Banner Default Image
Banner Default Image

How to Use PIPs (Performance Improvement Plans) to Unlock Employee Potential

Share this article


Are you familiar with the concept of Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs)? If not, this is going to be a valuable introduction for you. Any business, no matter the industry, can use PIPs to help enhance employee performance and drive overall success. In this article, we’ll start with a bit of an introduction, then speak on the benefits of PIPs and how to use them.

What is a PIP and why are they so valuable to businesses?

A Performance Improvement Plan is a structured document that outlines specific goals, expectations, and strategies to help employees improve their performance and meet the desired standards of the business.

The true power of a PIP comes from the fact that, at its core, it is designed as a supportive framework based around empowerment and growth. It allows organisations to demonstrate their commitment to the development and success of their employees, fostering a culture of continuous improvement and providing individuals with an opportunity to succeed. The focus is on long-term success through good communication and opportunity for growth, rather than quick-fix results based on disciplinary measures and unfair expectations.

How can business leaders use PIPs to support and empower employees for improved outcomes?

A common mistake that many leaders make with PIPs is that they look at them as though they’re just a checklist of items that need to be ‘ticked off’ in order to cover themselves should an employee need to be considered for termination. This really is such an outdated and narrow perspective to have when PIPs are involved.

Rather than just using a PIP as a checklist, there should be real thought put into the results and outcomes of the PIP itself, especially when underperformance is an issue. Asking questions like the following can help determine why underperformance is happening and allows for appropriate and empowering support to occur...

  • What factors may be impacting this employee’s performance outside of work hours?

  • Does this employee feel supported and comfortable in their role?

  • Has the employee shown willingness to make effort to improve with the right support?

There are many other questions that can also be asked, all of them based on a holistic view of the employee as a person because no employee is the same as another. If the employee is willing to improve and wants to learn and grow, a PIP that's been used correctly will often help them to understand where they need to make changes and how they can do so.

There is a lot of coaching and mentorship involved in the PIP process – being a leader, not just a manager. Overall, using a PIP to its full potential can truly offer huge benefit to both employers and employees.

If you’d love to work with our team here at Impact to find and retain skilled workers for your available roles, feel free to reach out today!