Chapter 66. Performance Is an Ongoing Conversation

Ines Sombra

What can you do when a goal is realistic, conversations are happening, and a person is still not performing as expected in their role? A performance improvement plan (PIP) is not the only course of action. There are many strategies to address performance challenges sooner, and they greatly depend on the cause of the problem—a specific event versus something systemic.

Event-Based Behavior

Events like a breakup, family changes, illness, and more challenge us all and make it difficult to focus on work. It’s your responsibility as a leader to create space for life to happen and expect that there might always be something going on in your organization. Here are some things you may want to try in this situation:

  • Use your one-on-ones to discuss what is happening in your report’s life, provide time off, or explore the possibility of a leave. Remind your report that they can take advantage of the company’s counseling resources (if you have this benefit).

  • Have a notion of how much the current situation is affecting your direct report’s goals so that you can help course correct after things settle down. I like to keep an achievement log for myself and all of my direct reports and use it to frame our discussions. We make sure that we note big wins and accomplishments, and then I compare them to the objectives that I know ...

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