Now showing at Theatre Royal Plymouth – Positive Performance

by Lucy and David

The challenge

Employee survey data suggested that there was an opportunity to improve the performance of Theatre Royal Plymouth (TRP)’s people by developing the skills of their managers.

The survey identified there was inconsistency in employee experiences, which led their HR Manager, Debbie Clinton, to ask us if we could help engage their people, by encouraging them to always give their best.

The solution

We worked with the senior team to define their values and create their Positive Performance Framework: a template describing how great people at TRP do what they do. We designed interactive workshops, delivered by the senior team with our support, to share this Framework. Our work included a rethink of TRP’s appraisal system, highlighted in the employee survey as something that was certainly in need of improvement. The aim was to make the whole process straightforward, fair and useful, with quality conversations about performance and personal development.

The result

The values-centred Positive Performance Framework is now part of everyday life at TRP. People chat about it and new employees learn what it means and how it matters to their roles. Managers are held accountable for Managing Positive Performance and are measured through five questions that directly link to this in the employee survey.

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Their appraisal process was replaced with Managing Positive Performance, a very different way of having conversations. It’s all about managers having ongoing chats with their direct reports, with continuous feedback and an annual ’big chat’ to review and plan the next year’s development. Managers help individuals create tailored plans based on what will motivate and engage them best. The Positive Performance Framework provides a valuable and consistent tool for managers and colleagues to refer to throughout.

To roll out Managing Positive Performance, managers attended workshops to help them understand the new process, and to equip them with skills to give them confidence in having open and honest conversations with their teams, even if sometimes those conversations felt tricky or uncomfortable.
Feedback from TRP colleagues shows how TRP has transformed its processes with employee comments such as, “I love the idea of an ongoing, fairer system that’s inclusive, open and friendly.” And, “We have had clear concise training that I can now put into practice in my day job.”

It’s all about employee engagement and people power with positive feedback like, “We now have the freedom to be open and honest about how we feel, with no pressure.” And, “Learning about our core values has been very insightful.”

What Adrian said…

“Rambutan’s astute guidance and support have proven absolutely invaluable in helping us firstly to identify and articulate our core organisational values and then to build a bespoke recruitment, development and performance management framework that embodies and reinforces those values. It has transformed our organisation for the better. We could not have done it without them. They also blew away our early scepticism about the value of such ‘consultancies’ and especially one with such a pretentious name!”

Adrian Vinken, Chief Executive

If you’d like to know more about our work, or what the alternative to a tired and out-dated performance process could be for your organisation? Give Lucy or David a call; they’d love to chat and discuss how you could achieve similar outcomes.