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Managing performance effectively is not just about having the appropriate procedures in place to deal with underperformance. It is also about ensuring that employees receive the support, recognition, training and development they require to build and maintain their capability to perform successfully in their roles.


An effective recruitment and selection process is fundamental to performance management. Appointing those candidates most capable of performing the tasks and responsibilities of the role will reduce the chances of performance problems arising later.


It is important that the foundations for good working practices are established at the outset of the individual's time in their new role. All new employees should have their job explained to them carefully on arrival, be given a copy of their job description (PD33), be referred to any written guidance that exists in relation to their area of work, and be given appropriate training and support. In the first few months it is also important to monitor performance more frequently, to identify and discuss areas where improvement may be needed and to facilitate learning and improvement (see Probation below).


There are responsibilities for both the employee and the manager during the probationary period. New employees need to demonstrate that they have the capability to undertake the duties of the role. Institutions in turn, need to be proactive in setting out the requirements of the job, monitoring progress, identifying areas where further training and development is needed, and ensuring its provision within an appropriate timescale. The HR Division provides written guidance on the framework for conducting regular reviews during the probationary period. The Capability Policy will not be invoked during any probationary period.

On-going employment

It is not enough to simply make new employees aware of expected standards of performance at the start of their new role. Performance should be reviewed regularly so that the employee knows if they are performing their job to an acceptable standard and if this is not the case they should be given the opportunity to improve and reach the standard required. Where expectations change and evolve over time, managers have a responsibility to inform staff of these changes.

The University has in place a range of good practice initiatives for supporting staff performance during employment, including: