When managing staff it is especially important to have clear measurable goals for your team to work to. The goals should be daily or weekly at the least to be most effective, especially in the early stages for a new employee. As a means to provide positive reinforcement for achievement, measurable goals play a huge role in staff retention, though they are also essential when dealing with employees who aren’t coming up with the goods. Simply, if you don’t have goals then you will have no way of performance managing a non-performing employee out of your business.
Despite some claims to the contrary, an employer may have to prove they have followed due process in dismissing an employee, even within the recently introduced 90 day trial period. If a dismissal situation does end up in the employment court then the employer’s actions may be measured against “what a fair and reasonable employer would be expected to do”. Usually this involves having goals to meet, not meeting them, an investigation, an opportunity to respond, an opportunity to improve, and following what is in the employment agreement.
In short it is best to think through all of the detail of the employment contract before you employ someone. I have found the Labour department’s employment agreement builder helpful, but you should also create a clear job description and clarify what the Key Performance Indicators are and how they will be measured. As a manager you are more likely to achieve a positive and fruitful result if you have a clear documented plan, set daily and weekly goals at the very least, monitor progress and provide feedback on performance on a regular basis.