Performance Management

Do you effectively manage the ‘people’ side of risk?

By | Performance Management, Uncategorised | No Comments

RiskMost Executives take managing risk quite seriously, the better to evade the kinds of crises that can destroy reputations, value and even cause ruin to an organisation.

Especially in the wake of the Brexit, many are striving to put in place more thorough risk-related processes and oversight structures in order to detect and correct, safety breaches, operational errors, and over-leveraging before they become full-blown disasters. Read More

For Every Action There’s an Equal and Opposite Reaction

By | Performance Management, Uncategorised | No Comments

Employee engagementFor every action there’s an equal and opposite reaction…. so states Newton’s 3rd Law, which is never more apparent than in January.

The Christmas break is a distant memory; you may be sat at your desk doing dry January, Veganuary or each of the above. Exccept (as in my case) you’re left with the reminder of festivities being a little bit more squidgy that you were a month ago.  Christmas is the action, your waistline and bank balance are the equal and opposite reactions. One increases, the other diminishes. Read More

Being Cruel to be Kind in Performance Management

By | Performance Management

When it comes to performance management, there’s a powerful link between productivity and what is commonly known as “compassionate leadership”.  The single greatest influence on profitability and productivity within an organisation is the ability of leaders to spend more time and effort developing and recognising their people, welcoming feedback, including criticism, and fostering co-operation among staff. Read More

Three Top Tips to Making New Managers successful

By | Human Resources Specialists Policies & Procedures, Performance Management

Whilst there are many things which can influence the success of your team, a great manager is a key factor when it comes to keeping people motivated and on the road to success. An effective manager can make all the difference between a successful team and one that falls short.

As such an important influence, it’s key that managers, especially those in their first management role, feel they have all the resources and knowledge available to them to help drive their team to success. New, first-time managers need to go into their role feeling able and equipped to undertake all their duties.

Here are three tips for developing first time managers and making sure the transition from team member to team leader is a smooth one.

  1. Mentoring

Too often, new managers are thrown in at the deep end  and made to go from their previous role to their new one with no transition period. That’s a mistake; the process should be as smooth and practical as possible and one way to do that is to provide a new manager-to-be with a mentor.

Allowing your first-time managers to spend a few days shadowing the person currently in their future role, or in a similar one, and giving them the opportunity to openly share concerns, gaps in their knowledge, or issues they’re having is a great way to ease people in and give them the support they need in the form of a mentor. Having a more experienced manager to guide people through their new role can make the difference between a new manager who struggles to transition and one who comes into the team confident and ready to take the reigns.

  1. Collaboration

Whilst having those with more experience provide support, advice or help building skills can be great, it can also be incredibly useful for new managers to speak with those on the same level. Providing open management sessions on a regular basis can be a hugely helpful way for both first-time and more experienced managers to share knowledge, addressing specific issues the new managers may face.

In larger organisations it’s a great practice to group together newer or first-time managers from various departments for meetings with open discussion. They discover they share many of the same concerns and, in this setting, can get support from the group and measure their own development.

This is also a good way to monitor individual development, making it possible to provide additional help and counsel as necessary. It’s also an excellent way for HR to become aware of the issues that frequently arise with first-time leaders, which, in turn, can become specific topics for training and development.

  1. Focus on building the right skills

It’s one thing ensuring first-time managers feel personally ready to take on their role, but it’s also important they have the necessary skills to do the job. Setting goals that involve developing specific skills gives people something concrete to aim towards while ensuring the right things are focused on.

Managing people requires new skills, and being aware of exactly how to develop those skills is key not only for first-time managers who have recently started their role, but also for those with leadership potential. Don’t just have these processes be short-lived though. Really developing skills takes time, and will be most effective if the process begins before the new manager assumes the role, and continues throughout the manager’s career.

People management is often a key area of concern for business owners who don’t always have the time or expertise to develop robust and appropriate strategies and policies.  That’s where HCHR comes in.  We can work with you to develop your managers in line with your organisation’s ethos, goals and values.

Just call us today on the number below for a free half hour consultation:


The Importance of Performance Management for Business Development

By | Human Resources Specialists Policies & Procedures, Performance Management

Policy and ProcedureA skilled and talented workforce is the essence of every successful business but attracting and then retaining these employees is not always easy. So how do successful organisations continue to grow and develop their employees to the benefit of the business and individuals alike?

The answer is easy but the process less so!  It’s all about performance management.  If you have in place a robust performance management process which is embraced by employees at all levels, you will not only be in a stronger position to retain your talented staff but your offering as potential employer also becomes very attractive.

According to recent article published by the CIPD,

“Performance management is strategic as well as operational, as its aim is to ensure that employees contribute positively to business objectives. Ideally, performance should be managed holistically, throughout the range of HR activities and processes.”

