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Supporting performance

Everyone who works at our University wants to do the best job possible and contribute in a meaningful way to our vision, mission and priorities as outlined in Our future.

Sometimes, however, there are occasions when colleagues may struggle to perform to the expected levels and standards, or find it difficult to develop to their full potential in their role.

When this happens, we always encourage colleagues and managers to work together to develop ways to improve performance. To date, in cases where this has not been possible, some staff have been subject to a formal disciplinary process designed to help them meet the required standards of performance.

We want to address performance in a more positive and supportive way, so we’ve introduced a capability policy and procedure.

This new policy and procedure does not deal with issues to do with conduct, including breaches of University policies and inappropriate behaviour. Any cases of misconduct, serious negligence or bullying and harassment will continue to be dealt with by the existing disciplinary or dignity at work processes.

Our new capability policy and procedure has two routes:

Informal: When a performance issue is identified, in most cases this informal stage will be followed first:

• Day-to-day performance management or minor performance concerns will be dealt with at regular 121s, informal discussions and Performance and Development Reviews;
• Where performance issues persist, a Personal Improvement Plan (PIP) will be agreed which will include:

- details of responsibilities, required standards and objectives;
- action to be taken by the member of staff to attain them and any required timescales;
- action to be taken by the manager to support the member of staff;
- any necessary training and development requirements;
- a reasonable timescale and process for review.

Formal: If the informal route doesn’t result in improved performance, then a more formal route will be taken. This includes a formal hearing, where the employee will have the opportunity to respond to the issues presented. A manager may also issue an improvement notice to the employee outlining the actions/objectives agreed and a clear timescale in which to achieve them by.
Existing cases which are currently being formally managed in accordance with the relevant disciplinary procedure will remain within that process. However, there may be circumstances when a member of staff asks whether their case could be considered for transitioning over to the new policy, or where a line manager feels it would be more appropriate for the case to be managed in line with the capability procedure.

People and OD Partners have been fully briefed about the new policy and procedure and are available to advise staff, including giving advice on potentially transitioning existing disciplinary cases to do with performance to the new capability policy and procedure.