How Do You Manage?

Nick Pye |


White wave White wave used to provide a visual break between the header and the body of the page.

Scenario A

Our manager, Harry Helpless, is preparing for a performance review meeting with a team member, Dave Disruptive.

Harry has only been with the company 4 months and is a relatively inexperienced manager. He received no handover from his predecessor who had already left.

Harry has no access to the central employee database or Dave’s personnel file which is stored at head office.

There have been a number of performance issues with Dave recently that Harry wants to discuss. Harry is unsure whether it is a question of capability or attitude. Is it a 'can't do' or a 'won't do'?!

Harry is also struggling to understand exactly what Dave’s role is as it’s never been entirely clear to him.

There have also been a few absence episodes over the last couple of months that Harry is very concerned about. Harry thinks that disciplinary action may be necessary if problems continue.

Dave can be a fairly belligerent individual so Harry wants to handle the meeting carefully.

Now let's consider the information or knowledge that Harry ideally needs to have available to him in order to be able to properly prepare for this important meeting:

  • Dave’s performance record over the last couple of years, including details of past reviews and any objectives that Dave had been set by the previous manager
  • Details of any previous disciplinary or grievance actions involving Dave
  • Dave’s absenteeism record over the past few years
  • The Job Description and a Competency profile for Dave’s job role
  • Information on the company’s performance management process
  • Information on the company’s disciplinary process
  • Detailed notes on the performance issues that Harry has observed so that he can give specific feedback
  • Some guidance on how to conduct a review, how to give feedback and how to handle difficult conversations would be useful too
  • A basic understanding of employment legislation relating to disciplinary issues
  • This information (if it exists at all) is dispersed across a variety of sources, many of which are not easily accessible by Harry.

What should Harry do? He could be super-diligent and spend time tracking down all of the information he requires. However, this would take him several hours work and probably lead to lengthy delays while he waited for responses from the HR team and others. Given that he has pressing operational issues to address and that he has another 7 of these review meetings scheduled over the next 2 weeks, the likelihood is that he will go into the meeting ill-prepared and ill-equipped.

We clearly need to wish Harry Helpless well in his endeavours!

Scenario B

Our manager here, Pamela Prepared, is facing exactly the same situation with her team member, Damien Disgruntled.

However, Pamela’s organisation invested in the Youmanage system a couple of years ago.

The day before the meeting, Pamela logs on to the Youmanage system and quickly navigates to the Managing Performance section. In under 30 seconds, with a few mouse-clicks, she is able to produce a pre-formatted Word document containing:

  • Details of Damien’s current and past objectives
  • His last Performance Review summary
  • His absenteeism history
  • The Job Description and Competency Profile for Damien’s role
  • Details of a disciplinary process 10 months ago that resulted in a written warning for persistent absence
  • The file notes that Pamela has made in relation to Damien’s performance over the last few months
  • From the same screen within Youmanage, Pamela is able to access some concise guidance notes on how to handle a review meeting and how to give feedback.

She can also print off a one-page document summarising the company’s performance review process and view training notes from a Performance Management course that was run just before she joined.

Another couple of clicks and Pamela is able to access some guidance information on what constitutes Disciplinary action and the company’s disciplinary process.

Now you must decide - which manager is better equipped to handle the Performance Review meetings with Dave and Damien more effectively?

Who is more likely to tackle the issues correctly, concisely and professionally, and take the necessary actions to get the right results?

Which of them is most likely to say or do something that may potentially result in the company losing an Employment Tribunal at some point down the line?

Which scenario best describes your own organisation?

How do you manage?

Did you find this article useful? Youmanage HR offers software to help you streamline your HR processes and ensure compliance within your company. We also write articles on HR, leadership, employee engagement, health & well-being and much more. Start a free trial of Youmanage, get in touch to ask questions, or check out our blog to help you to deliver HR best practice in your business.

comments powered by Disqus