Read more about this article here.

So why are many businesses lacking when it comes to performance management?

Shakira Joyner, Managing Director of Swansea-based HCHR explains:

Many organisations treat performance management as an annual event when appraisals are due to be carried out…. and some business owners some don’t even bother with an appraisal process.  However, research* shows that companies with an ongoing focus on performance management have better business results.

Organisations where employees revise or review their goals quarterly or more frequently are:

  • 45 percent more likely to have above-average financial performance and
  • 64 percent more likely to be effective at holding costs at or below level of competitors.

*Source AdTech.

Performance management appraisals are just one of the mechanisms that employers need to embrace in order to develop their workforce. But there are many more techniques and procedures that astute business owners should adopt in order to ensure they attract, retain, reward and develop their employees.

At HCHR, we understand that employees are your most precious asset, and their performance is intrinsic to and impacts on the success and realization of business objectives and goals.

For help and guidance on any performance management issues or to discuss how to implement best practice in your organisation, call HCHR today on the number below:

Top 5 Performance Management Failures

By | Performance Management

Policy and ProcedureFrom my work with SME’s there is a common trend as to why performance management processes break down, so I thought that I would share some of my “pearls of wisdom” with you…

  1. Define: While most companies engage in performance management tasks, the connectedness and ultimate effect of performance management success varies wildly. Most often, I find that key process activities succeed only at communicating desired outcomes, but stop short of influencing or reinforcing. For a performance management strategy to be successful, it must be viewed as a business management tool, whose purpose isn’t to measure, but to align employee behaviour with organizational objectives.
  2. Prioritize… Simplify and focus performance management to a few vital goals. Good performance management begins with focus. Successful companies improve performance by being ruthlessly clear about the key causes of success, focusing employee’s efforts, and creating the momentum to achieve clear, transparent goals.
  3. Focus on behaviours and milestones, not just high level metrics: It is not just about measuring performance for the sake of it… track task completion as well as metric success, measure the effect of that success, and reward those employees who encourage the right outcomes in the right way.
  4. Align business performance management to HR performance management: To achieve high performance, managers need to establish a climate of trust, create incentives and reward those who encourage organizational value over personal achievement.
  5. Create an adaptable review system: You have to consider the business operating environment; we aren’t robots!! What factors are influencing the market place? Financial and human capital factors should all be considered. All too often Managers are too overwhelmed with data, too focused on financial results to see changes in their operating environment. By focusing on data over insight, they inadvertently obscure the ability to sense changes in the environment.

As the late Steve Jobs noted, “… of my mantras – focus and simplicity…simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

For support on all management performance development and issues, call hchr on the number below:

human resources specialists

Are your Managers Ready for Performance Management?

By | Human Resources, Performance Management | No Comments

Heather Cooper Mediation ArticleWhy do performance management systems so often fall down?  The answer is simple: it’s because managers either feel ill-equipped, inexperienced or don’t have the time to carry out the process properly.

We understand that there is a lot of paperwork involved in the performance management process and that the meetings involved can take up a lot of time too.  However, successful business owners who understand the need for performance management will ensure that this process is integrated into all operations in the same way as all other activities.

Failing to Manage

Says Heather Cooper, Director at hchr, “In my experience, working with businesses of all sizes across the UK, any business that tolerates their managers’ failure to conduct performance review meetings is failing their managers, in the same way that the managers are failing their employees.”

“Performance management is not something a business needs to do just to keep their HR department happy.  It needs to be at the heart of business planning but will only work effectively if business wholly embraces the process.”

Maximising a business’s assets and resources should be the key aim of any performance management system.   The focus should be on driving the strategic goals of the business based on continuous improvement by maximising an organisation’s most valuable asset, its people.

Commitment to Managing Performance

Decision makers need to be sure that their performance management objectives are delivered by their staff and don’t simply turn into a numbers exercise in terms of output and monitoring.  No matter which approach a company takes to performance management it is never going to work without commitment and understanding from the most senior level.  Once this commitment is in place, then the HR team, whether in-house or a consultancy, will be in a position to put in place a performance management system that is in-line with the company’s operations and goals along with the relevant training to ensure managers and senior staff are equipped to make it happen.

“Making performance management work for your business will never be a quick fix”, adds Heather.  “What’s more, effective systems are dependent on open communications and the ability to deal with difficult, sometimes sensitive issues.”

“Robust performance management systems will only be effective if they are given the same importance in the workplace as all other operations.   The system should become part of a manager’s day to day management responsibilities and held accountable for performance. “

“Training and support are both crucial to enable managers to develop their skills as is an appreciation of the value of system as an important performance management tool.  Two way feedback is also vital at all levels of an organisation to maintain a culture of open communications.”

