What are the advantages & disadvantages of a Performance Improvement Plan?

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What are the advantages & disadvantages of a Performance Improvement Plan?

As an employer, you are probably striving to build a team that is driven, collaborative, and efficient. Sometimes, there are employees who are meeting or exceeding your expectations, and others that are falling behind. For those employees who are faltering, you may want to help give them a chance to prove they are equipped for the position. A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a written document where the employer will outline the employee’s skills that require improvement, how the employee will refine their skills, and the period the employee is granted to achieve this progression.

If the employee fails to meet the expectations laid out in the PIP, the employer could potentially suspend or terminate the employee with cause. The court wants the employer to have a “substantial threshold” for proving that terminating the employee with cause is justified. For the court to decide whether this action is reasonable, they want the employer to have sufficiently attempted to improve the employee’s behaviour like issuing forewarnings, proposing disciplinary measures, reporting that they have failed to meet expectations, etc.

An employer may also use a PIP if one of their employees has indicated that they want to advance to a new position. The PIP can act as a type of professional development course for the employee to refine their expertise and acquire new skills necessary for the job.

What are the advantages of drafting a PIP?

The act of building a framework that has distinct qualities to benefit the employee can make them feel like their employer believes in their abilities. Instead of giving up on the employee, the employer is offering them the opportunity to improve and to demonstrate that they are right for the job.

The PIP offers actionable goals for the employee. Establishing goals can make the employer’s demands seem manageable, especially when there is a direct plan on how to attain each goal. With an action plan in place, the progression will feel possible instead of overwhelming.

Utilizing PIP will improve teamwork because it sets a standard for team members to hold each other accountable. It creates an environment where, because everyone is doing their due diligence, there is more space for support, trust, and collaboration. It also creates an environment where underperforming becomes an opportunity to learn instead of a failure.

The improvement plan can also be beneficial for the employer, as they can save their time and money developing current employees rather than spending it on hiring new candidates. When hiring new employees, employers will create job postings, conduct interviews, pay for additional salaries, etc.

What are the possible disadvantages of a PIP?

The process may be lengthy. Depending on the skills that need refining, all the steps included in this document take time. Because this process is individualized for each employee, it takes time to draft the PIP, to engage in learning, to make assessments, and to review the assessments.

The employee could determine that the PIP is a sign they are on the road to termination. The employee could feel demotivated to engage in their performance plan if they feel their fate is already determined. To avoid this misinterpretation, the employer should clarify the purpose of the PIP and inform the employee that it is for the betterment of the employee’s career.

If you are an employer who wants to create a Performance Improvement Plan and discuss the options regarding an employee’s current performance, please contact KCY at LAW by filling in an online consultation request or contact us by phone at 905-639-0999 to book your consultation today.