Performance Improvement Plan Templates for Employees and Management

Business Leaders

When it comes to preparing a performance improvement plan to improve overall business performance, you can’t afford to take a backseat. Proactive and persistent intervention plays a big role in overcoming workplace hurdles and doubling down on company growth. If you’re struggling to create an effective employee/management performance improvement plan, we’ve got you covered. Use our template and comprehensive guide to understand why company performance has gone down, and how you can set things right. It’s likely that your employees are under an immense amount of pressure. In this case, being an empathetic leader and taking their needs into consideration is important to boost employee motivation. In other cases, it’s also possible that your team is insufficiently trained or lacks direction. In this situation, looking into effective training plans is a great way to surmount the hurdle. Ultimately, identifying weaknesses and turning them into strengths will help you grow your company in the long run. Use our performance improvement plan to strategically, systematically, and effectively achieve your company’s goals. Let’s get started!

Developing and producing an employee/management performance improvement plan for those employees who are poor performers could mean everything to your businesses success! It's not that difficult!

If they are not meeting your expectations you have two hard, but necessary choices!

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Performance Improvement & Evaluations/Reviews Information   

Example Statements for Good Performance    Performance Improvement Plan Template    Self Evaluation Sample    Example Performance Review Phrases    Example Positive Phrases    An Employee Performance Appraisal Process Is Critical to Productivity    5 Surefire Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover    Turnover Will Destroy A Business    Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) Template   

First choice is pretty straight forward! Terminate them for poor performance provided it is well documented! That could be costly in many ways since training new employees cost money and wrongful law suites are also costly.

Second choice, generally much more cost effective, is to produce a performance plan using a performance improvement plan template that will turn them into a fully productive employee.

When your trying to decide which way to go consider recruitment and initial orientation costs!

If you have decided to keep them and attempt to improve their performance consider the following...

Determine if the poor performance is a matter of "Can't" or "Won't"!

If it is "Won't" then discipline may be the desired and best solution!

Let us help you give your struggling employees a chance to turn around their performance. Here is a wealth of performance improvement plan templates to effectively communicate available opportunities and accountability for past performance and future expectations.

A performance improvement plan can help them better understand the requirements of the job, and how they can better fulfill them.

Remember to keep an open dialogue and ensure that your employees have all the tools and resources necessary to achieve the expectations outlined in the plan.

Employee Team

Sample Online Employee Performance Improvement Plan Template Writing Software

Complete the Open Blocks to Prepare an Employee Performance Improvement Plan for a Sales Position

Date that this letter will be issued to the employee:

Who will be signing and issuing this letter to the employee:

(Example: Mr. John S. Doe or John S. Doe)

Name of the employee that will be receiving this letter:

(Example: Ms. Jane F. Doe or Jane F. Doe)

What is the official title of the employee receiving this letter:

(Example: New Car Salesperson or Director of Sales)


For an effective performance improvement plan it is necessary to provide them with what their current level of performance is.

Select the – Current Level of Employee Performance – You can select more than one by holding down the Ctrl key and using your mouse to click on multiple selections.

In order for this employee to improve it is necessary to provide them with action steps they need to take to accomplish their expected level of performance. It is important that you select at least one action step for each area they need to improve in; however, in most cases they will need to take several action steps.

Select the - Action Steps Required To Improve – You can select more than one by holding down the Ctrl key and using your mouse to click on multiple selections.

It is important that you hold regularly scheduled meetings, such as daily or weekly, with the employee to monitor improvement.

Select how often you will conduct this meeting:

When will this regularly scheduled meeting start?

It is important that you set a deadline date that the employee must have met the minimum acceptable performance level. This should be a realistic and obtainable date, i.e., it would be unfair to expect an employee to double their sales in one week.

The employee must achieve acceptable performance by:


The remainder of the actual letter will be based on the choices/selections you have already made.

Performance Improvement Plan Statements:

Performance Improvement Plan Expectation Statements:

Your first step in an effective employee performance improvement plan is to define the poor performance. Do not generalize otherwise you can't specifically target the necessary training or solutions.

It is also important to agree on the necessary course of action with the employee and the performance improvement plan. Ultimately it is still your decision but getting buy in is always a huge plus!

If it's a matter of "Can't" then an employee performance improvement plan is the best solution!

Also try to agree on how much follow up is necessary. Do you need to meet daily, weekly, etc.  Follow up is one of the most important elements so that you can make sure that progress is being made and the employee is moving in the right direction.

Finally, agree on what happens if the employee does not improve! Will they be demoted, given more time, or will they be terminated!

Problem Solving

Performance Phrases

    *    Needs to achieve a higher degree of accuracy.

  *    Must closely follow established guidelines and procedures.

   *    Does not meet the minimum standard of quality and quantity of work.

    *    Fails to keep the filing system up to date.

It is a common fact that within your business you will, from time to time, discover you have one or a number of workers who will be under performing. This can understandably be an extremely frustrating problem as under performance can dramatically affect the overall success of your business and the productivity of your team overall. However, by devising a performance improvement plan for such employees, you can help to resolve these issues and witness the positive results for yourself.

