It goes without saying that good staff relations are essential to maintaining a happy and healthy workplace.
Nevertheless, a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development last year revealed that only 37 per cent of employees have confidence in their senior management team and 34 per cent trust their senior managers. Evidently there is plenty that managers can do to foster better staff relations. By taking the following steps, you can also nurture a unique working environment with loyal and dedicated staff:
A clearly defined job description should highlight competencies or required knowledge, skills, abilities and values for the job. CVs and other information from the selection process will indicate where gaps in these aspects exist between what is ideally required and what a person has. This is a key stage in beginning to manage an employee’s performance.
The setting of goals or objectives should be based on the expectations, duties and tasks related to the job. Job candidates will expect these to be outlined during the application or interview process, and they should again be outlined in an introductory session, ideally during a formal induction.
If your firm has a documented business plan in place setting out its measurable goals and objectives, this should also feed into department or team plans. By referring to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) rooted in your business’s strategic plan, people at all levels of the business can refer to these and describe what the objectives of the business mean for their job.
Defining Measurable Performance
Measuring performance is a way of comparing an employee’s work to the overall strategy and goals of the business. It should take into account whether they have met the goals defined in the employee’s personal development plan.
For a business providing a service, employees who have a say in how the service is delivered will feel engaged in their work. Employees who feel they have satisfaction in their work will in turn translate into greater client/customer satisfaction, and this tends to result in higher profits. This will inevitably meet one of your company’s objectives and therefore should be measurable and result in a reward for that employee.
Ongoing Coaching and Feedback
Be clear about the job expectations and how employees are performing against them. As workplaces become increasingly informal, this can be as simple as regularly talking to employees, making suggestions, and keeping them on track.
Quarterly and Annual Performance Reviews
As well as ad hoc feedback, quarterly and annual performance reviews should be formally arranged regularly during the year. Both employees and managers should prepare for this meeting and use previous reviews or performance discussions as the framework for the meeting.
Training and Development
Training and development programmes and personal development plans should be agreed with employees. The focus should be on addressing gaps between the knowledge, skills and abilities required and those actually displayed by the employee.
Tackling Negative Issues
Managers can understandably be afraid of tackling negative issues with their staff, but by bearing a few key points in mind, it can help motivate employees and steer them in the right direction. In the next issue we will outline in more detail the steps needed to ensure that when dealing with negative behaviour it is done in a way that motivates the staff member.
Recognising Positive Performance
Recognising positive performance isn’t simply a matter of saying ‘well done.’ It includes effective compensation and benefits linked to deliverable results.
Employees need to recognise their career paths and be kept aware of promotion prospects. This can be as simple as having an informal chat on a regular basis about those prospects, opportunities for training towards promotion and helping to fund that training. Employees want to know where good performance will lead them and what’s in it for them.
It goes without saying that an effective performance management system relies on good communication. Employees who receive regular advice and assistance in their work will be happy in their jobs. Happy employees increase client satisfaction as well as profits. With the right performance management system, a business of any size can achieve their goals in the same way as the largest multinational.
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