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Free Printable Performance Improvement Plan Templates [Excel, PDF, Word]

    Most managers face a difficult situation when they realize that one of their team members, who is given some responsibility, is not delivering the result. The situation can get worse when the manager realizes that the employee or team member is not performing up to the mark at regular intervals. To make this even more frustrating, you cannot expect to fire the employee or team member as if he/she is a part of your business.

    What is a performance improvement plan (PIP)?

    Performance Improvement Plan
    Performance Improvement Plan

    A performance improvement plan or performance action plan is used in organizations to address performance concerns before they escalate into a complex compensation and benefits issue. A PIP helps employees in the organization to improve their performance by identifying what actions were performed poorly and offering suggestions to improve them.

    The main purpose of a performance improvement plan is to provide support to employees who are having difficulty with their work performance. It is designed for employees whose performance does not match the expectations of their managers. A performance improvement plan is most useful when an employee’s career track is unclear.

    Performance Improvement Plan Templates

    “Performance Improvement Plan Templates” are pre-designed documents that provide a structured framework for addressing and improving employee performance issues within an organization. These templates serve as a valuable tool for managers and HR professionals to outline specific areas of improvement, set goals, and establish a roadmap for enhancing employee performance.

    Performance improvement plans (PIPs) are designed to help employees who are struggling to meet performance expectations. These plans provide a structured and supportive approach to address performance gaps, clarify expectations, and provide opportunities for growth and development.

    Performance improvement plan templates typically include sections to identify the areas of concern, set clear performance goals, outline action steps, and specify a timeline for improvement. They also provide space for documenting regular check-ins, feedback sessions, and progress assessments.

    What is Employee Performance?

    Employee performance shows how efficiently and with quality an employee fulfills his duties and responsibilities in the workplace. There is another important issue we should mention here. Employee performance does not only benefit the company. At the same time, it enables employees to reach their full potential and increases their overall performance. This positively affects employee motivation and the quality of their work.

    How to Increase Employee Performance?

    Here are some ways you can improve employee performance:

    1. Why Is Your Employee Not Meeting Your Expectations?

    There may be many reasons why an employee does not perform as expected. There may be a lack of resources, they may have problems in their private lives, and they may not feel compatible with the goals of the company. Therefore, you need to get to the bottom of these reasons to make the right and successful improvements for the customer. To understand these, establish open and sincere communication with employees and find out what factors affect their performance.

    2. Provide Regular Feedback

    One of the most effective ways to improve employee performance is to provide regular feedback. Frequent feedback allows you to catch up early on positive and negative situations that employees encounter while doing their jobs. At this point, it is ensured that employees know how to proceed and what steps they need to take for further improvement. It also helps employees feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and suggestions, paving the way for greater engagement.

    3. Create a Positive Company Culture

    Having a positive atmosphere within the company increases employee motivation, performance, and participation. A positive company culture increases productivity by allowing employees to focus more on their work while avoiding distractions. In addition, a positive work environment motivates employees to do their best work.

    To create a positive workplace culture, you can gather information from your employees about what needs improvement. Not only does this enable you to make changes on aspects that will affect employee performance, but it also shows that you value employee suggestions. In this way, you will also ensure that employees feel valued.

    4. Emphasize Education and Development

    One of the reasons for low employee performance may be a skill or knowledge gap. For this reason, you should help employees gain new skills by contributing to their learning and development. Thus, you enable them to complete the missing parts and increase their performance.

    5. Set Realistic Goals

    The goals you set for the company must be realistic. Unrealistic goals can scare employees and cause employee burnout. At the same time, you should be careful that the goals are not too easy. Because easy goals will not provide the motivation that success brings. When setting goals, you must make sure that you set the balance correctly.

    6. Ensure Employee Satisfaction

    If your employees feel that their work is not rewarded and valued, their performance will suffer. Therefore, to ensure that your employees are happy and productive, take steps to meet their expectations.

    7. Take an Action If You Don’t See Any Improvement

    You’ve set an improvement plan, and clear goals and expectations for your employees, but if they’re not making any changes to their jobs, you need to act. Otherwise, while employees think that low performance is sufficient, it may cause a loss of motivation for those with high performance.

    The seriousness of the situation should be shown with written or verbal warnings, and it should be emphasized that they should pay more attention to eliminate the deficiencies in improvement.


    If you’re struggling to improve your employee’s performance, it may end up costing your business a lot more money. If performance isn’t improved and if the staff member’s behavior or activities are disruptive to your business, they can also drag down other staff and affect productivity. The obvious solution is you need a performance improvement plan template.


    What is a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)?

    A PIP is a formal document used by employers to outline areas of an employee’s work that require improvement and the steps needed to achieve better performance.

    What is the purpose of a Performance Improvement Plan?

    The purpose is to help employees understand their performance gaps, provide a structured path for improvement, and measure progress over a specified period.

    How is a Performance Improvement Plan structured?

    A PIP typically includes an outline of performance issues, the required performance standards, a plan for achieving improvements, a timeline, and the metrics for measuring progress.

    How long does a Performance Improvement Plan last?

    The duration can vary, but PIPs often last between 30 to 90 days, depending on the level of improvement needed.

    Is a Performance Improvement Plan a disciplinary action?

    A PIP is a constructive tool, but it can be a step towards disciplinary action if performance does not improve within the specified period.

    What happens if an employee fails to meet the objectives of a PIP?

    Failure to meet PIP objectives can result in further disciplinary action, including possible termination of employment.

    Can an employee dispute a Performance Improvement Plan?

    Employees can discuss concerns with their manager or HR if they feel the PIP is unfair. It’s advisable to provide evidence to support any disputes.

    How should an employee approach a Performance Improvement Plan?

    Employees should view PIPs as an opportunity for growth, engage positively, seek clarification, adhere to the plan, and communicate regularly with their manager.

    Can a Performance Improvement Plan be extended?

    The extension of a PIP is at the discretion of the employer, who may extend it if they see some improvement and potential for the employee to meet the objectives with more time.

    Is a Performance Improvement Plan documented on an employee’s record?

    Yes, a PIP and its results are often documented in an employee’s personnel file, which may affect future employment opportunities within the same organization.

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    Betina Jessen

    Betina Jessen

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