As a business owner or manager, your primary goal will be to get the best from your employees in order to optimize your business’ success. Often, a worker may perform better with the simple piece of encouragement which can provide them with the motivation and focus they require. However, it is possible that you may come across some workers who will require a somewhat more aggressive approach. An employee performance improvement plan will not be something that your employees welcome initially, but it should not be portrayed as something negative. A vast number of businesses rely on the use of an employee performance improvement plan template to produce a good plan. It is important to help your staff who require an improvement plan understand that this plan will benefit them just as much as it will benefit you. But just what is the purpose of an employee performance improvement plan.

performance improvement

Implementing an Employee Performance Improvement Plan is One of the easiest ways in which to improve on low performing workers…

In short, a performance improvement plan is utilized to help any under performing worker improve in order to do their utmost for their employer. By identifying a series of guidelines that they should follow as part of their role, an employee can fully understand what is expected of them and with the required direction, can positively work towards achieving their goal. By utilizing a performance improvement plan, you can set goals for individual workers, monitor their success and progress and chart this progress through a series of reviews. It should not be used as a means to name and shame under performers, but instead, be used constructively and be devised following a conversation between yourself and the employee in question. It should be constructed in a manner that clearly identifies the minimum expectations that are laid out for the individual and the time frame in which you desire each goal to be achieved within.

One of the easiest ways in which to improve on low performing workers is by investing in a guide that will help you to learn how to build a strong team and effectively eliminate those who will have a negative impact on your business. It is only by being confident in the abilities of your team that you will be able to fully focus on other areas of your business in order to help it flourish. By investing in an innovative and insightful guide such as ‘Leading the Way: Manager’s Guide to Performance Improvement’ courtesy of Guide To Performance, you will learn the fundamentals of managing your employees in order to optimize your overall success. Managing your workers effectively will help you eliminate time wasting and will show you how to effectively keep your employees motivated and successfully working towards their individual goals.

Many business owners make the mistake of burying their head in the sand when it comes to under performers or may take the extreme step of ignoring them altogether. Either way, these actions will not create a solution for your problems which will do nothing to aid in the progress of your business. By utilizing the Guide to Performance plan, you can understand the importance of a performance improvement plan and implement these throughout your workforce. The knowledge you are given will help your employees to work harder, become more proud of their positions which in turn will help teach them to take responsibility for the quality of their work and lastly; will help your business become more efficient for optimized results. However, it is important to remember that a performance improvement plan is not just about helping your business to improve, but it will also help your employees to gain the attributes they need in order to move forward throughout their careers.

Your business’ future relies heavily on the effort and work that both you and your employees put in. In fact, your business will be set to fail if you do not have dedicated and loyal workers in place. By understanding the importance of performance improvement plans and how these can be utilized to separate the weak links from your workforce, you can work towards creating focused and somewhat ambitious employees which in turn, will help lead the way to your businesses future success and the success of your workers.

Business Meeting

Employee Performance Improvement Plan Template Sample!

The following format is exactly how I have always issued performance improvement plans to my employees. It clearly points out the problem, how it should be done, and the deadline for improvement.

You can change the format but make sure you include these three elements or you have not met the minimum criteria if challenged by the legal process.

Here is my example:

Date: August 28, 2009

From: Supervisor

To: Employee

Re: Notification of Unacceptable Performance/Opportunity to Improve

1. This is to notify you that your performance of the duties in your position as Housekeeper is unacceptable.  

2. Specifically, since the beginning of the appraisal period, your performance, as reviewed against your position description, has been as follows:

Key Element:  Cleaning and Maintenance - Cleaning, waste management and floor maintenance of guest and administrative areas will be accomplished according to established frequencies and procedures which result in a safe, sanitary and attractive environment conducive to a HOTEL setting. Equipment will be operated, maintained and cleaned according to procedure and returned to its proper storage area.

Actual Performance: Reference is made to the attached inspection reports dated 8/20/09, 8/19/09, 8/2/09, 7/24/09, 6/21/09, 6/3/09, 5/16/09, 5/2/09, 4/24/09, and 4/3/09. Specifically you are failing to move or clean under items/furniture, clean corners, sweep, mop, vacuum as required.

Performance Management involves many different leadership skills; however, sometimes it pays to take advantage of something as simple as good old fashion performance management software. <BR><BR>

Why reinvent the wheel! After all don’t over think things! If you try to complicate something it will become complicated! Once complicated it will become less and less effective until it is useless!<BR><BR>

When it comes to performance management it is no different. The most important thing about good performance management software is having choices to track the various elements of your employee’s performance. As an example your organization may want to track anything from safety to absenteeism. On the other hand you may be interested in how many widgets they make. In either case having performance management software that will help you organize these types of items so that you can make management decisions that will assist you in employee development.

Actual Performance: Reference is made to the attached inspection reports dated 7/24/09, 6/21/09, 5/16/09, and 4/24/09. Specifically you fail to not wipe down the door frame, or clean the door glass on the inside and out.

Actual Performance:  Reference is made to the attached inspection report dated 7/24/0X, 6/21/0X, and 4/24/0X. Specifically you fail to clean the lights by removing dead insects.

Actual Performance:  Reference is made to the attached inspection report dated 7/24/09, 6/21/09, 5/16/09, and 4/24/09. Specifically you fail to wipe dust and cobwebs from windowsills.

Actual Performance:  Reference is made to the attached inspection report dated 7/24/09, 6/21/09, 5/16/09, and 4/24/09. Specifically you fail to wipe furniture removing the dust and cobwebs from the top, bottom, sides and back.

Actual Performance:  Reference is made to the attached inspection report dated 4/30/09. Specifically you are failing to fill the dispensers adequately.

Actual Performance:  Reference is made to the attached inspection reports dated 6/3/09. Specifically you are failing to clean and maintain the equipment by wiping down and cleaning or replacing the pads.

3. You will be given until September 28, 2009, (30 days) to demonstrate acceptable performance or your employment with organization may be terminated. During this next thirty days you are expected to meet all standards at the successful level.