Developing Performance Management Systems

At hchr, we work with a number of organisations, helping them not only to develop their performance management systems in line with their goals as well as training staff to ensure that they are able to deliver the process as effectively as possible.  For some organisations, we take on the role of their HR department to fully implement their performance management systems.

For more information about performance management for your business or how the team at hchr can help, please call us on the number below:

Contact HCHR - 01792 234761


Performance Management Systems Vital for Business Success

By | Management, Performance Management | No Comments

Business group stock resizedIsn’t every business about doing as well as it possibly can? So why then do so many businesses see “Performance Management” as something for HR. All too often the term “Performance Management” is bandied about without any real meaning. Performance Management itself is subject to a number of misconceptions and misunderstandings, and is not something can be easily explained away with a simple word or phrase.

Somewhere along the line the meaning appears to have got lost.  Astoundingly Performance Management is often seen as something that is not integral to business, not important in the larger scheme of things, or something that must only be completed for paperwork’s sake.  Many businesses carry out performance reviews once at the start or the end of the year, and proceed by telling employees how they feel that they have performed and how they can improve. It’s a start but is this really conducive to good performance management?

To be truly effective performance management needs to be viewed as a system like any other business system. Performance management systems do not just consist of one performance review a year, but they should create a continuous cycle of evaluation and feedback throughout the year.

What is a Performance Management system?

Ultimately, performance management isn’t something with clear cut parameters or end points that need to be achieved, but rather something that is more like a fluid process that can be adapted to each individual business and integrate with other aspects of the business, as well as helping to progress organisational goals and individual performance.

An effective performance management system can usually be achieved when it is viewed as a strategy that links every aspect of an organisation through its culture, communications, human resources policies, and style, while always considering broad issues as well as more focussed ones alongside day-to-day tasks and working relationships.

There are a number of components of a performance management system that can be used and adapted to different business styles and organisations. For example, performance appraisals are one of the most recognised tools of performance management and involve a meeting between and employee and a manager. However, these are not just a simple question and answer session, but should be more of a free flowing conversation that allows two-way feedback and addresses the performance of the individual as well as the way the individual feels they are valued, the understanding of their duties, and the way they are managed.

Learning & Development Opportunities

Other ways of implementing an effective performance management system including encouraging an environment with 360 degree feedback where feedback is consistently generated from all levels of the organisation, not just one manager’s opinion of an employee. Also important to effective performance management systems are learning and development opportunities, as employees can only ever progress and add value to the business when they are given the opportunity to invest in their own personal development. You might also think about quantitative targets and performance related pay as more physical aspects of a performance management system, but there are a number of downsides to consider.

Ultimately, an efficient and effective performance management system is one that works best with your business and allows you to achieve your goals while seamlessly integrating with other aspects of the business to highlight areas for improvement and areas of great benefit.

My mission is to dispel the myth that Performance management is something that businesses need to do to keep HR happy.  HR are there to help the business make it happen but the business must own the process. Performance management is all about helping the business to achieve what it sets out to do and to maximise its assets and resources.  It requires focus, clarity and honesty and a genuine desire to improve. Everyone benefits and the process must be driven by the strategic goals of the business.

The key to Performance Management success is for the key business decision makers to determine if they are interested in managing their business performance as conducted by their staff rather than simply recording it in monitory /output terms.  There are many and varied ways to go about performance management.  To a degree that is an irrelevance as none will be truly successful without top level understanding and commitment. Once that mindset is determined HR’s role is to propose/develop Performance Management systems that are relevant and appropriate to the business, train managers and staff, and help make it happen.

Effective Communications

Make no mistake Performance Management isn’t a quick fix or easy it requires focus, clarity and honest face to face communication including addressing sensitive issues.   Whilst the business case is undeniable, well meaning, Performance Management Systems often fall down because managers feel they feel ill equipped and/or give the excuse that they have no time to spend on the process/paper work.  I can hear the outcry from here. Yes there is a lot of paperwork and the meetings do take time.

Of course HR must take responsibility to ensure that the systems in place meet the needs of the business. However, in my experience where a business tolerates managers failure to conduct performance review meetings due to lack of time that business has failed the managers.  Any business that understands the need for Perfomance Management will have planed its implementation in the same way that operational activities are planned. If conducting performance reviews is a job responsibility, given equal status to operational responsibilities and managers are held accountable, in the same way as they are their operational responsibilities, the systems will work.

As with any other work responsibility the parties must be supported by a workable system and must be trained/supported to build up their skills and experience and most importantly the value of what they are doing must be evident.  Feedback is essential to understand that the investment is worthwhile and to maintain commitment to the process.

hchr is an independent HR consultancy based in South Wales providing outsourced HR services to local businesses including the management of employee performance.  For more information about hchr’s services, call on the number below:


human resources specialists

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