What does performance management really mean?

(48 Posts)
NewMum0305 Thu 28-Jan-21 13:09:31

My husband has been told by his line manager that he is going to be put on performance management. Is this just a process to enable a firm to fire someone or can it genuinely be a positive process to help with performance?

Any positive experiences?

OP’s posts: |
ConnectFortyFour Thu 28-Jan-21 13:12:36

I was put on a performance management plan and had a good outcome eventually took ages though and I think it is more normal just to be fired

Respectabitch Thu 28-Jan-21 13:21:10

It can go either way. It depends on the situation, the company, and the manager.

Really and truthfully as a manager, having the person get back to good performance is generally less work and hassle than having to follow through with sacking them and hiring someone new. A performance process should offer clear goals and standards, defined support, and regular check-ins. If the person can get to an acceptable standard of performance with that support, then great. They can be signed off the performance plan, but will need to maintain that standard, or its back on another plan they go. If they can't maintain it, the termination process will begin. Most managers do not enjoy sacking people. However, sometimes a company or manager have already made up their mind about the person and are just going through the motions as the prelude to a sacking. It's impossible to say on information given.

I would advise your DH to make sure the performance plan is clear and regularly reviewed and to do his best to meet it. But I would also advise him to start job hunting.

TDMN Thu 28-Jan-21 23:46:39

I've seen it genuinely be used to help people, i find it especially helpful for people who have either been doing the job a short time and havnt quite got the hang of (or arent aware of) all the hints and tips that people who have been there for longer do, people who've been there for ages and have been doing things in ways that are no longer suitable or havnt been confident enough to try doing it a different (easier, quicker) way so have stuck to what they know out of fear of getting it wrong and people who arent great at organising and need some guidance.
I havd also seen it be used as a bit of a kick up the bum for employees who have got complacent to say look here's your warning, start putting some effort in.

JayAlfredPrufrock Thu 28-Jan-21 23:47:56

It’s meant to help. But .....

TDMN Thu 28-Jan-21 23:52:41

My tips would be:
Husband to make sure theres a written plan in writing with actions from both sides.
Employee uses checklist when completing Task A.
Manager allows employee extra time to complete task B for 2 weeks to give them time to implement new organisational approach.

Plus it looks good if the employee comes up with ideas themselves on what they can do to improve and asks for feedback on how they are doing - ultimately someone who is really proactive and shows via their actions that they want to get better is more likely to keep their job than someone who argues over being on measures, points the finger at others for their mistakes, and who talks the talk but doesnt put any effort in.

Belleende Fri 29-Jan-21 09:11:54

Yep, agree that is is easier all round for performance management to result in improved performance and retaining the employee. How he responds to this is crucial. If he is resistant or sulky in any way, he may as well collect his p45. If he actively engages, takes the feedback and responds positively then he is half way there

JustWatchMe Fri 29-Jan-21 09:33:45

Dh has taken over roles where the incumbent has informed him that they are in the process of sacking someone because they were useless and all he has to do is to hit the button - he's never been fond of not giving people a chance and probably known him - often thinks poor performance is as much to do with poor management as it is to do with the employee - so he'd want to have a go at fixing the problem. So I'd say it depends on the manager.

NewMum0305 Fri 29-Jan-21 14:04:53

Thank you all. Generally his managers have been decent people but this process has been handled quite poorly. He was told a week and a half ago that he needed to improve in some areas or it would be “taken further”. He went back with some set proposals of things he could do, including taking a particular course, which his line manager said were all good, and then a few days later, he was told it had been escalated to HR. The official letter says that the outcomes of the meeting could be continued employment, targets or termination of employment - the latter of which has understandably completely stressed him out. It just seems like he’s been a bit blindsided by these issues they are now raising, and it’s all gotten very serious very quickly.

For context, he is a really hard worker - often up early or working late. I fully accept that the issues they are raising are likely to be valid but just to be clear that he’s not someone who doesn’t give a shit or anything like that.

Thank you all again x

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Fri 29-Jan-21 15:48:13

The official letter says that the outcomes of the meeting could be continued employment, targets or termination of employment - the latter of which has understandably completely stressed him out. It just seems like he’s been a bit blindsided by these issues they are now raising, and it’s all gotten very serious very quickly.

- I would recommend your DH requests their disciplinary policy document. I don't like the sound of him having only about a week from first knowing there was an issue, to them presenting him with a written warning. His manager should have called a meeting with him, and verbally gone through the problems specifically, then agreed how long it would be to rectify the problem. This constitutes the first informal warning. Only if the elapsed time goes by and the problems remain, do they move into formalising it. It's a common problem, a company has a written policy but they compress their own stated timelines to quicken the cycle. This could be a building picture that they are trying to escalate him through the performance/disciplinary route. Keep a record of these details just in case he needs to build a case if they are trying to push him out. At that stage, he could submit a grievance through their company grievance procedure, objecting to being out through performance management, giving justification in writing of everything he has tried to do to resolve the situation positively and cooperatively.

