Steps to Create an Employee Performance Improvement Plan

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Not everyone who works for you will be an All-star, and at times some of your employees may even fall short and be in need of a nudge to get them back on the right track. A performance improvement plan will help establish expectations of your employee and will help both the employer and employee avoid any confusion if he/she is ultimately “let go” for underperforming. If you are planning to terminate any employees, it is even more crucial for you to implement a performance improvement plan before taking any disciplinary action to avoid potential confrontations and legal action.

6 Step Performance Improvement Plan

Step 1

What is your employee’s performance problem? Begin by defining the problem in writing, and specifying where your employee is falling short or needs to improve. If it is a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed, then write it down and detail and cite any specific events or problems that display the issue or problems.

Step 2

What are your expectations? After you define the performance or behavioral problems, you need to define what your expectations are of them. Define and list the changes in behavior or improvement of skills in your performance improvement plan, and have the outcome of their improvement clearly written.

Step 3

How much time do you give your employee to improve? Now, this depends on what their problem’s are, but regardless you should establish clear deadlines and timeframes, and communicate you will enforce the deadlines.

Step 4

How will your employee reach the goals of the performance improvement plan? Create a list of specific tasks that you and your employee will work on to achieve the goals of the performance improvement plan. Ensure that they believe the results from the performance improvement plan are fair and that they know they have all of the tools at their disposal to improve their performance.

Step 5

How will you measure your performance improvement plan? Make sure to clearly explain how the employee’s performance will be reviewed and how you will evaluate them to avoid any confusion. Additionally, you should schedule periodic meeting times to check-in and review their progress.

Step 6

Review the performance improvement plan. Make sure your employee knows the consequences for failing to meet the requirements outlined in the performance improvement plan. Then, have your employee sign the plan to acknowledge it’s review and reciept.

Remember that even though you have a performance improvement plan prepared, you should communicate with a human resources professional before taking any action for failing to meet the goals of the plan. Labor laws differ across different states and change frequently as well.

For a Free Example template click here.