Companies differ in terms of processes and methods used for performance development, depending on the culture and the objectives set by the management group. But as a general rule, there is at least one Performance Development Planning (PDP) session in a calendar year that is being facilitated by the supervisors of a organization; a one-on-one meeting between the supervisor and the employee to outline, discuss, and re-evaluate personal goals as well as the organization’s goals to make sure that the employee works toward achieving these goals successfully.
In the PDP session, the supervisor outlines the key improvement strategies revolving around the “What,” the “How,” and the “When.” These will be discussed in detail in this article.
Key Improvement Strategy- What
In the performance planning aspect, one of the things that need to be obtained is an agreement on WHAT needs to be done in order to improve an individual’s performance. This mainly focuses on activities and programs that will enable the individual to achieve the goals that have been set by the organization for his particular position, which is in accordance to the overall objectives of the organization.
To identify the WHAT aspects, the following questions need to be asked:
1. What are the most important tasks and responsibilities you need to perform?
2. What are the expected outcomes in performing these tasks and responsibilities?
3. What areas do you think you need to improve on?
4. What can your supervisor do to help you improve on these areas?
The answers to these questions will give the supervisor and the organization valuable insights on how best to address a person’s performance concerns based on that person’s answers.
Key Improvement Strategy- How
Once the weak areas have been identified, the next step is to outline the plans covering the “HOW.” This basically means that the supervisor will set up an action plan that will help the employee in eliminating his weak areas.
This will include details on what needs to be done in order to help and support the employee in achieving personal and organization goals. Such information needs to be outlined step by step to ensure that all are clear to both the employee and the supervisor. If trainings and workshops are deemed necessary in order to boost an individual’s performance, this will be outlined in the PDP as well as relevant details including the cost of these activities. These will be included in the proposals that will be sent to the organization’s management group for approval.
Key Improvement Strategy- When
A very important aspect of the PDP is the timeframe. Each of the agreement made during the PDP session between the supervisor and the employee should indicate duration so that follow up meetings or sessions can be scheduled once this period has lapsed. For example:
• WHAT: Written Communication Skills
• HOW: Attend seminar on “Effective Writing” and hold weekly meetings to discuss and monitor employee’s progress
• WHEN: 4 Weeks
Each action plan needs to be time-bound because unless there is a deadline, it would be very difficult to measure progress, and the employee will not have the sense of urgency to work hard on improving himself.
Before the end of the PDP session, the supervisor should get the commitment of the employee to compel himself to do what he has promised to do in order to improve his performance. After all these key strategies have been addressed, the next step in PDP is strategic planning implementation. This is crucial to the success of the goals set during the PDP session and without proper implementation, it is almost certain that the achievement of purpose will not be reached.
On the other hand, with the full commitment of the employee, support from the supervisor, and also the support from the management group, there is a very high probability that after the given timeframe, the employee will make significant performance improvements. The kind of support needed from the employee’s supervisor revolves around monitoring, coaching, and giving of feedback to ensure that the outlined steps indicated in the “HOW” are properly followed and adhered to. It is important for everyone to understand that if insufficient support were given, it would be very difficult to achieve the goals of PDP.