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How to manage employee performance in an increasingly flexible workspace

From hybrid working and flexible hours, to access to private healthcare and wellbeing subscription boxes – companies have continued to respond to changes to employee expectations since the start of the pandemic by offering bigger and more forward-thinking benefits. 

For many companies, offering benefits that help to foster a more flexible and compassionate work culture has positively impacted their employee performance. But, when an employee is underperforming, these same benefits can be detrimental to addressing issues quickly and effectively.  

It is, of course, more challenging to address an employee’s performance issues when there is potentially more distance between teams than ever before. 

Added to this however, we’ve seen how the pandemic has conditioned business leaders to be more lenient towards their employees, and created a nervousness to intervene when an employee isn’t performing at the level expected of them in the position they’re in – made worse by it being so difficult to recruit currently.

Addressing an employee’s performance doesn’t need to be a stressful or scary experience for anyone involved though. Nor does it mean that you will inevitably have to recruit someone else into their role – in fact, this is what we are trying to prevent. 

Something like a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) – which we regularly help business leaders with at HR Star – can help to overcome any concerns or issues with an employee’s performance, whilst at the same time give the employee the chance to openly discuss any problems or concerns they might have around their role.

Specifically, a PIP gives both the employee and business leader the chance to define and discuss the areas of concern around an individual’s performance, whilst agreeing objectives which allow the employee to demonstrate an improvement in their performance over time – providing structure and a framework around expectations in a work environment where things are becoming increasingly fluid. 

Not forgetting, a PIP allows both parties to agree on the support needed to help the employee get to where they need to be. This could be organising for them to have a mentor, more regular 1-2-1s, further training in specific areas or even less time working remotely, and more time working physically side-by-side with the rest of your team again. 

If you need support with managing your team’s performance, get in touch with our team on [email protected] or 01242 500 557.

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