4. In addition, during the next thirty days I will meet with you on a weekly basis or more often if I deem necessary. The purpose of the meetings will be to discuss your work, both completed and in progress, and assist you in organizing and prioritizing it. Because I consider you fully trained as a Housekeeper, I have not included training as part of this action. However, if you can identify and desire specific training that you believe will assist you in improving your performance, you may bring it to my attention for further consideration. In addition to our weekly meetings, I will be available to assist you, answer questions, discuss mutual areas of concern, and provide feedback on your progress.

5. If you have any problems of a personal or medical nature that you believe are impinging on your ability to perform successfully, I urge you to bring this information to my attention, as well, so that appropriate assistance may be considered.

6. You may address any questions regarding this Performance Improvement Plan you have to me directly.

Supervisor's Signature and Date:

Employee's Signature and Date:

performance improvement sign

Additional Information on an Employee Performance Improvement Plan Template

The first step in deciding whether to move forward with a formal performance improvement plan is to set down with the employee and have a discussion with them.

Of course this is assuming you have already established that their performance is in need of improving. We will have this discussion on establishing this on a separate page of this website.

For now let's assume that has already taken place and we know what areas the employee needs to improvement in. Below I have provided much more information on a performance improvement plan.

Employee Coaching

Performance Improvement Plan - Make them feel as comfortable as possible

I will invite the employee into my office and try to make them feel as comfortable as possible. If I have coffee or a soft drink available I always offer them some.

I will begin the conversation with offering a little about what I might have done on the weekend or the night before that is somewhat personal. If you feel uncomfortable with this then don't. I like this approach because it establishes that we are people, and as people we have flaws. It also helps them to feel more relaxed and may help them open up a little more so that we can get to the heart of the problem, i.e., root cause.

At some point I am going to ask the employee if they are still happy with their job. I will do this in a compassionate way. I am not threatening them, only wanting to know if they still like getting up in the morning and coming to work.

Performance Improvement Plan - They may be having personal problems!

Depending on their answer I will follow up with the reason I ask is that I have noticed your performance is not what it used to be, is there anything I can do to help?

You will have to evaluate their response and take this opportunity to dig into the issues that they may bring up. It may be they don't have enough time. They may be getting bothered by someone else. They may say they need more training. They are having personal problems. Don't go into the meeting thinking you already know.

If they don't bring up anything you may want to prompt the discussion by suggesting at least one area that is falling short, and then keep building on that. The question may be presented in a positive way leaving it open for them to identify it. Maybe something like, "How do you think your doing at (fill in the blank)?"

It is much better for them to identify their performance shortfalls than to be beat over the head with them from you.

I will continue to offer up myself to train or assist in any way possible because they are important to the team. It is much less expensive to help them than to go through the hiring process again.

Finally let them know you will follow up with them (you decide how often). This is very important to the process. If you say you will be following up daily, then make sure you do.

Always end the meeting with another offer to help and a hand shake.

If you don't notice an improvement in their performance you will need to progress to the next step which could be a second more direct meeting or moving into a formal performance improvement plan.

performance improvement

Developing an Employee  Performance Improvement Plan

If you are in the position to help others increase there job performance, you may be trying to figure out the best way to approach the subject and the individual. Here are a few suggestions to help you with a performance improvement plan.

Begin by taking a list of the problem areas that the employee has been exhibiting. Notice if they fall under the same headings or if they are scattered around. For instance, is punctuality an issue for meetings and other occasions? Are the troubled areas concentrated in a particular time of day or day of the week?

By taking the time to analyze where the problems are, it will begin to shape why they happen. This will make it easier to create a performance improvement plan that will satisfy the needs of your company while helping the employee find successful ways to improve.

Once you have located the key areas that need to be addressed, word them in such a way that the behavior is focused on and not the individual. The behaviors can be discussed without the person feeling an attack on their character.

Work together to focus on solutions that will improve the behavior. For example, if the person is always late on Tuesday and Thursday, you may discover that they are responsible for getting their children to day care on those days. Perhaps a half hour shift in the schedule could make all the difference.

When developing a performance improvement plan, you need to make certain that the outcome is win-win for everyone involved. If the employee feels important to the company, it will increase their esteem and encourage them to work hard to meet the requirements of the new plan. With the right work, he can be a valuable member of your team.

How To Develop An Effective Employee Performance Improvement Plan

An employer has an obligation to support its employees in their success. One approach is to help every employee improve his performance and work toward goals that feed into his success. An effective employee performance improvement plan is a road map of this path to success.

The plan should clearly describe the performance areas where the employee needs to improve. Each area of improvement should be as specific as possible. Vague language should be avoided to prevent misinterpretation.

A course of action should be determined. An objective or goal needs to be developed for each area of improvement. Each goal should be measurable and quantifiable. It should also include a deadline of when the goal should be accomplished.

In setting these goals, it is important to make them reasonable and attainable. The employee needs to understand how these goals are relevant to his job and how they contribute to the company's success. There should also be a statement on the possible consequences if the the goals are not achieved.

When a draft of the performance improvement plan is finished, the manager should discuss these goals with his employee for his feedback. The plan can be fine-tuned and adjusted until both sides agree to it before making this a formal plan.

The employee's manager should make available any training resources that will help his employee accomplish his goal. Extra time, coaching and mentoring may be required.

The manager should hold periodic meetings with the employee to check on his progress and to identify any roadblocks that need to be addressed. At the end of the plan period specified, if the goals are not reached but the employee was making a good progress toward them, the employer can opt to extend the plan period. Or, if the interim progress reports indicate that the employee is not making any significant progress, the employer can choose to let the employee go.

