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Using a Performance Improvement Plan Can Help Employees Get Back on Track

Despite the assumption that many people automatically have, employee performance improvement plans (PIPS) are not designed as the first step toward firing someone. Yes, this may be the ultimate outcome, but only as a last resort.

  • PIPs show an employee that their organization understands their current challenges and is taking an active role in supporting them as they try to get better. People are more likely to be engaged and productive if they realize they have this support and know exactly what is expected of them. A PIP outlines these expectations in detail, along with the issues and/or behaviors that are causing an employee’s problems, corrective actions to foster improvement, and what resources are available as these steps are taken.
  • This process of identifying the root causes of poor performance, outlining clear improvement expectations, and giving an employee a structured chance to remedy their shortcomings can ultimately save time and money related to termination and rehiring. It also creates a culture of performance accountability for both employees and managers.
  • What a Successful PIP Looks Like

    PIPs are not only for those individuals who are falling short of their job requirements but also for those who are feeling unfulfilled in their current roles. They can be used to promote employee mobility, whether they allow a person to transition into a higher-level position or move laterally into a role they feel better suited for.

    Whether the goal is this mobility or to assist an otherwise motivated worker gone astray, some common elements define a successful PIP. They include:

  • Manager vigilance: You can’t afford to let an employee slip back into the bad habits that prompted a PIP in the first place. Provide frequent feedback and reinforcement. This includes meeting regularly with the employee. Document all relevant details of these sessions for future reference.
  • A goal-oriented focus: Be sure a PIP focuses on goals that are completely relevant to an employee’s job. Provide ample detail – enough for a person to succeed as a result of the plan. These goals also need to be measurable and achievable – this is the perfect opportunity to implement SMART goals.
  • Involving others – maybe: It may be completely appropriate and beneficial to solicit feedback from other managers as you implement a PIP, as long as that manager is a customer of the employee’s service or directs part or all of an employee’s work team. It is not okay to ask for input from a person’s coworkers unless a PIP is part of a 360-feedback process.
  • Do you need more tips or ideas toward leading your team to peak performance – or a staffing strategy to keep things headed in that growth direction? If so, consider a partnership with PrideStaff Modesto. We’ve been successfully serving employers throughout the Central Valley for more than 30 years. Read our related posts or reach out to us today to learn more.

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