HR Q & A: What Is a Performance Improvement Plan?

By March 10, 2017Blog

PayVision Online’s HR Answer Center Has The Answer


PayVision Online HR Answer Center

Imagine an entire HR department at your fingertips, 24 x 7, with a myriad of resources, news articles, documents and tools to help your business succeed.  One of the tools we especially like is the HR Snapshot which is delivered to your in-box with answers to FAQ. Here is a recent one on what a performance improvement plan entails.

Question: We’re interested in implementing a performance improvement plan for one of our employees. What does it entail?

Answer: A performance improvement plan is a tool that employers can use to help under-performing employees succeed in the organization. The plan allows you to specify the company’s expectations with respect to employee performance and behavior and to define what success looks like going forward.

The plan itself can be detailed on a single-page form. In the document you will want to note the basic performance issue (e.g. efficiency, attendance), list examples of the employee’s performance deficiencies, and then state what actions you expect from the employee, how they should be accomplished, and in what time-frame they need to be completed. It is recommended that the plan also make it clear what the consequences will be for failing to meet and sustain improved performance.

As you do with every step of this process, document the meeting in which the performance improvement plan is implemented. You may also want to note that the performance plan is not intended to be an employment contract or guarantee of continuing employment.

The performance improvement plan also provides for follow-up meetings to discuss the employee’s progress. Upon the conclusion of the performance improvement plan, the company will make a decision as to the employee’s continued employment. We generally recommend that the life of the plan be two to three months. We also recommend either weekly or bi-weekly progress meetings with the employee.

If the employee continues to underperform or fails to sustain improved performance, you may need to move on to termination. In this case, you will have the documentation to demonstrate that you gave them a chance to improve. This record will make it more difficult for the employee to challenge the reason for a termination.

HR Professionals To Help You

Contact us at 214-442-5888 to learn more about payroll and our integrated Human Capital Management solution. Our payroll specialists will be happy to help you. We can also share with you the benefits of our HR Answer Center, and quickly connect you with the pros to answer any questions you may have in determining how to develop, conduct and document performance improvement plans.

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