An employee performance improvement plan clarifies the employer's expectations and documents the accountability of the employee. This helps an employer retain only the best and the brightest in its workforce.

performance improvement

Things To Include In A Performance Improvement Plan

Employees need to improve in their job performance and that is a given, but what is not a given is how the employees should go about getting this improvement done. This is when a company may want to develop a performance improvement plan. When the companies develop these plans, though, they need to make sure they include certain features in them, which will guarantee the employees are going to know what skills they need to improve upon, but also know more about the way they can go about improving.

Basic and complex skills are going to vary depending on the jobs that people are doing. While most people never think about this, they need to realize they are going to learn quite a few job skills when they are working. Each of these skills should be on the improvement plan sheet and it is going to make it easier for people to know if they are doing the job properly or not. If they are not doing the job right it will be marked on the box and even allow people to know in the remarks section of the check boxes what they need to improve on.

The date of reevaluation is the next thing that should be included in all of these plans. While most employees know that the assessment is going to be ongoing. Since this is the case, people need to know when they can expect to be reevaluated and this way they can work on improving their job skills while this is going on. Without this, people are going to think their skills are not going to improve, but with this information people can have time to study and get ready for the reevaluation they are going to be undergoing.

Tips on how to improve to get better at the job is something else that people need to have as well. While most people think they are going to be able to improve on their own, they need to realize they should know about what they need to change while doing the job. By having this information, it is going to be easy for people to have the right information to know what they need to change. Then people can finally have the skills set they need to have and know it is going to help them in landing their promotion or other advancement they need.

When people are working in a new job, they should know more about the way they can improve after their first evaluation. This is generally going to be a lot easier than what people think, but it often involves the company they are working for having to do some work. This work will generally mean the companies need to provide some type of performance improvement plan. By knowing what these plans should include, it will be easy for people to know how these are going to help them in getting to improve to a new level that they never thought possible.

Employee Performance Can Depend On a Number of Factors and Work Environment

It is a mistake to link the performance of an employee to the remuneration they receive. While it is a factor that can determine how a person performs his or her designated duties, in most cases, employees after a time start thinking of this has something they are entitled to. There are many other factors that can determine employee performance and managements and owners and stake holders in companies, need to give sufficient importance to them, so that they are able to encourage the optimum performance from all their employees. 

Workplace environment is a determining factor in an employee performance improvement plan and must be given all due consideration to the extent possible. The quality of this environment has many aspects and each of them needs to be addressed in the most practical and feasible manner. These workplace performance factors can include:

  • Goal setting
  • Performance feedback
  • Correct roles
  • Defined processes
  • Workplace incentives
  • Supervisor support
  • Training or mentoring
  • Availability of resources

Goal setting enables an employee to be aware of the expectations that managements have from their performance, and must be discussed with the concerned employee and accepted as practical and achievable. Employees must always be given feedback as to how they are performing with respect to the goals and this needs to be both positive feedback and suggestions for improvement. This feedback can be informal and personal, though it is always good to have a formal review made at regular intervals, which must allow an employee to also respond with comments.

It's very necessary that every employee be completely aware of their own role in the organization, and may be given training to fit into their designated role. These roles can be formalized in large organization in job specifications and expected performance levels. The processes in any business must be well defined and logical and commensurate with the skills of the employees and the materials and machinery used for the service or production that the business offers to its customers. Standards of performance, based on industry accepted norms, can allow a management to define incentives for higher levels of performance. These can be monetary, laudatory or other rewards, which need to be well publicized, so that they act as motivation for improved performance.

Supervisory support is very essential for the proper performance improvement plan of any employee, and supervisors must act as advocates for employees for the solution to any problems they face during performance of their duties.  Supervisors need to give employees confidence and advice on any correction, where needed. Performances of employees can be enhanced if they are properly mentored by older and more experienced co-workers or seniors, and performances will always benefit if employees are given additional training to increase their skills. This also helps the organization itself, when such training allows for new and more efficient processes to be introduced, which can have an effect on bottom lines.

Most people in an organization do develop loyalties to it, especially if working conditions are good and the business also affords all the resources for career development. Money can have its limitation as a motivator, and all these other factors need to be given as much importance, so that performance is always at high levels.

performance improvement

Think Like A Survivalist And Increase Productivity!

How in the world am I going to get one more ounce of production from my staff without all of them walking off the job?  I am so tired of my leadership asking us to do more with less but not giving us the solutions of how to do it! I ask myself daily if it is even possible anymore.

Well the short answer is in most cases we can do more with less but we have to open up our minds to more creative ways to make that happen.

Just to be clear I never want anyone to be confused by the idea of doing more with less translates into less quality products or service. Anyone can more widgets but will they still work as well as they should? Therefore, whenever we speak about an effort to increase productivity through an employee performance improvement plan we must always understand that we never want to jeopardize the quality or our product or service.

As I have stated in some previous blog posts on this website a performance improvement plan begins with listing what is the most important part or parts of the process. Specifically I have referenced the idea of beginning to think like a person who is surviving in the wild without any resources, such as food and water. If we begin to approach our business like this we will quickly see that there are many tasks we perform every single day that are just unnecessary. What those specific tasks are you must be the judge.

To give you an example of how a person surviving in the wild might think let’s ask ourselves some questions that will draw out some obvious conclusions, or at least I hope.

We all believe regular exercise on a daily basis is good for us, right? In other words staying active is a good thing, right? We hear it all the time and it is very true. However, if we are stranded the wild trying to survive wasted activity can lead to death. If we burn calories that don’t produce results we will insure that our time in the wild is going to be shorter than it should be. This is so important that it must be stated again. Unnecessary activity that will not produce any benefit is stupid! Yes I used the “S” word and I meant it.

Everything And Everyone Can Improve Utilizing An Employee Performance Improvement Plan!

