Employee Performance Management Policy - Membership - NL Leisure
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Employee Performance Management Policy

  1. Introduction


  • Performance management is a process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organisational performance. It is about establishing a culture in which individuals and groups take responsibility for the continuous improvement of business processes and of their own skills, behaviour and contributions as appropriate.
  • Effective performance management involves sharing expectations of employees and managers. It enables both parties to set and agree targets, measure and review performance and repeat this cycle to support the achievement of organisational, team and individual goals.
  • Performance management is a process, not an event. It operates in a continuous cycle.
  • Performance Management should be:
  • Strategic – it’s about broad issues and long term goals
  • Integrated – it should link various aspects of the business, people management, individuals and teams.
  • North Lanarkshire Leisure (NLL) aims to establish and embed a culture of performance management via performance improvement through Performance & Development Reviews (PDR); training and development processes; managing behaviours, ensuring that individuals are encouraged to behave in a way that allows and fosters better working relationships; succession planning; business planning and workforce planning.
  • NLL recognises that employees perform most effectively when they have clear expectations of their job role and purpose, their own targets or objectives, and understanding of the wider aims of the service and the organisation.
  • This policy outlines the processes which will assist managers identify gaps between current and future levels of performance. The policy will enable them to take positive appropriate action to support employees to improve their knowledge, skills and competence within their role in order to ensure that we successfully deliver our services. These are designed to be positive experiences and are not to be used as a form of disciplinary action.
  • Managers must ensure that they pay due regard to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to career management, succession planning and training and development. Reasonable adjustments may need to be considered for those with specific requirements arising from a particular protected characteristic.
  • Employee performance which fails to meet corporate standards of behaviour will be addressed through NLL’s Disciplinary Policy and for competence issues, will be addressed through this policy.
  1. Scope
  • This policy applies to all contracted employees.
  • It is the responsibility of all employees to familiarise themselves with and adhere to this policy.
  • The policy:
  • Sets out the principles of performance management
  • Defines accountabilities and performance management
  • Provides processes and procedures
  1. Our Vision

3.1.        Our vision is to provide exceptional customer service and value for money experience through the provision of a range of high quality sport, recreational and health improving activities.

  1. Our Core Values

4.1.        Communication

            One Team



  1. Principles

5.1.        Performance management allows us to:

  • Prioritise what needs to be done within the resources available
  • Ensure we provide value for money
  • Motivate and engage staff and assign accountability
  • Identify and rectify poor performance at an early stage
  • Learn from past performance and improve future performance
  • Increase customer satisfaction

5.2.        Effective performance management requires:


  • Assigning responsibility to ensure accountability
  • Deciding and communicating what needs to be done (aims, objectives, priorities and targets)
  • A plan for ensuring that it happens (improvement, action or service plans)
  • A means of assessing whether this has been achieved or not
  • Information reaching the right people at the right time so decisions are made and actions taken.

5.3       Where an employee, at any grade, fails to meet the required standard of performance, an increment may be withheld until the manager is satisfied that this standard is achieved. Similarly, where an employee fails to maintain the required standard of performance, an increment may be removed from an employee as a result of failure to improve following progressing through the Managing Underperformance Process, as detailed in section 19.   

  1. Responsibilities
  • Performance management is the responsibility of everyone within the Trust. It is a process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organisational performance. As such, it establishes shared understanding about what is to be achieved and an approach to leading and developing people which will ensure that it is achieved. In practice, performance management requires a robust and inclusive process to ensure that managers and employees:
  • know and understand what is expected of them
  • have the skills and ability to deliver on these expectations
  • are supported by the organisation in developing the capacity and capability to meet these expectations
  • are given feedback on their performance
  • have the opportunity to discuss and contribute to individual and team aims and objectives.
  • In particular, the Human Resources Manager is responsible for maintaining and reviewing this policy in line with changing legislation and codes of practice.
  • The Managing Director and Corporate Management Team are responsible for ensuring that the overall PDR process and its implementation is carried out by the workforce according to the policy and processes.


