News people are “knowledge workers” who will grow in value to your station as they grow in knowledge, skill and experience. As a News Director, you play a vital role in helping your staff to grow.
Remember, this isn’t about reward (or punishment). It’s about making the most of your company’s investment. Besides, every employee wants to succeed. Your challenge is to match their desire with a well-crafted program.
Here are the main components of an annual employee improvement plan. Within your HR or labor policies, you should have a plan customized for each of your employees. Write it out, working collaboratively with the employee. Review it quarterly and as part of the annual review process. Apply it regularly or as opportunities allow.
- Goals for Skills: Based on job duties, identify key skills. Aim to develop skills through training and practice. Monitor and measure improvement.
- Goals for Empowerment: Based on leadership ability and experience level, identify ways to grow in responsibilities. Develop through training and practice. Monitor and gauge improvement.
- Goals for Compensation: Plan for adjustments to salary and benefits commensurate with role, responsibilities and growth in value.
The improvement plan proceeds from the requirements of the job description — but conforms to the individual’s particular assets or deficits. It is communicated through private meetings, periodic reviews (formal and informal), and routine feedback and discussion.
An improvement plan can also be used as a tool to cross-train employees and divert them to new areas of responsibility.
In the case of problematic employees, the plan may serve to head-off a termination — or it may help document the ultimate necessity of termination.