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Skills to support managers and individuals

Very few of us choose to perform our work badly, make mistakes or fail to complete tasks. There are often good reasons why an individual is struggling at work, such as problems with colleagues or at home, ill health or other personal issues. Alternately they may not have received the necessary training and support they needed when starting a new job or receiving a promotion. It may be that the individual's skills and abilities are just not suited to the area of work they are in but they would thrive in other areas. It is important that the individual shares their concerns as early as possible with their manager in order to get the support they need to perform successfully.

It can be very difficult and challenging to accept when we are underperforming and to know how to tackle it. The primary purpose of the Capability Policy is to ensure that individuals receive the support needed to help them to improve their performance to the standard required. Individuals are encouraged to share with their managers any underlying causes that might be affecting them and what support, advice or training they may need to improve.

This toolkit aims to be helpful both to managers in supporting the performance of their direct reports and to all employees wishing to improve their performance at work. It has been developed as a resource to dip in to and out of so may not be relevant to all situations or individuals at all times.

ACAS have provided the helpful online resource Challenging conversations and how to manage them: It includes guidance on how to prepare for and handle a difficult conversation, including the stages of the meeting.

In this toolkit the following areas are included:

  1. Managing capability
    1. Template Performance Improvement Plan
    2. Self-review of performance and development
    3. Key principles for capability meetings
    4. Giving feedback
    5. Receiving feedback
    6. Handling challenging conversations including stages of a meeting
    7. Handling emotions
  2. Further relevant information
    1. Management styles
    2. Learning styles and development activities
    3. Setting performance standards
    4. Setting objectives