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                          American National Standard for Human Resources




                              PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
                                                                V.4




Secretariat
Society for Human Resource Management




Approved Month DD, YYYY
American National Standards Institute, Inc.


Abstract
Every organization, no matter what its mission, strives to reach objectives through its staff. Successful results are achievable if
all members of the organization team know and share strategic goals and know and achieve their individual goals. Therefore,
effectively managing employee performance is a critical to organizational success.


Over the years, consensus has developed about the minimum elements of effective performance management systems,
particularly in three areas – goal setting, performance review, and performance improvement plans. This standard defines
these minimum, effective elements without restricting firms from customizing to match their unique business climates.
AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARD Performance Management Systems                          HR-0x0000x-2010



FOREWORD
The information contained in this Foreword is not part of this American National Standard (ANS) and
has not been processed in accordance with ANSI’s requirements for an ANS. As such, this Foreword
may contain material that has not been subjected to public review or a consensus process. In addition,
it does not contain requirements necessary for conformance to the Standard.
ANSI guidelines specify two categories of requirements: mandatory and recommendation. The
mandatory requirements are designated by the word shall and recommendations by the word should.
Where both a mandatory requirement and a recommendation are specified for the same criterion, the
recommendation represents a goal currently identifiable as having distinct compatibility or
performance advantages.


Every organization, no matter what its mission, strives to reach objectives through its staff. Successful
results are achievable if all members of the organization team know and share strategic goals and know
and achieve their individual goals. Therefore, effectively managing employee performance is a critical
to organizational success.


In spite of the impact performance management can have on individual and business success, it is
sometimes regarded as a necessary evil by both management and employees, in part because it is so
personal and may be perceived as threatening. Effective performance management is difficult to do
consistently and well. [ref – SHRM Foundation Effective Practice Guidelines Series Performance
Management]


Over the years, consensus has developed about the minimum elements of effective performance
management systems, particularly in three areas:
      Goal Setting – the process of establishing objectives to be achieved over a set period of time.
      Performance Review – the process of assessing progress toward goals.
      Performance Improvement Plans – the process of addressing a shortfall in meeting goals.


In most companies, the human resources department has the role of oversight and control of the
performance management system but the objective of performance management is shared by all
members of management. Senior management support for a performance focus is critical as is the
creation and maintenance of a corporate culture that supports individual and team accountability for
solid performance.
Performance management is the foundation for organizational effectiveness for employers worldwide.
To innovate, develop, sell and maintain goods and services that deliver value to customers,
organizations must employ techniques that encourage and motivate employees to perform to their full
potential and in a manner that adds provides value to the organization.
Effective performance management systems, often developed and/or overseen by the human resources
department, serve a critical function in communicating expectations to employees, providing ongoing
feedback and coaching, providing regular performance feedback, and in some cases, addressing
performance issues.

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When a performance issue is identified with a given employee, employers sometimes utilize the
performance improvement plan as a tool to address the issue. This standard is intended to provide
guidelines for the development and usage of these plans.
The standard presented here addresses these three elements of an effective performance management
system and is intended to apply to effective systems for small or large organizations of all varieties and
structures. While the standard has been written using individual performance as an example, the
principles of effective performance management in this standard may also be applied to team
performance management.
While guidelines for structure and timing are offered in this standard, an effective performance
management system is dynamic and flexible enough to accommodate changes in business priorities.




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THE STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT TASKFORCE

The Performance Management Task Force was formed in 2009 by the Society for Human Resource
Management (SHRM) as the first group to begin developing American National Standards for human
resources professionals. SHRM was designated the Secretariat for the development of American
National Standards in Human Resources in 2009. The Society for Human Resource Management
(SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more
than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and
advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated
chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India.


SHRM has been accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to prepare and
publish human resource standards that meet SHRM and ANSI requirements for due process and
criteria for approval.


The Taskforce consists of a mix of human resource professionals - generalists, training and
development specialists, compensation specialists, educators, consultants and managers.


At the time it approved this document, the Performance Management Taskforce, which is responsible
for the development of this Standard, had the following members:



                          [INSERT MEMBERS LISTED IN SUB-GROUPS]



Suggestions for improvement of this document are welcome. They should be sent to the Society for
Human Resource Management, Secretariat, HR Standards, 1800 Duke Street, Alexandria VA, 22314.




