Performance & Management

Lawyers to support and guide you through performance and management issues

Supporting businesses in performance management

Most employers will at some point need to consider the unsatisfactory performance of an employee.  Furthermore, many employers and employees perceive performance management to be a negative sanction designed to ‘get the employee out’.

However, ‘effective’ performance management is the complete opposite and can have a significant and positive effect on your business.

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How can performance management have a positive outcome?

Being effective in managing performance can not only increase productivity but can also increase morale and foster a culture of open communication. If managers look at performance management as something they DO to employees, confrontation is inevitable, but if viewed as a partnership, confrontation becomes collaboration.

The key to effective performance management is keeping it simple. Employers should limit key performance indicators to 3 – 5 areas which would improve an employee’s performance and focus on those. Be specific about what the employees’ objectives are and be realistic about time frames for improvement and consider training and support. 

In the case of an under performing employee, employers should consider whether performance is really the issue. If poor performance is due to ill health or disability, problems with child care or caring responsibilities, or perhaps due to harassment or bullying, then employers need to proceed with caution if disciplinary sanctions are proposed.

Your employment law questions answered

It may sound contradictory, but evidence has suggested that employees are far more engaged, and therefore far more productive for you and your business, when undergoing a process of performance management. 

You should be considering a 4 stage process, planning, coaching, reviewing and action. The feedback should be constructive and helpful with the aim of keeping the employee in the business and developing them.

However, we understand it doesn’t always work this way and would encourage you to get advice before beginning the process, to ensure you are doing the best you can and are therefore fully protected should things not work out positively. 

At Goughs, our employment specialists can draft and tailor contracts and policies to fit your business needs, whilst ensuring they are reasonable and enforceable. We can help with both writing and reviewing existing contracts and advising on breach of employment contract issues. 

We have built up many years of experience and our team not only offer advice to businesses but also advise on broader business planning issues and sit on various advisory boards, ensuring that our advice and expertise looks beyond the contract itself and ensures all advice really is in the best interest of the future of the business.

Why you should put your business in Goughs hands


With offices throughout Wiltshire, we are here for face to face, or virtual appointments at a time to suit you.


We draw from a wide range of disciplines to support you in keeping your business moving forward.


Goughs have been providing legal services to businesses across the south west since 1882.

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Your employment law team

Rebecca Dennis

Senior Associate, Head of Employment

Rebecca's professional background is unique in that she worked for more than 20 years as a barrister providing legal advice, drafting and advocacy for her clients and more recently provided specialist trouble-shooting services on employment law and employee relations at a leading international HR outsourcing company. She is now proud to lead the Employment Department at Goughs.

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