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Developing employee performance (2): Setting people up for success

Authors: Colin Lamb, Susan Earle and Susan McRoberts


In this guide to performance development, we examine the use of job descriptions, the importance of updating them with the changing needs of the business and establishing clear objectives to ensure people are set up for success. This is the second guide in our series on developing employee performance:

  • In Developing employee performance (1): Understanding performance and its importance to organisational success we look at why strengthening employees' performance is a key factor in organisational success.
  • In Developing employee performance (3): Reviewing performance (coming soon) we explore establishing appraisal systems and a feedback culture that employees will engage with and that make a clear contribution to improving performance.
  • In Developing employee performance (4): Discovering performance gaps and providing development opportunities (coming soon) we look at how to identify and bridge gaps in performance to ensure that your people can perform at their best.
  • In Developing employee performance (5): Purpose, belonging and psychological safety (coming soon) we discuss the importance of tying employees' work to organisation-wide objectives, and the impact of psychological safety on performance.


  • An effective job description is key to giving people the clarity they need to perform their job effectively. (See Job descriptions)
  • Updating job descriptions on a regular basis is vital in ensuring the roles people are performing continue to meet the needs of the team and the organisation. (See The changing nature of roles and responsibilities)
  • Setting effective objectives in a way that people engage with them is a crucial factor in maximising performance. (See Effective objective setting)