It’s hard to think of a more traumatic experience than being fired. Sometimes, an employee will be caught stealing or practicing other malicious behavior, and their termination should not come as any surprise, but many times, employees are “let go” having no clue that they were under-performing. Before a manager reaches for the ax, they should consider saving the firm time, money, and heartache by implementing a performance improvement plan instead. Some of our CSR team members had the pleasure of attending an HR workshop, presented by Todd Stanton of Stanton Law, on performance improvement plans. Here are our takeaways:

Step one: Identify the problem. Managers should document specific examples and clearly define the employee’s performance deficiencies. After all, if an employee doesn’t understand the problem, how can they be expected to fix it?

Step two: Develop a plan. This plan should involve both the manager and employee and outline clear steps and check-points in the employee’s performance improvement. Most plans run for 30, 45, or 60 days.

Step 3: Implement the plan. The most important step! If the plan isn’t actively managed by the supervisor, it is highly unlikely that the employee’s performance will improve. Coaching to the plan requires the manager to provide regular feedback to the employee, identifying actions that have been successfully completed and/or if there are other areas that need improvement.

Of course, not every plan will end with completely corrected performance, but if structured properly, a performance improvement plan can increase the likelihood of transforming a struggling employee into a more productive team member.

Check out www.stantonlawllc.com to learn more about turning your firm’s HR weaknesses into opportunities for growth.

Emily is passionate about problem-solving and helping business owners identify and reach their goals. She assists with strategic research and analyses, systems development and implementation, and project planning. Emily is especially interested in effective recruitment and onboarding to ensure low employee turnover and high workplace morale.