Posts Tagged ‘performance’

From 1st April 2011 changes in the law mean that, with the exception of the final 6 month transition phase, it will be unlawful to enforce a default retirement age on employees.

A client asked me how on earth they were going to manage as several members of their workforce were expected to do physically demanding jobs and he thought it was likely that they would buckle under the strain by the time they were seventy! Brian had heard about the ‘justification’ defence which he hoped would exempt his company from implementing the new law and would allow him to continue enforcing compulsory retirement at age 65. However, it will be very difficult to succeed with the justification defence so I suggest that you take a few moments to review your strategy in light of the full facts before deciding on your company’s retirement policy.

It’s completely understandable that Brian hoped to qualify for the exemption and you may well feel the same until you have chance to give it a bit more thought. According to the Office for National Statistics’ Interim Life tables 2007 – 2009, ‘life expectancy for those aged 65 in 2009 is projected to be 21.1 years for males and 23.8 years for females’

That is a long time if government funds will be the sole means of subsistence for pensioners. For that reason the Chancellor plans to keep increasing the state retirement age and easing the burden on the Treasury by removing the compulsory retirement age often imposed by employers.

With this weight of evidence Brian realised that working beyond 65 is a policy that is clearly here to stay so he may as well take the positives from the situation and get on with it. “What positives?” I hear you say!

Well, I’m not suggesting that you actively recruit employees from the over 65 age group but you can expect your current employees to work in their jobs until they can no longer fulfil their roles to the standard required. Instead of plotting to terminate their employment, why not take advantage of their abilities, experience and qualifications. The fact that these long serving employees know your products, services, customers and colleagues well and can contribute to business continuity has to be a positive for your organisation.

The area that managers and employers are advised to monitor more closely than ever is staff performance. If older employees fall below the standard required in any aspect of their role, then it is time to performance manage them. If it emerges that they are unfit for the work (mentally or physically) then you are within your rights to discipline them and either find them suitable alternative roles or dismiss them for incapability.

As employees keep working beyond 65 some may want to work less hours or shed some responsibility. In such cases you could consider re-defining their terms and conditions in return for a reduction in wages but remember, any agreed changes should be recorded in their contracts of employment.

It’s my guess that we will see the majority of employees electing for retirement or opting for reduced hours or respnsibility when they feel they can no longer do their jobs to previous high standards, rather than face the embarrassment of being performance managed out.

We may even laugh about the policy of such a relatively short working life in years to come….

“Can you remember when everyone was expected to retire at 65” says the young apprentice.

“Yes, replies the Manager wistfully, as she opens a telegram from King William to celebrate her 100th birthday!“

Go to www.pain-free-staff.co.uk and download your copy of my free guide for employers and managers who want better results and less hassle.

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We are facing tough economic times and managers will have to start managing performance to ensure that their businesse thrive and survive.  Companies cannot coast through on auto-pilot as their customers will increasingly demand more for their money.

Retaining talent and motivating staff where possible is essential. However, sometimes you have to accept that some employees may never make the grade and will undermine the team’s morale and overall performance and drag others down to their level.

My advice would be to introduce a performance management programme over a short period (for example 1 – 3 months) and during this time you can assess which of your team members are genuinely interested in learning and improving and which are not. (more…)

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A recent report explained how council employees left a part of the white line  unpainted due to finding a dead badger in the road. Can you imagine the conversation they had before agreeing that they should leave it?  At least they didn’t paint round it! 

Anyway, for several reasons this ‘badger’ theme reminded me of an article I wrote 3 years ago after watching Ruth Badger put a rocket up a sales team during the television series, “Badger or Bust” and it could help you improve sales performance too. (more…)

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‘Multitasking’ a waste of time and email dominates people’s lives, says research : News, Small Business News : BusinessWings.co.uk. Multi-tasking is a big time waster causing us to stress out and underperform says research. Great, because I’ve never been any good at it!

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