Ways to screw up any performance improvement plan

British actor Rowan Atkinson hams it up for photographers.
— AFP PHOTO JOHN MACDOUGALL

Here are 7 time tested, well practiced mistakes for any performance improvement plan.

You can also make mistakes in sales plans, marketing plans, strategic plans, growth plans using these time tested methods.

7 mistakes in any performance improvement plan.

  1. Be unclear about the vision to everyone in your organization. A performance improvement plan not aligned with where the company is heading will certainly disrupt performance.
  2. Jump around with your values. Do not tie values to anything you do or activities you want done. A really good way to mess up a performance improvement plan is to talk about customer service as a value and pressure people to move on quickly to close the next customer. Ignore the process to bring new customers up to speed on your product or service.
  3. Avoid values based decisions. To really screw up a performance improvement plan make decisions based on your reactions. Priorities based on reactive decisions will pull the rug out of any performance improvement plan. Do not base decisions on values … if you do performance might improve.
  4. Use vague unspecific goals.  “I want you to make more sales,” is a great example of a vague goal. To insure your performance improvement plan is screwed up avoid a) specifics about what you want accomplished, b) metrics, the numbers to achieve in the goal, c) achievable goals, d) setting stretch goals, and e) definitely do not put a deadline with a very specific date tied to the goal.
  5. Ignore obstacles. Since obstacles within your control and outside of your control are in the path of every plan, simply ignore them and expect improved performance. After all, “you wouldn’t pay them if they didn’t know what you want.” Do not share your expertise or insight and do not help them uncover hidden obstacles. Definitely do not offer possible solutions or guidance on how to overcome the obstacles.
  6. Tell your people once, no more. Once should be enough. After all, you are the boss and they are professionals. Tell them once and it is done. Do this especially for critical, difficult stretch goals. Your assumption is that they won’t have questions. They understand perfectly what you want.
  7. Avoid regular follow up meetings and tracking metrics. No need to understand their progress. Weekly regular meetings to check in on progress against dates and metrics, stubborn obstacles, new obstacles, and on-going issues will only increase the success of a performance improvement plan.

What other ways have you found to make mistakes in a performance improvement plan?


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