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The Employment Rights Advice Blog

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cat reading how to kill a mocking bird. It's good to planPerformance Improvement Plan

Is it the first step towards dismissal ?


When it comes to trying to achieve an improvement in a worker’s output, the Performance Improvement Plan should only be used where all other methods have failed. A skilled manager will strive to find out what the root cause of the employee’s failure to reach the target is. Maybe it is a training problem, or a workflow problem, or a leadership problem. Are the targets realistic ?


Try monitoring the employee throughout the year. Regular coaching and positive acknowledgement can work wonders.

Make it clear the the worker what is expected from them.

Avoid any bullying

For some managers the performance improvement plan can be used to put the employee in their place. It can become a form of bullying, in which the manager constantly sets out to show the employee, “who is boss”.

To avoid the accusation of bullying, you should have strict guidelenes in place regarding the implementation of the Performance Improvement Plan.

The employee should be informed that their performance falls short of the company standard.





Arrange an appointment to review and agree the Performance Improvement Plan with the employee. The employee must be aware of the purpose of that meeting in advance so that they can adequately prepare. You should prepare thoroughly for this review.

When discussing the PIP, be openminded and objective. Agree the plan, and build in review dates. Allow sufficient time for the employee to improve, especially if any training is required. Offer support and training for areas where this would benefit the worker.

Agree the time and date for the final review. If the employee has not shown sufficient progress, then you need to decide of progressing the matter to disciplinary action is necessary, or would other support solve the performance issue.

See also A short guide to performance reviews here

See article on unfair dismissal here

Where can I get help ?

If you would like help in preparing a performance improvement plan and associated policies, please contact us.button



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Image courtesy  Glenn Dettwiler  cc.15 Some modification (banner)


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