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TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD
THE STANDARDS DEVELOPMENT TASKFORCE


   1. SCOPE, PURPOSE, APPLICATION


   2. NORMATIVE REFERENCES


   3. DEFINITIONS, ACRONYMS, ABBREVIATIONS


   4. OVERVIEW OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS


   5. GOAL SETTING STANDARD


   6. PERFORMANCE REVIEW STANDARD


   7. PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN STANDARD


   8. CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ELEMENTS


   9. ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS (TECHNICAL SUMMARY, APPENDIX)




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AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARD                                                                  HR-0x0000x-2010

American National Standard for Human Resources


Performance Management Systems

1 SCOPE, PURPOSE, & APPLICATION
1.1 Scope
The scope of this standard is limited to three of the elements of a performance management system –
goal setting, performance review, and performance improvement plans. While there are many other
elements and interfaces of a performance management system, such as compensation planning,
individual or team development plans, and job descriptions, these are not addressed in this document.


1.2 Purpose
The purpose of this standard is to put the elements of goal setting, performance reviews, and
performance improvement plans in the context of a performance management system standard and to
identify the elements of these three that are the minimum required to be effective. Recognizing that all
organization’s have a unique cultures and objectives, these standards are intended to be applicable to
the widest range of organizations – large and small, union and non-union, fast-paced and steadier.


1.3 Application
Organizations hoping to build or evaluate their performance management systems can use this
standard as a guide.



2 NORMATIVE REFERENCES
The following standards contain provisions which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions
of this American National Standard. At the time of publication, the editions indicated were valid. All
standards are subject to revision, and parties to agreements based on this American National Standard
are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent editions of the standards
indicated below.



3 DEFINITIONS, ACRONYMS, & ABBREVIATIONS
3.1 Definitions

      Goals                          Expectations for outcomes agreed between employer and
                                     employee. These may be project goals, duties to be fulfilled or
                                     measurements of behaviors.


      Performance Improvement Plan   A written plan to specifically address an unsatisfactory work
                                     performance issue.

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3.2 Acronyms & Abbreviations

    SHRM        Society for Human Resource Management
    PIP         Performance Improvement Plan




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4 OVERVIEW OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

4.1 Subclause title
4.1.1 Subsubclause title




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5 GOAL SETTING STANDARD

5.1 Subclause title
5.1.1 Subsubclause title




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6 PERFORMANCE REVIEW STANDARD

6.1 Scope

  6.1.1 Scope of the standard

6.2 Terms and Definitions
   6.2.1    Performance Plan
   6.2.2    Performance Evaluation
   6.2.3    Development Plan
   6.2.4    Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)
6.3 Appropriate Usage
    6.3.1   Annual Implementation Timeline
    6.3.2   Union and Non-union Environments

    6.3.3 Exempt and Non-exempt Employees

    6.3.4 Part and Full-time Employees

6.4 Performance Review Process
    6.4.1   Performance Planning
    6.4.2   Performance Evaluation
    6.4.3   Feedback
    6.4.4   Development Planning
    6.4.5   Employee and Manager Roles
    6.4.6   Performance Review Training
    6.4.7   Performance Review Calibration
6.5 Document Format Guidelines
    6.5.1   Employee information
    6.5.2   Relevant dates
    6.5.3   Description of performance goals and behaviors
    6.5.4   Documentation of goals and behaviors
    6.5.5   Future performance planning
    6.5.6   Evaluation
6.6 Documentation
    6.6.1   Required documents
    6.6.2   Grievance process
6.7 Outcomes of the Performance Review Process
    6.7.1   Performance evaluation rating
    6.7.2   Satisfactory performance, performance improvement, promotion
    6.7.3   Succession planning
    6.7.4   Development planning



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6.1 Scope
      6.1.1 Scope of the standard
      This standard establishes guidelines for employers and human resources professionals who use
      performance Review plans. It sets forth the purpose of these plans and outlines best practices
      for their use. (include statement about not specific to any one business entity, industry,
      employee group or corporate policy.) Instead of review use management systems
      (methodology/approach). Minimum standard to be effective.
6.2 Terms and Definitions

