Putting an employee on a PIP is not an exercise to get one step closer to termination. Take a walk with me… Four weeks ago, I met with the President and VP to discuss their high concern about a 35-year employee of the company. They felt they were in a rock and a hard place. Nothing worked before. They talked to the employee several times with limited improvement. For them, termination was the only option.
I saw differently. Plus terminating someone with such tenure puts the company at risk if not done well. I said we must put the employee on a PIP and do this right. I gathered all the concerns and did my due diligence to learn the facts (not emotion or feelings but facts – important). I presented the PIP to the employee with genuine concern and kindness but was firm yet fair.
Fast forward to now. The employee is THRIVING. He said this was the “kick in the butt” he needed to get refocused. Everyone around him is being impacted positively by his change in attitude and his mentorship toward others. Management is thrilled. He is doing better work now than ever. It is a success!
We saved the relationship with this employee. No re-hire and replacement costs. No training for a new hire. No legal exposure.
PIP’s can make a positive difference. I have done many. Yes, some were very successful, and others, well, termination was the outcome. Employers owe it to employees to give them every tool for success. By addressing performance “Stop, Start, Keeps” the employee has a clear picture of expectations. After the PIP is presented, it is up to the employee to “own” their job and start shining…. or not. The company has done it’s due diligence to address performance concerns.
For the most part, employees do not come to work planning on “screwing up”. Leaders MUST give timely feedback on performance. The lag time between when you see/learn of a misstep needs to be close to zero. Leaders have to address it in a very timely manner. Don’t forget to document your conversations.
Coach in private and Praise in public.