  • All senior managers are responsible for overseeing and enabling:
  • managing the performance of their employees;
  • achievement of key performance indicators
  • the development of staff within the service
  • appropriate allocation of any existing training budgets to meet development needs for staff within their service
  • ensure that the right people are in the right place, at the right time with the
  • right skills to deliver the service.

6.5         Line Managers are responsible for:

  • managing the performance of their employees
  • ensuring that employees have work targets and objectives set
  • appraising the performance of employees at least once per year
  • ensuring that appropriate learning and development activities are planned and available to employees to address learning needs identified during the process and that these activities are achievable through service budget
  • meeting employees on a regular basis to review progress (one-to-one or supervision meetings)
  • where appropriate, hold reviews to discuss progress on targets and development activities
  • raising awareness/informing employees of this policy document and other relevant policies and procedures.

6.6         Employees are responsible for:

  • taking an active role in reviewing their own performance and target setting
  • taking up appropriate/relevant learning and development opportunities
  • managing their own continuous professional development as appropriate
  • familiarising themselves with and adhering to this policy.

6.7.            Human Resources and Training & Development sections are responsible for:

  • providing advice and guidance to managers on implementing the Employee Performance Management Policy
  • ensuring that appropriate corporate training and development programmes are available to support managers and employees
  • Monitoring and reporting on the implementation of the process and delivery of corporate training and development across the Trust, as appropriate.
  1. Competency Based Performance Management
  • The Trust uses a competency based PDR process to support the development of our employees. This process is mandatory and must be carried out annually, as a minimum. Meetings for senior managers should take place when the annual Business Planning and Strategic Planning is completed. Reviews with other employees should take place as soon as possible after senior manager reviews have taken place.
  • A 'Competency' is generally defined as the behaviour that employees must demonstrate in order to carry out the tasks to achieve appropriate levels of performance and service delivery.
  • Competencies provide an agreed standard of expected behaviours during the performance of roles, as outlined in the Job Description and Employee Specification of the post holder. Understanding the competencies required of a specific role allows employees and managers to have straightforward conversations about the expected levels of performance and behaviour, in order to ensure that required tasks are completed to satisfactory standards. They also enable conversations to be had in relation to any variations between actual performance and behaviour from the standards required.
  • All employees will be required to undertake the PDR process, however, post holders will use the form appropriate to the grade their post is allocated to: forms are available for posts Grades 1 - 4 and for Grades 5 and above.
  1. Corporate and Service Priorities and Plans
  • The Trust’s corporate priorities and Improvement Plans provide the strategic framework for corporate and service objectives as outlined in the Business Plan.
  • Managers are responsible for interpreting these for their staff by setting appropriate targets and objectives during review meetings and one-to-ones. It is the employee’s responsibility to deliver on those objectives with appropriate support from their manager.
  1. Continuous reviews of performance
  • Performance management is an ongoing process and should go beyond the formal PDR meetings. Review meetings such as one-to-ones and regular Development Review meetings support the performance management process.
  1. Job Descriptions
  • The post holder’s Job Description should be reviewed with the post holder prior to the formal meetings. Changes to a role can occur at any time throughout the performance management year, and therefore these changes should not wait until the PDR meeting to be discussed.
  • Job Descriptions should be reviewed by the manager and the employee on an annual basis to identify any changes that may have occurred within the role.
  • For groups of staff undertaking the same role, it is recommended that the line manager reviews the Job Description on an annual basis to ensure it accurately reflects the duties required.
  • If both parties agree that there has been a significant change within the role, consideration should be given to whether the role requires a formal review by a Job Evaluation specialist within the HR Section.
