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Guide, example and template – Forbes Advisor


Performance evaluation is a corrective tool. However, to achieve meaningful change, it must be combined with additional action on setting goals and tracking progress. Design an accountability mechanism to promote continuous improvements.

Performance management research suggests that people set higher goals under the condition of accountability. They are also more likely to perform better when held publicly accountable, such as known goals of the manager.

Instead of just expressing praise and constructive criticism, set up a follow-up action process. It can be documented either as a employee development plan or one performance improvement plan (PIP).

Employee development plan

An employee development plan, also known as an employee growth plan, provides workers with a sequential list of tasks they must complete to improve their skills and gain knowledge for new roles.

Show the employee the actions he should take in the future to achieve a certain goal: getting a raise, moving to a new position, getting new responsibilities, etc. This helps retain ambitious talent, improve overall employee engagement rates, and plan for succession.

Here’s what to include in an employee development plan:

  • Career development prospects: Describe the possible paths and actions required to advance to a C-level position.
  • Additional training and development: Include a list of suggested programs, certifications, or courses needed to advance in their role or be considered for promotion.
  • New responsibilities and tasks: Suggest how an employee can make a greater contribution to the business by taking ownership of new initiatives, such as deploying a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, or allocating more time to new tasks such as mentoring).

A comprehensive employee development plan sits at the crossroads of your company’s organizational needs and employee strengths.

Performance improvement plan

A performance improvement plan (PIP) documents the employee’s current shortcomings and outlines corrective actions. A PIP can comment on poor performance ratings, address skill gaps, call attention to past inappropriate actions, and suggest required follow-up steps.

Unlike an employee development plan, a PIP is designed to address past failures or problematic behaviors at work rather than setting the backdrop for future success.
What to include in a performance improvement plan:

  • Acceptable performance criteria: Describe general expectations for the employee’s work performance with examples of positive/negative actions.
  • Specific KPIs: Present a core set of quantifiable goals that an employer must achieve within the stated time frame.
  • Support Resources: Explain how your organization will help them fill current gaps, such as mandatory training, mentorship and counselling.
  • Check-in schedule: Indicate how often you will provide feedback and have recurring meetings.
  • Consequences: Describe what will happen if the employee does not comply with the proposed plan.

If an employee does not comply with the PIP, punitive measures can be taken, such as transfer, demotion or termination.

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