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Top 5 Tips for Great Performance Management

Date: 10 May 2018

Labour, Employment and Workplace Safety special counsel, Elizabeth Ferrier, discusses her top 5 tips for effective performance management in your workplace.

Getting performance management right is critical. At its most simple, if your people don't perform well then neither will your business.

So what are the 5 most important things Businesses need to do to embed great performance management in their operations?

  1. Know what good looks like - This is about having clear, objective standards that are known to both employees and their leaders. Remember this is not limited to the 'what', but also the 'how' - that is behavioural expectations that all employees are expected to adhere to.
  2. Be consistent and persistent. Managing your employees' performance should not be left until poor performance is at a point of crisis. Managers should be providing consistent quality feedback throughout the employment. A discussion about 'poor performance' should never really come as a surprise to an employee.
  3. Follow your processes. Your process or policy needs to be flexible enough to adapt to the wide range of circumstances that you may experience. If you have a process / policy around performance management, ensure that you follow it.
  4. Be reasonable. If you have a poor performing employee, take time to understand why that employee may be underperforming. If you require improvement, be clear on what that entails and provide a reasonable timeframe for the employee to turn it around. Ensure follow up and provide feedback along the way.
  5. Empower your managers then make them accountable. Line managers are critical to good performance management. They need to be trained in the art of giving feedback and in your performance management process. They need to be supported by HR and senior managers, and then held accountable for following through with good quality performance management.


Great performance management is not only about minimising your legal risk, it's first and foremost about getting the best out of your people. Keep these points in mind and you are well on your way to achieving both.


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