Research and reports
Your capability policy helps you with performance management – because while every business hopes its employees are the best possible fit for the job, sometimes things don’t work out.
Capability for the role was cited as a factor in nine out of 10 disciplinary procedures, according to Acas. But good performance management can avoid the need for disciplinary action – and your capability procedure is at the heart of that process.
Keep reading for a quick-start guide to introducing a capability policy in your business.
The ‘capability’ of an employee is their ability to perform the work expected by the employer to the proper standard. A number of factors could impact capability, including skill, training, and health.
A capability policy is at the core of a good performance management strategy. Unlike a disciplinary procedure, a capability policy should encourage improving the employee’s performance so it meets the company’s expectations.
However, a capability policy will also explain that actions (including dismissal) may be considered if performance does not improve.
The overarching aim of a capability procedure is to help an employee improve their performance. It's about encouragement and support, as opposed to the punishment involved in disciplinary proceedings.
And by having a capability policy, you can demonstrate to your employees that you're willing to take their concerns seriously, and that you won't immediately resort to punitive actions in the event of underperformance. It also signals that you're sensitive to each employee’s unique circumstances, including health, training and related concerns.
But a capability policy also protects employers. While it should encourage and support, it also needs to make clear that continued underperformance may end in dismissal.
A capability policy template ususally includes:
Are you creating a capability policy for your small business? Let us know how you get on in the comments.
Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.
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