Introducing anything new into the measurement of performance in the workplace could create some employee relations issues. Incorporating any new contractual provisions will require agreement from staff, including contractual key performance indicators (KPIs), otherwise they may try to argue that their terms and conditions have been changed.

If staff have not been measured in this way before, there may be some resistance to the introduction of targets. However, if you introduce them in the right way you are more likely to achieve buy in from your staff.

You should talk to your staff and tell them what you are planning to do. You could make this initial contact with your staff in writing, by letter or email, however, it is sometimes more advisable to add the personal touch to communications like this and introduce the new targets verbally.

Whilst targets are generally implemented to keep productivity high, you need to make sure that the targets are set reasonably, and are reasonably achievable otherwise they may turn out to have the opposite result to what was intended. This is a very significant part in achieving acceptance of the KPIs because you must be able to show that you have thought the process through and reached a logical and attainable target.

On a separate note, you need to consider how you will deal with those who do not meet the required standard. If you choose to take action, you should first investigate why the individual has not performed well. If standards are lacking because of an individual’s disability, then reasonable adjustments may be required to the KPI set to ensure they are not being treated less favourably because of their disability.

Also, if absence leads to unsatisfactory performance in relation to KPIs, you would first need to have a look at the reasons for the absence because treating all absence the same might lead to difficulty. Again, absence because of the employee’s disability may need to be considered in this way, as would absence because of the employee’s child’s disability, as discrimination legislation now covers discrimination by association. This means that employees can claim that they have been treated less favourably because they are associated with someone who has a disability.

Whilst KPIs are great for business performance, advice should always be taken where circumstances arise where you wish to take action for failure to meet them.

For further information regarding Key Performance Indicators, contact the Peninsula advice service on 0844 892 2772.