You have everything ready: employee manual; job descriptions; you know what to do before, during and after your employee is performing a task. However, what if your employee has a lot of potential yet she/he is still not quite there yet. Have you tried a performance improvement plan (or PIP)?
What is a PIP? It’s a structured communication tool designed to facilitate communication between the employee and his/her supervisor. Where do you start? For beginners, you should start to document the areas in which the employee needs to improve his/her performance. You need to be objective and specific. Provide your employee with facts and examples to clarify the performance concerns.
What an effective PIP should do? Identify the problems, behavior to be corrected and performance to be improved; provide clear expectations and metrics; establish a time bound review plan to see if the employee improves and to provide feedback; spell out possible consequences for non-compliance with the standards identified in the PIP. Make sure this action plan should include goals that are specific, measurable, relevant and time-bound (or SMART)
Do you have to meet with the employee? Yes, you need to communicate your concerns. You must clearly lay out the areas for improvement and plan of action. Once the employee gives you his/her input and feedback you may need to modify the PIP. When should I use a PIP? Taking action early is better than waiting! Once you have recognized the problem address it right away. PIPs can help you in preventing problems from getting worse.
If used timely, correctly and effectively Performance Improvement Plans are a great tool! It can turn around some of your employees from being the average worker to be a great one and have a very positive effect in your company!