  • If there is any doubt, managers and employees should seek advice and guidance from the Human Resources Section.
  1. Starting the Performance Management Process
  • Appropriate training must be undertaken by all parties before any PDR meeting is carried out. This may include attending courses, undertaking e-learning or attending management briefings.
  • All managers must attend training on the new process. This is a mandatory HR policy course provided by the Training and Development Team. This course will form part of the mandatory suite of courses for all new managers as part of their Induction process.
  • It is expected that managers and employees refer to and use the policy and separate Guidance Notes for undertaking PDR meetings. These documents will be issued to the relevant employees when they attend the appropriate training. This will provide the necessary guidance and support to the process.
  • Refresher training should be undertaken by line managers and supervisors at least every three years to ensure skills are maintained and updated as appropriate to the current policy and procedures.
  • All PDR meetings will be carried out during the working day and no employee should be disadvantaged for preparing and participating in such processes. Meeting records will be stored appropriately and securely by the manager.
  1. New employees
  • New employees should be set objectives as part of their induction.
  • The Job Description will be used for the first PDR meeting.
  1. One-to-one/supervision meetings
  • Managers should hold one-to-one meetings with all employees on a regular basis. In some services, one-to-one meetings with employees may not be appropriate given the nature of the job role involved.
  • Outcomes of one-to-one meetings should be recorded by the manager in writing and countersigned by the employee.
  • PDR’s do not supersede one to one meetings.
  1. Performance Monitoring on a Day to Day basis
  • As part of normal day to day management, initial conversations regarding performance issues will take place but may not be recorded in the first instance. However if there is a need to address the same issue/issues over a reasonable period of time, they should be recorded on the employee’s file.
  1. Six month Performance Development Review (PDR) meetings (Grade 5 and above only)
  • The six monthly review meetings will be undertaken by the line manager and employee to review progress against performance and learning objectives six months after the PDR meeting.
  • The six monthly review meeting is also an opportunity to review progress, make adjustments to timescales and agree new performance and learning objectives if appropriate.
  • If any development requirements emerge as a result of a review meeting, follow up meetings should be held as soon as possible in order to address issues and minimise anxieties of both the manager and employee.
  • Any training requests and requirements must be recorded as outlined in section 16 below.
  1. Training and Development
  • An important outcome of the PDR process is to record the training and development and the learning objectives for the employee in the coming year.
  • The learning needs identified for the Service should become part of the strategic planning processes for the Service.
  1. Succession Planning and Career Management
  • The PDR and subsequent one-to-one meetings present an opportunity to discuss wider development aspirations with an employee. The benefit of this discussion is to allow an experienced manager to offer advice on medium or longer term career and development aspirations to all employees, when appropriate. This may be more critical for some posts than others as the organisation is required to maintain the knowledge and skills of posts that are essential to the day to day delivery of services.
  • It will also offer an opportunity for employees who are nearing the age where they may take their retirement pension to discuss plans for retirement, changes to work patterns (e.g. part-time working). Furthermore they form part of business continuity planning processes.
  • It is up to the individual employee to raise this with their manager at the appropriate time to ensure that the manager can continue to deliver the service without undue disruption due to retirement.
  • Employees should not be compelled to discuss career/retirement aspirations with their manager if they choose not to, all information must be offered voluntarily. Any discussion that does take place should be of a supportive nature and implications for both the service and the individual should be considered.
  • Managers must ensure that they pay due regard to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010 in relation to career management, succession planning and training and development. Reasonable adjustments may need to be considered for those with specific requirements arising from a particular protected characteristic.


