Managing performance is a continuous process which involves making sure that the performance of employees contributes to the goals of their teams and the business.
The performance management cycle ensures continued business success by guaranteeing that all staff are clear about their role in the organisation and are resourced, both in terms of training and development and management support, to make an optimum and personally fulfilling contribution.
Performance Management Cycle
- That staff understand how their role and behaviour contributes to the successful accomplishment of our targets
- Clarity of purpose for staff
- Develop staff within a continuous improvement culture
- Encourage individuals to contribute to, and take ownership of, their own work objectives and development targets
- Identify the training and development needs of individuals in order to achieve their performance targets and/or career development objectives
- Conduct effective evaluation, by staff and Line Managers, of the impact of training and development invested in individuals and teams
Staff should be provided with a clear and concise job description upon commencement of their employment detailing their roles and responsibilities.
Supports the EYFS requirement 3.20; providers must ensure all staff receive induction training to help them understand their roles and responsibilities. Induction training must include information about emergency evacuation procedures, safeguarding, child protection, the providers’ equality policy and health and safety issues.
You may wish to support this requirement with a policy and a detailed induction plan.
Supports the EYFS requirement 3.21 - 3.22; providers must put appropriate arrangements in place for the supervision of staff who have contact with children and families. Effective supervision provides support, coaching and training for the practitioner and promotes the interests of the children. Supervision should foster a culture of mutual support, teamwork and continuous improvement which encourages the confidential discussion of sensitive issues (such as safeguarding).
You may wish to support this requirement with a supervision policy and document these discussions.
Supervision provides a framework to provide direction and guidance to individual staff members on a regular basis. Effective supervision provides support, coaching and training for the practitioner and promotes the interests of children. Our supervision framework fosters a culture of mutual support, teamwork, and continuous improvement that encourages confidential discussion of sensitive issues. (3.21 - 3.22 EYFS).
Supervision provides opportunities for practitioners to:
- Discuss any issues - particularly concerning children’s development or well-being
- Identify solutions to address issues as they arise; and
- Receive coaching to improve their personal effectiveness
- Receive feedback on their work performance
- Clarify roles and responsibilities
- Discuss career progression
- Have a documented record of their individual progress
The benefits of supervision for the setting are:
- Improved communication with staff
- Problems identified at the earliest opportunity
- Faster more effective solutions to any problems and concerns
- Improved time management due to reduced ‘ad hoc’ discussions/meetings
- Written records of discussions/meetings
Format of supervision meetings
Supervision meetings should take place every (insert frequency) and should be conducted one-to-one in a confidential environment and should last approximately one hour. (Change duration as appropriate for your setting).
The standard agenda items for a supervision meeting should be:
- Work activity - roles, responsibilities, current and planned activity
- Progress and performance - feedback on the implementation of the role, identification of training needs/requirements, career progression
- Issues and concerns - specifically in relation to the safeguarding duty, discussing concerns about the behaviour of adults both colleagues and parents. This section can include issues in relation to the employees poor time keeping, attitude to work, relationships with others etc.
- Support - discuss what support the practitioner might need for personal issues and resources needed to fulfil current work activity.
Supervision meetings could be recorded on a standard supervision meeting record and a signed copy kept by the practitioner, the practitioner’s supervisor and the original record is retained on the employee’s personnel file. This could either be hand-written at the time of the meeting or typed up after the meeting.
Supervision meetings should be a two-way process, where both the practitioner and the practitioner’s supervisor have the opportunity to raise items for discussion and are a constructive and supportive tool to allow practitioners and the practitioner’s supervisor time to reflect on current work activity and identify any issues or concerns at the earliest opportunity.
Providers can provide a staff appraisals, these will be carried out to identify any training needs, and secure opportunities for continued professional development (CPD).
They provide an opportunity for practitioners to meet with their line manager once a year to look at their job description, and set tasks and targets for the year. Targets should be agreed for improvement and staff training should be discussed and agreed as necessary. The performance management cycle could also consist of an interim review, within 6 months to discuss performance against set targets and the job description.
Appraisals are an integral part of employing staff. They are a very useful tool for evaluating staff performance and identifying areas for development. When conducting an appraisal staff should have a reasonable period of notice to enable them to complete the relevant sections of the appraisal form and think about celebrating their successes and raising any concerns that they may have.
During the appraisal the appraiser should consider the following:
- Explaining the purpose of the appraisal, using positive language
- Achievements against the job descriptions and annual targets
- Areas for development and/or improvement
- Training requirements
- How they view their relationship with others including children and parents/carers
Staff individual learning styles
Those responsible for the development of people need to be aware of the dominant learning style of the individuals they employ in order that the training they organise on their behalf is being delivered in a way that they will most absorb the information.
Peter Honey and Alan Mumford researched this subject and agreed there were four particular learning styles:
- Activists - Activists are people who learn by doing. They like to involve themselves in new experiences, and will ‘try anything once’. They tend to act first and consider the consequences afterwards.
- Reflectors - Reflectors learn by observing and thinking about what happened. They like to consider all the possible angles and implications before coming to considered opinion. They spend time listening and observing, and tend to be cautious and thoughtful.
- Theorists - Theorists like to understand the theory behind the actions. They need models, concepts and facts in order to learn. They like to analyse and synthesise, and feel uncomfortable with subjective judgements.
- Pragmatists - Pragmatists are keen on trying things out. They look for new ideas that can be applied to the problem in hand. They like to get on with things and tend to be impatient with open-ended discussions; they are practical, down-to-earth people.
There is a huge amount of research available on this subject and it would be in a line managers best interest to be aware of the theory that sits behind ‘why we tick the way we do’. We have provided links to support you in finding out more, some of the websites provide free learning style questionnaires that would be useful to complete with individual staff members as part of supervision (Honey, P. and Mumford, A. (1986a) The Manual of Learning Styles, Peter Honey Associates).
Printed resources that can support you further:
- Vak Self-Audit: Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic Communication and Learning Styles: Exploring Patterns of How You Interact and Learn by Brian Everard Walsh
- Ways of Learning: Learning Theories and Learning Styles in the Classroom by Alan Pritchard
- Planning and Enabling Learning in the Lifelong Learning Sector by Ann Gravells
- Learning Theory and Classroom Practice in the Lifelong Learning Sector by Jim Gould