Improve Employee Performance with Clear & Effective Plan

Writing a performance plan is an essential part of any successful business.

Managers can quickly evaluate employee productivity, helping them make informed decisions regarding employee goals, growth plans, and promotions. To make these plans effective and thorough, one must possess both experience and use clear, concise language.

With the correct execution and implementation, the performance plan can act as a roadmap to reach desired outcomes. With the help of this article, you’ll be able to write an effective performance plan. 

What Is A Performance Plan or Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

Performance plans are formal business documents detailing the goals set for a specific employee. It identifies blockers preventing the individual from progressing toward set objectives and provides strategies to overcome them. Once defined, the plan is updated regularly to reflect progress against goals. Performance plans aim to motivate staff members to perform better.

A performance improvement plan is tool organizations employ to assess employee performance and identify areas for improvement. It provides clear objectives, goals, timelines, and the resources necessary to succeed. Performance plans are designed to set expectations for employees, explain their roles, and set the framework for how they can succeed in their careers. 

Benefits of Performance Plans

A performance plan helps to identify, develop, assess and communicate performance goals. Here are some of the benefits of having a performance plan.

1. Increased Clarity

The performance plan allows the employee to understand their job expectations. This leads to less confusion about job duties or roles and any potential obstacles that may be encountered along the way. 

2. Improved Communication

With a performance plan in place, employees are more likely to communicate openly and regularly with their supervisors. This can prevent issues from becoming serious problems, as early detection through open dialogue often leads to easier resolution. 

3. Better Team Cohesion

Having a common plan for everyone to follow encourages collaboration among colleagues. You can also monitor and track the goals of the performance plan, leading to improved teamwork.

4. Established Benchmarks

The performance plan outlines specific goals that can be evaluated against established standards or other industry norms. This helps managers gain insights into their staff’s work performance and identify areas needing attention. 

5. Enhanced Motivation

Employees are better able to excel when they know their job expectations and what tools are needed to meet these expectations. In addition to regular feedback, performance plan encourages a culture where employees value hard work.

How to Write A Performance Plan

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Photo by Kolleen Gladden on Unsplash

A performance plan describes the goals and objectives an employee or team must meet within a given timeframe. It also outlines the specific actions to use in achieving these goals.

Here are the steps to follow when writing a performance plan:

1. Define the scope of the performance plan

Clearly outline the scope of the plan and the specific goals and objectives it will address.

2. Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs)

Determine the specific metrics you intend to use to measure the success of the performance plan.

3. Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals

The SMART criteria enable organizations to set clear, measurable goals that align with their organizational goals.

4. Identify the actions and behaviors required to achieve the goals

Outline the specific actions and behaviors required to achieve the goals outlined in the performance plan.

5. Determine how you will track progress

Identify the specific methods that you will use to track progress toward achieving the goals outlined in the performance plan.

6. Establish a timeline

Set a timeline for completing the actions and behaviors outlined in the performance plan.

7. Review and revise the performance plan regularly

Regularly review and revise the performance plan to make sure it stays relevant and aligned with the organization’s goals and objectives.

In order to ensure employees’ buy-in and commitment to the goals and objectives outlined in the plan, ensure you involve employees in its development. It’s also important to provide ongoing support and resources to help the employee or team achieve the goals outlined in the plan.

Writing A Performance Plan (Template)

Performance Plan for [Employee Name]

Performance Issue: [Description of specific performance or behavioral issue that needs to be addressed]

Objective: [Clear, measurable goal that addresses the performance issue]

Action Steps:

  • [List of specific actions the employee will take to address the performance issue and achieve the objective]
  • [Example: Attend training program on time management techniques]


  • [List of any resources or support that you will provide to the employee to help them achieve the objective].
  • [Example: One-on-one coaching sessions with a manager to discuss time management strategies].

Timeline: [Specific timeline for achieving the objective, including any interim checkpoints or milestones].

Measures of Success: [Specific criteria that will be used to determine whether the objective has been met].

Consequences of Non-Performance: [Description of the consequences that may result if the employee fails to meet the objective].

For regular intervals, typically at least once in a quarter, the employee should review the performance plan and discuss any necessary adjustments.


A performance plan is a useful tool for improving the performance of individuals and teams in an organization.

Supervisors can identify areas of improvement, set goals and objectives, and provide support and resources to make the team or employee successful. With the plan in place, employees can ensure that their performance aligns with company goals and objectives.

Overall, writing a performance plan requires careful consideration and thoughtfulness. Clearly define goals and objectives and provide necessary resources and support. Organizations can implement effective performance plans following the steps in this guide.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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