To build a team as driven as mine and Grant’s, you have to develop employees with performance improvement plans. 

For that, you need to have a clear picture of what your expectations are for each role. 

After that, down the line, they need to know what to do to improve their performance — with your guidance.

Otherwise, as your business grows, you will continue to have underperformers who don’t know what next steps to take to fulfill the business requirements. 

3-Step Process to Implement a Performance Improvement Plan

1Conversation

How else is your team member going to know they’re doing something wrong if you don’t tell them?

Maybe they didn’t know they were doing something wrong, or maybe they were never clearly told what the expectations were. 

By having this conversation, you are creating the best circumstances for a positive outcome. 

2Verbal Warning — Documented

If the behavior persists even after you spoke to them informally, you must issue a verbal warning — immediately.

You don’t wait. You don’t pretend like it’s not an issue. To build a high-performing culture, you need to address the situation ASAP, ideally on the same day. 

In addition, though it may be verbal, you want to record it somewhere. Your Verbal Warning document should include the following:

  • Company vision;
  • Current employee issues;
  • Employee’s commitment to fixing the issue;
  • Manager’s commitment to helping them tackle it;
  • Execution — employee’s signed acknowledgment of the verbal warning.

3Performance Improvement Plan

At this point, you’ve now had two conversations with this employee — informal and documented. 

When you get to the point of needing a formal Performance Improvement Plan, you’ve already put a significant amount of energy into helping this person become better.

If the team member continues a third time, this is the documentation required to put the final plan in place before termination:

  • Vision and commitment (same as the verbal warning);
  • Execution — the quantifiable action steps that the team member is responsible for taking, which should also include the measurement for monitoring their progress;
  • Signatures of team member and manager — to confirm that both are aware of what needs to be done, how it’s going to be tracked, and what will happen if they can’t meet these expectations moving forward. 

By having documented conversations with team members that need some improvement, you’re making sure to protect yourself and your organization. 

If after all of this they still don’t show signs of improvement or continue to underperform — you already know what you have to do. 

If you’re looking to grow and scale your business, then you need the right people in the right roles. Come to a People Essentials workshop for all the tools and resources to build an aligned 10X team.

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