As the cold weather draws in and we approach the Christmas break it can be difficult to keep staff motivated to achieve company objectives. Partner and employment law specialist Stephen Elliott explains how communication can help maintain momentum and increase morale.
He says: “Whatever stage your business is at, whether start-up, SME or large corporate, ensuring all members of the team are aware of the company objectives, and more importantly, are on board to deliver, is absolutely essential.
“Although leadership teams are usually aware of what is required to drive company success, it can be challenging to ensure the vision is understood by the wider team. Clients consistently report that employees who understand clearly why they are asked to do something perform better, and are happier in their roles, than those who are simply following task.”
“By explaining what you are trying to achieve and deciding together the best way to succeed, you share with employees a feeling of ownership and a clear understanding of what is required. Timely performance reviews also provide an opportunity to address any concerns and agree objectives, leaving employees with clear direction and an opportunity to make suggestions.”
“A performance review or appraisal meeting should give the employee the opportunity of discussing with their manager their job performance and progress as well as the potential for future progression. The outcome of the discussion should be a clear understanding of:
- The main scope and purpose of the job role
- the individual objectives and tasks to be undertaken
- The standards or targets for measuring performance
- The individual training opportunities available; and
- The steps the employee needs to take in order to take their career to the next level
“Prepare an appraisal form which gives the employee the opportunity, before the appraisal meeting, to explain how they have progressed and what they consider to be their greatest achievements. This will allow the employee to consider their role, reinforce the requirements and provide an opportunity to celebrate success.
“By asking the employee to share their strengths and weaknesses around the role, elements of the job they find most interesting as well as those they find challenging, you will invite an open discussion about areas for improvement and establish any skills gaps or training requirements in a non-confrontational environment.
Planned correctly, employee reviews encourage open discussion and produce documented conversations with clear next steps and objectives. For support in preparing employee appraisals or advice on any other employment law matter, please contact a member of our employment law team or call us on 01642 610300.
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