Ask the Expert – PIPs

I have an employee whose performance has started to slip, and to address the situation I would like to put in place a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) – Can you tell me what it should contain?

The main purpose of a PIP is to outline the company’s expectations of the employee. As a first step, you should consider the aspects of the employee’s performance that need to improve and set associated objectives for the employee to meet.

The objectives should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. That means setting specific tasks that are relevant to the role and a reasonable deadline for the objective to be met.

In terms of measurability, consider if you will be able to easily determine whether the objective has been met. As an example, ‘improve report writing’ may be difficult to measure, whereas ‘write a report with no spelling errors’ may be easier to measure. We recommend that you make it clear on the PIP how you will measure whether each objective has been met.

As well as objectives and time frames, you should also include an outline of any training or support that the employee may need to meet the objective. Discussing the objectives with the employee will allow you to discuss what help they might need to meet them. If you do agree additional training or support, it is important to implement it as otherwise you may face difficulties later.

If you have any questions on any of the issues raised in the above article, please contact Seanpaul McCahill.

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