5 Steps to Having a Performance Enhancing Plan

Performance-enhancing plans help employees understand their current skill set and where they need to improve to be most successful in their roles.

Performance action plans can detail the training or skills an employee lacks and act as a guide for helping them learn those skills.

It can also discuss employee behavior. Performance plans state the different steps employees must take to make improvements in their job performance, which can help them advance in their careers. 

Performance enhancement plans are typically written by a worker's manager and then submitted to HR to be discussed with the employee, and it typically has a deadline for meeting different objectives.

Performance plans differ depending on the organization, but they can be flexible enough to help all of your employees succeed in their roles and gain the experience they need to work their way up in the company. This article will discuss the importance of a performance-enhancing plan and how to create one. 


Benefits of a Performance Enhancing Plan

Performance plans can help improve attitudes in the workplace and prevent employee burnout by giving your employees something to work toward.

It can also get employees engaged in their careers, which can help them earn more money in the future. There are many benefits of a performance-enhancing plan, including:

a) Builds Company Culture 

During the employee hiring process, your employees may not have been able to see the true company culture.

However, now that they've been in their roles for a few months or more, they must understand that the company they work for cares about them and their wellbeing. 

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Performance-enhancing plans can help show your employees you want them to succeed, as long as they're built effectively.

Instead of making plans that ask what employees can do for the company, try to find a way to talk about why your company values each employee and the reasons why you want them to succeed. 


b) Saves Time and Money

Performance-enhancing plans can help you save time and money by reducing staff turnover. By helping current employees improve their performance, you won't need to hire more employees to get the same number of tasks completed.

Additionally, your performance-enhancing plan can help your employees learn new skills to help them get promoted so your business can start promoting from within. 


c) Better Than Reviews

Performance reviews always make employees feel like you're criticizing them instead of making them feel as though you care about them as people and want them to succeed in their roles.

On the other hand, performance-enhancing plans can help employees uncover the types of skills they lack and lay out a plan for helping them obtain new skill sets. 


Steps to Having Performance Enhancing Plans

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Performance-enhancing plans can benefit the company and its employees, but small HR teams may believe they don't have enough time or resources to build a plan for every employee.

Luckily, by building a template, you can start to use the same documents for employees no matter what their current skill sets or the department they're from. 

Of course, the information on the plan will be different for each employee, but a template can help you easily work through the information you need to give each employee a personalized plan to help them succeed in their role. Here's how to have a performance-enhancing plan:

1. Determine Ideal Performance

Your performance-enhancing plan should state what good performance looks like and compare it to the employee's current performance.

Try to be as specific as possible, considering the skills employees need to be successful in their jobs. You should also provide examples to help your employees understand where they can improve.

While HR plays an important role in the performance plan, you should also get insight from the employee's manager to understand more about the role and what is expected of them. 


2. Create Measurable Goals

Don't forget your SMART goals when defining objects your employees need to meet. You should also clearly state how you intend to measure each of these goals.

Additionally, it's well worth the effort to find out what might be causing any poor performance.

Sometimes HR forgets to understand why an employee isn't achieving their goals, but it could shine a light on their manager who won't put in the effort to help teach employees the skills they need for their roles. 


3. Define Strategy

A performance-enhancing plan doesn't only state what the employee can improve upon; it should have a clear action plan and define the support your employees will receive from their managers.

Strategies can include training, coaching, off-site education, and more. Remember, the purpose of the performance plan is to improve your employee's performance to help them do their jobs better, so they shouldn't be expected to reach all of the goals alone. 


4. Have Check-Ins

Don't micromanage the employees, but you should schedule regular check-ins to ensure the employee and their managers are working toward the goals.

If your employees aren't making any progress, you should know why. Regular check-ins can help employees voice their opinions and difficulties while allowing you to shift or adjust the strategy based on employee feedback. 


5. Consider the Consequences

While all employees should have performance enhancement plans, you might need to pay closer attention to employees who seem to be struggling.

Many performance-enhancing plans are aimed to help employees understand the consequences of not achieving their goals.

Of course, you shouldn't fire someone just because they haven't reached a performance goal without hearing from them.

However, if your employee doesn't seem to be performing well or making improvements, you should understand why. 

Performance enhancement plans aren't meant to threaten employees into performing better, but they should clearly state the consequences of not making an effort to improve.


Final Thoughts

After an employee has reached their goals, they should be recognized for their achievements. Whether or not your performance enhancement plan comes with a promotion at the end of it or not, your employees should know that you value them for achieving their goals.

Depending on the level of improvement, some employees might need their plans extended to reach their goals, while others might prove that they do not value their jobs.

Always consider the employee as a person before deciding to take action about their performance. By openly communicating with employees, you can help draft a realistic plan that can help them become more successful at work.