      6.2.1   Performance Plan

      A performance plan is a document used by a manager, at the outset/at the beginning of an
      annual performance management cycle, as a means to identify specific goals, accountabilities
      and outcomes regarding performance expectations, timelines for goal attainment and
      measurable outcomes that define success against those goals. It is used as a regular part of the
      performance appraisal process in order to review with employees their performance
      expectations. It includes both the behaviors employees are expected to exhibit and the results
      they are expected to achieve during the upcoming rating cycle. Behavioral and results
      expectations should be tied to the organization’s strategic direction and corporate objectives.
      Behavioral Expectations
      Effective performance management systems provide behavioral standards (“how” the
      employee will accomplish their goals) that describe what is expected of employees in key areas
      (e.g., how the employee interacts with customers). It is important for managers to make sure
      that employees understand how the behavioral standards relate to their specific jobs.
      Results Expectations
      The results or goals to be achieved by employees should be tied to the organization’s strategy
      and goals (“what” the employee will accomplish). The employee’s development and
      performance improvement needs should also be taken into account in the goal setting process.
      Development needs are targeted to preparing for career advancement while performance
      improvement needs are targeted toward improving current job performance where deficits may
      exist. Examples of goals for an employee might be:
             Complete project “X” by time “Y”.
             Increase sales by 10 percent.
             Successfully mentor employee “X” to develop skill “Y”.
      6.2.2   Performance Evaluation
          The performance evaluation involves the objective and subjective consideration of how to
          measure and evaluate employee performance results. Objective indicators of performance
          can include measures such as dollar volume of sales, profitability or amount of product
          produced. Subjective indicators typically involve collecting information about employees’
          accomplishments and the impact that these contributions have had.
          Performance evaluation information is used for decision-making purposes regarding
          employee performance; is there a need for performance improvement, is performance
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         satisfactory, or, is the employee ready for promotion to a new role. A five- to seven-point
         rating scale is typically used to capture employee performance results. This rating scale
         range provides a sufficient number of rating points to help differentiate performance
         between employees.
     6.2.3   Development Plan
         An individual development plan (aka career development plan) is often used in conjunction
         with the performance appraisal process as a final documented step to assist employees in
         goal-setting and individual development that will serve to advance their career and
         promotional opportunities. It does not typically indicate a performance deficiency, but
         rather forms the basis for a strategic partnership between the manager and employee to
         achieve goals in a defined upcoming performance period for his or her own personal career
         development and advancement.
     6.2.4   Performance Improvement Plan
         A performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a document used at the discretion of the
         employer with an employee as a means to identify specific goals for performance
         improvement, timelines for goal attainment and measurable outcomes that define success
         against those goals. It is used in various situations, which may range from a struggling
         employee who is unclear on performance expectations to a severely underperforming
         employee whose performance may necessitate the beginning of a progressive discipline
         process.
         Terminology can be varied regarding performance improvement plans and some employers
         may use the phrase synonymously with Development Plans (above). However, the need for
         a performance improvement plan results from specific situational drivers that differ from
         the career planning design and use of an individual development plan. Performance
         improvement plans are used as part of a well-designed performance management system,
         but are not typically a regular component of the performance appraisal process as it applies
         to all job incumbents. Instead, the performance improvement plan may emerge as an
         outcome or recommendation of a performance appraisal, or may be utilized on an as-needed
         basis outside of the employer’s regular performance appraisal cycle.
         The PIP is often the first written step in a progressive discipline process, although it may be
         preceded by coaching and other verbal performance discussions.
6.3 Appropriate Usage

  6.3.1. Annual Implementation Timeline

  6.3.2 Union and Non-Union Environments

  Union environment – If the company is operating in a union environment, it will be necessary to
  refer to the labor agreement to ensure application of any performance improvement process is in
  compliance with the terms of the union contract. In general, when any action may lead to
  termination, a union representative should be present or involved.

     -union environment (need comment about


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  6.3.4 Part-time and full-time Employees

6.4 Performance Review Process

  The performance review process will vary in accordance with the employing organization’s
  existing practices, strategies and objectives, and, organizational culture, but the actual elements of
  the review process are applicable across industry sectors and organizations. The process is
  distinguished from the structure and tools that are used by each specific organization, and rather,
  focuses on how the performance review process is actually implemented. Minimum standards for
  an effective performance review process include:

          A feedback process that is continuous and timely so that employees know how they are
           doing what to expect
          A dialogue that includes performance feedback that is measured against clear and specific
           goals and expections that have been established at the outset of the performance
           management cycle
          A process for acknowledging the outcomes of the performance review process that is
           documented between the manager and the employee
          An annual, two-way conversation between manager and employee

