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Performance Management for Employers

Performance management is widely used to ‘raise the bar’ on how employees are carrying out their roles, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the overall goals of the business or organisation. 

The idea being that if all staff are performing to the standard required of their roles, the organisation is more likely to succeed.

An effective programme of performance management can help to:

  • Improve staff motivation by recognising good performance
  • Help to ensure staff are contributing positively to the organisation
  • Maintain and improve standards and quality
  • Promote staff development
  • Improve staff retention
  • Identify and resolve poor performance

Implementing such a programme requires expertise in HR law and also psychology, as understanding the factors which motivate and demoralise will help any organisation to develop a team of confident and high performing individuals.

What is a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

PIPs are commonly used as a mechanism to assist specific employees who are falling below the necessary standards required of them.  While not legally required, if used in a positive, open, honest, and fair manner, PIPs can be truly effective in turning around genuine employee issues.

A PIP is essentially a document which outlines the changes in performance required, dates for regular review meetings with the employee’s line manager, how improvements can be achieved, and progress made.

Performance management should not be used as a disciplinary tool; however, should the employee continue to fall below the reasonable standard set, a formal disciplinary process may then follow.

At any point during a PIP review, if the employee feels the standard they are being held to is excessive, this should be noted within the PIP document.

Do I need to provide a PIP?

PIPs are not legally required, but they do provide a method to resolve issues of poor performance other than proceeding down the disciplinary route.  It is therefore important before entering into a disciplinary process, to determine whether a PIP is warranted as a first stage.  Or whether the matter is one which should be handled as a disciplinary matter immediately.  And if a PIP is used, it is vital to convey to the employee that it is not a vehicle to being removed from their role; it is a genuine opportunity to resolve a problem which cannot be allowed to continue, and their employer is committed to assisting in that resolution process. 

If you have encountered performance issues which do require attention, but you are unsure of the best approach, seek professional advice from an experienced employment law Solicitor.  Lavelle Partners will assist you in determining the best way forward using the latest legal insights and can help you to manage the process with the minimum of demand on your resources.

How Lavelle Partners can assist you in relation to performance management in Ireland

  • Our team of employment law Solicitors, headed by Senior Partner, Marc Fitzgibbon, has been assisting employers for over 30 years in relation to performance management, and as a result, has developed a strong and enviable reputation nationally for achieving excellence in this area of law.
  • Marc is a former member of the Law Society of Ireland’s Employment & Equality Law Committee and European Employment Lawyers Association.
  • We understand the need to ensure performance management is carried out in full accordance with employment legislation and best practice, thereby protecting your business or organisation from the threat of a claim or reputational damage.
  • Our Solicitors will work alongside your in-house or external HR team, ensuring that the performance management process is handled efficiently and with the minimum of demands on your resources.
  • You can be assured the performance management process will be handled with the utmost professionalism and confidentiality.

Our partnership with Talbot Pierce

Lavelle Partners work with Talbot Pierce to provide a seamless service in respect of Human Resource Management.  Talbot Pierce are a team of specialist HR professionals who work with us on a range of matters including advice on and delivery of conflict/dispute resolution solutions, best-practice HR strategies, policies and procedures.

For further information on workplace performance management in Ireland, please contact Lavelle Partners in confidence on (01) 644 5800*.

*Please note that fees apply to all consultations and advice cannot be given free of charge. 

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