What happens when a previously high-performing employee suddenly has a dip in performance? It can be upsetting and even confusing to you as their manager. What might be going on to cause this sudden shift?
If this situation is happening to an otherwise good employee with no other disciplinary issues, it can help to implement a performance improvement plan or PIP. After all, it might be more beneficial to the company to retain the employee than investing in hiring a replacement. A PIP can help an employee understand that you do appreciate them and want to help. It can be encouraging to a worker who may be struggling and unsure what steps to take to get back on track.
How to Implement a Performance Improvement Plan
Employees can run into rough patches that affect their work lives. But, you can help them improve with the following steps to create a PIP, and follow these performance improvement plan best practices.
- Talk to the employee. It’s important to jump in as soon as you can before the situation gets too far out of hand. Help the employee understand you’re in their corner and want to help. Ask questions to try and understand the root cause of the issue.
- Be positive. Highlight what they’re doing well and what they’re good at. Explain that you’ve noticed a performance dip in XYZ area, and you’re concerned because things are usually Tell them what they’re doing that works. Then outline what could be better
- Set clear goals and a timeline. Outline steps the employee needs to take and determine what they are together. Also, set a timeline for completion so they have a date to work towards.
- Be clear about the consequences. This is a serious matter of continued employment. It’s important to explain what will happen if the employee does not follow the PIP or does not achieve the outcomes you’ve agreed to.
- Involve Human Resources. As this situation could result in termination, it’s always important to inform HR of your plans.
- Meet regularly with the employee. Review progress and answer any questions they may have.
- Provide support, as needed. This could include extra training, a work “buddy” or mentor, or anything else the employee needs to be successful.
- Recommend other resources, if needed. If the situation causing the performance dip is happening outside the office, recommend any resources available through the benefits plan. This includes an employee assistance program (EAP), behavioral health counseling, and more.
For Guidance, Contact Your Recruiter
If you run into any situations when you need guidance, reach out to your recruiter. This could include training, recommendations, and more.
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