Why You Should Start Using Performance Improvement Plans Now

When an employee is not performing, you know you have to take action. It’s a difficult conversation to have, but one that is inevitable and only gets harder as time goes on. So let’s rip off the bandaid and have that meeting.

Outlining the Issues with a Performance Improvement Plan

We recommend having that conversation with a Performance Improvement Plan in hand. The plan should outline the expectations that come with that employee’s job and the specific areas in which that employee is struggling. Not sure where to even begin? Grab the job description. It should give you a starting point, by outlining the tasks required in that job and the benchmarks the employee should be reaching.

Be Direct

Too often, we speak in vague terms and getting to the heart of the problem can be foggy. When emotions have run high, it can be extra difficult. A performance improvement plan, broken down by specifics, can clear the room of accusations or assumptions, by keeping everyone focused on the job at hand.

Pay Attention to the Results

A performance improvement plan can get everyone — employee, employer, managers, and affected coworkers — on the same page. What will the results be? That’s different in every case. In some cases, the employee may see a clear path ahead – and be able to begin performing optimally. In other cases, the employee may continue to miss benchmarks – and a move toward demotion or termination may be obvious. In still other cases, you may uncover the source of the struggle, and make changes to get back on track.

Be Thorough

A Performance Improvement Plan should cover three key topics: Expected Performance, Evidence of Success, and Follow Up. The Expected Performance section echoes the Job Description, outlining in detail specific actions and activities the employee is required to engage in in their job. It does not cover every expectation, but rather the specific areas in which the employee has been struggling or failing. The Evidence of Success then explains how these behaviors need to change to reflect improvement and employment success. It gets extremely specific about what an employee will begin to do and what an employee with stop doing, and within what time period these changes are expected. The Follow Up section outlines a plan for meetings during and at the end of the Performance Improvement timetable.

It’s about People – and Your Business

We are in the people business. It’s our goal to help every employee reach their full potential in whatever position they hold. It’s also our goal to help our clients keep their companies running at optimal speed. Performance Improvement Plans align those two, by righting a tipping boat and ensuring smooth sailing ahead. Need more information about Performance Improvement Plans? Not even sure where to start? Request a Quote today to see how we might be able to help.


Legal Disclaimer: This post is intended for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal information or advice. This information and all Coastal Payroll materials are provided in consultation with federal and state statutes and do not encompass other regulations that may exist, such as local ordinances. Transmission of documents or information through the Coastal Payroll does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

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