I have always said that if I ever get to a point where I don’t think I can improve things it is time for me to either retire or find a different way to earn a living. I guess I prefer retirement over finding some other way to make a living but the bottom line is that there is always room for improvement. Every day we are doing something we learn something different which should impact the overall performance and quality of what we are doing, provided we are open to looking for it.

We are creatures of habit. We get up at the same time. We get ready the same way. We leave for work at the same time. We take the same route. We get gas from the same place. We shop at the same markets. We watch the same television shows. We are this way because it is easier to repeat what we do, over and over again, instead of finding new/better ways to do the same thing.

Have you ever heard a person that takes the same route every day to work say something like I don’t remember getting here this morning. I must have been day dreaming. We are in such a routine that we begin to go on autopilot missing out on new things that are happening around us. As an example when we are traveling to some place new it seems to take a lot longer getting there because we are noticing everything around us. On the other hand traveling to some place we have gone to every day for the last ten years seems quick since we have learned to tune out most of it because it is the same thing over and over again.

Our jobs are like traveling to the same place over and over again. We get locked into believing that the way we are doing something is because it is the best way. After all we have been doing it that way for the last ten years, give or take a year or two. Imagine if the auto industry never changed anything after the first model A rolled of the assembly line. The truth is that every year the automobile has gotten better and better.

We need to approach our jobs and the jobs our staff the same way no matter what industry you’re in. The term think outside the box needs to be more than just a cute saying and an actual way of operating your business. If you can think it, or dream it, there is a good possibility that it can be done.

They have machines/robots that can deliver supplies anywhere within a facility saving labor. They have new tools that can reduce the amount of time it takes to repair something. They have computer technology that can help reduce error rates. They have better chemicals increasing equipment life. They have new marketing strategies that can increase sales exponentially. They have software that can determine ways to save energy.

The point is that if we are open to improving there are ways to improve. If we are not open to improving our business maybe we should retire or move on before the decision is made for us.

Our employees are no different; however, in some cases they need a little extra help without beating them over the head with discipline. In addition, it is very costly to terminate those that we could retain if we just utilized an employee performance improvement plan template like the one within this website to produce a logical employee performance improvement plan for them.

Of course if we create an employee performance improvement plan we must follow through with it and give the employee and your business every chance to succeed.

Problem Solving

Getting The Most From Your Employees Is A Process!

Running a business is more than selling a product or service. In many cases that is the easy part. The hard part is teaching, motivating, and organizing your staff so that you are maximizing their performance so that you enhance your ability to be the most profitable. The fact is that unless you are in the business of some type of charity work your ultimate goal is to be as profitable as possible.

There are many reasons why an employee is not being productive and many of them have to do with poor behavior. Behavior such as tardiness, poor attendance, extended breaks, excessive talking, surfing the web, horseplay, and many more lead to less work and even worse poor quality work being performed.

Let's Talk Performance and Not Behavior!

However, for the purposes of this article we are going to concentrate on poor performance and not poor behavior. In short, we are going to talk about can’t versus won’t.  As an example the employee can’t produce the product because they were not trained properly versus they won’t produce the product because they are surfing the web.

The key to improving poor performance is to look first inward at your systems in place versus assuming the employee is at fault. Ultimately it may very well be the employee but don’t assume that until you review your system.  As an example, maybe everyone prior to this employee was trained by employee A and the new employee that is unable to perform was trained by employee B. Maybe a new standard was adopted and the employee that is not performing didn’t receive the training. Have you changed from one parts supplier to another.

Before moving quickly into an employee performance improvement plan it is first important to look closely at the employee’s prior performance. Were they previously successful and all of a sudden their performance has dropped. Has anything happened in their life such as a death in the family, a divorce, one of their children has been arrested, etc.

Is It a Lack of Desire or Lack of Effective Training!

Once you have taken a close look at all these types of factors and have not been able to come up with anything specific it is time to look at the employee’s ability to perform the task(s). Unless they have some type of physical impairment we have to assume it is either their lack of experience (training) or their lack of desire (laziness) to perform their job.

If it is lack of desire then a good “Come to Jesus” meeting with the employee can prompt them to step up their performance, i.e., do they want to continue being employed. Of course this must be handled in a legal and responsible way. It is highly recommended that the use of an employee performance improvement plan template to produce an effective employee performance improvement plan is the best way to help the employee and stay away from legal trouble.

If it boils down to training it is your responsibility to make sure they are retrained so that they have the tools/information necessary to perform their job. However, it is not your responsibility to continue training them over and over on the same thing(s). At some point if they do not respond to the training the only other alternative is to either reassign them to another position in your company or to terminate their employment.

Once you have implemented an employee performance improvement plan it is important to set up a very strict schedule with follow up meetings and time tables to improve. This allows both you and the employee know that things must improve by a certain date or decisions will be made about their future. However, it is important that you do not predetermine the outcome.

Remember, that you most likely invested a great deal already int his employee so don't act too quickly in releasing them before giving them every chance to succeed.

performance improvement

Getting  The Very Most From Your Staff Utilizing Performance Improvement Techniques!

Being able to produce the absolute most from your staff may be one of the most difficult tasks of any manager today if they go about it in traditional ways versus using an effective employee performance improvement plan template. Traditionally you ask your staff to work harder, longer, or do more with less. In other cases you may bribe them with incentives or even threaten them with continued employment. Almost everyone has tried to motivate their staff and many are very good at it; however, the problem is that it can only last so long before things are back to normal. In other words you can ask a runner to sprint for a short time but eventually they will have to slow down and in some cases even stop altogether.

Therefore, if you are looking for ways to produce more, which we all are, on a continual basis then we need to find a better way to do it. Now let’s start with the premise that your staff already works hard, productive, and they are fully trained. If this wasn’t the case we would be tackling this much different than what we are about to discuss.

