turnaround in job performance or make sure you have the right documentation to
fire them. Is it time for a 90 day
improvement plan? The 90 day improvement
plan is a common response to serious performance problems. The concept is simple enough, sit the
employee down and tell them what they have to change in the next 90 days in
order to keep their job. I work with employers who use them, I’ve been asked to
create them and have seen 90 day improvement plans as part of formal
performance appraisals. I think they’re
a really dumb idea! Too often employees make a dramatic turnaround for 90 days
and then on the 91st, or 95th day they mess up
again. They get marched into an office
and an employer is ready to fire them and faces the frustrating realization
that they cleaned up their act for 90 days and did what was expected of them.
The situation is compounded when the employee in question has filed a complaint
of discrimination in the past so you have to be careful about retaliation or
another employee was treated differently.
that can work when they are well written and communicated properly. Effective performance improvement plans have 3 parts:
definition of what is expected, the level of performance that is
of where the employee is not meeting expectations
steps that need to be taken to bring performance to an acceptable level.
taken to improve performance. Don’t
write a plan that says the employee must perform or complete a specific task
that they don’t have the skill or knowledge to perform. There are no end dates to effective performance improvement
plans. You expect the employee to
maintain standards for as long as they have the job. When the employee performance improves
congratulate them. If performance does
not change remind the employee of expectations and make a decision to terminate
the employee if necessary. It’s a
business decision that cannot always be governed by black and white rules. Be consistent in the way you treat employees
and make certain that decisions are made for sound reasons, without an illegal
discriminatory basis. Lots of business decisions require good judgment, not
just a blind adherence to a number or date.