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Performance management

Last updated November 2022

This chapter explains how you can undertake performance management to improve the safety performance in your workplace.

What is performance management?

Definition: Performance Management

Performance management is the process of evaluating and managing a worker’s performance to ensure it is consistent with your business’ objectives, as well as the specific goals and standards of that worker.
Important: Safety should be a priority in workers’ performance. Workers must be expected to meet your safety standards and perform their work in a way that doesn’t cause health and safety risks. While performance management may also be undertaken for other reasons (e.g. failure to meet sales targets), this chapter examines performance management that specifically relates to workplace health and safety, i.e. safety performance management.

Safety performance management involves:

  • setting safety performance standards and goals for employees to work towards;
  • reviewing performance and offering feedback through performance appraisals;
  • managing underperformance;
  • disciplining employees where there is continued poor performance or conduct, or where such performance or conduct is unacceptable; and
  • rewarding employees who perform well.
Caution: If you undertake performance management, make it clear why the worker is being performance managed and ensure that it is not due to a protected attribute or activity, e.g. acting as a health and safety representative (HSR). Otherwise you could be liable for discrimination.
Important: Any management action you undertake – including performance management – must be reasonable and conducted in a reasonable way, i.e. reasonable management action.