Ask Amy — Practical Advice for Supervisors: How Do I Respond When My Employee Responds Negatively to an IAP?

A message from Amy Bosley, Vice President of Organizational Development and Human Resources

First, for those who may be unaware, an IAP, or Individual Action Plan, is a relatively new informal tool for performance improvement. Found in the “My Development” portal in Atlas (on the Employees tab), the IAP is a performance management template that is intended to encourage awareness and accountability when addressing performance concerns. The IAP itself is a collaborative effort for you and your employee where expectations are reiterated, performance concerns are outlined, resources for improvement are identified and an action plan is developed to facilitate improvement. The IAP is also intended to generate ongoing performance conversations between you and your employees.

Though the IAP is an informal (kept at the department level) tool, employees may respond with frustration, confusion and/or decreased morale. As a supervisor, it is important to address these
sliceperceptions head-on. The IAP was created to support our culture of transparency and accountability by creating a structured forum to make employees aware of concerns as early as possible and provide ongoing support for improvement — but it was also created to encourage two-way feedback and foster an environment where our employees see their supervisor as a resource.

If you notice a change in your employee’s behavior or demeanor as a result of an IAP, it is important to set aside time to meet and explore this response in greater detail. Taking the time to meet with your employee shows your commitment to his or her success and goes a long way in building trust. Make sure you solicit his or her feedback, answer questions regarding the process, reiterate that the IAP is intended to facilitate improvement and explain your commitment to being there as a resource to facilitate improvement.

Ask Amy” is designed to provide supervisors with guidance to successfully navigate opportunities and challenges in your daily work, as you create a culture for employee success within your teams. Each month, I, along with featured guest contributors, will address a question and offer practical solutions from which all supervisors can benefit.

If you would like to ask a question, simply email me with “Ask Amy” in the subject line. Submissions will be included anonymously in the Supervisor Segment and The Grove, and will be addressed monthly as they are received.

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