  1. General


  • Disability

Where an employee is absent from work for a reason relating to a recorded disability, which is covered within the Equalities Act 2010, and the absence spans the whole performance year or the employee is at work for less than 6 months of the performance year, then the employee should be awarded a rating based on their performance over the previous performance year. For further advice and support relating to disability please contact the Human Resources Section.


  • Maternity, Paternity & Adoption Leave

If Maternity, Paternity or Adoption leave starts during the performance year, but the employee has completed more than 6 months in their role then their performance rated up to the point of leaving should be used to award the overall year end performance rating. If Maternity / Paternity or Adoption leave spans the whole performance year or the employee is at work for less than 6 months of the performance year, then the employee should be awarded a rating based on their performance over the previous performance year.

  • Changing roles mid-year


If an employee changes job internally during the performance year including acting-up and secondments, the current manager should hold an interim review with the employee before the change takes effect to agree and provide a provisional overall rating to the new manager (if appropriate).  The new manager can then make an assessment of the employee’s overall performance at the end of the performance year taking into account the information from the previous manager.

  1. Dealing with Underperformance
  • Employees have a contractual responsibility to perform to a satisfactory level. Where less than satisfactory performance is found to be due to misconduct (e.g. negligence or lack of application) on the part of the employee, then the Disciplinary Procedure will normally be appropriate.  However, issues of an employee’s capability may arise from time to time where underperformance relates to a lack of the required knowledge, skills or ability rather than misconduct.  In this case, the employee should be given support and reasonable time to achieve the required standard.
  • If an employee’s performance becomes a matter of concern, managers must take action promptly to manage that performance issue following the stages laid out below. In managing underperformance, managers must seek guidance from the HR Section at each stage of the process.

The first step is for the manager to investigate the underlying cause of the unsatisfactory performance through discussion with the employee by holding an interim review meeting.  At any interim review meeting where unsatisfactory performance is being discussed, the manager will:

  • Clearly state the nature of the problem and explain why it is a problem, for example the consequences for the Venue/Division/Organisation when the employee makes mistakes or misses deadlines.
  • Give the employee specific examples of instances where performance has fallen below the required standard or where tasks have not been completed on time or satisfactorily.
  • Consider what might be done to improve the situation and help the employee.
  • Agree clear performance targets and a realistic timescale for improvement.
  • Set a date for a further Interim Review meeting to be held at the end of the agreed timescale to review progress.
  • Keep a record of the meeting and what has been agreed.
  • Stages to be followed in managing underperformance

Stage 1 review meeting

The manager must hold an interim review meeting with the employee to explain how their performance falls short of the standard expected of someone in their position or grade.  Specific examples of the ways in which the performance has fallen below acceptable standards must be provided including the occasions on which this was noticed.

The manager will consider whether training or staff development opportunities may enable the employee to meet the required standard of performance.  A plan for improvement will be drawn up which will clarify the areas and level of improvement needed.  Clear performance targets will be set to hold a second interim review meeting at the end of the agreed timescale to review progress.  A note should be made of the main points discussed and actions agreed and this should be signed by both parties as an agreed record of that meeting. 

Stage 2 review meeting

The manager will meet with the employee to review progress and evaluate any improvement in performance.

If performance has reached the required level and no further action is required, then this will be acknowledged and noted in writing by the manager and a copy given to the employee.

If adequate improvement has not been made, the manager will re-examine the cause of the problem and consider what else can be done to support and assist the employee to improve.  This could include, for example, further training/coaching/development or changes in the employee’s duties.  The meeting should follow the same format as in Stage 1.

If there has been an improvement but the employee’s performance has still not quite reached the required level, then the period for improvement should be extended by a reasonable period of time and support given to facilitate that improvement.

At this stage, if performance is still less than satisfactory, the manager should explain that, should the necessary improvements not be achieved, their continued employment in the current role may be at risk.

Stage 3 review meeting

As in Stage 2, the manager will meet with the employee to review progress and evaluate any improvement in performance.

If performance has reached the required level and no further action is required, then this will be acknowledged and noted in writing by the manager and a copy given to the employee.

If adequate improvement has not been made, the manager will advise the employee that further action may now be taken under the Redeployment Policy.

If, at Stage 3, there has been an improvement, but the employee’s performance has still not quite reached the required level then the period for improvement should be extended for a reasonable, final, period and a date set for a further, final Review Meeting. If, at that meeting, performance has still not reached the required standard, the manager will advise the employee that further action will be taken under the terms of the Redeployment policy.

NB if at any of the above stages it becomes clear that the underlying performances is due to misconduct, rather than capability, the Disciplinary procedures should be followed. HR must be consulted in such cases before any action is taken.

  1. Policy Monitoring
  • North Lanarkshire Leisure will monitor the application of this policy and has discretion to review it at any time through the appropriate consultation mechanisms.
  • Responsibility for the implementation, monitoring and development of this policy lies with the Human Resources Manager.
  • Day to day operation of the policy is the responsibility of all employees to ensure that this policy is adhered to.

Corporate Management Team members must ensure that all managers undertake random sampling at each level of the management structure within its division to ensure that this policy and its associated procedures are implemented correctly