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When and Why Would You Use a Performance Improvement Plan?
Episode 243rd September 2020 • People Processes • Rhamy Alejeal
00:00:00 00:13:01

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It can be difficult for management to understand why an employee may be excelling in one area of a job while underperforming in another. Performance is evaluated on an ongoing basis but, often, it is an annual review. A Performance Improvement Program (PIP) basically shortens the length of performance reviews. It provides more feedback more often to an employee, normally around a specific issue.


A PIP should be implemented when an employee consistently performs poorly or behaves inappropriately. For example, if an employee is consistently late for work, missing due dates, or conducts themselves in an improper manner, a PIP may be a necessary initiative. Although it may be easy to identify where an employee falls short of expectations, it can be difficult to identify the root cause of the problem. For instance, issues in an individual’s personal life, conflicts at work, or even management style may all be the reasons for performance issues.


PIPs can give employees the opportunity to correct any behavioral or performance issues that may be affecting their overall success. By providing employees with achievable and timely goals, employees are given the opportunity to be more engaged at work. The facilitator of the PIP should meet regularly with the individual throughout the process to provide feedback that can keep the employee motivated and productive, as well as to hear feedback from the employee.


Although PIPs are centered around employee work performance, there are a variety of benefits for both the employee and the company. Organizations have reported the following benefits as a result of implementing PIPs:

  • Increased productivity
  • Greater quality of work
  • Deepened relationships between management and the employee
  • Greater job fulfillment


In short, PIPs are there to help pinpoint a specific issue and work together for the future of the employee and the company. Greater job fulfillment on behalf of the employee is almost always the result of a successful PIP. It is important to let your employee know that they have great potential and that you truly want them to succeed with the company, hence why you are implementing a PIP instead of simply firing them.