How To Survive A Performance Improvement Plan


Your manager just put you on “double secret probation,” formally known as the dreaded performance improvement plan (PIP). Obviously, this means your career is over, right? Not so. The reason why performance improvement plans often lead to terminated relationships is that the employee and manager have given up on the idea of change. However, lots of people do survive performance improvement plans. This is how they do it.

Don’t Throw A Pity Party

Getting put on a PIP can be a real blow to the ego, so allow yourself to have a very short pity party but then pull yourself together.  Wallowing will do nothing to get your performance and engagement to the levels that will lead to success.

Understand the PIP Inside and Out

If you want to survive a performance improvement plan, you must first understand it. Make sure that the plan is extremely specific, that it provides the metrics by which you will be judged and the timeline in which you have to prove yourself.  Don’t sign off on it until you are sure you understand the rules.

Develop A Strategy

Set out a plan for working the PIP. Break down goals for each day, and each week and then do what you have to in order to achieve those goals.  Remember, your boss wants improvement. Doing things the same way won’t get you there. Craft a plan for the change they want to see.

Communicate With Your Manager

At the beginning and/or the end of each day, pop in to your manager’s office to discuss the things you’ve accomplished. Use this time to ask any questions or get clarification on projects or tasks.  If you’re on a PIP, your manager is likely frustrated with you on some level, and proactive communication shows that you are listening, taking action, and doing what you need to do in order to succeed.

Never, Ever Make Excuses

While the clock is ticking on your PIP, take care not to make any excuses, pass any blame, or skirt any responsibilities. These are the last things a manager wants to see from you at this time. Step up to the plate, go above and beyond and take responsibility for any errors or mistakes you make along the way.

Be Honest With Yourself

If you get put on a PIP and you find that you could not possibly care less about the situation, it’s a sign that you are probably not in the right job. If you simply cannot find the motivation to re-focus yourself, it’s probably time to start searching for an opportunity that better suits your personality, skills, talent and values.

If you are currently in a position that isn’t quite right for you and you are ready to accelerate your job search by partnering with an expert recruiter, contact the team at Contemporary Staffing Solutions today. We are committed to the success of our talent network, and we can help connect you with a position that will help you achieve your career goals.

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