What Is Performance Improvement Plan

Also referred to as a performance action plan, this is a vital tool that is used for employees with performance deficiencies to help them overcome the pitfalls they experience at work and successfully get out of a challenging situation.

It’s like a formal document that states and highlights recurring performance issues about an employee and also mentions important goals that they need to achieve to be able to retain a good position in the workplace.

Understanding Performance Improvement Plan

A performance improvement plan (PIP) is often considered to be like a probation period in which an employee is observed closely by their manager and supervisor. If the person in question is unable to correct the highlighted problems and achieve the mentioned goals, it can make them lose their job.

A PIP is generally given to those employees who struggle to meet their work goals with the aim to help turn their performance around.

A performance improvement plan is naturally met with a lot of dread and hesitation on the receiver’s part, but it is actually a great tool that an individual can use to change things around for their benefit.

There are many advantages of a performance improvement plan such as:

  • It paves the way toward better company culture because PIPs create a sense of accountability. Employees given PIPs know that there are certain things expected of them and that they are likely to face serious consequences if they don’t meet the required goals. This makes them work harder than before as they also know that their managers and supervisors will support them in tough times provide them with help.
  • It helps save a lot of time and money because no employer would want to fire their employees, and they always strive to reduce employee turnover. Instead of letting an employee go, it’s better to help the existing ones improve their performance in order to eliminate all kinds of monetary costs that are associated with hiring new people and firing the current ones.

When crafting a performance improvement plan, managers and supervisors need to exercise great care and caution. There are a few essential factors that they need to take into consideration, such as:

  • They first need to define and highlight the problem and have a clear understanding of exactly what an employee is doing wrong that is impacting their performance adversely. The problem areas should be well-defined to maintain clarity and transparency along with supporting examples.
  • This should be followed by the objectives of the PIP using the SMART approach as this will help employees know what’s expected of them and what they need to do from this point onwards.
  • Be supportive when presenting an employee with a performance improvement plan and also determine what kind of support you can offer them to help them turn things around. Your employees need to know that you are there for them and are ready to make things easy for them.
  • Make sure to highlight the consequences that an individual is likely to face if they fail to meet the goals and objectives of the performance improvement plan.
  • This is quite a sensitive matter which the employee can possibly take negatively, so it’s extremely important for managers to make sure that the individual understands the reason for implementing the PIP, the steps required for fulfilling the objectives of the PIP successfully, what the deadline is and who the employee can refer to for support, help and advice.

More Performance Management Definitions