The Performance Framework
Although the EPR process does not include a formal rating system, it does include a general performance framework that recognises the need to:
1) Identify people who consistently demonstrate exceptional performance
2) Identify where performance consistently does not meet the standard expected
Why is this important? Because if we are to improve overall University performance then we have to start to formally recognise where significant differences in contribution exist, and either work to improve performance or utilise higher performance more effectively, as appropriate.
People who consistently demonstrate performance well above the standard expected through their delivery, influence, flexibility and “can do” attitude.
The review conversation is likely to focus on how best to use their skills to drive School, Department or Research Institute high priority issues, particularly in terms of role modelling particular skills and behaviours across the team.
Performance that does not meet the standard required
Means consistently under-delivering either through work quality, or not meeting deadlines, or both. This is likely to have persisted over months or years, rather than due to one-off events.
Performance issues can occur at any time, to anyone, and can be caused by a range of factors, some of which may be outside the control of the employee concerned.
If the employee is deemed to not meet the standard required then a Performance Improvement Plan is needed and HR should be informed.
How do you identify where performance falls below the standard expected?
This is laid out in detail in the Performance Improvement Guidance Note and you should read this note well ahead of any review meetings if you believe there are performance issues in your team. (The guidance note is available to managers via the Managers' Guidance Notes on the "S" drive).
However it is particularly important to realise that performance issues can occur at any time, to anyone, and can be caused by a range of factors, some of which are outside the control of the employee concerned.
This is why it is so important to address the issue of under-performance in a constructive, positive manner with a view to improving the situation as quickly as possible by addressing the issue (which may have occurred due to no fault of the person concerned).
Some of the reasons that performance issues might occur are:
• Poor recruitment in the first place
• Lack of training
• High workload
• Repetitive, unchallenging or too little work
• Team dynamics
• Personal factors not related to work
• Loss of confidence
It is crucial for managers to base under-performance on facts and not let their own personal views or opinions influence their actions.
Gathering evidence of the performance issues is an essential first step to tackling the problem. Evidence will be used to show to the employee that there is a performance problem.
In all cases you should consult HR regarding issues of under-performance.