In an earlier post, we asked the question "Why Is My New Hire Not Performing?" If your new hire isn't developing at the right level, and you're not ready to let the person go, then the next step is to develop a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). The PIP should be clear, concise, measurable and immediately shared with the employee. Do not wait until the employee is bringing down a team. Act quickly (and rationally) to get the employee back on track.
Below are six key considerations that should go into developing a Performance Improvement Plan.
Define the problem. Is the problem performance-based (employee has not demonstrated ability to perform necessary skills/tasks) or is it a behavioral issue (employee may perform tasks, but is disruptive)?
Determine where improvement is needed. What is required of the employee in order to successfully complete her duties? Are certain skills needing improvement? Any behaviors that need modified?
Establish the priorities of the duties. What are the possible consequences of errors associated with these duties? How frequently are they performed? How do they relate when compared with other duties?
Determine the standards to measure performance improvement. Are they SMART - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely? Be sure to check in at 2 weeks, 30-days and 45-days, at minimum.
Consider your role in the performance improvement process. What will you do as their manager to help the employee accomplish the goals within the desired time frame?
Have a Plan B. Ideally, performance improvement is the desired outcome. However, if the employee does not improve, be ready to the take the next steps.
Performance improvement can be tricky. In an ideal world, as managers, we should be
providing guidance and feedback to employees regularly and a performance improvement plan shouldn't be needed. But, realistically, providing regular feedback isn't easy when we're busy with our own workload.
Taking the time to train and engage, communicating with your employees, and creating an atmosphere where learning is encouraged will always result in improved employee performance.