Managing the PIP process
30, 60 and 90 Day Check Ins
Depending up the length of the PIP, there will could be up to three formal check ins: one each at 30, 60, and 90 days. At each of these touchpoints, you and your employee should check in on how their performance has changed so far. (Of course, more frequent “informal” check ins are encouraged.)
The check in should cover:
Your observations about the employee’s performance so far. Are they making strides forward? Again, use specific, descriptive language to share what you’re observing. Use some of the language from what you wrote in the PIP template.
Your employee’s perceptions of their efforts so far. Might they be making strides you’re not seeing? Do they feel like they’re gaining more skill and confidence, even if it’s not yet reflected in their performance? These are good things to take into account (however, the ultimate indicator of success is whether their performance actually improves).
What resources or support your employee has accessed. Using the next steps you decided on in your initial conversation, keep track of which your employee has utilized (and make sure that you have provided the resources you agreed to!). Here are some examples:
On the job training
Shadowing another employee
Completing an online or in person training
Reading a book or article about the skill
Is your employee on track to meet expectations by the end of the PIP timeline? If your employee is stagnating, or moving backwards, loop in your business partner to help decide how to move forward. In most cases, you should complete the full performance improvement plan before moving on to other options in the performance management process.
Write down your notes from these check ins in the PIP template, and again, you and your employee should both sign and date the form.
During the PIP, you should also increase the frequency of your regular check ins and feedback. Provide your employee with as many opportunities as possible to receive your coaching and input.
Closing out the PIP Process
At the end of the timeline, usually 90 days, you need to make a decision about whether your employee has sufficiently improved to meet your expectations. Keep in mind that end goal: meeting expectations. They don’t need to be knocking it out of the park yet, but they need to be consistently achieving acceptable levels of performance.
At the bottom of the PIP template, you can record your decision in the “Outcome” section. Note whether the employee was successful or not. If the employee is almost there, you can also extend the PIP to give them a little more time to solidify their improved performance.
Provide some notes in this section to explain further. Referring back to the original Expected Performance sections for each task, skill, or behavior, note whether your employee is now consistently able to exhibit performance at that level. Then, convey that decision to your employee. Since you’ve had check ins regularly through the process, your decision should not come as a surprise to them.
If your employee was not successful, the next step may be to start the progressive discipline process. Meet with your business partner to explore the best way to move forward.
If your employee successfully completed the PIP, that’s great! Congratulate them on their hard work, and talk about ways to help them sustain their performance.