Writing Performance Review Action Plans

Writing performance review action plans may feel tedious, but it's essential to do them right so your employees know exactly what is expected. Instead of seeing this task as a burden, try to imagine you are saving yourself time later-a well-written action plan can save you many hours of explaining goals in the future. To simplify the process, follow these tips for writing performance review action plans:

Write Out Specific Goals
Break down each goal into tangible, reachable mini-goals. Detail out expectations so nothing is left to the imagination. Think through worst-case scenarios, and write in buffers to protect your action plan from misinterpretation.

Set Deadlines
Make sure every goal has an established deadline. Don't leave dates up in the air; fuzzy dates will get pushed back and back and back. Make sure the deadlines set are reasonable, but also push your employee to be productive.

Provide Measurable Benchmarks
Make sure achievements are measurable. Set expectations such that they are achievable. If you wish, you can set up a grading system, with a certain level of achievement warranting an A, another level of achievement warranting a B, another a C, etc. This way, the employee can see if it's all or nothing and can also be aware of how she is ranking in your eyes.

Establish a Reliable Documentation Process
Provide a reliable way for your employee to report progress and to track whether or not she is performing up to expectations. Tailor the documentation process such that it allows you to stay in the know without being an incredible burden on the employee.

Present Incentives
Offer incentives such as bonuses, raises, promotions, expansion of responsibility and awards.

Detail Punitive Action for Poor Performance
Explain what the ramifications of not meeting goals will be. Is a job at stake? A bonus? A promotion? Additional contracts? Preferred resources? Make sure the employee knows what is at stake if she does not follow the performance review action plan.

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