Our guide to staff performance training
Jane McGuire

Our guide to staff performance training

First published date September 03 2014 Amended date September 03 2014

Whether you are a HR manager looking to improve your company’s performance reviews, or a new business owner looking to understand the legalities behind recruitment, a staff performance training course is a great way to learn the basics. From interview selection and induction of new staff, to managing poor performance and terminating someone’s contract, staff performance is an important part of the running of every company. What’s more, fair evaluations and acceptable standards of performance are key, especially when it comes to getting the best from your staff and keeping a happy workforce.

Every staff performance training course will be slightly different, but they will all cover the same areas of performance review. Some will give you a professional qualification, whilst others will be condensed courses to avoid you taking too much time off work. To give you a rough idea of what to expect we have grouped together the main areas of training.


Going back into the interview room

Staff performance is not just something to consider for permanent members of the team, but must also come into consideration during the hiring process. A staff performance course will teach you that going back into the interview room and ensuring you hire the best person for the job is vital. There’s no doubt about it, learning how to hire the right person can be tricky, especially if this is something you have not done before, so going on a course can help you learn what to look for.


Interview experts highlight the importance of being focused on what you are looking for before inviting the candidates into the room, getting distracted and choosing the candidate you get along with the best is not advisable. See past the nerves and get to know the individual, beginning with the less demanding questions and building up to the more difficult ones. It is often a good idea to have another colleague in the room with you, who will notice things you may have missed. Always complete more than one interview and ensure the candidate has done their homework on the company. Studying an interviewee’s CV beforehand and ensuring it checks out is also a fundamental part of the interview process.


Once you have decided, it is down to you to write a formal written job offer to the chosen candidate. Even though you might want to be friendly and welcoming, there are important formalities you must abide to and essential information that must be included, such as the start date, the salary and probation period. The less enjoyable part of hiring someone will be letting the unsuccessful candidates know they haven’t got the job, again this must be professional and correct – do not promise to keep their application on file if you have no intention to and always offer them the chance to receive feedback on their performance.



Staff inductions

The quicker someone is settled in, the faster they will start working to their best. Although you may want to give new employees a reassuring pat on the back, there are legal requirements to consider. A staff performance course will go into details, but a standard induction will include meeting the team, an overview of the wider company objectives and their role in reaching these, health and safety points and simple things like when and where to go to lunch.

The staff induction plan is up to you and as long as legal requirements are met, inductions can take various formats, from shadowing the line manager for a day to taking the new employee to a company dinner or drinks.


Standards of performance

Whether a staff member has been with the company five years or five months, performance evaluations are necessary when it comes to measuring their contribution to the workforce. Evaluating standards of performance includes developing forms and identifying performance measures – are staff meeting the goals in their job description, arriving on time and working well in the team? Setting guidelines for feedback and developing an evaluation scheme.


Another difficult element of staff performance is dealing with disciplinary and termination procedures needed when a staff member fails to improve after being given forewarning. After a verbal caution is given, an employer is required to give a written warning, including a description of the problem behaviour, the support the employer will provide for improvement, the date of the warning and the signature of the employee. Following this, the termination process will also have legal requirements to ensure past employees are aware of their mistakes.



Handling conflicts

It is natural for conflicts to arise in the workplace, however when a healthy difference of opinion turns into a personal disagreement, you may need to step in. Whatever sector you work in, divides in the team will affect productivity and moral, so it is necessary to intervene and resolve problems as soon as possible. When taking a course, your instructor will teach you relevant techniques to handle conflicts, whilst remaining open and impartial.



What will I get out of the course?

Some staff performance courses will offer a nationally recognised CIPD qualification, meaning you can add this to your CV and take it with you to further HR positions. Other courses will be designed to be as condensed as possible, meaning you take as little time away from the workplace as possible. If you are studying this in your own time to enhance your employability prospects, there are also evening and weekend courses that can take place alongside your current job. You can even study from the comfort of your own home with an online or distance learning course.


Remember you are only as strong as the weakest member of your team, so have a look at the staff performance courses available and get training! 

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