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Home > News > Employment Breakfast Reveals How to Get the Best Out of Your Employees

Employment Breakfast Reveals How to Get the Best Out of Your Employees

08 February 2018 |

Nick Jones and Cecily Donoghue, the specialist employment solicitors in our Bristol Employment Team, hosted the next in their series of popular Employment Breakfasts on Wednesday 6th February.

The session was over-subscribed with a full house of attendees from the firm’s core client base of South West businesses and SMEs. This month’s topic was employee capability, and how to get the best out of your employees.

The session opened with consideration of what capability actually means in the employment context, and Nick revealed that it should be considered in the context of an employer being ultimately able to establish that as a reason for fair dismissal. Attendees at the event were advised that concerns about an employee’s capability must go to the content of the job role itself, and includes not only an employee’s skill and aptitude for their role, but also the employee’s health or other physical or mental quality.

Nick advised the range of employers attending that it is vital to set the required standards of performance at the outset of the employment relationship, making it clear that the employee knows what is expected of them.

There was group discussion about the use of probationary periods and appraisal systems as means of both managing employee performance, and creating a documented record of performance issues having been discussed. These records could also be used in other situations, such as ensuring that the best employees are retained through a fair selection process in any future redundancy situation.

The discussion then focused on the need for employers to tackle issues of employee capability early. Nick emphasised that if capability is left unmanaged in hazardous working environments, the health and safety of other colleagues could be put at risk. Attendees were also advised to find out if there were any underlying problems, such as disability or marital breakdown, that could be leading to a drop in an employee’s performance.

Cecily then guided the group on the informal ways of managing performance issues at the early stage through informal day-to-day management and feedback, but reminding attendees of the need to keep records of those informal conversations.

Nick then moved to address the formal processes of performance management, and attendees were provided with the key practical tips necessary to implement a formal capability process or performance. Guidance was given on the warning, meeting, appeal process, and the need to follow the Acas Code of Conduct on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. Attendees were given a standard capability procedure as part of the pack and recommended to either follow their existing policy or to take steps to implement one.

The session ended with useful guidance provided by Cecily on the need to set clear objectives, using the SMART objectives, and some questions for experts to advise on specifics and general concerns.

Over twenty people attended this Employment Breakfast, demonstrating the keen interest in ensuring that employees of all levels can be encouraged, managed, and empowered to perform at their very best. The next Employment Breakfast is on Wednesday 21st March, when Ed Boal will be exploring how the GDPR applies in the employment context, taking us through the key areas highlighted in our guide to the GDPR for HR professionals. Make sure you register for your spot now, before we reach capacity. 

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.

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