   6.4.1    Performance Planning

     A core component of the performance planning process involves the establishment of
     challenging and realistic goals. This communicates to the employee that these goals are
     attainable and that he/she can be successful. This serves the concomitant goal of creating
     employee engagement and commitment which is critically important to goal attainment. It is
     important for employees to participate in the goal-setting process with their managers. It is also
     important for managers to communicate their willingness to assist employees in achieving their
     goals by providing guidance, resources and support. Minimally effective performance goals
     should be clearly defined in terms of the end results to be accomplished. Goals should be
     specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-based. Individual employee goals should be
     linked to team and organizational success factors so that the individual understands how their
     contribution fits into overall organizational success. The performance and goal setting process
     should focus on 2 – 3 goal areas—attempting to achieve too many different goals at once will
     impede success. beginining of performance management cycle

   6.4.2    Performance Evaluation

     Evaluating performance includes consideration of the full array of factors associated with
     employee performance success. These address the knowledge, skills, abilities and personal
     characteristics possessed by the employee as they are related to the technical, interpersonal and
     leadership requirements of the role in question. Job descriptions, role profiles, competency
     models and other organizational documentation provide a foundation for understanding the

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          demands of particular job roles. Ongoing assessment of employee performance, by the
          manager, in terms of both objective and subjective performance indicators provides information
          regarding how the employee is performing relative to his/her role. Formal and informal
          observation and feedback from the manager to the employee are an important part of the
          performance evaluation process.

6.4.3     Feedback

          Feedback is an essential feature of all stages of the performance review process. During the
          performance planning process, both behavioral and results expectations should have been set.
          Performance in both these areas should be discussed and feedback provided on an ongoing
          basis throughout the performance evaluation and rating processes. In addition to providing
          feedback whenever exceptional or ineffective performance is observed, providing periodic
          feedback about day-to-day accomplishments and contributions is also very valuable.

          For the feedback process to work well, it should be a two-way communication process that is
          the joint responsibility of both managers and employees. This requires training both managers
          and employees about their responsibilities in the performance feedback process. Effective
          feedback should be timely, constructive and balanced; including both positive and development
          information that is based on what the employee did or did not do in terms of their behavior. It
          is critical that feedback be based on behaviors, rather than personal characteristics, and that
          these behaviors are linked to effective versus ineffective performance. (what they should be
          doing; provide guidance for improvement - how does the performance deviate from the
          expectation; what is the measure of success look like? behavior vs. results)

6.4.4     Development Planning

          Development planning should involve employee input in terms of the employee’s own self-
          assessment of capabilities and accomplishments, as well as their career goals and aspirations.
          From an employee development perspective, rating narratives or specific behavioral
          descriptions and examples tend to provide more valuable information than numerical
          performance evaluation ratings. This is because numerical evaluation ratings do not typically
          convey what the employee did or did not do in sufficient detail to be meaningfully
          developmental. Development planning is conducted in parallel with performance evaluation
          ratings as past performance, in combination with capability and career aspirations, sets the
          stage for next steps. While performance evaluation is definitively linked to performance and
          compensation decisions that must be made by the organization, development planning
          accomplishments need not necessarily be linked as explicitly.

        6.4.5    Employee and Manager Roles

        6.4.6    Performance Review Training

        6.4.7    Performance Review Calibration

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6.5 Document Format Guidelines

   6.5.1   Employee information
   6.5.2   Relevant dates
   6.5.3   Description of performance goals and behaviors
   6.5.4   Documentation of goals and behaviors
   6.5.5   Future performance planning
   6.5.6   Evaluation
6.6 Documentation
   6.6.1   Required documents
   6.6.2   Grievance process
6.7 Outcomes of the Performance Review Process
   6.7.1   Performance evaluation rating
   6.7.2   Satisfactory performance, performance improvement, promotion
   6.7.3   Succession planning
   6.7.4   Development planning




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7 PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT PLAN STANDARD

7.1 Scope

7.2 Terms and Definitions

    7.2.1 Performance Improvement Plans

    7.2.2 Individual Development Plans

    7.2.3    Collective Bargaining Agreement

7.3 Appropriate Usage

   7.3.1 Union environment
   7.3.2    Non-union environment

7.4 Documentation

   7.4.1 Required documents
   7.4.2 Appeals process

7.5 Document Format Guidelines

   7.5.1 Employee information
   7.5.2 Relevant dates
   7.5.3 Description of performance discrepancy
   7.5.4 Documentation of consequences
   7.5.5 Improvement (action) plan
   7.5.6 Evaluations


7.6 Outcomes of the PIP Process




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7.1 Scope

    This standard was developed to support organizations of all sizes across all industries by outlining
    best practices for creating, implementing and managing Performance Improvement Plans. The
    elements described in this standard are intended to assist personnel involved in managing the
    human resources of an organization.

