As an HR manager or a team lead you may often find it hard to keep up with an employee’s progress. Sometimes you may also feel the need to motivate or encourage an employee to do better. Because not all people perform to the best of their abilities. The PIP aka performance Improvement Plan enables the HR personnel and team managers to provide the employees with performance deficiencies with an opportunity to improve.
Here’s all about the platform:
What is a Performance Improvement Plan?
A Performance Improvement Plan is a formal document that mentions or states all the performance issues that an employee is charged with. Let’s say, your internet service is down and so you file a complaint with the company. They in turn work to resolve the issues. Same way, an employee is capable of resolving these recurring issues by achieving a set of goals set in the PIP. This will enable the charged employee to regain his position.
The chances that you will have a meeting with not just your manager but the HR as well to discuss all that is in the PIP are high. In layman terms, your manager will be watching you over a said period until you improve your performance. And meet the goals set by your manager in your PIP.
The main aim of PIP is not to scare the employee. Instead, it is a source of constructive communication. PIP enables employees to start performing as per the set standards again. The plan is carried out at the discretion of the manager. It aims at helping a staff member who is struggling with meeting the goals perform well. PIP mainly includes an outline that is more of an improvement plan for the employee.
HR’s Role in PIP
While team leads or managers can make use of PIP as well, the HR personnel majorly uses the platform. However, the use of PIP does not fit in every situation. Therefore, the HR team should follow the given steps before carrying out a PIP:
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- Determining whether PIP is a considerable option in the situation at hand.
- Administering all the PIPs conducted to avoid any bias on the managers’ part.
- Guiding both the manager as well as the employee throughout the process.
PIP vs. PDP
A Performance Improvement Plan is different from a Performance Development Plan. However, it is very similar to it as well. The only difference lies in the quantity of detail that each contains. PIP contains more amount of details as compared to PDP. If an employee is already a participant of the PDP process, PIP will enable the manager to communicate certain things to the employee with a greater level of clarity.
There is a set process to implement any plan. Same is the case with PIP as well. Before the PIP begins, the supervisor of an employee should keep in mind the following:
- Be very specific when it comes to the areas that need improvements.
- Mention the level of performance that is expected of the employee.
- Educate the employee regarding all the resources that you would provide him to make improvements in his performance.
- Tell the employee about how you will communicate the feedback to him. Mention any meetings that you may hold.
- Be vocal about the consequences that the employee will face if he fails to meet the performance goals set.
- Tell him about all the sources including training session that will aid him to improve his performance.
That being said, there are certain instances when you cannot resort to PIP. More about it in the following section:
When to Apply for PIP and When Not to
Although the Improvement Plan aims at improving the performance of an employee, you cannot use it in every situation that you wish to.
You can make use of the PIP in the following situations:
- When the company agreement states that this is the must-take course in case an employee underperforms.
- If the employee is otherwise a performer, who meets all the goals but has only recently started underperforming.
- If the employee faces any type of personal challenges.
When Not to
- If an employee has to work with a newly assigned manager who has different performance standards.
- When the manager feels that the performance plan is not likely to bring any improvement whatsoever.
- In case of moving the employee to a new department and his competencies not matching with that of the new title.
Hope this blog post was helpful for all the HR people and team managers out there. Being an HR manager I know the responsibility and pain that it brings when hiring and firing people.