Home > Blog posts > 10 Steps to Create an Effective Performance Improvement Plan

10 Steps to Create an Effective Performance Improvement Plan

Thomas Simon

Identifying Performance Issues

Managers holding these difficult conversations should prepare to point to specific instances. Perhaps the employee is not taking certain responsibilities seriously. Perhaps they consistently miss important deadlines and don’t seem to be making any effort to improve. Whatever the problem, employers may be able to use performance management software to identify a pattern and not just a single occasion. Has the employee already been asked to fix this problem? Employers may not need PIPs if they communicate openly with their staff about performance ongoing. If the employee has been warned, employers should be sure to point this out. Focus on performance.

Setting Clear Goals and Expectations

Clear and specific goals are essential for an effective performance improvement plan. Goals should be relevant to the overall business objectives and provide meaningful development for the employee. They should be collaboratively developed and follow the SMART framework: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. It is important to tie goals to either the company’s objectives or the employee’s career development objectives, or both. Managers should be trained on how to set appropriate goals. Regular check-ins and tracking of progress will help keep employees motivated and on the right track.

Developing a Performance Improvement Plan

Once the performance issues have been identified and clear goals and expectations have been set, the next step is to develop a performance improvement plan. This plan should outline the specific actions and strategies that will be implemented to help the employee improve their performance. It may include providing additional training or resources, assigning a mentor or coach, or setting up regular check-ins to monitor progress. The performance improvement plan should be tailored to the individual employee’s needs and should have a clear timeline with measurable goals and objectives.

Communicating the Performance Improvement Plan

Meeting with the Employee

During the meeting with the employee, it is important to create a supportive and open environment. Listen to the employee’s thoughts and comments, as they may have valuable feedback about their position or extenuating circumstances. This will help in understanding their perspective and addressing any concerns. Additionally, it is crucial to be specific in discussing performance issues. Instead of general statements, provide real-life examples to illustrate areas of improvement. This will help the employee understand the specific behaviors or actions that need to be addressed. Finally, ensure that the interaction leaves the employee feeling supported rather than abandoned.

Explaining the Performance Issues

When explaining the performance issues to the employee, it is important to be clear and specific about the areas where they are falling short. Provide examples of specific instances where their performance did not meet expectations. This will help the employee understand the gravity of the situation and the need for improvement. Additionally, it is important to listen to the employee’s perspective and any challenges they may be facing that could be impacting their performance. By understanding the root cause of the performance issues, you can work together to develop a plan for improvement.

Discussing the Performance Improvement Plan

During the discussion of the Performance Improvement Plan, it is important to maintain open communication with the employee. This can be done through phone calls and project management software like Monitask. It is also crucial to monitor project progress, keep files in a shared location, delegate tasks, and create a project plan. Utilizing project management tools, video conferencing, and phone calls can help keep team communication flowing.

Get more out of your business

Get the best employee engagement content every week via mailing list

Start Your 10-Day Trial

Implementing the Performance Improvement Plan

Providing Necessary Resources

Once you have the team in place, sit down with the members (in-person if you can), reiterate your purpose, success parameters, and resources, and address issues. Improving communication channels, providing opportunities for growth and development, fostering an inclusive culture, offering benefits that demonstrate care for the whole person, and recognizing contributions all lead employees to feel their needs are understood and met. With the many demands of today’s workforce, an intentional strategy focused on crafting a supportive, fulfilling employee journey motivates staff and elevates performance to new heights through enhanced discretionary effort and commitment to collective goals. The result is a thriving and resilient workforce.

Monitoring Progress

The plan implementation must be monitored at regular intervals. This step will help in constantly detecting issues within the tasks in the processes. Most often, good results may not be achieved right away. You have to be patient with several factors that have to come in line to perform. A key point to note is that it is ideal to have a regular schedule monitoring to check on the progress and suggest corrections when needed.

Install Process Management Software: There are many process management software available in the market. These tools will help you create processes digitally. This software can guide you in having a standardized system where processes and other activities are all optimized and made systematic.

Most Common Types of Monitoring:

  • Time tracking
  • Feedback collection
  • Regular check-ins
  • Root cause analysis

Practical Tip: Document comments, including positive and negative feedback, during each check-in. Ask simple, open-ended questions throughout the year. Strive to provide consistent feedback for all employees.

Offering Support and Guidance

After providing necessary resources and monitoring progress, it is important to offer ongoing support and guidance to the employee. This can include regular check-ins to discuss any challenges or concerns, providing additional training or coaching as needed, and offering encouragement and motivation to keep the employee engaged and motivated. By offering support and guidance, you are showing the employee that you are invested in their success and are willing to help them improve. This can lead to increased confidence and performance.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Performance Improvement Plan

Assessing Performance Improvement

Assessing the improvement in performance is a crucial step in evaluating the effectiveness of the Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). It allows employers to determine whether the employee has made progress towards meeting the set goals and expectations. There are several methods that can be used to assess performance improvement:

Revising the Plan if Necessary

After implementing the performance improvement plan, it is important to regularly evaluate its effectiveness. This evaluation process involves assessing the progress made by the employee and determining if any revisions to the plan are necessary. Feedback from the employee and supervisor should be taken into consideration during this evaluation. If the plan is not achieving the desired results, adjustments can be made to address any issues or obstacles that may be hindering progress. It is also important to recognize and reward any improvement that has been achieved as a result of the plan.

Recognizing and Rewarding Improvement

Recognizing and rewarding improvement is an essential step in the performance improvement plan process. It not only acknowledges the efforts and progress made by the employee but also reinforces positive behavior and motivates further improvement. There are several ways to recognize and reward improvement, including:

  • Providing verbal praise and appreciation
  • Offering additional responsibilities or opportunities for growth
  • Giving monetary rewards or bonuses

It is important to tailor the recognition and rewards to the individual employee and their specific achievements. By doing so, you create a culture of recognition and continuous improvement within the organization.


In conclusion, creating an effective Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) requires careful planning, clear communication, and a focus on continuous improvement. By following the 10 steps outlined in this article, organizations can develop a structured approach to address performance gaps and support employee growth. Planning and defining clear objectives are crucial in designing a PIP that aligns with organizational goals and individual employee needs. Regular evaluation and feedback throughout the process are essential for tracking progress and making necessary adjustments. Ultimately, a well-executed PIP can lead to improved performance, increased employee engagement, and a stronger organization.

Try Monitask

Track employee productivity and simplify work with them

Start Your 10-Day Trial

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is a formal document designed to help employees who are struggling to meet expectations. It provides an honest performance appraisal, identifies performance gaps, and outlines steps for improvement.

When should a Performance Improvement Plan be implemented?

A Performance Improvement Plan should be implemented when an employee’s performance consistently falls below expectations and other methods of improvement have been unsuccessful.

What are the benefits of a Performance Improvement Plan?

The benefits of a Performance Improvement Plan include providing clear expectations, offering guidance and support for improvement, and giving employees an opportunity to succeed.

How should attitude be addressed in a Performance Improvement Plan?

Attitude should be addressed in a Performance Improvement Plan by clearly defining expected behavior, providing specific examples of attitude issues, and offering guidance on how to improve.

How to write a Performance Improvement Plan?

To write a Performance Improvement Plan, start by clearly identifying the performance issues, setting clear goals and expectations, and developing a plan with actionable steps for improvement.

What are the best practices for a Performance Improvement Plan?

Some best practices for a Performance Improvement Plan include providing regular feedback, offering support and resources, monitoring progress, and recognizing and rewarding improvement.


Popular Articles

Try Monitask now.
First 10 days free

No credit card required