The anxiety of performance improvement plans: Top suggestions for employees

Employees often have the most challenging time taking tough criticism. When you are placed on a performance improvement plan, you are at the crossroads of deciding whether you should continue the job or look for opportunities. Many employees also assume that PIPs are excuses for termination in the near future, which may not be entirely untrue. Top law firms often have a Guide to Beating Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) that can help determine the right course of action. Below, we have enlisted a few tips that can come in handy.  

A look at performance improvement plans

A performance improvement plan, or a PIP, essentially implies that an employee has failed to meet the expectations of the job. They are placed on a PIP where the employer sets actionable goals and offers steps to improve performance. If you fail to achieve the set objectives during this period, you may be fired, which is scary.

Start with the bigger picture

Do you really want to continue with the role? Is the job the right fit for your skills? Do you think that the performance improvement plan will help you retain the current position? These are confrontational questions, but you need to answer them. There are also other aspects. For instance, if your employer has been placing many employees on PIPs and planning layoffs, there could be ulterior motives. Also, whether or not you can do the things that are being asked of you in the PIP remains a consideration.

Speak to an attorney

Although unnecessary in every situation, you may want to speak to an employment lawyer. If you had filed a complaint against a supervisor and were placed on the PIP, it could be a case of retaliation. In some cases, employers do that to cut down resources while giving a fair chance to those who can do better. An attorney can check whether you have other evidence and if the PIP is more of a gimmick.

Set your ego aside

A performance improvement plan should be actionable, and you must be able to achieve the goals mentioned. For instance, you need to improve attention, which is a vacuous objective. Set your ego aside and go ahead for a meeting with your manager. They can offer insights on why you have a PIP and how you can do better. They may suggest things like working for a couple of hours more, increasing overall work output, and communicating more openly with the team.

Remember that you can also benefit from a PIP.