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How to Use Employee Performance Improvement Plans

If your business is looking for ways to improve its workforce and increase retention rates, Employee Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) are valuable tools for HR professionals and managers to help employees overcome performance issues and reach their full potential! In this short guide, we will explore what a PIP is and how to effectively implement one in your workplace. Read on or contact our team at Horizon to learn more! 

What is an Employee Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

A Performance Improvement Plan, or PIP, is a commonly used structured process (or formal document) designed to help employees whose performance may not meet the desired standards. PIPs are not punitive but rather supportive and helpful measures to facilitate improvement with a certain employee or team. Let's delve into the benefits of utilizing PIPs in your organization below. 


Benefits of Performance Improvement Plans

Employee performance improvement plans offer several benefits that can positively impact both individual employees and the organization as a whole! From less turnover with staff to career development over time, PIPs can bring many advantages for businesses and their employees alike.  

Increase Employee Retention

By providing struggling or underperforming employees with a clear path for improvement, PIPs can increase employee retention rates for your company! When employees see that their organization is invested in helping them succeed, they are more likely to stay and grow within the business. 

Improve Job Satisfaction at Work

Job satisfaction often wanes when employees face performance challenges and feel uncertain about their future with the organization. Implementing PIPs can help alleviate these concerns and frustrations by offering a structured approach to improvement, which can lead to increased job satisfaction over time. Employees who feel valued and supported will tend to stay loyal to an organization and feel satisfied in their careers! 

Boost Employee Performance Over Time

Perhaps the most significant and obvious benefit of PIPs is their potential to boost employee work performance over time! When employees receive feedback, support, and actionable goals through a company-driven PIP, they have the opportunity to grow and become more valuable contributors to the organization! Read on to learn more about how your business can help its staff by implementing performance improvement plans. 

How HR Can Implement an Employee Performance Improvement Plan

Effectively implementing a performance improvement plan requires careful planning, clear communication, and empathy for the specific employee or team in question. HR professionals play a pivotal role in facilitating this process in order to improve employee performance while not upsetting or offending any staff! 

Use Collaboration and Compassion

When initiating an effective PIP, it's essential to approach the employee with collaboration and compassion in mind, instead of discipline. Emphasize that the plan is intended to support their growth and success within the organization, rather than as a punitive measure for poor performance. 


Emphasize Clarity in Your Conversations

Clear and honest communication is critical throughout the PIP process with your staff. HR professionals should ensure that employees fully understand the reasons for the plan, the expectations set forth, and the steps to improvement. 

Things to Include in a PIP

A well-structured and effective performance improvement plan should include several key components to guide the employee towards improvement, like measure and obtainable goals and clear expectations. Below are just a few examples of items to include in your company’s PIP. 

Company Expectations for the Employee

Clearly outline your company's expectations for the employee's performance, including specific areas that need improvement. Whether that be sales numbers, quarterly goals, client outreach, or something else, your staff will need to know exactly what they need to improve upon when implementing a performance improvement plan! 

Areas for Needed Improvement

Identify the specific areas or behaviors that require improvement and provide concrete examples or evidence to support these assessments. As stated above, this can include a wide array of business targets, goals, etc.  

Action Plan with Measurable Goals and Timeline

Develop and include an action plan that includes measurable performance goals and a realistic timeline for achieving them. This section can include additional training sessions, performance reviews, and steps to combat personal issues in order to help an underperforming employee improve. This will help both the employee and HR team members track progress throughout the year. 

Schedule Check-Ins and Meetings to Follow Up

Be sure to schedule regular meetings and check-ins with the particular employee or team in question; these follow-ups are essential to monitor progress, provide feedback, and make any necessary adjustments to the PIP! HR professionals should schedule these follow-up sessions and maintain open lines of communication to ensure that employees are on the right track and understand what’s expected of them. 

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Horizon is a Trusted Partner for Businesses Across the Country

At Horizon, we understand the importance of effective HR processes and performance management for your company! With over two decades of experience under our belts, our team has been providing top-rated payroll and HR solutions to businesses across the country! No matter what niche or industry, Horizon has trusted services to help your company thrive. 

Top-Rated Payroll and HR Solutions Since 1999

Since 1999, Horizon has been a trusted partner for businesses of all kinds seeking reliable payroll and HR solutions. Our expertise and commitment to excellence make us the go-to choice for companies of all sizes and industries! Read more about our top-rated business solutions here. 

Contact Us Today for More Information

If you're looking for expert guidance on implementing employee performance improvement plans or need assistance with your HR and payroll needs, don't hesitate to reach out to us today. Our team is ready to provide you with more information and support for your business for the long term! Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. 

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