Helen Giles, Managing Director
She was right. What was missing was a set of performance standards breaking down all the key aspects of the role and setting some simple indicators of what acceptable performance looks like. Something like ‘All letters to be typed within 24 hours; to be well-presented and free of typos and spelling mistakes’. And of course some standards about how she should behave towards others. Unless you are very clear up front about what you expect by way of a ‘good job’ being done, it’s very hard to induct people in expectations, much less hold them to account for underperformance if you’re not happy with their outputs.
Performance standards can be set for any kind of job role where the bread and butter of the job, or key parts of the job, have to be repeated year on year. This is true of a care and support front-line job, any kind of business support role, and indeed core parts of a manager’s role. In the latter case, standards should be set around things like the way managers are expected to manage people, budgets, information and health and safety.
A performance objective describes something specific that the employee is expected to achieve. Whereas performance standards (which are also a form of performance objective) describe the regular ongoing activities and outcomes required of the role, performance objectives will describe specific new areas of work and/or one off goals or projects that the employee is required to achieve.
Core competences are a further essential component of the performance management toolkit as they describe the underpinning behaviours and attributes that people need to show in the way they carry out achievement of their performance objectives and standards.
Any organisation that demands that managers set clear behavioural and performance expectations for staff and carry out evidence-based measurement of achievement against these will be a higher performing organisation than one that lets everyone make it up as they go along. And asking people to work to a job description is inviting just that.