    A Performance Improvement Plan is a management tool used to resolve persistent performance
    problems in accordance with a documented procedure. It is used by management with the support
    of Human Resources or other appropriate professionals and includes elements such as current and
    expected performance, timelines and measures for performance improvement and potential
    outcomes based on whether or not sufficient improvement was achieved. It provides a vehicle for
    open dialogue and consistent feedback which can allow a struggling employee the opportunity to
    succeed or prepare for more progressive disciplinary actions.

    Included in this standard are terms and definitions pertinent to clearly understanding and using
    Performance Improvement Plans, appropriate usage of the Performance Improvement Plans,
    Performance Improvement Plan document format guidelines, documents and information needed
    to create and support a Performance Improvement Plan, and possible outcomes of the Performance
    Improvement Plan.


7.2 Terms and Definitions

7.2.1   Performance Improvement Plans

    A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a document used at the discretion of
    managers/supervisors with employees as a means to identify specific goals for performance
    improvement, timelines for goal attainment and measurable outcomes that define success against
    those goals.
    Terminology can be varied regarding Performance Improvement Plans and some employers may
    use the phrase synonymously with Individual Development Plans (defined below). However, the
    need for a Performance Improvement Plan results from specific situational drivers that differ from
    the career planning design and use of Individual Development Plans. Performance Improvement
    Plans are used as part of a well-designed performance management system, but are not typically a
    regular component of the performance appraisal process as it applies to all job incumbents.
    Instead, the Performance Improvement Plan may emerge as an outcome or recommendation of a
    performance appraisal, or may be utilized on an as-needed basis outside of the employer’s regular
    performance appraisal cycle.
    The PIP is often the first written step in a progressive discipline process, although it may be
    preceded by coaching and other verbal performance discussions and/or written communications.
7.2.2   Individual Development Plans

    Individual Development Plans (IDP’s) fall outside of the scope of the Performance Improvement
    Plan Standard, but must be defined to distinguish their purpose and use. An Individual
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    Development Plan (aka Career Development Plan) is often used in conjunction with the
    performance appraisal process as a final documented step to assist employees in goal-setting and
    individual development for future career planning purposes. It does not necessarily indicate a
    performance deficiency, but rather forms the basis for a strategic partnership between the manager
    and employee to achieve goals in a defined upcoming performance period for his or her personal
    career development.
7.2.3   Collective Bargaining Agreement – Whether an employer is subject to the terms of a collective
        bargaining agreement with an employeee union affects the use of PIPs as explained later in the
        standard. The possibility exists for preferential treatment for union members in the event of a
        layoff or other similar situation, depending on the collective bargaining agreement. For this
        reason, this standard will qualify guidelines when coverage by a collective bargaining
        agreement may influence the use of the PIP.

7.3 Appropriate Usage

The Performance Improvement Plan is used in various situations, which may range from employees
who may be new to a role or unclear on performance expectations to employees that are not meeting
performance expectations and whose performance may necessitate the beginning of a progressive
discipline process.
Depending on the employer, progressive discipline may or may not be called for in given situations.
Employers should define the performance situations necessitating a PIP and determine whether the PIP
would or would not be applied in lesser situations, such as minor policy violations, attendance issues,
etc…
Although milestones may vary by employer, it is generally used in the context of an informal plan,
formal plan and final warning. The term “warning” may not appear until the “final warning.”
Because the desired goal is typically performance improvement and correction of the issue(s)
necessitating the PIP, the word “plan” should be used in earlier documents.
7.3.1   Union environment – If the company is operating in a union environment, it will be necessary
        to refer to the labor agreement to ensure application of any performance improvement process
        is in compliance with the terms of the union contract. In general, when any action may lead to
        termination, a union representative should be notified.

7.3.2   Non-union environment – Companies operating in a non-union environment generally
        reference performance management processes in their HR Policy Manual. Performance
        Improvement Plans are generally part of the performance management process and may also be
        referenced in policies referencing disciplinary action.

7.3.3   First warning to final warning – The language in progressive PIPs will get stronger and the PIP
        that may eventually contain a phrase such as “final warning” explaining that performance
        below expectations will lead to an exit/transfer.

