The Top 10 Reasons for Performance Improvement Plans

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Problems with your employees' performance can arise that adversely affect your business as a whole. Terminating the employee does not need to be your first or only choice. Instead, you can use a performance improvement plan as a tool to motivate your workers and improve their performance. Performance improvement plans identify issues and outline steps for improvement.

To Identify Resource Gaps

Setting up performance improvement plans requires an analysis of the resources employees need to perform their duties. These analyses will help you identify if your organization is indeed facing some kind of resource gap that is hampering an employee's performance.

To Settle Dissatisfactions

Sometimes, the reason that employees perform poorly is that they are disgruntled about something occurring within the organization. Anything can be a trigger, including a newly issued policy or a disagreement with a coworker. Initiating a performance improvement plan gives you an opportunity to discuss their expectations and can lead to an early settlement of issues marring performance.

Improve Employer-Employee Relationship

The goal of performance improvement plans is to help employees attain a desired performance level. This is an investment in the well-being of your employees. Well-thought-out performance improvement plans include inputs from the employees and help garner mutual understanding between you and them.

To Retain Employees

Hiring new employees for a task is time-consuming and expensive. Plus, there is a risk that new employees will not be able to deliver. Devising a performance improvement plan will help you save these costs and risks.

To Enhance Skills

Your business may have outgrown your employees in terms of competence, skills and abilities. However, you don't necessarily have to hire new employees. Instead, you can bring your employees up to speed with the business at its current level by offering additional training and education. The performance improvement plan that you create can outline how this additional training will improve the employees' performance.

To Set Improved Standards

Implementing performance improvement plans enables you to set standards of performance for your employees. You can identify expectations for the job and set benchmarks that align with your business goals.

To Outline Rewards

Performance improvement plans are incomplete if there is no mention of rewards. To help employees concentrate their efforts on key business areas, businesses sometimes set up policies to reward employees who achieve certain goals in key areas. You can use performance improvement plans to outline reward policies.

To Efficiently Use Employee Skills

Performance improvement plans allow you to identify strengths and weaknesses in your employees and thus find areas in your company best-suited for employees. Carefully tailoring a performance plan for each employee can help boost the employee's morale and confidence. This way, you use your employees' skills more efficiently for your business and empower employees to complete tasks with less supervision.

To Show Empathy

The reasons employees perform poorly is not segregated to work activities. Sometimes, issues in their personal lives affect their work effort. When you create a performance improvement plan with your employee, you might unearth these issues. You can adjust the employee's workload and schedule, if necessary, and outline these adjustments in the performance improvement plan. You also can refer the employee to available employee assistance programs

For Legal Protection

In some cases, employees may consistently fail to perform -- sometimes deliberately. You may need to create a formal performance improvement plan to fulfill legal or contractual requirements. If you must fire the employee for poor performance, these plans can serve as evidence of the employee's poor performance and your efforts to help the employee improve.

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