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Employee performance is key to the success of any company. Having a Performance Improvement Plan (or PIP in short) in place is one of the effective ways to redress any deficiencies and keep your employees’ performance high.
As useful as it can be, the plan needs to be tactfully done because not everyone takes criticisms positively, even when they are constructive. Glassdoor recently shared a few tips on how to offer a thoughtful and effective performance improvement plan. Take notes, managers.
1. Be specific with your feedback
If you, as an HR practitioner, are the one to give out the improvement plan, talk to the worker’s direct manager for specific areas that need to be improved. Are there any targets that the employee in question has failed to meet? What are they and why are they difficult to meet? How far are they away from expectation?
Also, be prepared that employees may ask for specific strategies and/or action plans to overcome the challenges that they may be having. These can range from regular evaluation and goal setting meetings to additional training and classes for certain skills.
2. Help employees grow
No one is perfect. Whether they are a frontline worker or a manager, there are always new things to learn. Feeling stagnant at work is no doubt one of the reasons employees leave for another company. Therefore, before that happens, encourage your workers to sharpen some of their peripheral skills that may be beneficial both to them and to the company in the long run.
With the help of the PIP, you can grant insights on what skills the team would need in the future and suggest new areas for them to explore. Having an improvement plan in place is a good way to allow your employees to grow as a person, and help them keep their thrill at work.
Inviting their colleagues and manager to give feedback on their past work is also helpful in shedding light on what elements in them that the team values and what is lacking.
3. Care about your employee as a person
We all have commitments outside of work. While keeping personal life separate from work is part of the professionalism, family dynamics, relationship stress, mental health issues and financial struggles often creep their ways into our work.
If an employee has been underperforming, look at not only the internal factors like skills and workplace relationships but also their personal lives. The conversation, however, needs to be delicate and should not turn into a gossip session. Keep the talk professional and be reminded that employees should only share information that they are comfortable to share.
When appropriate, be active in offering support especially if your company has any employee assistance programs. Remember, the company suffers when your employees suffer.