7.4 Documentation



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  It is important to have various documents within the HR department to support the the use of
  Performance Improvement Plans. These documents include Job Descriptions, documented
  Performance Management Processes, including manager guidelines and HR Policies (referencing
  the Progressive Discipline Process).

     Job Descriptions - Performance standards (expectations, goals, objectives, competencies, etc.)
     should be established for positions through the use of Job Descriptions. Performance standards
     may need to take into account business cycles or seasons that may have an effect on a given
     performance metric. For example, the sales organization may experience peaks and valleys
     over an annual performance period and standards may need to account for this by adjusting the
     period of time during which performance is measured. Job Descriptions help the manager and
     employee identify where the performance gap is between what is expected for the job verses
     what is being achieved by the employee.

     Performance Management Process – Employers should provide employees a clear process
     regarding how the employee will be evaluated (frequency, performance standards, tie to
     compensation (i.e., compensation adjustments, merit increases, etc.) and the outcomes if
     performance standards are not met (disciplinary process).

     HR Policies (could be in different forms, i.e. Employee Handbook, Manager/Supervisor’s
     Guidebook, etc), but should include details regarding the company’s policies including steps
     regarding the disciplinary process.

     The Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) Document. An effective PIP includes the following
     components; (1) The Employee’s Information (Name, ID, Hire Date, Position, Department,
     Supervisor, etc. (2) The purpose of the PIP (result of disciplinary action, substandard
     performance appraisal, employee transferring to a new role that is not meeting expectations,
     etc.), (3) the date and duration of the PIP (30, 60, 90 days), (4) The current performance gap
     (standards not being met), (5) Actions the employee will need to take to sustain required
     performance, (6) Meeting frequency (how often the manager and employee will meet to discuss
     progress), (7) Notes indicating the progress of the employee, (8) Signatures of manager and
     employee, (9) Consequences if the employee does not successfully complete the PIP (final
     written warning, demotion, termination, etc). It is possible that the employee may refuse to
     sign, in which case the supervisor/manager and witness signatures confirm the meeting took
     place. In this situation, the employee should be given a copy of the PIP by the
     supervisor/manager and in the presence of a witness to confirm that the employee did receive
     the PIP.

     If the PIP is part of a progressive discipline process that may eventually lead to termination of
     employment, language on the document may specify that termination is a possible consequence
     of failure to meet expectations and may occur with or without the employee’s signature on the
     PIP.


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    The outcome of not successfully completing a PIP may result in a final warning, demotion, and/or
    termination. Employers may choose to have an internal appeal procedure (conflict resolution
    process) in order to address issues or concerns the employee had about the PIP process. This
    allows the employer to review and resolve issues internally rather than having the employee solely
    relying on external 3rd parties to review these types of decisions. Alternately to an appeals process,
    employers may have “grievance” procedures, or may not allow appeals or grievance, but rather
    only an opportunity to the employee to respond or provide written feedback that does not change
    the final decision.

    Addition of the PIP to the employee’s record

7.5 Document Format Guidelines

    A Performance Improvement Plan includes both documentation and conversation. The document
    used to guide the process is a critical tool as it helps facilitate performance discussions and
    conversations, documents areas of concern and how they may be corrected and serves as legal and
    decision making documentation. The format of the performance improvement plan will vary by
    employer, and ideally, should include the following components:
           Employee information
           Relevant dates
           Description of performance discrepancy (actual performance)
           Description of expected performance
           Description of actual performance
           Description of consequences
           Plan of Action
           Evaluation of Action Plan and overall Performance Improvement Plan


7.5.1   Employee information

    This section provides all of the relevant information pertaining to who is the recipient of the PIP,
    where he or she is located, who is their supervisor and other relevant information deemed
    necessary by the organization.

        Employee name – Include the first name, middle initial and last name to ensure that the correct
        individual is identified.

        Job title – Include the job title as it helps distinguish the individual and the type of role he or she
        plays in the organization.




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        Supervisor/Manager – The direct supervisor or manager of the individual should be identified
        on the document to clarify who will be responsible for facilitating the process as well as provide
        a point of contact for future inquiries.

        Department/Location – The department and/or location of the individual is important so that
        the correct individual is identified. It may also be of assistance to Human Resource or other
        appropriate personnel assisting in the PIP to understand the area and environment in which the
        individual works as well as any internal company practices or state or local laws that may
        applicable to that location.

        Other relevant identifying information – Because organizations and their policies, practices and
        needs vary widely, additional information may be necessary or desired on the document. These
        may include elements such as hire date, tenure in current position, next level supervisor,
        number of people supervised, etc.



