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Home > Org Development > Corrective Action > Performance Improvement Plan

Performance Improvement Plan

Use a Performance Improvement Plan when you have identified a performance problem and are looking for ways to improve the performance of an employee. The Performance Improvement Plan plays an integral role in correcting performance discrepancies. It is a tool to monitor and measure the deficient work products, processes and/or behaviors of a particular employee in an effort to improve performance or modify behavior.

Key items to remember

  1. Define the problem. This is the deficiency statement. Determine if the problem is a performance problem (employee has not been able to demonstrate mastery of skills/tasks) or a behavior problem (employee may perform the tasks but creates an environment that disrupts the workplace).
  2. Define the duties or behaviors where improvement is required.
    • What are the aspects of performance required to successfully perform these duties?
    • Which skills need improvement?
    • What changes need to be made in application of skills an employee has already demonstrated.
    • What behaviors need modified?
  3. Establish the priorities of the duties.
    • What are the possible consequences of errors associated with these duties?
    • How frequently are these duties performed?
    • How do they relate when compared with other duties?
  4. Identify the standards upon which performance will be measured for each of the duties identified.
    • Are they reasonable?
    • Are they attainable?
  5. Establish short-range and long-range goals and timetables for accomplishing change in performance/behavior with employee.
    • Are they reasonable?
    • Are they attainable?
  6. Develop an action plan.
    • What will the manager do to help the employee accomplish the goals within the desired time frame?
    • What will the employee do to facilitate improvement of the product or process?
    • Are the items reasonable?
    • Can the items be accomplished?
    • Are the items flexible?
  7. Establish periodic review dates.
    • Are the employee and the manager both aware of what will be reviewed at each of these meetings?
  8. Measure actual performance against the standards to determine if expectations were:
    • not met met
    • exceeded
  9. Establish a Performance Improvement Plan file for the employee.
    • Does the file contain documentation which identifies both improvements and/or continued deficiencies?
    • Is the employee encouraged to review this file periodically?
  10. Put the Performance Improvement Plan in writing.
    • Has plain and simple language been used?
    • Have specific references been used to identify areas of deficiency?
    • Have specific examples been used in periodic reviews which clearly identify accomplishments or continuing deficiencies?
    • Have you chosen an easy-to-read format such as a table or a duty by duty listing?
    • Have the Terms of Agreement been included in the Performance Improvement Plan?
Remember, work performance should never be a mystery! Performance Improvement Plan Samples Examples of Performance Improvement Plans are available for these performance discrepancies:

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Page updated: 26 July 2002
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