Performance Improvement

Breaking Down the Performance Improvement Plan into Bite Size Pieces

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 measureemployee 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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