7.5.2   Relevant dates

    There are two dates that should be included on the Performance Improvement Plan. They include
    the date in which the PIP is initiated and the duration of the PIP.

        Initiation Date – The date in which the PIP is initiated is usually the date in which the
        discussion between the manager and individual occur. Often human resources or other
        appropriate company individuals will also be part of this discussion.

        Duration of the PIP – The duration of the PIP is the actual timeframe for which the performance
        improvement plan will be in effect. In most situations, a 30-day period should be sufficient to
        correct the performance deficiency. Longer timeframes, up to 90 days may be considered if, in
        management's judgment, performance cannot be corrected in 30 days (i.e., attendance issues).



7.5.3   Description of performance discrepancy (actual performance)

    The goal of this section is to identify or list the specific facts about performance results and/or
    behavioral issues that demonstrate and describe the performance discrepancy. It is important that
    the information in this section be specific and factual (i.e. not hearsay, opinions, generalized or
    vague references).


    Performance discrepancy: Results and Behaviors

    Performance discrepancies generally fall into two categories, performance results and behaviors.
    Performance results tend to be easier to measure and their outcomes easier to observe. Behaviors


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  may be more challenging to describe. It is helpful to cite specific behaviors or employee actions
  that contribute to a performance discrepancy instead of using generic labels such as “attitude.”

  Examples of results not achieved include failure to meet specified goals and deadlines. Examples of
  behavior discrepancies include not following directions, activities that hinder successful
  performance of the job and failure to adhere to defined policies and procedures.
  It may also be helpful to document and discuss the impact of the performance discrepancy. The
  following list provides some examples of possible impacts:
        Money or profit lost

        Time lost or wasted

        Materials wasted or scraped

        Equipment damage or under or over-utilization

        Quantity of work completed

        Quality of work completed

        Accidents or other safety concerns

        Lost business opportunities

        Need for extra supervision

        Impact on coworkers

        Impact on customers


   Description of expected performance

  The purpose of this section is to outline the performance expectations and standards that must be
  met and sustained by the employee. This may include meeting expectations of organizational
  policies, practices and procedures, expectations of the specific job or role the individual plays in the
  organization, as well as the specific expectations of the individual’s supervisor/manager.

     Written documentation of expected performance standards

  Performance standards or expectations exist in a variety of forms within organizations. The
  performance improvement plan must not only identify the discrepancy, but link that discrepancy to
  clear employer expectations for satisfactory performance. Resources for performance standards
  include:
        Job descriptions
        Employee handbooks
        Policy manuals
        Collective bargaining agreements

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           Department guidelines
           Project plans
           Performance appraisals
           Other
    If the above resources do not address specific standards related to the performance discrepancy,
    additional resources will need to be consulted to clearly communicate expected and measurable
    performance with the written performance improvement plan. If the PIP process reveals that
    additional performance standards need to be formally documented, a feedback loop should exist to
    incorporate new standards into the appropriate medium. Whether relying on existing standards or
    updating organizational performance standards, they should be evaluated to ensure they are
    specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-limited.
        Sustainability and consistency
    A statement regarding expectations for “sustained” or “consistent” performance should be
    included in the expectations to ensure that true performance improvement has been attained. This
    may also prove helpful in protecting the employer should performance fail to meet expectations
    and further disciplinary action needs to be taken.



7.5.4   Documentation of Consequences

    The individual should clearly understand what the consequences are if standards that are outlined
    in the performance improvement plan are not met. Therefore, any repercussions that may result
    from either meeting or not meeting the performance expectations communicated in the plan should
    be clearly stated. This will make sure that the individual knows the seriousness of the issue and
    need for it to be addressed.


        Consequences when expectations ARE NOT satisfactorily achieved

    Guidance should be sought from human resources or other appropriate professionals in
    developing, managing, and making decisions based on performance improvement plans. These
    professionals should help create the language that will be appropriate for the particular situation.
    The following are sample statements that represent various scenarios and levels of seriousness in an
    organization.
           “If expectations are not completely met, further disciplinary action, up to and including
            termination, make be taken.”
           “If the individual fails to meet performance expectations, he/she will be demoted to a level,
            job or role commensurate with the current skills, abilities and behaviors.
           “If the described expectations are not satisfactorily achieved, the individual will be give an
            additional 30 days to meet and sustain expectations. If that is not done, then further action,
            which may include termination, will be taken.”


