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How to Create a Performance Improve Plan with an Example

Every local and multinational company faces ups and downs in employee performance. Some workers perform best, while others fail to fulfill the job requirements. The primary reasons behind the poor performance of employees are the absence of hard or soft skills, poor team communication, and lack of transparency.

To cater to this situation, the company gives a performance improvement plan to the employees who are not meeting the expected job standards. Such plans work very well in improving workers' performance if they take it seriously. In this article, you will learn what PIP is, how to make it, and its benefits and drawbacks.

Part 1: What is a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

The performance improvement plan is a document consisting of issues a particular employee faces and their solutions. These solutions are designed perfectly to improve the performance of the worker. Additional training sessions and resources are also mentioned in these plans, which become a major helping hand for increasing employee's work productivity.

A timeline is also given in the PIP plan in which the employee must meet all the requirements. The time duration given is mostly 30 to 90 days. Undoubtedly, such type of a plan is best in helping the employees resolve the issues that are making their work efficiency poor. If the employee starts working on the given plan, there are high chances of performance improvement.

personal improvement plan

Part 2: The Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a PIP Plan

An employee performance improvement plan is a constructive way to improve the working efficiency of those employees who fail to meet the daily job requirements. Although these plans are supportive, some employees find them destructive because after receiving PIP, they find more stress and less improvement. Learn what the benefits and drawbacks of using a PIP plan are:

Benefits of the PIP Plan

  • Highlights Area of Focus: These plans clarify the areas where the employee must work to improve performance. It benefits those who don't know what keeps them from achieving their duty goals.
  • Saves Time: Talking to each worker individually and giving them solutions for improving performance is a hectic job. By sending the PIP document, managers or employers can save time.
  • Effective than Reviews: PIP is more effective than reviews because if you criticize employees face to face, there are chances that they may leave right away. Thus, it is best to give them a document that states their issues and solutions.
  • Creates a Sense of Companionship: It also builds a healthy relationship between managers and employees. Multiple coaching classes are organized for employees during which managers interact with the company's workers and listen to their problems.

Drawbacks of the PIP Plan

  • Demotivates Employees: Sometimes, instead of improving the performance of employees, PIP demotivates them. They find the note as a warning from the company, and due to this stress, they fail to achieve the given requirements in the mentioned time.
  • Consumes Time of High-Value Tasks: Creating a performance improvement plan at work consumes the valuable time of managers. The time they can spend doing high-value tasks gets spent sketching the outline for employee improvement.
  • Arise Legal Issues: Only PIP is not enough to boost staff performance. You also have to provide additional training and resources with the help of which they will meet the given standards. If these supportive sessions are not appropriately given, legal issues may arise.
  • Poor Alignment with Career Goals: Sometimes, the goals provided in the plan don't match the employee's career aspirations. Due to this reason, the receiver gets demotivated. Such demotivation doesn't allow the employee to focus on the given goals.

Part 3: How Do I Create a Performance Improvement Plan?

A personal improvement plan is prepared in nearly every company for the betterment of employees. Each company has its way of creating a plan, but each follows a standard procedure to devise it. If you are also a company's manager and finding the steps to create the PIP document, you are in the right place. In the following, step-by-step instructions are given for developing a performance improvement plan:

Step 1: Recognize the Main Issue

First, you must figure out and understand the main issue in employee performance. The problem can be defined by first analyzing the employee's performance by yourself. After carefully examining the worker's behavior at the workplace, you should go for a formal meeting. In this meeting manager, HR, and employees could discuss the problems which the employee is facing.

Step 2: Define Goals

After investigating the issue, you should define clear objectives. These objectives should be time-bound, meaning employees must complete them all in a specific time without any mistakes. One thing that should be kept in mind while defining the goal is that it should be relevant to the main issue.

Moreover, the goals should be tracked continuously in periodic check-in sessions. The most followed technique for determining objectives is SMART, where S is for specific, M is for measurable, A is for attainable, R is for relevant, and T is for time-bound.

Step 3: Provide a Helping Hand

PIP is not for demotivating the employees because it is to boost their performance. That is why PIP employees should be given full support from the company. It should be mentioned what training and sessions the employee will get during a specific period.

Furthermore, those resources which the worker lacks should also be noted down. The manager should provide all the facilities mentioned in the list. This will create a sense of companionship in the employee and improve performance.

Step 4: Define a Specific Timeline

A proper timeline should be made for completing goals and training sessions. It is necessary because some employees don't take the PIP plan seriously and thus keep wasting their and the company's time. Therefore, a limited time should be given in which they have to prove themselves. Moreover, while creating a timeline, remember that it should not be too flexible. Challenging timelines motivate employees more than lenient ones.

