Performance improvement is a form of organizational development focused on increasing outputs and improving efficiency for a particular process or procedure. Performance improvement is simply a strategy under the umbrella of performance management to help improve employees’ work efficiency and growth.
According to Wikipedia, it can also be said to be measuring the output of a particular business process or procedure, then modifying the process or procedure to increase the output, increase efficiency, or increase the effectiveness of the process or procedure. In a normal organizational setting, performance improvement is put in place by the managers and the governing bodies to measure the current level of performance of every employee in the organization and then develop ideas to improve their performance and efficiency to achieve higher output.
Performance improvement can be employed by an individual or an organization. For instance, a soccer player can access his performance and decide on his performance or a team as a whole can decide on how they can improve their performance. Performance improvement can be at an individual level or a group level and can be addressed with formal and informal approaches.
Performance improvement can occur at different levels which include the employee level (individual level), unit level (subgroups), and the organization as a whole (the team). When there is a drop in performance, it might be very difficult to find out what went wrong. Questions will be asked to find out why there is a drop in performance and productivity. For instance, if an organization doesn’t meet its set goals for a particular time, it will need to find out what the problem could be. If performance is evaluated, performance improvement will be very easy.
Performance management is a very large scheme that involves quality control, performance evaluation, performance improvement, and so on. Quality control is also a form of performance management that focuses on the consistent quality of performance and productivity. Quality control helps to maintain a high stake of performance, and keep every worker and employee on a high level to produce high productivity.
When employing quality control, as said in the keyword, it deals with quality maintenance and it is most of the time employed by companies with a high number of competitions. This is why performance improvement is essential because poor performance will lead to poor and below par productivity which is detrimental to the growth of the company.
PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN
It is often regarded as PIP (Performance Improvement Plan). A performance improvement plan can be defined as a formal document targeted at helping employees to improve their performances through talent management and a specific strategy. An organization needs a performance improvement plan to carry out its plans effectively.
It is known that plans written down and effectively carried out than plans created and left in the head. You will be able to track the success rate and performance improvement with a proper performance improvement plan. Performance improvement plan gives managers and employers the opportunity to strategize and work on effective plans to improve individual performance.
It is also called an employee performance improvement plan. It is a formal document that expresses continuous or recurring behavioral and performance issues as well as planning achievable goals for individual employees. The performance improvement plan usually outlines a specific work frame for individual employees to regain and maintain an acceptable level of standing in an organization.
The improvement plan is used to help employees to meet specific goals which they are struggling to achieve, as well as trying to stop some wrong behavioural advances. A performance improvement plan is essential for both the employees and the employers in the sense that, when the plan works out well, it pays both parties off.
At first, when an employee is first offered a job in an organization, he or she is reviewed over some time and then the organization decides on what improvement plan suits that employee. When there is a well-written plan for improvement, it is very easy to follow up.
The employee performance improvement plan is also a structured developmental approach targeted at improving employee’s performance through talent management strategy and formal documentation. That is why managers and employers need to have an active plan aimed at improving performance. A good leader or manager must have a good plan in place and must know how to relate with individuals.
The management of each organization will have to work with the employee to design a plan that works for them and also prompt discussion sessions to know the exact areas for improvement. It also involves performance reviews because if there is no performance review, the managers might not know where to improve on. Performance reviews help to ensure that the employees are working towards the outlined plans.
Managers need to monitor the progress of these plans to get necessary feedback as regards the work performance if there is an improvement or disciplinary measures are needed.
Way for Performance Improvement
There are ways to improve performance, we will discuss a few of them.
- Set Clear Goals: Goals and objectives are the foundation of performance improvement; this gives the employee a total understanding and clarity of what the company’s goals are. The more precise the goals of a company are, the easier it becomes to complete and achieve them. If you don’t have a set goal for your company, the employees will not have clarity on what you are hoping to achieve. A performance review is easy when the goal is clear and then you can think of performance improvement.
- Communicate with the employee: To maintain a high-performance level, it is collaborative work between the managers (or employers) and the employees. A good communication skill is required by the managers to know where the employees are lacking and what are the necessary steps they must take. Communicating your expectations to the employee helps to show clarity of goals to the employees. When there is no proper communication between both parties, the employees become disengaged and may act opposite to the laid down plans.
- Set regular checkups: As humans, we tend to off way without proper checkups from superiors or managers. Regular checkups provide and ensure that the employees are on the right track and more importantly it helps the company’s structure. It is also important to run regular checkups to improve effectiveness, guide and encourage the workers.
- Highlight performance reducing issues: There is always a reason behind a fall in performance by the employees, finding out what is the issue and discussing with the affected employee how best to solve the issue. Some might be faced with family issues, personal issues and even some might not find the working environment very convenient and conducive for work.
- Single out best performance: One of the ways of implementing a good performance improvement scheme is to single out the best performer among the employee and praise them. This encourages the rest of the team to want to do more. Probably, if prices are in place to appreciate the best worker, it will serve as an encouragement to the rest of the staff.
- Develop a good performance improvement plan (PIP): After all the steps above have been done, the next thing is to develop a good and working performance improvement plan. You must understand the nature of the work as the manager and a working improvement plan that is not too strenuous and effective.
- Provide extra support or training when required: After doing a performance review of the staff, you might find out that the drop in performance is in lack of knowledge, organizing extra training or support won’t be a bad idea.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT?
The effect of performance improvement on employees and the whole organization cannot go unnoticed because it affects the productivity and effectiveness of the whole organization at large. So, what are the benefits?
- It improves productivity: The main goal of performance improvement is to improve productivity. After a successful performance improvement scheme is done, managers and employers should expect a massive change in the productivity level of their workers. The poor performers would improve, the average performers will become top workers and the initial top performers would get better.
- It gives room for improvement: Nobody is an island of knowledge; one can only get better. There is room for improvement when a performance improvement plan is in place. It gives room to become more versatile.
- Improved quality and error reduction: The quality of work becomes better when there is performance improvement and there is a drastic reduction in the number of errors they usually commit.
- It improves employee satisfaction: Performance improvement improves employee satisfaction; this happens when they find out that they have improved and found easy things they couldn’t do before.
Performance improvement is good and has a lot of results but may be challenging at times. Part of the challenges includes the implementation of the plan, difficult management, and inability to respond to change.