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Brenda's Top Business Tips

The world of business is interesting but it can also be very difficult to understand, particularly if you are just starting out. When I was just starting out, I was super confused by what I saw and heard. Thankfully, I had some friends who were experienced business managers. They gave me lots of fantastic advice and guidance as I prepared to start my new business. I have yet to start my new business venture but I now feel confident enough to share what I have learnt about business development. I hope you like this blog and that it helps you navigate the world of business.

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Two Tips for Business Owners Who Intend to Create Performance Development Plans for Their Employees

Rene Elliott

If you feel that some of your employees are not living up to their full potential and have decided to draw up a performance development plan that will enable these people to do their jobs to a higher standard, here are some suggestions on how you should go about doing this.

Present the development plan in a positive manner

After thoroughly evaluating your employee's performance, determining which aspects of their role they could improve upon and then drawing up a plan to help them make these improvements, you will need to have a meeting with them, during which you explain the details of this plan.

It is very important to take a diplomatic approach when presenting them with this information. This does not mean that you should tip-toe around problems with their performance, as failing to explicitly state what changes you want them to make could leave them confused and unable to fulfil the goals you set for them. Rather, you should try to frame the changes you want them to implement in a positive way. The reason for this is that if an employee feels you are strongly criticising their performance, they may become angry, anxious or sad. In this frame of mind, they might react in an unproductive manner to any instructions they are given on how to improve. Their unwillingness to make the requested changes could then negatively affect your business operations, particularly if this employee has a role within your enterprise that involves a lot of important responsibilities.

For example, if you want an employee to collaborate more frequently and enthusiastically with their colleagues on work projects, it would be best to avoid telling them that they are a poor team player or that they seem to be lacking social skills. Instead, you might want to tell them that you admire their self-sufficiency and the things they have achieved as a result of having this quality but that they could accomplish even more if they were open to the idea of collaborating with their co-workers on specific projects.

Monitor the implementation of the plan and reassess if necessary

No matter how much research has been done when drawing up this type of plan, it is important not to view it as final and unchangeable. Sometimes, the changes an employee is asked to make as part of their performance development plan will turn out to cause problems that could not have been predicted when the plan was being drawn up.

For instance, if an employee's plan includes a request for them to take on additional responsibilities but these responsibilities turn out to be far more time-consuming than initially anticipated, then they may end up struggling to keep up with their new workload and finding themselves experiencing burnout as a result of this. If they reach this point, they may have to significantly cut back on their work hours in order to recuperate. Their absence could then cause problems for your business.

By closely monitoring your employees as they adjust to the changes that they have been asked to implement, you can spot problems that they might be experiencing and reassess their plan before they get so overwhelmed that they have to take time off.


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