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Crafting an Effective Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs): 7-step guide

Performance Strategy

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are crucial tools in management used to assist employees facing challenges in meeting role expectations.

By implementing a well-structured PIP, you can help team members enhance their productivity and morale. A PIP should serve as a support system, not just a warning.

Performance Strategy

What is a PIP?

A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a structured document that details specific goals and actions aimed at helping employees enhance their job performance.

Mostly initiated by employers to address concerns regarding an employee’s productivity, work quality, or behaviour, a PIP identifies areas for improvement, establishes measurable objectives, and sets a timeline for achieving them.

While PIPs are sometimes seen as a step before termination if performance does not improve, they can be a valuable tool for coaching and development, guiding employees toward success within the organisation.

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Why put a PIP place?

Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are like a secret recipe for success, benefiting both team players and bosses alike. Think of them as a roadmap to pinpoint areas for growth and set crystal-clear targets, spicing up communication and responsibility. Employees get a chance to soak in feedback, learn new tricks, and show off their dedication, while management can nurture struggling stars instead of hitting the eject button, saving time and money while holding onto top talent. When PIPs work their charm, they can whip up a storm of progress, boosting efficiency, output, and all-around glory for everyone involved. Let the success stories begin!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to developing an effective PIP, as part of your Performance Management process.

Step 1: Determining the Need for a PIP

To initiate a PIP, consider the following – via HybridHero HR software module

HybridHero Performance Management Software

Assessing Performance: Compare the employee’s performance to job requirements and expected standards. HybridHero provides a clear performance overview, particularly beneficial for Work From Home (WFH) setups.
Gathering Evidence: Document instances where expectations were not met, including dates and details.

Identifying Patterns: Look for recurring issues indicating consistent problems.

Step 2: Setting Clear and Attainable Goals

After deciding to proceed with a PIP, establish objectives that are:

Specific: Clearly outlined expectations and outcomes.

Measurable: Quantifiable metrics to gauge progress.

Achievable: Realistic goals attainable with effort.

Realistic: Directly linked to job responsibilities.

Time-bound: Defined timeline for goal achievement.

You can seek AI assistance to set your SMART goals, here is an example of a goal generator.

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Step 3: Collaborating on the Plan with the Employee

Engage the employee in the planning process to enhance commitment to improvement. During this stage:

Transparent Discussion: Address performance areas needing improvement with evidence.
Seeking Input: Encourage the employee’s perspective and suggestions for solutions. Agreeing on Objectives: Ensure mutual agreement on objectives and expected outcomes.

Step 4: Providing Assistance and Support

A PIP should serve as a support system, not just a warning. This includes:

Training and Development: Offer opportunities for skill and knowledge acquisition.

Regular Check-ins: Schedule meetings to discuss progress and address obstacles.

Mentorship: Consider assigning a mentor for guidance and feedback.

Mentorhip for Performance

Step 5: Monitoring Progress and Offering Feedback

Effective PIPs require continuous monitoring:

Regular Feedback: Provide constructive feedback during check-ins.
Adapting the Plan: Adjust objectives if strategies are ineffective or unexpected challenges arise.
Documenting Progress: Maintain detailed records of meetings and communications.

Step 6: Conducting a Final Performance Review

At the end of the PIP period, conduct a review to:

Assess Performance: Evaluate goal achievement.
Discuss Future Steps: Determine additional support needed or disciplinary actions if goals were not met.
Recognise Successes: Acknowledge achievements, discuss long-term strategies for growth.

Step 7: Post-PIP Follow-Up

Office Meeting for Performance Review
Performance Improvement Plan, review

After the PIP, continue supporting the employee:

Continuous Observation: Ensure sustained performance improvements.
Ongoing Support: Provide feedback for continued engagement and productivity. An ongoing Performance Appraisal system.

By following these steps, you can create a PIP that not only addresses immediate performance issues but also fosters a conducive and supportive work environment, transforming underperforming employees into valuable team contributors. Et Voilà!

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