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Performance management top tip - it’s good to talk

on Thursday, 25 February 2016. Posted in Performance Management

Performance management top tip - it’s good to talk

Staff exceed standards, expectations and targets through face to face management. 

Not only is it good to talk when it comes to getting the best from your employees, it’s the golden rule.

By no means do I endorse launching straight into Fergie-esque ‘hairdryer’ barrages - but . . . 

I’m certainly an avid cheerleader of swapping distant written instructions for one to one encounters at the very least once a week.


More often than not when it comes to underperforming employees the finger of blame should be firmly directed at managers and their inability to communicate clearly with staff.

Of course written communication is vitally important in every operation but in the absence of face to face briefings the message can very often get lost and or forgotten.

We can be fairly certain that Mr Hairdryer (Sir Alex Ferguson) did not secure Premier League titles with successive Manchester United teams by way of dourly written instructions to his players. From the team’s top performers to the reserve team regulars everyone was clear in terms of what was expected of them – whether the message was delivered with an arm around the shoulder (not advised in a literal sense) or a boot flung at the head (equally not advised). 

It should come as no shock that an employee left to his or her own devices and not made fully aware of the requirements of a role should fall short of the mark in terms of performance. More often than not a lack of clarity from above signals an imminent failure to deliver.

Performance management best practice is to ensure that staff see the whites of your eyes when you communicate your enthusiasm for meeting and exceeding your organisation’s basic standards, expectation and targets - or what we at HR Team like to call the BET system.

So now that you’ve grasped the golden rule of face to face contact, lets have a look at HR Team's tried and tested BET system, which clearly outlines how to achieve efficiency and performance in the workforce:


An organisation’s basic standards are non-negotiable and must be clearly outlined from day one. These may include matters such as time keeping, code of conduct, mobile phone policy, social media policy, sickness protocols, grooming and appearance etc.


Job descriptions outline clear roles and responsibilities for employees. These must be communicated clearly to ensure that every employee understands what is expected and required of them in the organisation.


A lack of clearly defined goals or key performance indicators can severely hinder you organisation. Targets can include deadlines, financial targets, productivity targets, wastage targets, sales targets etc. Targets may shift but it is imperative that employees are fully aware of what they are at all times.

Martina McAuley is a Managing Partner of HR Team


HR Team's latest performance management workshop will be held at the company's headquarters in the Northern Ireland Science Park in Derry on March 8. Please contact 028 71 271882 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to book a place today and receive guidance from the experts. Alternatively HR Team can arrange a bespoke training seminar for your management team - simply get in touch for more information.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. 

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