A PIP Doesn’t Mean it’s All Over

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This blog was originally posted by Chris Ponder II on the Peformance I Create blog. Every other Wednesday, Blogging4Jobs will feature a guest post from the up-and-coming multi-contributor blog, Performance I Create. 

You just got put on a performance improvement plan (PIP) – oh no. I am sure there are a number of thoughts crossing your mind: crap, what am I going to do, my manager is just singling me out, how did this happen, the expectations are just too much, and on, and on.

It’s understandable the impact of receiving a PIP can do to your ego and your feelings, but before you let this document impact you too much, take a step back and give some thought to the situation.

Be Honest with Yourself

Receiving a PIP can definitely impact your ego and feelings; however, don’t let your ego get in the way of you taking the information you received and rocking it out. Once you become honest with yourself about your current performance, the sooner you can pickup the pieces and work towards a remedy.

If you find that your role no longer excites you and you could care less about the PIP you just received, this could be a situation where it is time to move on to something new.

Don’t Tell Others You Are on a PIP

I have never understood why people tell others they are on a PIP. At the end of the day, keep this information between you and your manager.

Set Out a Plan

Break down each of the areas that were addressed in the performance improvement plan. Evaluate what your manager identified as lacking, determine your current performance and expected performance, and establish a plan to meet expected performance.


An important aspect of improving your performance is to communicate with your manager. If you have difficulties with something that will assist you meeting a goal, inform your manager. Your difficulty could potentially be a barrier they did not consider or it could be a situation where your manager provides you some insight on how to overcome that barrier. Most managers want to see you succeed – take advantage of free advice!

Seek Out Advice

Seek others out that are doing well – get their advice on what is working for them and integrate some of that advice into your plan to get back on track.

Have Fun

It is human behavior for us to get in a rut for a little while after someone has addressed our performance. It’s natural and frankly if it didn’t impact you, I would be concerned that you did not care to improve the performance. Focusing on the negative won’t get you anywhere. Utilize your outlined plan to focus on getting ahead and have fun doing it!

Your Not a Bad Person

A performance improvement plan doesn’t mean you are a bad person or even a bad employee. It just means that focus has been lost with delivering expectations. In many instances it is not intentional for us to lose focus on our performance, but life happens!

So if you find yourself in a situation where you are issued a PIP, consider this as an opportunity to restart, get yourself back in the game, and hit a home run. Your life isn’t over just because you receive this document – it is only over if you allow it to be over.

What’s your worst or best experience when receiving a performance improvement plan? 


Photo Credit.

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  1. You are absolutely correct. But a PIP is also cultural to the environment. I have seen organizations use a PIP as the unofficial “30 -day” notice, not the development tool it was intended to be. Organizations that are not proactively performance driven, meaning they tend to focus their energy on poor performers versus developing talent.

    Melissa Smith |
    • Hi Nathan,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m pretty sure that you are completely and absolutely perfect. I have a hard time having someone criticize a blog author’s spelling when their own website is hospital white and contains 20 words. Not much for taking chances, eh? Here’s my take on spelling errors:


      I might recommend spending less time being critical of others and get building your own blog to share your own thoughts and opinions. You’ll understand yourself the first time you accidentally mis-spell something and the grammar police points it out on your blog.



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