Three words I want to introduce you to.

Risk versus Reward!

Simply add up the all absolute and potential costs and then add up all the actual and potential rewards. Do the math and what you should be left with is whether to go forward or redirect/rework your plan.

Survivalists do this all the time in the wild. In fact animals do this as well.

Survivalists as well as animals will determine whether their actions will cost more than the potential reward every time, or at least the ones that survive will.

As an example, a lion sizes up a herd of gazelles before ever moving forward to attack and potentially capture their diner for the day. They are trying to determine if they are fast enough to catch one or not. They are looking for the weak link or smaller weaker gazelle which will make their efforts easier. They are looking at the terrain to see if it will be safe to launch an attack so they are not hurt in the process. If all this adds up they launch an attack, and if not they lie back down and sleep some more so that they waste no energy until necessary.

Businesses should run the exact same way. So many times we are performing unnecessary things that produce nothing and at the same time cost us money. If we were in the wild money translates into calories which could mean we would be exhausted before we ever launched an attack on a herd of passing gazelles. The result would be that we would go hungry and eventually if we do this enough we would die.

Therefore, the smartest way to be more productive is to be less active!

It is critical to limit activity to those that will add value to your organization. In most cases that means treating all people with respect and offering good benefits; however, it also means cut out the unnecessary garbage!

Utilizing an effective employee performance improvement plan template to create a performance improvement plan that does exactly what we just discussed is crucial to your business success. An effective employee performance improvement plan will focus only on those tasks that produce results. It may include more and/or better training that will cut out wasted activities. It may include examining the tools you currently use and whether they are wasting valuable time. An effective employee performance improvement plan template forces you to look at everything and then decide what's important, like the lion sizing up the risks versus rewards.

performance improvement

Mistakes To Avoid With Performance Improvement Plan Template!

A performance improvement plan template is key when trying to figure out how to get the best out of employees in a short period of time rather than having to hope they get their act together. Even the best are going to need a little push here and there to ensure they are as efficient as they can be. This is where a business has to make sure a proper plan is being put in place as fast as possible and keeping it in place too. Let's take a look at a few mistakes that are made when following a performance improvement plan template.

Not Emphasizing Documentation

Always begin by documenting things as that is the only way to ensure you are on the right path and are getting the proper amount of information on everyone in the business. Those who don't do this are never going to know where the discrepancies lie and where the tweaks have to be made in order to remain successful.

This is the bare minimum needed to get the plan to work as desired. If there is no documentation, the rest is just not going to work out and you are going to be left with nothing but failure.

No Reviews

Documenting things around the business is great and so is letting them know what is needed to be done, bu that does not mean you become blind about the changes that are being made. You have to realize a proper review has to be done after a little while to see whether progression is being made. This does not mean minimal progression is bad, but as long as something is being done, you will know things are great. However, those who don't even seek out these reviews are being lazy and are not making the most of the plan as a whole.

Being Impatient

This is a mistake that should be avoided at all costs and those who make it are going to lose a lot of quality in their staff. It is essential to realize changes are not going to be made right off the bat as a lot of habits can become ingrained. It is essential to sit back and watch as progression is made. It is this progression that has to be recorded and that is only going to happen through appropriate and professional documentation every step of the way utilizing your employee performance improvement plan template.

These are just a few of the mistakes businesses make and they should not be making them because it is going to come back to bother them down the road. Use this template and make sure the mistakes that have been made in the past are not made again because those who are not willing to follow these recommendations are the ones who are going to find the business falling apart. It is these little changes that are going to go a long way for any enterprise that wants to remain ahead of everyone else.

Business Leaders

Creating An Effective Performance Improvement Plan!

Are you currently the manager of a department in your company, someone who is worried about the performance levels of the people that you are in charge of? There might be specific individuals, more than anyone else, that need to be addressed in regard to their ability to perform. This could be someone that has just started with the company, or an employee that has suddenly become lax about their job, and they may need some focused motivation. In order to do this the proper way, you need to have what is called a PIP, a performance improvement plan, that can provide step-by-step directions for those that are struggling to get them back on track.

What A PIP or Performance Improvement Plan Consists Of

A performance improvement plan is simply an outline of what an employee needs to do in order to resume their prior level of productivity. It will take into account many factors such as changes in their responsibilities, the number of hours that they are working, and of course any personal problems that they may be going through which may compromise their ability to perform. The goal is to help the struggling employee, helping them to move forward and succeed, yet also holding them somewhat accountable for the past performances that they have had. The reasoning behind poor performance may never be known, and it really doesn't matter as long as your performance improvement plan is solid. Here are the simple steps that you need to follow to create one of these improvement plans to help struggling employees that are operating at lower levels of performance.

Document What Is Wrong

The first thing that you need to start doing if you have notice that an employee is struggling is to document what is going on. You need to this down where the performance issues are occurring, perhaps at certain times of the day, or the week, and the problems that you are having with their ability to do their job. Without this documentation, there is no way for any manager to devise a PIP that can solve the problem, and you also need to be able to show your employee what is going on. It will help clarify the reason that you are talking with this individual, and give you the necessary guideline for creating a road to recovery for the struggling employee that you are in charge of.


Create A Performance Improvement Plan Of Action

The next step of the process is to actually create a plan of action that can help improve their performance levels. This typically has a daily and weekly guideline, with an end date where you would like to see them back up to par by the end of a certain time period. For example, if the employee is making errors with their particular job which is costing time and money, you need to identify what these problems are, and then give them a timetable by which to improve their performance so that they will have a specific time frame by which to get this done. As with all things in life, without a deadline, it's difficult to motivate people to do anything. In the same sense, your plan of action which will identify what are called SMART goals, can cover every aspect of the problems that they are facing and help them rehabilitate their performance levels.