- Is he a Union member? If so, please get him to contact them as they are good at holding management's feet to the fire if there is clear evidence they are not adhering to their own stated policy.

- He needs to keep detailed records of everything he has done to address the problems they've highlighted: dates, actions taken, positive results achieved etc. If he can get any customer feedback, endorsements from colleagues etc gather all that evidence as well.

- Does he have a new manager - it can often be the case that performance management is put in place when a new manager comes in and decides they don't want the legacy team, and this is their way of getting rid of them.

None of the above is meant to frighten you or your DH, but it's important to know what might be happening behind the scenes so he can be ready and prepared for all eventualities. Forewarned is forearmed.

daisychain01 Fri 29-Jan-21 15:49:53

being out through performance management

= put through

NotMeNoNo Fri 29-Jan-21 15:58:24

It can be either/both and it depends on the person and if they have capability to improve. i.e. have they just lost their way a bit and need support, or can they actually not do the job at all, even with help/training? It's the only way you can dismiss somebody who can't do the job but it's a long and time consuming process, and ideally they improve without needing to be dismissed.

If they are hastily moving through the stages it sounds like they have already decided, if you think he is being pushed without a fair chance, keep all your records and evidence as they will have to keep them too.

NewMum0305 Fri 29-Jan-21 18:03:01

Thank you for the excellent advice. He isn’t in a union but we have a very good friend who is a union rep who we have spoken to and is accompanying him at the upcoming performance management meeting (the firm has agreed to this).

No timescale was set from the informal ‘warning’ as far as I am aware and there is nothing specific in their policies (just says they try to resolve things informally whenever possible) - but I think his line manager talked informally about wanting to see improvements over “the next few weeks”. However, he apparently made errors on two pieces of work after that discussion (one of which happened as we were simultaneously dealing with our young child being really unwell and ironically he was doing his best to sort work at the same time rather than burden someone else with it) which were “the final straw” and sped up the process.

I will speak to him about all the evidence gathering. I know he has good feedback he can use, and some recent successes he can point to.

Thank you again x

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Fri 29-Jan-21 20:57:28

Sorry you're going through this will your LO isnt well and I hope they're much better.

Please ensure your DH doesn't take the world on his shoulders and think he's totally to blame. We're all human and make mistakes. If his employer is any good, they'll let him discuss the mitigating factors around that time when he made the mistake and won't hold it against him.

Yes, do keep those detailed records. Whilst he needs to be in conciliatory mode and showing he's taking it all on board, equally he does need to build his defence in case it doesn't go as expected. Keep consulting with his Union rep friend, he will be able to give him a lot of insights along the way.

NewMum0305 Fri 29-Jan-21 22:42:21

Thank you so much - really helpful advice, and yes, she is all better now, thank you x

OP’s posts: |
CoRhona Sat 30-Jan-21 12:33:58

I was asked to 'pop in' to see my then manager, at which point I was informed I was being put on a development plan.

I had been there a long time, no major issues at all - this (fairly new) manager was definitely trying to get me out.

Advice was to make sure I did absolutely everything asked of me in the plan. I did, and passed it. Was very stressful though.

I then fought repeatedly to be moved away from them; was extremely vocal and public about how I had been and was being treated; and in the end the decision was taken to assign me a new manager, to my utmost relief.

Sometimes they can be used meanly; ACAS told me people can be put on them for any reason at all.

Chilver Sat 30-Jan-21 12:40:50

I am considering putting 2 of my team on them and it absolutely is to help and support them improve. Until this thread it hadn't occurred to me about terminating them. I need them to improve performance to meet business goals so its my job to formally help them (because the informal support hasn't worked).

NewMum0305 Mon 15-Feb-21 12:50:48

Thanks everyone for the kind words and advice. Unfortunately my husband has lost his job.

Am a bit in shock as really do not feel he was given much warning or support to improve the issues they raised - went from 0-100 in a matter of weeks.

Thanks again

OP’s posts: |
LApprentiSorcier Mon 15-Feb-21 12:54:25

I'm sorry to hear this. What happened with the performance plan - was he given clear targets, did he meet them? Like you say, it sounds very quick to go from being on the plan to losing his job.

Empressofthemundane Mon 15-Feb-21 12:58:20

Im sorry to hear about your husband.

PatchworkElmer Mon 15-Feb-21 13:07:51

So sorry OP 😔

MistleTOEboughski Mon 15-Feb-21 13:10:25

Sorry to hear that OP, I think in some companies processes like this are just used to get rid of someone whose face doesn't fit or whatever. Good luck to him in finding a new job.

ShirleyPhallus Mon 15-Feb-21 13:13:04

Oh sorry to hear that. Did he make improvements at all?

flowery Mon 15-Feb-21 13:17:48


Thanks everyone for the kind words and advice. Unfortunately my husband has lost his job.

Am a bit in shock as really do not feel he was given much warning or support to improve the issues they raised - went from 0-100 in a matter of weeks.

Thanks again

How long had he worked there?

Aprilx Mon 15-Feb-21 13:20:03

Sorry to hear that OP. That was a very short timeframe for performance improvements. How long has he worked there?

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