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Terms

Performance Plan

What is a Performance Plan?

A performance plan, also known as a performance improvement plan (PIP), is a formal document that outlines specific goals for an employee and identifies performance issues that may be hindering their progress towards those goals. The primary purpose of a performance plan is to provide a structured approach to help struggling employees improve their performance, rather than resorting to direct reprimand or termination.

Creating a Successful Performance Plan

To create an effective performance plan, follow these steps:

  • Identify Issues: Clearly define the performance or behavioral issues needing improvement.
  • Set Clear Expectations: Articulate the required level of performance and behavior.
  • Outline Improvement Steps: Offer actionable suggestions for improvement and provide necessary resources for skill development.
  • Monitor Progress: Schedule regular check-ins to discuss progress and adjust the plan as needed.
  • Define Outcomes: Clearly state the consequences of failing to meet the plan's standards.

Essential Elements of a Performance Plan

A well-structured performance plan includes:

  • SMART Goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound objectives that align with broader organizational aims.
  • Action Plans: Detailed steps the employee should take to improve performance.
  • Support Resources: Training and resources needed to help the employee develop the required skills and competencies.
  • Progress Reviews: Regularly scheduled meetings to assess progress and make necessary adjustments to the plan.
  • Feedback Mechanisms: Ongoing communication to provide feedback and discuss challenges and successes.

Performance Plan vs. Performance Review

A performance plan, or performance improvement plan (PIP), is a proactive approach to help underperforming employees by setting specific goals, providing support, and outlining consequences for not meeting standards.

On the other hand, a performance review is a periodic evaluation of an employee's performance against set goals, identifying skill gaps, and documenting performance for evaluations such as salary reviews.

Implementing and Monitoring the Performance Plan

Successful implementation and monitoring of a performance plan involve:

  • Goal Alignment: Ensuring that the goals set in the performance plan align with the organization's objectives and the employee's role.
  • Employee Involvement: Engaging the employee in the goal-setting process to foster ownership and commitment.
  • Regular Assessments: Conducting scheduled assessments to monitor progress and provide timely feedback.
  • Adaptability: Being prepared to make adjustments to the plan based on feedback and changing circumstances.
  • Documentation: Keeping detailed records of discussions, agreed-upon goals, and progress to ensure clarity and accountability.

Other terms

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