But sometimes, the employees can exert too much effort in trying to give their best for the company that they forget to take care of themselves. This in turn leads to very small problems such as lack of concentration and motivation to do the task and it will eventually snowball into huge problems such as performance issues in the workplace and them getting into trouble, which can lead to a business’ downturn in performance. Such issues concerning the employees in the company will necessitate an appropriate employee corrective action plan in order to get them back on track.

What is an Employee Corrective Action Plan?

An employee corrective action plan is a business document that describes how a specific situation (such as employee performance issues or behavior issues) of a particular employee will be altered or modified in order to better satisfy the company’s needs. In other words, this action plan serves as a way of communicating with the employee to improve his/her behavior or performance after methods such as performance appraisal and coaching have not been successful. The basic goal of an employee corrective action plan is to not punish the employee but to guide him/her toward a performance improvement or conduct improvement by identifying the problems, causes, and solutions.

An employee corrective action plan should be implemented in a progressive manner, starting from the least severe action and working the way up towards more severe actions.

What is the Importance of Corrective Action?

Whenever there is an incident that drastically alters the way a business runs its things and makes them deviate from its routines resulting in a downward performance trend, corrective action is needed. There are several different reasons why companies can benefit whenever they take corrective action against any untoward events in the workplace. Here are some of them:

Corrective actions protect employees from future incidents. This is arguably the most important purpose of taking corrective actions. Whenever a company decides to take corrective actions, the first reason is typically to avoid a recurrence of the same incident especially if it is a severe one. Should it reoccur, however, having corrective actions taken will safeguard your staff against harm or serious injuries.Corrective actions have economic benefits. Minimizing the rate of occurring incidents through the use of corrective actions can help the company boost and enhance its bottom line. Among the parties that reap the cost-saving benefits from corrective actions are the individuals, the employers, and the government.Corrective actions can boost productivity. All employees of a company have the legal right to have a safe working environment. Beyond that, companies that show care for their employees’ safety through the means of applying corrective actions will always make their employees feel safe and appreciated. In turn, these employees have a higher rate of productivity and morale compared to the employees who don’t feel safe and appreciated.Corrective actions protect your company from legal liabilities. Implementing corrective actions and subsequently documenting them has the potential of protecting your company or business from legal action. Corrective action records can serve as proof that your company has met the legal responsibilities that are stated in a local area’s regulations for workplace health and safety. These records also show to the court that the company is committed to maintaining high standards of workplace health and safety.Corrective actions help facilitate insurance claims. By implementing corrective actions, companies can provide insurance companies with the essential information that is needed to properly and successfully process an insurance claim following a workplace incident.

Common Employee Performance Problems

Dealing with performance problems can be a daunting task for company managers and employers. With that being said, here are some of the most common employee performance problems that are found in the workplace:

Low quality of output. One of the possible reasons that your employees are having a low quality of output being done is that they may not know what to do with the tasks or they don’t know how a task that is being assigned to them will play out. Another reason can be overestimating or underestimating an employee’s skill level. To combat this performance problem, proper training and frequent retraining of employees can be done. It is also important to communicate to them clearly about what you expect from them. Also, set and reinforce standards in your workplace.Tardiness and absences. The main reason why employees can sometimes be late to work, or even not show up at all, is because of the lack of motivation at work. Employees that show habitual tardiness or absences can also be traced to them experiencing obstacles or situations in the workplace that are way beyond their control. In order to correct this, the least the employers can do is to understand what makes their employees frequently stressed at work. They may simplify any workplace procedures that make it difficult for the employees to perform well at their task at hand.Failing to finish tasks on time. Whenever an employee is given a number of tasks to be completed in a day, it is very likely that they will prioritize a task over others, especially if it has heavy implications. As a result, they can become stuck in a dilemma between speed or quality and fail to prioritize their tasks accordingly. One way of correcting this problem is by giving them a reasonable amount of workload in the first place. Another way of correcting this problem is by making them realize that there is no battle between speed or quality work, and it should be both at the same time. In other words, teach your employees to embrace both extremes of work.Employee’s lack of commitment. The reason why an employee does not show enough commitment to the company is that it may not be clear to them the things that they are supposed to do and why they need to do it in the first place. Another reason why is that they may be facing personal problems that the employer does not know of yet. To combat this problem, employers can keep their employees engaged in their work by letting them know the personal benefits that they can get once they meet the company’s expectations.Employees refuse to listen and refuse to do their tasks. The main root of this certain problem can be traced down to employers that micromanage their people and gain control of everything that they do down to the tiniest bit of detail. An example of this is them failing to share their ideas that may be helpful to the company because the employers simply refuse to listen. To correct this performance problem, employers can simply just listen to their ideas and allow them to help. It is important for the employers to realize that their people can and may challenge their instructions because it doesn’t make sense to them. Also addressing an employee’s concerns is a key way of dealing with this performance problem. Employers and their employees must also realize that respect goes both ways and these kinds of challenges should be dealt with openly.Hostile employees that lead to poor workplace relations. There are a plethora of reasons that can contribute to poor workplace relations. Workplace harassment, unnecessary gossiping, office politics, a clash of ideas, and a toxic environment are just some examples of them. Employee disputes have a high chance of spreading throughout the workplace, leading to poor employee performance. To solve this issue, a business leader should acquire an initial lead on what’s the root cause of the situation to settle conflicts or avoid them in the future. It is important that the statements from both sides should be heard equally. After the main issue is identified, the team leader should be able to encourage his/her members to solve the issue on their own. When the leader is required to step in, it should be resolved as quickly as possible. Irrespective of an employee’s position and tenure, all employees should also be made aware that their improper or hostile behavior will always lead to a disciplinary action being undertaken.

