SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Have you ever put someone on a formal performance improvement plan?

    • Yes, several times: 66%
    • Once: 21%
    • Never: 13%

PIPs are a challenge. People sometimes perform below standard and you’ll need to step up and put them on a PIP. When you do, set them up to succeed. Give them clear, actionable feedback. It’s not enough to simply say “do better at xyz.” If they knew how to do it better, they likely would. If you want them to improve their performance, lay out the new behaviors you want them to demonstrate and let them know clear success criteria. Use the same principles you should apply to all performance evaluations. Giving them clarity gives them a chance.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of the upcoming book “The Elegant Pitch: Create a Compelling Recommendation, Build Broad Support, and Get it Approved” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”

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