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           “If the individual has more than one reoccurrence of the existing performance deficiency
            during the next 60 days, he/she will be terminated immediately.”


        Consequences when expectations ARE satisfactorily achieved

    It may be helpful to document the outcomes of satisfactorily meeting performance criteria by the
    evaluation date. This might include closing out the Performance Improvement Plan, writing a
    separate note to the file that the individual has achieved satisfactory performance, communicating
    and/or updating goals and expectations for the individual moving forward, modifying an existing
    development plan, or other action.



7.5.5   Plan of action

    The plan of action documents the specific actions, activities, steps and/or processes the individual
    will follow to reach expected performance. This section should also include the resources available,
    accountabilities, and a clear definition of the measures and timeline that will be used to measure
    results.
    The plan of action is a collaborative effort between the employee and supervisor/manager. While
    the supervisor/manager may start with some suggested actions, the full plan of action should be
    created together and agreed upon in the performance discussion. This collaborative process will
    encourage ownership of the problem by the individual and demonstrate support and commitment
    from the supervisor/manager.


        Action plan timeline

    A timeline should also be defined for achieving overall desired performance. The timeline includes
    a start date, one or more progress review dates and a final evaluation/re-evaluation date. The
    progress review meetings ensure regular communication and allow the employee and
    supervisor/manager to identify any obstacles to success or any resources that may be needed
    which were not identified during the initial development of the plan of action.
    There may also be individual timelines pertaining to specific actions identified in the action plan.
    For example, a supervisor/manager may require the individual to provide a weekly project status
    report, have a colleague review work before it is submitted, or check timecards daily for tardiness.


7.5.6   Evaluation of the plan of action

    Evaluation of the plan takes place on an ongoing basis and ultimately at a pre-determined review
    date. This review date may be identified as an “evaluation” of the performance improvement plan
    outlined by the PIP or a “re-evaluation” of the individual and the accompanying performance
    issue(s).



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      The evaluation or re-evaluation section documents the results of the plan and outlines next
      steps or outcomes. Depending on the employer, individual and results achieved this may
      include:

                A rating scale indicating whether improvement was achieved

                A date for a subsequent evaluation/re-evaluation

                A statement regarding successful completion of the plan and expectations for future
                 performance

                A statement regarding unsuccessful completion of the plan and the resulting
                 consequences

  Regardless of the results of the action plan, the documentation should be clearly communicated to
  the individual and documented for his or her employment file.



 7.6 Outcomes of the PIP process

     The PIP process may lead to a number of possible outcomes, including but not limited to:
     extension of the timeline for correcting the performance discrepancy, disciplinary action,
     demotion, re-deployment or termination

         Met the expectation – The goal of a PIP is to identify performance issues and help the
         employee success. An optimal outcome is the employee meets the stated expectations. In
         this case, the PIP must be documented with clear expectations identified for continued or
         sustained performance.

         Extension – The supervisor/manager and employee may determine that there has not been
         sufficient time or opportunity for the employee to take corrective action.

         Disciplinary action – ADDITIONAL TEXT?

         Demotion – May occur if the performance issues were related to a job promotion. May be a
         lateral movement if a similar position had been performed satisfactorily in the past, but
         performance issues arose with movement into a lateral position with different duties and
         responsibilities. Demotion or lateral reassignment decisions may occur if, in the judgment
         of the employer, the performance issues are due primarily to a lack of “job fit” with the
         current position.

         Redeployment – Redeployment or placing the employee in another geographic location,
         business unit or department may be an option when it is determined that the performance
         issue is related to personality conflicts or other variables related to the job location, rather


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        than a performance deficiency. `Care should be taken in making such a move, however, to
        ensure that the company is not simply transferring a problem to another location.

        Questions to ask in a demotion, lateral move or redeployment are:
              Is there an opening for the position the employee is to be placed in?

              Is this employee the best candidate for the position?

              Should the employee re-apply or post for the position and go through the selection
               process along with other candidates?

        Termination – ADDITIONAL TEXT?




   [ MOVE TO Appendix – Sample performance improvement plans (separate Word document)]




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8 CONNECTIONS TO OTHER PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ELEMENTS

8.1 Subclause title
8.1.1 Subsubclause title




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9 ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

[THIS SECTION MIGHT ALSO BE CALLED TECHNICAL SUMMARY OR APPENDIX]


9.1 Subclause title
9.1.1 Subsubclause title




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