The very mention of the words “performance improvement plan” in many workplaces can cause the theme from Jaws to play in employees’ heads. That’s because performance improvement plans (PIPs for short) have been cast in a primarily negative light due their frequent use strictly as a way to document poor performance before terminating an employee, rather than as a coaching tool to help improve employee performance and maintain the employment relationship. However, when used correctly, a PIP can be an effective way to help an employee who is underperforming in the workplace, and PIPs shouldn’t just be used as the first step in a termination process.
It’s Friday morning before the long weekend, and you’re looking forward to a quick workday. When you arrive to work, you find an unexpected notice. The employee you let go last month has made a claim of wrongful dismissal. You wonder how this can be; you provided the employee with a verbal warning, then a written warning, followed by a three-day suspension before they were terminated. Surely, you’ve done enough to cover yourself legally, right?
Progressive discipline is a great management tool when used effectively. Unfortunately, two steps are often missed during the coaching stage: support and facilitation. Going through the motions is not enough—employers need to actively engage in the process. The intent of progressive discipline is to provide employees with opportunities to modify or correct inadequate performance and behaviour. Without actively supporting employees and facilitating opportunities for performance improvements, that purpose is undermined.
When you hear the phrase “internal promotion,” you might experience thoughts of a raise in salary, improved job perks, and an important-sounding job title. Or, if you’ve been a manager promoting someone below you, you might have a slightly different reaction. Although internal promotions can bring many benefits for both individuals and organizations, they do not come without their drawbacks.
Organizations conduct regular performance reviews as a way of managing and improving employee and organizational performance. Performance reviews provide managers an opportunity to speak with their employees one-on-one about their individual performance, career goals, and future direction with the company. In the process, management can provide feedback, suggest improvements, make informed decisions, identify training needs, and validate personnel changes. However, despite their proven usefulness, both managers and employees are often apprehensive about performance appraisals.
Topics: Performance Management
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” - Maya Angelou
A manager pulls an employee in for an evaluation. Partway through, they can see it is not going well. To help things along, the manager asks the employee, “How do you prefer to receive feedback?” The employee stops, takes a minute to think about it, and responds with a simple and direct “I don’t.” What do you do?