What is the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

By hrlineup | 25.11.2020

At least once a year, companies carry out performance appraisals of the staff to determine whether job objectives are being met. If a gap in performance appears, the first step that should be taken is determining what steps the employee can carry out to improve their output and performance. This enables the employee to elevate their actions and meet objectives as expected. The performance improvement plan is the go-to tool to ensure that employees receive the guidance that they need.

The performance improvement plan outlines where an employee may be falling short and identifies the actions that can be taken for improvement. It evaluates a range of skills and is often the basis to recommend training. It can also be used to identify attitudes and behaviour within the workplace, and how these factors may be hindering the ability to achieve success.

When to Use the Performance Improvement Plan

The HR department follows the lead of key managers when it comes to evaluating performance. For this reason, it is these managers that create the performance improvement plan, as well as setting the milestones on when key objectives need to be achieved. This means that the document is flexible, created to meet evolving departmental goals and motivate employees to maintain the standards of the business. However, during the implementation of the document, the HR department is highly involved.

The key reasons for performance improvement plans include: –

  • Helping struggling employees elevate their productivity
  • Assisting managers to identify the employees who are falling short
  • Drive motivation by getting to the root of a lack of performance and offer solutions.

Benefits of Performance Improvement Plan

Performance improvement plans can be used to elevate individual employee as well as company growth. The key benefits include: –

  • Building accountability – Employees become aware of how their performance is measured and understand that they will be held accountable for the results. It also ensures that all the objectives employees are trying to make are actionable and can be measured.
  • Eliminates fear – Performance appraisals can be the cause of anxiety, especially if employees are expecting to lose their jobs in the event of bad results. With a PIP, employees know that they will be given a chance to improve rather than face immediate termination.
  • Guides careers – With this plan, employees can discover what they need to do to advance within the organisation and earn promotions.
  • Cost Saving – The recruitment process can be long, and expensive. With PIPs, the entire recruitment process can be eliminated as existing staff can consistently improve. Furthermore, PIP allows for training opportunities to elevate retention and increase skills.

A work improvement plan is great for elevating motivation and helping employees bring out their best talents and skills. It should be implemented as often as is viable to help with creating a positive corporate culture. The focus should always be on performance and results. All employees, even the top performers, should have a performance improvement plan when necessary to guide and maintain great results.