Do Performance Improvement Plans Work?


Pranay Sharma

 Human Resources

Reliance Power Limited

Do Performance Improvement Plans Work?

“Discipline and freedom is not mutually exclusive but mutually dependent because otherwise, you’d sink in chaos”-Paulo Coelho– Well, plans will work! When, it is executed, properly. Many of us have inhibitions about PIP, we often feel that it is one of the most effective and planned way to trim your workforce by removing under performers. Yes, on the contrary we do have to agree, it is one of the most effective tool to build high-performing organization, if it is executed properly. It depends on an individual, how he or she looks at things.  High-performing organizations strictly demand all of its employees to perform exceedingly well and meet their targets. It is quiet natural when it comes to competitions some are stars, some are average, and some are below while some do not have any scope of improvement. Leader and followers both have the responsibility of improving the performance of each other, for eg: “Virat Kohli” centuries cannot single handedly win matches, since it is a team-effort and if you are running with such a leader like “Virat Kohli” who expects everyone to put in their 200 percent, one has to perform or perish. We have to go down deep into what is expected out of what and at what pace it will satisfy the organization.  For making it work following methodology can be followed-

Objective- What is expected out of an individual to raise his/her standard of performance.

Purpose- The main purpose is to encourage improvement and support individual by enabling him/her to achieve required standard of performance.

Design- At the beginning of PIP a communication shall be sent to identified executive regarding its commencement and purpose.

A meeting shall be facilitated between the executive and the respective Appraiser in the presence of Business / Functional Head with the objective of preparing the PIP.

The identified executive shall be given fair chance to explain the problem faced by him/her, which shall be considered and analyzed by the appraiser/functional head to find out the problem areas.

All assignments and improvements required by the executive shall be mentioned in PIP form.

The targets on which performance is to be measured for each area requiring improvement shall be identified keeping in mind that they are reasonable and attainable within the given time frame.

The PIP shall be rolled out with consensus of all the participants and the PIP form shall include signatures of all the participants.

The executive shall be given a copy of the Performance Improvement Plan with stipulated timelines for achieving it.

The appraiser and the Functional / Business Head shall ensure that the executive gets the support needed during the PIP in terms of resource / training. The same shall be captured in the PIP form.

Quarterly Review-

The progress and performance of the executive shall be monitored on a timely basis.

Both the executive and the appraiser shall participate in the quarterly reviews diligently.

If the executive is found to be lagging behind, then the reasons shall be probed into. Results of each meeting shall be captured.

The copy of the Review Chart shall be sent to HR.

Final Assessment:

The final assessment shall be done in the following Year End Evaluation.

The appraiser, the HR representative, Functional / Business Head and the executive all shall participate in the final assessment.

Corrective Action:

In the event of non-improvement of performance of the executive in-spite of providing sufficient support as per PIP, any of the following Corrective Action may be taken-

  • Demotion
  • Reduction in salary
  • Termination
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