When Is A Performance Improvement Plan Recommended Over A Disciplinary Action Notice?

A performance improvement plan (PIP) can solve workplace productivity issues and help even the most unlikely of employees thrive. Not every employee is efficient at delivering projects on time. It could be that they lack focus or create more work and setbacks. To address such concerns, a supervising member of the workforce may speak to an employee with the hope that this resolves the problem. However, even if the worker tries to do better, they may continue to have difficulty completing their tasks.

This is where a successful PIP can provide employees with the necessary directions for completing specific goals. It can be an efficient tool for increasing productivity and taking care of weakness in the workplace.

What Is A Performance Improvement Plan?

A PIP is an official company document that declares the existence of any chronic performance issues and goals that a worker must achieve in order to redeem good standing with the organisation. These plans typically have a specific timeline in which it needs to be completed.

In layman’s terms, it’s like being putting an employee on probation in school – the worker will be monitored closely during this time. A PIP is meant to provide concrete ways to turn poor performance around.

When Is It Appropriate To Use A PIP?

As mentioned above, PIPs work best to solve performance issues, like a team member not reaching their mandatory sales goals or failing to complete projects on time. PIPs will commence for a fixed period (typically between 30 and 60 days) and involve routine meetings to gauge the worker’s progress.

If once this period comes to a close, the worker in question’s performance has not improved, you can decide whether to start the disciplinary process which may lead up to and include termination of their employment.

Where, a disciplinary warning is only necessary when there is a policy that the worker has violated the PIP looks to support the employee in improving their capability or conduct. The disciplinary written warning is where there is no option to improve and is typically for a severe or repeated offence and more often than not due to the conduct of the employee.

A PIP is recommended for employees that may need a push (or support in the right direction), but the issue is not so severe that a disciplinary action and/or warning is warranted.

For HR solutions and advice when you need it, contact Fresh HR Insights. Check out our website, call or email us and let’s talk about we can help you with Performance Improvement Plans.

Key take away – What ever process you as a business owner initiate you need to ensure that you advise the employee of the areas of concern, given them an opportunity to improve and or respond, allow them a support person and have it all in writing. Download FREE our importance of documentation checklist