What Is a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

A performance improvement plan is a tool made for employees with performance deficiencies. This tool is an opportunity for employees to improve their performance and succeed. It is used to address failures and even behavior-related concerns

When to Use a Performance Improvement Plan?

It is the duty of HR to determine whether a performance improvement plan is applicable in a given situation or not. The HR should consider the following:

  • The first thing to do is to determine if there really is an actual performance or behavior-related issue that can be substantiated. Ask the manager to submit a list of employee performance deficiencies with detailed explanations and any guidance given to the employee previously. Review the recent performance appraisal to see if the issue has been any improvement or not. 
  • PIP makes sense when a manager really wants an employee to succeed. However, if the HR feels that a manager’s intention of initiating PIP is just to terminate them, then starting a plan doesn’t make sense. It can be a challenge to accurately assess a manager’s situation but try to observe and listen carefully if they really want to invest their time and energy in pushing an employee to par. 
  • It is also important to check if a leave of absence or other time off has resulted in a performance gap. Maybe the employee missed some training and meetings that were important for a certain task. 
  • Identify if there are any non-work-related reasons that may have impacted employees’ performance. Sometimes when employees are going through stress or family problems, it may impact their performance. 

How to Create a Performance Improvement Plan?

The following steps will help you develop a sustainable PIP:

  1. Determine if developing a PIP is even appropriate 
  2. Create a draft plan 
  3. Review the plan 
  4. Implement the plan 
  5. Monitor the progress of the plan 
  6. Conclude the plan