Step 5: Sketch a Proper Check-ins Schedule

In this section, you have to provide complete detail of the check-in schedule. It should clearly show how often you will meet the worker to check for improvement in performance. This is one of the crucial parts of PIP because if you don't keep a check and balance on employee progress, then in the end, you may face disappointment.

Step 6: Provide Feedback

Only making PIP doesn't decrease the flaws in employees' work. You have to give regular feedback throughout the process. The feedback should be clear and genuine. The achievement of workers should be recognized very professionally, and if any improvement is needed, it should be appropriately addressed.

Step 7: Clarify All the Consequences

Define the consequence the employee will face if the goals are not achieved in the defined time. The consequences may include further training or direct termination, depending on the situation's intensity. Maybe some employees get demotivated after reading this part of PIP, but it is necessary to mention the outcomes. The after-effects will concentrate the employee more because no one wants to get terminated.

If you have a performance improvement plan in PDF format, then you can easily edit it with UPDF. This tool decreases the workload of managers as they don't have to recreate the PIP plan every time for employees. You can easily edit the text color, style, and size without disturbing the file formatting. If you want to give additional information to employees, you can add comments to PDF using this powerful tool.

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Moreover, UPDF also works exceptionally as a PDF converter, meaning you can turn the PIP plan into PowerPoint format during the meeting with the employee. There are many other excellent functions that this tool can perform, some of which are given below:

  • Edit PIP: You can effortlessly edit the name of an employee, the goals you have set, and much more. It is also possible to edit the watermark and background of the document. You can also change the links you have incorporated in the plan as supporting material.
edit pdf pip plan
  • Organize PIP: Managers have to take good care that the document they are going to send to the employee is properly organized. This remarkable tool helps you delete, add, replace, or extract pages of PIP files.
organize pdf performance improvement plan at work
  • Annotate PIP: Comments can be added to the documents using the sticky notes or text boxes of this PDF annotator. The essential points of the PIP document can be highlighted with the help of the markup feature.
annotate performance improvement plan at work
  • OCR PIP: If you have a scanned copy of your improvement plan, you can use the OCR technology of this advanced tool to make it searchable and editable. You don't have to work on document language because it supports 38 popular languages.
ocr pip plan

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Part 4: Performance Improvement Plan Example

Are you searching for work performance improvement examples? In this section of the article, you will find an example of PIP, so go ahead and discover it:

Employee Name: Janet Olive

Job Title: Sales Executive

Department: Sales

Manage: Rose Mark

Start Date: February 25, 2023

End Date: April 24, 2023

Performance Issue: The sales of the last couple of months have drastically decreased, leading to the generation of very fewer revenues.


  1. Sales should increase by 50% within two months.
  2. At least 80% of the given sales target should be fulfilled within the next two months.
  3. Improve communication skills within two months.

Action Steps:

  1. Attend a negotiation skills course.
  2. Attend coaching sessions with the sales head.
  3. Keep in touch with customers via emails and calls.


  1. Negotiation Skills Course: Within the start of four weeks of PIP.
  2. Coaching Sessions: Throughout the PIP duration.
  3. Customer Engagement: Straight away.

Check-in Date(s):

  • March 10, 2023
  • March 20, 2023
  • April 1, 2023

Feedback: The manager and sales team leader will give feedback on progress every week.

Consequences: If Janet does not meet the above-stated requirements by April 24, 2023, then further training for two weeks will be provided. If her performance remains the same, then her employment will be canceled.

Part 5: FAQs About the Performance Improvement Plan

Is it a signal if an employee receives a PIP, that they will be fired?

A PIP is not designed to cause stress to the employee. It is for the betterment of the company and its employees. If someone receives PIP, they should not consider it a red flag. Instead, the plan should be regarded as a good sign as the company gives you a chance instead of canceling your employment immediately. 

How to respond if I receive a PIP plan?

If you receive a PIP plan, you must first keep yourself calm and read it carefully. After reading, start performing the given goals and requirements and keep the timeline in mind. Moreover, keep visiting the manager during that PIP period to provide regular reports. However, if you think PIP will lead to termination, look for other jobs side by side.

What is the timeframe of a PIP plan?

A PIP is a document containing all the details of changes that a worker must bring in performance to keep the job. A specific time is given within which employees' performance must improve, mostly 30, 60, or 90 days.


In a nutshell, an employee performance improvement plan is for the betterment of the employees. You can easily create it by using the performance improvement plan example given above. However, if you already have PIP in PDF format, use UPDF to edit, annotate, organize, and convert. You can also perform OCR to turn the document into a searchable and editable PDF.

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