Be sure to change your goals – you have been extraordinary

Issued : 8 June 2020

In a recent FSU Covid19 survey, 60% of participants confirmed that their performance management expectations have remained the same as the start of year. Given everything that has happened, this is not right or fair.

Bank workers have been key and essential workers throughout this pandemic and remain so. Our members have been brave and performed way beyond expectations. When we all clapped for healthcare workers, it was also for our members in frontline services who kept vital banking services open in communities at their own risk. This needs to be recognised in performance management systems for 2020.

In many employments continuous performance management, in some form, has been introduced. It has been done with the belief from employers that it is more agile and can respond faster and fairer to new situations, allowing both employees and managers to evolve goals on a more continuous basis through more regular check-ins. This promised to improve the fairness of the system overall. This, however, does not appear to be the case in the first half of 2020, based on our survey result. Goals do not appear to have been changed and agreed at new and appropriate levels. Halfway through the year represents an opportunity for employees to engage on this.

Different employments will have different systems. Most will be hosted on a variety of different HR platforms and will be electronic. In advance of a meeting with your line manager you should look at the goals that were set and note down which are wrong, out of date or just do not reflect reality anymore. Also, note down what you achieved, what you have done, how you have delivered brilliant service in extraordinary circumstances. If you have numeric goals, write down new ones that you think more appropriate. Engage and talk to your line manager. If they don’t listen to you or agree to change your goals to a more reasonable set, then contact us. Employments should have a process for handling complaints and/or disagreements and we can help you through that. Do not accept goals and/or a mid-year rating that you think are unfair.  

The espoused purpose of new continuous performance management is to provide a more agile, flexible and colleague friendly process and system. Now is the time for staff to take control of their performance management and to use it.

We are calling on employers to listen to their staff and to be innovative with FSU in their approach to performance management this year. Staff have been extraordinary. This needs to be recognised.

If you want further advice or guidance we are running a helplines on Wednesday 10 June from 12-6pm. Call us on our freephone numbers at ROI: 1800 819 191 UK: 0800 358 0071 or email us at [email protected] or check out our covid19 information website 


Gareth Murphy

Head of Industrial Relations and Campaigns