What Are SMART Goals?

SMART goals are representative of an acronym which focuses on five specific areas that improvements need to be made. It actually stands for a plan that is specific and measurable, one that has accurate objectives, and these objectives must be relevant and time bound. Most employers will use a 90 day performance evaluation, giving employees plenty of time to get back on track. They may even include some type of coaching or training that the employee may be lacking in terms of why their performance is so poor, helping them to become much more proficient.

The Final Steps

The final steps of this process involve reviewing the performance plan after the specified period of time, meeting with the employee, and following up with what you have seen in regard to changes. During this meeting, you will look at their past performance, present how their performance has improved over the last three months, and make a decision as to whether or not they have actually improved. The conclusion of any PIP results in some type of praise for their improvements, a reprimand for not improving, or perhaps additional training to help them if you see that there is some hope. Without doing a performance improvement plan for struggling employees, there would be no way for an employer or manager to confidently address the issues that they are dealing with with employees that are problematic for the company. If you are currently having problems with an employee, or several of them in your department, use the PIP as suggested in order to turn things around.

Business Plan

How To Implement A Performance Improvement Plan!

If your company is not performing in a way that is generating a significant amount of revenue, it is necessary to consider the performance that each of your employees is putting out, all of which contributes to the overall sales and cash flow that the company is able to generate. It doesn't matter what type of business you are in, or the products or services that you offer. Each individual that works for you needs to be performing at their highest levels. What most managers find, or business owners that are trying to improve the productivity of their employees is that there are three specific problems that are inhibiting their ability to do their job at their highest potential. Let's look at what these three things are, from the perspective of a manager of a department, and how they can be incorporated into what is called a performance improvement plan so that a business can accelerate toward higher profits.

Work Environment Problems

The first problem that most managers encounter when trying to motivate their department is to change the overall environment of the office setting. There are always going to be people that do not get along with each other, or perhaps are focused upon other things in their life, compromising their ability to perform. This is why so many people will implement Monday morning meetings, a time where the staff can get together to hear about what goals need to be accomplished during the week, and how important it is to get them done. It is also during this time that problems can be voiced by the employees and problems can be dealt with immediately, helping to change the overall workplace environment.

Lack Of Skills

The second problem that must be addressed in a performance improvement plan has to do with the ability of people to understand their job. Some people that have been hired recently may not have the skills, and that is to be expected, but there are many people that simply get by with the minimal amount of skills that they have to do what they are responsible for, limiting the company's ability to accelerate forward. In order to fix this problem, trips must be set up to send staff members to trainers where they can improve upon their skills, and potentially motivate them to become better performing employees. This can also be done in the office setting by bringing people in, or simply utilizing other people in other departments that may have similar skills that can help improve the workers in your department.

Need For Motivation

The final problem that most companies face is a lack of motivation on the part of the employees that are working. They may find that their job is boring, mundane, and that doing the same thing every day is simply dragging down your performance levels. Instead, the performance improvement plan that you incorporate should involve different activities that will cause people to be more motivated to come to work and do their best. It could be a competition that you set up between different departments, or perhaps providing them with bonuses from time to time, rewarding those that are performing the best. At the very least, talking to the people that work in your department, giving them praise for the little things that they do which merit some type of positive acknowledgment can mean all the difference in the world between someone that believes their job really is meaningless and not noticed by those that are higher up, and those that will try to achieve more praise from managers in the company for a performance well done.

By implementing these simple strategies, you should be able to improve the performance of all employees in your department if you are a manager. It will help you become more personable with those that are in your department, and also look forward to higher performance levels that will definitely be achieved by using these suggestions.

performance plan

Examples Of Performance Measurements To Include On Your Improvement Plan!

One of the most common questions asked when discussing how to prepare an employee performance improvement plan is what should I include and how should it be formatted? Let’s start first with what should be included since this is the main purpose for creating the performance plan in the first place.

So we must begin with asking ourselves what task or tasks is the employee not performing to a minimum standard. If your answer is not specific then you must reevaluate what a plan is needed in the first place or is poor behavior creating the shortfall in their overall performance? The key is that any shortfalls in poor performance must be measurable. It is not satisfactory to just say the employee is not performing up to standard if you can’t quantify it. So as some examples let’s take a look at several different occupations and what are some tasks you could measure or quantify.

If you are a restaurant manager and one of your wait staff seems to be not measuring up, what are some things you could look at to justify your belief. Some easy ones would be to determine how many tables are they able to successful service at any one time versus other successful wait staff? What is the average ticket of the tables they service? How many compensated meals do you have to make because of orders being placed incorrectly? How many complaints do customers make against this person?

Let’s take a look at another profession, such as a cashier. How many customers do they ring through in a set time frame? What are the average hourly sales rang up? How many over rings does do they have? Are they ringing in the right prices? Do they have a larger amount of “No Sales” rang up indicating mistakes or theft? These are all things to include in their performance improvement plan.

One last profession we will look at just to give you some ideas about ways to measure performance would be hotel housekeeping. How many rooms are they able to clean per day? Are the rooms passing inspection? Are they continuing to require additional supplies throughout the day indicating they didn’t properly stock their cart? Are they going through too much or not enough cleaning supplies?

Once you have determined the areas where the employee is not meeting the minimum standard it is time to put your performance improvement plan into a written format. So let’s do one to demonstrate this.

