Performance Improvement Process

A Performance Improvement Process begins with understanding two very important things! The first would to understand where the performance is today! The second is where you want the performance to be in the future. Of course there is a lot to determine along the way to the final performance. Too many companies want to eliminate the problem through termination, instead of working with the employee(s). If they ever stopped to think about how much it cost to hire and train new employees they would invest more time in trying to improve an employee’s performance.

So let’s start with the first step of the Performance Improvement Process and that is assessing where the employee is today. A simple question to ask is, are they competent in all portions of their job. Are all the elements of the employee’s position measurable in a way that you can determine if they are competent or not. Let’s take something easy like a housekeeper that cleans a Hotel Room. There are many parts to cleaning the Hotel Room. If you break those elements down to tasks, you would have cleaning the bathroom, stripping and making the beds, vacuuming, dusting, etc. Each of those tasks can be broken down also, such as, the bathroom has a toilet, sink, and shower. The bed has stripping the bed and making it.

Once you know all the individual tasks the overall task needs to be completed in an acceptable range of time. So the first measurement is whether they are meeting this element. Can they clean the room in the amount of time and is it clean? If it is not you need to begin breaking it down into each task and then determining if they are competent in each one of those. My guess is that you can break it down to one or two tasks that they need to improve upon. This is part of the Performance Improvement Process.

Once you have discovered the elements that need improvement you can then develop a Performance Improvement Plan to correct the elements that are not meeting the acceptable standard. This could be done easily or depending on the position, may require formal training. Let’s take our example above and say that it is the bathroom and the bed stripping and making that is not meeting the standard of quality and time. You as the Supervisor may decide to do some one on one training, or you may assign them to a mentor. Once they have worked with the mentor for a period of time you can assess their competency again.

If you’re working with a more complex issue such as someone that is an accountant, they may require formal training from a professional school or an in house training program. Now keep in mind that there is a big difference from someone that needs to be a part of a Performance Improvement Process and an employee that is not salvageable. As an example if you are dealing with a profession that requires formal education and the employee doesn’t have it at the level required you may want to reassign them or let them go.

The other question to ask is whether the employee can’t or won’t perform at the level required. If the answer is can’t you must make a decision about the next Performance Improvement Process step. That question that must be answered is if it is can’t will they ever be able to accomplish the task. For example if the employee doesn’t have the physical ability then you again will have to decide if you need to cut ties with them or reassign them into a position they can perform.

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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