A performance improvement plan (PIP) is a formal letter that states an employee's performance issues and provides them with a guideline to follow in order to achieve specific goals by a certain date. It is also known as a performance action plan.
Performance Improvement Plan Template:
To: [Employee Name]
From: [Manager’s Name]
Subject: Performance Improvement Plan [Enter Date]
The purpose of this letter is to emphasize the ongoing deficiencies in your conduct/performance in the [department name] and to confirm in writing our discussion on [date] regarding your performance at work. This letter hereby establishes my expectations outlined in a Performance Improvement Plan which should be commenced immediately. I have developed this plan as a corrective measure to assist you in bringing your performance level up to standard.
The PIP will be placed in your personnel file and will be the only written warning notice you will receive in this specific situation. Failure to correct your conduct/performance within the specified timeframe will lead to termination of employment/reassignment within the company.
To illustrate your failure to [insert performance issue] in the [department name], I have summarized below your performance deficiencies and the dates on which they occurred.
[List performance deficiencies and dates e.g. absenteeism, failure to meet targets, poor attitude, etc.]
Corrective Action Required
[Give a detailed description of the corrective action required]
You are hereby placed on a Performance Improvement Plan until [insert date/timeframe] and are expected to adhere to the plan as stated above.
My supervisor has discussed the above performance improvement plan with me. I understand and acknowledge the contents and the potential consequences of non-compliance.
[Employee Signature] [Date]
[Supervisor Signature] [Date]
When to Use:
If an employee is not performing up to standard within an organization, management may prefer to offer the employee an opportunity to rectify their errant behavior and avoid a disciplinary hearing, suspension, or termination. In this case, a manager or HR representative will draft a PIP to give to the employee.
1. If the employee is underperforming or not displaying the level of professionalism expected.
Any action that affects the performance or success of a business is deemed inappropriate. A performance improvement plan letter will outline the employee's performance issues and provide steps to be taken to improve within a certain timeframe.
2. You want legal protection for the company.
A performance improvement plan is important to protect your company from unfair dismissal claims. It is a document stating that due diligence has been followed and that the employee understands that if he/she has not made the necessary improvements, there is a possibility of dismissal or demotion.
3. You want to provide the employee with important information.
The performance improvement action plan is a detailed document that clearly states the unacceptable performance observed, improvement objectives, process, and final step (reassignment or dismissal) should the employee not meet their objectives.
What is the purpose of a performance improvement plan?
A performance improvement plan is a tool used by employers to inform employees of any performance deficiencies they may have, steps they must take to address these deficiencies, and possible outcomes if improvements are not made by a specified date.
Read our guide on when to use a performance improvement plan.
What should be included in a performance improvement plan?
A performance improvement plan should outline how the employee has underperformed, provide goals and steps to improving their performance, and set out the consequences of failure to improve.
View our performance improvement plan template.
Why is a performance improvement plan so important?
It can be used to protect the employer against lawsuits that result from actions taken against an employee who has failed to meet performance standards. It is also an important tool for improving employee performance and maintaining performance standards.
Read our guide to writing a performance improvement plan.
How do performance improvement plans work?
When a supervisor sets out a performance improvement plan, the employee is able to identify areas of their work where improvement is needed, and they are given the steps required to improve. The employee, therefore, has constructive guidelines on how to achieve their goals in the workplace and meet demands.
What are the top 3 ways to improve on performance at work?
There are many ways to improve employee performance at work. Here are the top three.
- Create a daily schedule, prioritizing the top three critical projects for completion.
- Divert all attention on one project instead of having your employees engaged in multitasking.
- Maintain focus by avoiding distractions and interruptions to employee workflow.
How long should a performance improvement plan last?
Typically. performance improvement plans last 30, 60 or 90 days depending on the reasonably expected time it would take an employee to achieve specific goals.
Can I resign in PIP?
Yes. It is possible to resign before, during or after a PIP.
How do you write an effective performance improvement plan?
- Add the employee's name, position, and department.
- Add the name of the manager or supervisor handling the performance improvement plan.
- Write a brief introduction.
- List the employee's performance issues and improvement objectives.
- Describe the improvement process and final action.
Do I have to sign a PIP?
Yes. Signing the PIP is to indicate that you have received the document. If you would like to make it clear that you have read but do not agree to the PIP, you can add this to the document and keep a copy of the amendment.
What happens if you refuse to sign a PIP?
Refusal to sign a PIP may result in immediate termination. Signing a PIP is to indicate that you have received it, and not that you agree with it.
What does PIP stand for?
PIP stands for performance improvement plan. A performance improvement plan is a formal document given to an employee that is underperforming at work. It outlines his/her performance issues and performance objectives that need to be met within a certain timeframe.
Is an employee performance improvement plan a legal document?
A performance improvement plan is a Human Resources option to help an employee perform better. It provides employers with a legal document to justify a specific course of action and/or termination if the employee fails to improve their performance.
How do I write areas of improvement for employees?
Improvement objectives relate directly to the employee's performance issues in their job role. Your objectives should clearly explain what the employee needs to do better, list specific goals to work towards and encourage the employee to improve.
Does a 30-day performance improvement plan give an employee enough time to meet their objectives?
This all depends on the employee's job description, position in the company, and industry. Some positions may require a 90-day performance review or longer, while a 30-day performance improvement plan is the standard time frame used.
How do you develop a performance improvement plan?
- Identify specific areas that need improvement.
- Provide examples where the employee under-performed in these areas.
- Identify the reasons behind this under-performance.
- Create an action plan with achievable goals for the employee.
- Establish a time frame to review their new progress.
- Communicate the findings with them and state clearly when they have and have not met their prescribed goals.