Business Woman Leader

Example Performance Improvement Plan Statement:

Mr. John Doe currently you are not performing to the minimum standard required for your position as a hotel housekeeper in the following areas:

Currently you are able to successful clean on average six guest rooms in an eight hour period that meet the cleaning standards set by this organization. In order to be successful you must be able to successfully clean ten rooms in an eight hour period  that meet the cleaning standards set by this organization. You will receive additional on the job training by your direct supervisor beginning on June 3, 2015. This means that your supervisor will work directly with you to demonstrate the proper method and procedures for cleaning a guest room. If you are unable to meet the minimum standard stated above within fourteen days of this notice your employment with this organization may be terminated.

Related Topics

Business Woman Relaxing

Designing a Performance Improvement Plan – What to Remember

“Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with excellence…”

Yet your employees cannot always perform to the standards set by the company or even your managerial style. What you want is consistency in performance, not random bursts of brilliance and performance.

However, as an employer/manager you already know that situations where even the top performers struggle are somewhat inevitable.
Are you noticing a sudden dip in performance in one of your employees? Maybe designing a performance improvement plan will help!

Performance Improvement Plan – What Is It

A PIP as it is commonly known is a process that is frequently used by employers when an employee’s work performance isn’t up to satisfactory standards…

A performance improvement plan is design in writing for employee acknowledgment and acceptance. A PIP is often followed by a formal disciplinary process if steps aren’t taken by employee to rectify performance issues. 

Steps Taken to Design a PIP

First step employers must take when designing a performance improvement plan is thorough documentation of performance areas that need improvement.

It is a good idea to use an established and professional format when designing a PIP to ensure consistency is followed.
Add in these components in the PIP format:

  ✔  All relevant dates

  ✔  Employee information

  ✔  Description of performance gap

  ✔  Details of expected performance

  ✔  Required actual performance

  ✔  Consequences if performance not achieved

  ✔  Detailed plan of action

  ✔  Signatures of manager and employee

  ✔  Evaluation of overall PIP/plan of action

Importance of Regular Progress Review

Designing a performance improvement plan is futile if regular evaluations of the plan and performance achieved aren’t conducted.

You must set regular dates (or 2 times in a year) to review and document progress. This will help an individual realize of the progress being made and how much work is left to reach the set target.

Seek help and support from your company’s HR, ensuring all relevant policies and processes are being followed. This won’t leave any room for misunderstandings if the employee raises a formal complaint or grievance.

Performance Improvement Plan Conclusion

What should managers expect upon conclusion of a PIP? Concluding the plan will result in one of the following scenarios:

Performance Is Corrected – This is the ultimate goal of the PIP. By achieving this, the manager will have avoided any loss or interruption in productivity.

Mixed Results – Employee has displayed improvement in some areas but still has to make visible improvements in other areas.

There is a lot that you can do for your employees, as a manager. Help them improve their work performance by designing a performance improvement plan, taking help from our samples!

Leadership Skills for Life also provides advice to managers of performance management of their employees!

Breaking Down the Performance Improvement Plan into Bite Size Pieces

Business Woman Meeting

Understanding that employee turnover is extremely expensive it is typically better to create and utilize a performance improvement plan that will improve performance and productivity rather than terminating someone and starting over.

A major mistake many supervisors make is that they want to complicate a process rather than find solutions.

In the case of a performance improvement plan, we should break it down to some very simple factors; define the problem, define a solution, define a must improve by date, measure the progress, determine if the problem is solved or requires additional attention.

The Right Way and Wrong Way to Define the Reasons for a Performance Improvement Plan

Let’s begin with defining the problem in its most basic form. There is a right way and a wrong way to define a problem.

This might be a better way to define the problem;

The employee is working much too slow and is not able to complete all their work on time.

This definition of the problem would never fit into a performance improvement plan since we have no idea what the work being performed is and exactly where the improvement needs to be made. I suppose we could direct the employee to just work faster, but without knowing more about the problem we will fail. Based on the above statement we have no measure for improving overall business performance and no way to tell when exactly would they meet the minimum standard required.

This might be a better way to define the problem;

The employee is responsible for cleaning a minimum of fifteen hotel rooms within their eight-hour shift which would be an average of thirty minutes per room; however, currently they are only consistently cleaning eight hotel rooms that meet the standards set forth by the company.

This as a part of a performance improvement plan would clearly state the problem and a way to measure employee performance improvement as they head toward meeting the minimum standard.

The second step in the process would be to define the solution. This could be stated like this;

The employee will work directly with their supervisor cleaning hotel rooms according to our company standard, which will include, training on the proper use of chemicals, training on all cleaning procedures, training on bed making, training on stocking and maintaining a cleaning cart, and training on proper maintenance of cleaning tools.

As you can see the above information can be measured which is always a critical piece of any development plan. The wrong way to have addressed this definition would have been to simply state that the employee was to receive training. Training on what and what type of training?

The final steps would be to place a time on the improvement process. In the above case we could state the following; the training will begin on January 10th and continue through January 25th. Following the training you will be given an additional ten days to show improvement. If at the end of ten days you are not able to meet the company’s minimum standard a decision will be made regarding your continued employment with this company.

As you progress through the actual employee development plan you must make sure you are documenting all activity, from one-on-one meeting’s you have with the employee to the completion of any training. In addition, simply stating that the training took place is not sufficient. In order for it to be useful I recommend that you acknowledge that the training took place and that the employee was able to perform the activity successfully, i.e., the employee was competent.

In some cases, we make bad hiring decisions. The sooner we understand clearly that an employee will not be successful the less money we spend on training. It is a hard balance but as you mature as a supervisor you will become better and better at the hiring process eliminating the need to spin your wheels in the above type of situations.


Thank you and may GOD bless you!

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