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Maintaining effective performance management arrangements

Workplaces are constantly adapting and evolving. It is important that you take steps to review your performance management arrangements and check that they are still appropriate for your organisation.

Monitor the arrangements

You should be monitoring your performance management arrangements each year to ensure that serious issues are not being missed.

Try to collect data that indicates how successful the current system is. This could include:

  • the amount of completed records of performance
  • the number of appeals or complaints about the arrangements
  • how well documentation is being completed
  • employee turn-over and absence levels

If you have an annual staff survey, you should include questions in it that provide insight into staff views on the arrangements.

Carrying out a formal review of the arrangements

Where concerns are identified, a more thorough review of the process may be required to properly understand the issues and consider how best they can be resolved.

A review may be necessary if:

  • the vision or goals of your business have changed
  • there have been changes to the structure or working practices of the organisation
  • new technology is available that might improve your arrangements
  • there are new ways of managing performance that might improve your arrangements

The review should confirm: 

  • how well your arrangements are meeting the business aims
  • staff and managers views of the arrangements
  • whether there are better ways of meeting the business aims
  • potential ways to change the arrangements. 

Data collected when monitoring the arrangements can provide initial insight into how successful the current process is, or what the issues may be. Your review should include the views of staff and their representatives.

For help on involving staff, follow the approaches outlined in engage and consult with staff and their representatives from our guidance on How to get performance management right.

How well are your performance management arrangements working?

To help you assess how well the arrangement are working you may want to consider these questions:

Aims:

  • Have your aims changed? Think about any changes to:
    • the business - for example, the introduction of new technology
    • job descriptions - do they still accurately reflect what people do?
  • Have you got the balance right between performance, disciplinary and wellbeing issues? 

Values:

  • Do staff surveys, team meetings or informal feedback indicate that your arrangements are still:
    • consistent?
    • fair?
    • transparent?

Staff involvement:

  • If you review and amend the arrangements, how will you involve staff and their representatives?

Training:

  • Due to staff turnover or internal progression, is refresher training required? Particularly in regard to discrimination issues and unconscious bias.
  • Are line managers telling you that they have enough time and resources to manage performance effectively?
  • When was the last time senior managers endorsed the aims and values of your arrangements?

 
Legal check: 

  • Are you confident your arrangements are not potentially discriminating certain staff?
  • Do you have any relevant processes or agreements in place which you must follow if you want to change the arrangements?

Objectives and behaviours:

  • Do individual objectives match the broader organisational goals and vision?
  • Do behaviours feel appropriate in terms of wider customer and societal values? For example, is your workplace culture challenging gender stereotyping?

Does it feel right?

  • Are relationships professional and amicable?
  • How often are managers talking to their staff?
  • What do the records tell you about how engaged staff are with the arrangements?

Getting help:

Acas advisers can come into your workplace and have a chat about how things are going. They can help remedy any problems and work with you to build trusting open relationships.

Further tools and training available

Acas offers training courses and e-learning on Performance Management. These are designed for supervisors, managers, team leaders and HR professionals tasked with creating new processes.

View event dates and locations

Access Acas learning online

We can also offer support for any individual issues your organisation may be facing. Find out more about our in-company services or contact us on our online enquiry form to let us know how we can help.