- Listen to your employee and give them the opportunity to respond to any of your points. The PIP is a collaborative process. Employees become disengaged when they feel they are misunderstood or when they feel as though they aren’t being met half way.
- Pare down to the cause of any issues at work. Does the employee feel as though they don’t have a future with the organization? Are they ready for a more challenging role? Or are they dealing with personal issues outside of the spectrum of the business? Issues should be specific and supported with examples to ensure the employee understands the opportunities and changes needed.
- Focus on the positive aspects of the employee’s relationship with the company. Emphasize their valuable attributes and work with them to find ways to improve on these positives, rather than harping on the negatives.
- Give them a clear path. Employees need to understand their goals and the actions to take to meet expectations of performance and behavior. The more precise their goals are, the easier they will be to obtain. Vague goals can feel confusing or frustrating and can make employees feel as though they are spinning their wheels.
- Regularly review employee progress. Track the employee’s performance and touch base with them at regular intervals to keep them motivated. Employees will appreciate being given a chance to talk about any concerns they’ve developed and have access to support and resources to execute the plan. We suggest formal 30-60-90 day meetings with frequent informal check-ins in between. All encounters should be focused on progress and the employee should be allowed to comment on improvements and ask questions or for clarification.
Of course, just as a PIP needs to be rewarding, there also need to be clear consequences outlined for a failure to meet goals. The PIP establishes an agreed on plan between the employee and the organization regarding the best way to improve their results. If the employee breaks this contract, there should be a transparent set of circumstances. These should be outlines at the beginning of the PIP process and employees should confirm that they understand.