What is Performance Improvement?

Performance improvement is a strategy within performance management that helps employees achieve better performance and growth. Operational performance improvement is achieved through the use of performance improvement plans (PIPs) by managers to help underperforming employees meet an organization’s standards and requirements in terms of productivity and behavior, while organizational performance improvement occurs at a higher level.

How to Assess Performance Improvement

Assessing performance improvement can be done using various metrics such as observation, analysis of work products, or feedback from colleagues, customers, or clients. For quantitative deficiencies like sales goals or production quotas, it is easy to measure improvement by tracking whether a numerical goal is being achieved. However, qualitative matters like poor leadership or disrespectful behavior are difficult to fit into a structured plan and track over time.

What’s the Importance of Performance Improvement?

Performance improvement is important because it helps managers and employees identify specific areas that need improvement. With this information, companies can create targeted solutions to issues faced rather than relying on unfocused efforts to improve. Performance improvement also has benefits such as increased efficiency, productivity, and job satisfaction.

A PIP is a better solution than terminating an underperforming employee in instances where performance is poor but the employee shows future potential. In instances of poor attendance or disruptive behavior, it is better to address these issues immediately than to wait for a formal review. Implementing a PIP is not effective when the employee is not involved in the conversation and collaboration or when the PIP is being used to punish the employee.

A good PIP is time-bound within 30 to 90 days, measurable, achievable, and specific. Objectives, strategies, milestones, and measurable metrics are established to determine improvements, and coaching sessions and regular meetings are set to keep track of progress.

Finally, quality improvement and performance improvement are not the same. Performance improvement addresses deficiencies in human performance, whereas quality improvement focuses on the organization’s processes and systems.