Performance Planning – Planning to Manage Performance Stress

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performance planning

Poor performance is one of the most feared states in the corporate world. It’s not easy to deal with poor performance whether you are a normal employee or in management. It’s important to identify this issue and in the long run, it will adversely affect the organization’s commitments.

To tackle the issue of poor performance, what we have to do is performance planning. In a way, performance planning is a process to get the best out of the employees in a way both the parties i.e. the organizational and employee are satisfied.


What is Performance Planning?

What is Performance Planning

Performance planning is the first step in performance management. Performance planning is the process of determining what and how a job is to be done in such a manner that both the employee and his superior understand what is expected from the employee and how success is defined and measured

Source: yourarticlelibrary

It plays a major role in an employee’s growth in the organisation. This is a win-win situation for both the employee as well as the organization. Because the main motive is to create such a plan which helps to achieve the goals of both parties.

Importance of performance planning

Importance of performance planning

When as an employee of the organization you are told that your performance is not up to the mark, this can induce stress in an individual. Stress is defined as:

“In medical or biological context stress is a physical, mental, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension. Stresses can be external (from the environment, psychological, or social situations) or internal (illness, or from a medical procedure).”

Source: medicinenet

If such a stressful environment carries on for some time it hampers the person’s individual life. It becomes hard to tackle such situations, let alone the matter of good performance at the workplace. Most of the time the issue is an absence of performance planning i.e. it’s the communication gap between the employee and organization in terms of the expectations and how to achieve it.

The same can be said about the organization as a whole. Let’s say the company has not been performing well for the past 2 quarters, then investors would be criticizing the upper management. In such a scenario it’s the whole organization that suffers.

A simple solution would be planning performance guidelines and a systematic plan to improve. Plans can be designed for the team or individual(s). The team leader can have a meeting and convey the same to others.  

Steps in Performance Planning

Steps in Performance Planning

1) Clear Objectives and Vision

Clear objective is the most important aspect of performance planning. Until and unless the employees are not aware of what the organization wants them to do. Or how the progress will be tracked, monitored and evaluated won’t work out.

Discussing with the employee about the vision of the company would be of great help. This not only gives them an idea about how they have to move, but it also makes them feel valued.

One thing to keep in mind is that the objectives should be realistic, else it will defeat the purpose. Else not only the organization won’t be performing satisfactorily. This will also cause adverse effects on the employee’s private life.

2) Reduce Communication Gap

Don’t just share an email about what needs to be done and how. Instead of that, it would be much better to involve the employees in the process.

Employees will enthusiastically participate in such an event and will give better performance. As they would be fully aware of the nitty-gritty of the plan.

During such meetings create dialogue and don’t make it one-sided. Keep in check that you’re not giving them orders and ask them about their inputs.

Ask questions like how would you do this or that. In case there is some sort of disagreement. Explain to them in a firm and friendly manner why they’re wrong.

3) Identifying the Issues

Try to find the root cause behind the poor performance. Maybe the employee is facing some issues in his personal life like a relationship.

In addition to that, it may be a health issue that is affecting. It’s likely possible that the colleagues are not being cooperative.

Maybe the employee has to work on a different project and lacks the necessary skill for it because the person was not provided with appropriate training.

Performance Planning

4) Training and Coaching

Lack of appropriate skills can be at the root of poor performance. Sometimes people have to work on new projects without much information about them. Information like the technologies they have to work on.

In some cases, it might be possible that the project may involve technologies they do not have a proper skill set for. Or maybe they have to work entirely under a new role. Now employees feel like it’s a completely different terrain with which they are familiar. 

Training and coaching for such a team or individual(s) should be an integral part of the Performance Improvement Plan.

5) Track Progress

This will help to check whether the employee is sticking to the performance plan or not. Management can set a particular day and it can be done on a weekly or monthly basis.

It’s an important step as it will give us the idea if there is some change to be made. The employee will also get to see that the effort is giving the result desired.


Performance planning is one of the most effective ideas by which both organization and employees working in it can achieve their goals as well as grow. Many just link it to reviews or evaluation, but in reality, it’s a process that includes certain steps. While creating a plan you won’t necessarily achieve all your goals in the first go, you’ll get there but only after overcoming a few obstacles. Nevertheless in any case it would be more fruitful than having no such plan.

The best part I feel is the focus it puts on employees as well. When the employee willingly takes part in such a discussion it makes them feel more valuable and relevant. Also, when interacting in such a way it becomes a learning opportunity and they acquire new skills in the process.

Also you can read our blog on :- Top Personal Morale Booster


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