Employee Performance Plans: What are they?

Employees are by far the most important part of an organization. They are the ones that keep your company going, do the work that generates revenue, and handle all your operations. It’s safe to say that having high-performing and motivated employees is the best way to achieve growth. This is why employers should have employee performance plans which not only track the company-wide employee performance but act as improvement programs too.

Also known as ‘performance improvement plans’, employee performance plans ensure that your employees are working up to the mark and that you are focusing on underperforming or underutilized employees.

What are Employee Performance Plans?

Employee performance plans are reactionary measures, for when employees are not performing up to company and industry standards. The plan helps employees realize that they are lacking in their work and that they can do better, while also providing the means to do better.

Employee performance plans can have many outcomes, such as transfers, demotions, training, and even terminations. However, the majority of times, the result is an improvement in performance, which inadvertently makes the employee more productive and motivated.

Employee performance plans can be used as part of your employee engagement surveys too.

Objectives of an Employee Performance Plan

Mainly, employee performance plans are used to convey performance expectations to employees. Especially towards those who seem like they’re having a hard time. The following are some of the major objectives of employee performance plans:

  • Inform the employee that their performance isn’t up to standard.
  • Determine why a certain employee isn’t performing as expected.
  • Make the employee understand the things that are unacceptable and unprofessional.
  • Convey future performance expectations to the employee.
  • Give the employee a strike or warning, explaining to them that if their performance doesn’t improve, there may be heavy consequences.

It’s important to also understand that you will only achieve these objectives if you have successfully discussed dipping performance issues with the employee, described your expectations, as well as, listened to and analyzed the explanation that employees provide.

Key Elements of Employee Performance Plans

To properly track the performance of employees and to develop a proper employee performance plan without overwhelming the employee, keep in mind the following elements.

Record All Performance Issues

You should always start by documenting any direct and indirect performance gaps that you can observe. You should also note down the exact problem and what issues are arising as a result of this problem. This will give you a clear idea of how much this performance issue is affecting the company, and what you can do to rectify it.

To make the best of it, note down everything formally. Rather than resenting the employee, you should simply focus on getting everything together, with the intention of making the employee a better performer.

Start Planning

After you have all the information you need and have communicated your concerns to the employee, you need to devise a plan to rectify the performance issue. This plan will technically be an action plan that would focus on employee engagement, thereby improving the employee’s performance.

The plan doesn’t need to be set in concrete and should be subject to changes and modifications. This is because you can’t approach all employees in the same way. To have the maximum effect, you will need to tailor your plan according to each employee.

Evaluate your Plan

You should always try to involve a third party to moderate the process and evaluate your plan. You can get someone from human resources or another manager/supervisor, for this purpose. This legitimizes and formalizes the process while making sure your employee performance plan is well laid-out.

It also ensures that the entire process is completely professional, and removes any doubts. Moreover, the process ensures that your plan is tailored towards each specific employee, and will help them improve significantly.

Check-in with the Employee

When your plan is complete, you can approach your employee again and provide them with the details of the plan. You should help and support them in understanding the plan and assist them in carrying it out.

It is best to keep checking in with the employee. This is because the likely solutions are not short-term, but long-term, and it can take time for results to actualize.

Feedback and Post-Performance

Constant checking-in aside, you should also have follow-up meetings, where you formally discuss the employee’s past and current performance, and whether there has been an improvement. You can also use this to discuss any other issues that may have come up.

You should also try and provide further recommendations for improvement. The employee should also be able to give their opinions on the plan, such as whether they believe the plan is helping them or not.

The Bottom Line: Employee Performance Plans Work

Employee performance plans can also be used to find out employee engagement trends and is an employee engagement idea too because it shows the employee that you care about them. You should make sure that the employee doesn’t feel that you are implementing the performance plan because it’s affecting the company.

Make them understand that you’re helping them so that they try their best to improve upon the issues. You can easily design your employee performance plan but if you want an already designed plan, you can search online and find several kinds of employee performance plans.