If you’re not at your best …. the small print
Lloyds Banking Group has reduced the number of formal review meetings colleagues can expect if their performance at work dips.
We’re told the change is to shorten the current bureaucratic process that must be navigated by line managers of under-performing colleagues. We see it more as a toughening up of the performance culture.
How it affects you: If you have less than one year’s service
You can effectively be facing dismissal at one final review meeting, having been given no formal opportunity to improve before then. OK, you should have had informal coaching and support to get you back to your best, but if you reach this stage, it could be the end of the line. And you won’t have any employment rights either, unless you feel you’ve been treated unfairly because of a protected characteristic (age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation).
We’ve made it clear that the streamlined process effectively imposes a probationary period of 12 months on new staff. They won’t be entitled to union representation until a hearing that could result in dismissal. Effectively treating a colleague with capability issues in the same way the business treats a colleague accused of gross misconduct under the disciplinary procedure.
How it affects you: If you have more than one year’s service
The previous three formal stage process has been replaced with two formal stages, so after your first formal meeting you’ll only have one review period before you could find yourself at a final formal review meeting. And that could result in dismissal.
We’ve been clear with the business that we don’t support this move and will challenge hard on every individual case to make sure our members are given every opportunity to improve. In our view, a robust and fair procedure aimed at maintaining satisfactory performance standards and encouraging improved performance where necessary should encompass first, final and dismissal formal stages at which colleagues can be represented by their union.
Our advice to all members is to carefully read the new ‘Performance Policy’. And if there is any mention in your regular one-to-ones, check-ins or in the moment conversations that your line manager has concerns about your performance:
- Make sure you’re clear about what your line manager’s concerns are and that you have an opportunity to openly discuss your views too.
- Your line manager should be clear on what improvements are expected of you and why.
- Be demanding of your line manager – if they have concerns, ask them to put support in place to help you improve. And hold them to it.
- Agree a reasonable period to improve and, if you’re struggling mid-way, don’t wait until the next check-in/one-to-one to let your line manager know. Ask for more support when you need it.
- Keep your own notes of all conversations, what’s said, what’s agreed and when you’ll review things.
Supporting our members
If you’re worried during the informal process – get in touch with your Accord Officer. Whilst we can’t represent you at this stage, we can advise and support you.
Of course, if you move to a formal stage of the process, you’re entitled to union representation, and we’ll be right there with you. From start to finish. Doing all we can to help you get back to your best.
If you're not currently a member of Accord – now's a good time to join. This is one of several changes we expect to see flowing from the updated Group Strategy that will impact the way you’re managed and treated at work. It’s quick and easy to join here.
Any queries or comments should be sent to [email protected]