Jan 27 2021
A performance improvement plan, commonly referred to as a PIP, is a tool employers use to give employees with performance deficiencies the opportunity to correct them. Unfortunately, though, some employers also use PIPs to perpetuate illegal employment actions. How do you tell the difference? Is your employer genuinely trying to help you? Or is a termination just around the corner?
Here are some good rules of thumb:
- 1. Take a deep breath. These are incredibly stressful times, but stress causes us to not think rationally.
- 2. Read the performance improvement plan. Make a copy and mark it up. What do you agree with? What did your manager get wrong? In Connecticut, a PIP becomes part of your personnel file. You have the right to rebut the PIP, or any other discipline, and ask that your rebuttal be placed in your personnel file.
- 3. Do your job, and do it well. Your performance is suddenly being viewed under a microscope. Now is the time to perform, work hard, and do your best not to make any mistakes.
- 4. Think. Ask yourself some questions about the last six months or so at work. Is anything out of the ordinary? What changed? Did you take a medical leave? Get hurt on the job? Have a baby? Do you have a new boss? These questions will help determine whether the PIP is intended to help you succeed or whether you should be questioning what motivated it.
- 5. Don’t be afraid to sign it. Your signature on the PIP does not mean you agree with its contents. It simply means you are confirming you received it. To make you feel more comfortable, you can write, “My signature acknowledges receipt only.”
- 6. Give us a call. Information is power. We are here to answer your questions and, if appropriate, work with you through this difficult time.