4 Steps Action Plan For Non-Performing Employees

Employees’ performance means a lot to a business. In fact, employees run any business. If employees are not working efficiently, it will result in a considerable loss or business failure.

That’s why managers and leaders must learn to manage any kind of employee. This leadership skill is one of the characteristics of great managers and leaders.

But it’s an not easy job. You will face many issues handling employees. For instance, you might see that some employees have loyalty, but they are non-performing.

You care for them and need an action plan to handle those non-performing employees. And that’s why you are here.

As I have handled many non-performing employees, so I have created an action plan for non-performing employees that always works for me.

The action plan is a complete performance improvement plan (PIP), where you monitor how they are doing and what’s hindering them not performing well, deliver your expectations, monitor their work, and make them productive for the business.

Let’s get started.

Document the performance

The first step of the action plan is to document the performance. Documenting the performance also helps in handling difficult employees.

It’s pretty simple and straightforward to analyze who is doing what.

While documenting the performance of underperforming, non-performing, or non-working employees, you will see that they are not taking the business seriously.

This analysis can be complicated in some cases.

For instance, if you are in the sales department, it’s pretty clear who is not bringing sales, so he is not performing well.

But what if an employee is in customer care service?

You will understand what matters in the job, it’s their dedication, attitude, and productivity.

It’s possible that the employee wastes time, the attitude isn’t good with clients, and doesn’t deliver the right information.

It will get you a list of bad employees.

Now you have a clear picture of how things are going, and who is responsible in the team.

Find reasons behind non-performance

A manager must find the root cause behind non-performance. Every employee is an asset to a company. Companies invest their time, resources, and energy in the employees to train them and make them skillful and useful.

You should not fire an employee without putting all your energy into it. But your top priority should be to make them loyal employees.

If you are not doing it, you are also a non-performing employee in your company.

When finding the root cause, the best way is through face-to-face meetings.

When you ask people politely and gently, employees would never keep anything secret unless it’s highly secretive.

The causes behind non-performance are often very simple and could be handled easily.

Here are some of the top reasons you must already know. Let’s refresh your memories.

  • Guidance: In many cases, employees don’t know what exactly a manager or a leader wants them to do. Some managers call the meetings, tell them to do this work, and that’s it. This is not an appropriate way to convey your expectations. You should deliver what you want them to do and how to do it.
  • Lack of skill: In some cases, people don’t perform well because they don’t have the right skills. Let’s say you are offering a project to an employee who does not know the software involved in work. You might expect that he will use YouTube or ask an employee for help, but this might not work. He needs the training to do the work efficiently.
  • Toxic environment: There are many reasons behind a company’s toxic culture. Sometimes, bad employees ruin good employees; sometimes, managers do the job. Whoever the reason is, if you don’t control your company environment, you can’t make people productive and efficient.
  • Domestic issues: In a few cases, some employees face domestic issues. Although professional and personal life should be kept apart, being human, it’s hard to control feelings.
  • They don’t know the significance: Purpose leads us to success. Some employees don’t know why the task is important, or what it means to a company or an organization.

Once you speak to the employees, you will get a clear picture what’s the reason.

When you are clear about what’s hindering an employee from doing his job well, you can easily make a performance improvement plan accordingly.

Let’s say someone is having trouble with using some apps, you can arrange appropriate training, and similarly, you can find solutions to other issues.

Prepare a performance improvement plan.

In professional life, documents speak. If you are not documenting things, you are missing a big power. Employees know well what a document can do in their careers. That’s why they take documented things very seriously.

Here is how to prepare your performance improvement plan. You can call it the FFRT plan.

  • In the first step, you should mention how things are going for a while. Let’s say an employee is not completing a task on time, an employee is not achieving targets, or there were some other irregularities. It’s called feedback.
  • The next step is feedforward. In this step, you should mention what your findings are. How could things be improved, and what key areas should employees focus on? Let’s say an employee needs to improve his communication skills to satisfy the customers.
  • In this step, you mention which resources he is allowed to use. For instance, if he lacks a skill, which program or training are you offering, and how to avail that opportunity?
  • In this next step, you mention the time frame. How much time the employee has to get the required skills/training/guidance to improve performance?

You should call the employee once again. Document the meeting with attendance. Now deliver the true essence of the meeting in a very polite and gentle way. Also, tell him verbally what the consequences could be if he fails to do the job well.

Here is the golden rule.

Rather than telling them what he has been doing earlier, you should only discuss how he can improve things and which tools and tactics the employees should use. Also, mention how long it will take to deliver the work.

You should tell things from your experience and make him realize that you are sincere with the employee and you want him to do it. It’s easy to do it, and he can do it.

Monitor with follow-ups

You can’t get the best results if you are not monitoring your employees appropriately.

For instance, if you don’t have a follow-up process, it means you are relying on everyone’s instinct. Maybe, an employee is habitual of procrastination; he keeps pushing things, and you can’t rely on such employees.

So to make sure things are working fine, you should monitor and see how employees are performing.

It will make the employees more responsible and also make you realize how your action plan for non-performing employees is working.