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POPin Blog

How to Design an Employee Performance Improvement Plan

Do you know how to get the best out of your employees? Every manager will experience times when someone on their team isn’t performing as they should. It can be a difficult situation to deal with, as every individual has different needs and motivations. Whether a slump in performance is due to personal problems, demotivation, or a lack of support, it can be boosted with the right employee performance improvement plan. Read on to find out how to set out a plan to review and improve the way your employees work. How to Make a Great Employee Performance Improvement Plan Layout Expectations Clearly Employees need to know exactly what’s expected of them in order to do their jobs well. At the start of any employee performance improvement plan, it’s essential that you make sure they know what they need to be doing, and how their performance will be measured. The more they understand this, the more committed they’re likely to be. Set Targets Set structured targets. They could be small at first, then grow in importance and level of responsibility over time. A mixture of short-term and long-term goals will keep them stimulated, and each time they hit one, they’ll feel a sense of achievement. All goals must be realistic. That means giving reasonable time constraints. One month may not be enough time to make a significant improvement in a certain area, and if the employee knows that, they’ll feel disheartened. Follow Up Regularly An employee who isn’t performing as well as they should be might struggle with self-management. They might need regular reminders in order to stay on track. Follow up with them on a regular basis, with face-to-face meetings as well as emails and messages, just to check in and see how they’re doing. It will give them an opportunity to ask questions if they need to, and will reinforce your working relationship, too Provide Support Employees need to feel supported throughout their time with you, not just when they first get hired. Whether they’ve just come out of their initial training stage or have years of experience, make sure they know that you’re there if they need you. Offer them a helping hand and advise them on how to reach their potential, and if they need it, provide extra formal training for them as well. Don’t be overbearing, though. It’s crucial that you trust them and give them space to do their job. Be Reliable It’s important for a manager to stick to a plan. If you cancel or postpone meetings, don’t acknowledge achievements or forget to follow up, the employee will feel as though the plan has little meaning. They might even walk out altogether. Managers who fail to honor commitments push employees to quit. Set a good example by being as reliable and dedicated as you expect them to be. Keep Good Employees While there may be times when you have to let an employee go, it’s best to avoid it where possible. Follow the above rules, and your employees will be happy, motivated, and much more likely to stay with you for longer. For more information, see our post on the value of retention in business.