How to Implement an Employee Corrective Action Plan

Here are the necessary steps to be taken in order to implement an effective employee corrective action plan:

1. Examine the employee’s issue.

The first step of developing a corrective action plan for an employee is to examine his/her underlying issues first. To do this, investigate, identify, and verify the root cause of an employee’s issues. Is it a personal issue? Is it purely down to stress? Even if the cause of an employee’s issue is fairly obvious, it is still important to thoroughly investigate every possible angle with vigilance because once you identify the cause, the direction for the next steps and solutions can then be presented. When the core issue is identified, the process of creating the corrective action plan gets a whole lot easier.

2. Discuss with the employee and identify corrective actions.

Once you’ve figured out what is causing the problem, talk to your employee, and if necessary, the appropriate authorities about all the possible solutions. The next step is to weigh each of the benefits and drawbacks of each action and choose the best one to pursue. Additionally, it is also important to apply the necessary risk management protocols, establish responsibilities at various stages of the employee corrective action plan, and if the plan is completely drafted, set an adequate amount of time to test it.

3. Develop the employee corrective action plan.

Once the best and most appropriate corrective actions for the employee to take have been identified, it is now time to develop the details of the action plan. Keep in mind that in developing this action plan that it should be structured clearly and properly. The elements that can be included in the corrective action plan include the specific problem being addressed, the solution to be taken for improving, the list of tasks that should be undertaken to successfully implement the plan, the timeline of the action plan, and the employee’s responsibilities in carrying out the corrective action plan.

4. Train the employee or employees about the corrective action plan.

If training involves only a single employee, this step may only take hours. If multiple employees are involved, the training may take days to complete. Regardless, for the training to be effective, it should be laying out the process from the start of the training to its end so that the employee or employees will gain the skills, knowledge, and understanding that is needed to effectively carry out the tasks that are listed in the corrective action plan.

5. Implement the employee corrective action plan.

This step should be implemented immediately after the training process so that the gap between training and actual use of skills and knowledge is lessened. But before this step begins, make sure in the created document that everything necessary is completely written. This covers all the instructions, methods, and procedures that are in place in order to carry out the plan. Also, make sure that all the employees concerned can readily access the action plan if they need it.

6. Examine the results and adjust the plan accordingly.

In this step, examine the results of the created corrective action plan for the employees. You can ask yourself if the plan worked accordingly, if the issue was completely resolved, or if the results could have been better. Try to get as full a sense of the underlying problem as possible. When the answers slowly emerge one by one, actions are then taken to fine-tune the process of corrective action and improve it. An effective employee corrective action plan should detect and resolve any nonconformities from the employee.


What is the difference between corrective actions and performance improvement plans?

Corrective actions are necessary for workplace policy violations. It is most useful whenever an employee is deemed to have violated a specific company policy. Examples of violations can include attendance issues or negligence of safety protocols. Performance improvement plans are used whenever the need for addressing poor employee performance and workplace behavior issues arises. This is usually used whenever an employee’s behavior cannot be pinpointed to a specific policy violation or if multiple policies are being violated. While performance improvement plans share the same elements with corrective actions, they differ also because the PIP requires a much more detailed path to progress.

What does nonconformity mean?

The term nonconformity is defined as a “non-fulfillment of a requirement” by the ISO DIS 45001. In simpler terms, it refers to the failure to meet an intended state and specification. Sources of nonconformities include poor communication, poor documentation, poor training of personnel, poor motivation of personnel, poor quality of tools and equipment, and a dysfunctional working or operating environment. Nonconformity also occurs whenever there is a breach of health and safety protocols inside a workplace.

What is the difference between corrective action and preventive action?

Corrective action is considered as a reactive way of addressing any nonconformities and is used to correct a nonconformance that has already happened in the workplace. Preventive action is considered as a proactive method of addressing any nonconformities and its main aim is to keep a non-conformance from happening in the workplace. These two actions share the same aim of addressing any non-conformance in the workplace.

Taking corrective action for employees after a minor or major incident has occurred in the workplace is an employee’s legal and moral responsibility for their employees and the customers that they serve. Understanding why an employee underperforms or frequently experiences performance problems in the workplace is also a key factor in developing an employee corrective action plan in order to properly address the problems. In this article, there are examples posted for you to download and personally use as a reference if you will ever need one for your workplace in the future.