It’s a headache for any manager – how do you handle an employee who isn’t performing up to par?  One way that has produced results is called the performance improvement plan.

This process is set up to enable better communication between a manager and the staff member and also to make clear to the employee exactly what is expected of him or her.  The plan is put in place when a worker needs to improve his or her performance.  The supervisor develops the plan, with ideas and feedback from the employee.  The purpose of the plan is to help the employee reach an expected level of performance.

It is also suggested that another manager as well as the human resources department review the plan to make sure it is being implemented in a consistent manner.  The supervisor then observes the employee and offers feedback relating to how the employee is fulfilling the performance objectives set out in the plan.

There are several issues that the supervisor should go over with the employee when setting up the plan.  The first relates to the performance that needs to be improved.  This should be clearly and specifically spelled out, and the supervisor should give examples of what the expected performance entails.  The supervisor also needs to spell out the level of performance that is expected, and that the level is expected to be consistent.

A manager also needs to explain what support or resources are available to the employee to help him or her achieve the performance objectives.  A supervisor also needs to spell out how feedback will be given to the employee on how he or she is doing.  For example, if periodic meetings will be set up, the employee needs to know when and how often these will be held.  Managers also need to develop a measurement procedure they will use to evaluate an employee’s progress.  The employee also needs to be told the consequences for not reaching the agreed-upon goals.

If the employee is not making acceptable progress, it may be necessary to move to a progressive discipline process.  This program is not to be interpreted as punishment, but, as with the performance improvement plan, to help the employee meet job expectations.  The goal is to get the employee performing at an acceptable level and if that doesn’t occur, the discipline process allows the firm to terminate fairly the employment of workers who are not performing and who will not or cannot improve.

If the employee still does not improve, a manager should meet with the employee again to find out if he or she truly understands what is required and whether there are any problems that the supervisor does not know about that might be preventing the employee from performing at an acceptable level. If there is still no improvement, a verbal reprimand would then be given,  followed by a written one. These would be followed by an increasing number of days suspended from work, and then termination if there is no improvement.

When you need help in finding high-level performers for your Manhattan-area company, contact Winston Resources. We can help you find skilled, reliable star employees for temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire assignments. Contact us today!

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