you have concerns, or an issue you’d like to address, perhaps consider a more informal meeting instead.

Guarantee a staff performance boost

Managing staff performance is critical to business success. There are many techniques you can utilise to improve productivity in your organisation. However, sometimes implementation of a new process can cause business disruption.

To guarantee success without compromising your current output, speak to a Croner consultant. Our experts can provide you with a detailed plan and 24/7 HR advice. Find out how it works by calling today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

April Harrington.

An experienced Senior Employment Law Consultant, who has worked for the group for over 9 years. April specialises in discrimination legislation. April has an extensive background in training, as well as recruitment and hospitality.

Get expert views & insights delivered directly to your inbox