Performance improvement plan templateReading time 5 minutes (inc. support info). Reviewed 18/05/2023.
If you have concens about the performance of an employee, use this model form template to capture the improvement required, and agree and plan the timescale. Most performance issues can be resolved through early informal discussion, regular 1:1s, feedback and a manager’s support.
Where this has no effect, a formal plan can be initiated to drive improvements.
What is a Performance improvement plan?
The purpose of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is to address and enhance an employee's performance when they are not meeting the required standards or expectations of their role. PIPs serve several important purposes within an organisation:
Clarifying Expectations: A PIP provides clarity regarding the performance expectations for the employee. It outlines specific areas where improvement is needed and clearly defines the goals and targets they need to achieve to meet the required standards.
Identifying Performance Issues: PIPs help identify and address performance issues in a structured manner. By documenting the areas of concern and the required improvements, it provides a factual and objective basis for the discussion between the employee and their supervisor.
Providing Feedback and Guidance: PIPs serve as a tool for providing constructive feedback to employees. They outline the gaps between the employee's current performance and the desired performance, and provide guidance on the steps, resources, and support available to help them improve.
Facilitating Coaching and Support: PIPs create an opportunity for coaching and support to help employees overcome their performance challenges. Supervisors can work closely with employees, offering guidance, training, mentoring, or additional resources to assist them in meeting the performance expectations.
Setting a Timeline for Improvement: PIPs establish a timeline within which the employee is expected to demonstrate improvement. This timeline provides a clear deadline by which the employee's performance should meet the required standards, allowing for a fair evaluation of progress.
Documenting Performance Issues: PIPs serve as an official record of performance concerns and the efforts made by the organisation to address them. They help create a paper trail, which can be useful in documenting the steps taken to support the employee, and may serve as a reference in future performance discussions or decisions.
Supporting Performance Documentation: If an employee's performance does not improve satisfactorily within the designated timeframe of the PIP, it can provide the organisation with grounds for taking further action, such as initiating disciplinary measures or considering other appropriate interventions.
Overall, the purpose of a Performance Improvement Plan is to provide a structured approach for addressing performance issues, guiding employees towards improved performance, and enabling them to meet the required standards of their role. PIPs aim to support employee growth and development while ensuring alignment with organisational goals and expectations.
What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?
Here are some key UK employment legislations that support the implementation of Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs):
Employment Rights Act 1996: Provides statutory rights and protections for employees, including the right to be provided with reasonable notice of performance issues and the opportunity to improve before any disciplinary action is taken.
Equality Act 2010: Prohibits discrimination, harassment, and victimisation based on protected characteristics such as age, disability, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. PIPs should be implemented in a fair and non-discriminatory manner, ensuring equal opportunities for all employees.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974: Places a duty on employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. PIPs should consider any relevant health and safety concerns affecting an employee's performance and provide necessary support or adjustments.
Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006: Protects employees against age discrimination. PIPs must not discriminate against employees based on their age and should be designed and implemented in a fair and unbiased manner.
Data Protection Act 2018: Sets out rules and regulations regarding the processing and protection of personal data. PIPs should comply with data protection principles, ensuring that any personal data collected and used during the process is handled securely and lawfully.
Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992: Provides protections for employees who are members of trade unions. PIPs should be implemented in accordance with any relevant collective bargaining agreements or trade union agreements.
Employment Relations Act 1999: Outlines the legal framework for handling disputes and grievances in the workplace. PIPs should provide a fair and transparent process for employees to raise concerns or appeal decisions related to their performance improvement.
Working Time Regulations 1998: Sets out provisions regarding working time limits, rest breaks, and holidays. PIPs should take into account any relevant working time considerations and ensure that employees have a reasonable work-life balance.
National Minimum Wage Act 1998: Establishes the minimum wage rates for different age groups. PIPs should not result in a breach of minimum wage requirements, and any adjustments or training provided should be appropriately remunerated.
Performance improvement plan
Performance improvement agreement
|Expected standard of performance
|Agreed improvement actions
|Date to achieve expected standard
|Detail specific dates and examples of where the standards have not been met
|Detail what is expected of the employee in terms of their performance i.e. what does 'good'; look like
|Detail what actions need to be taken to meet expected standard of performance
|Detail what has been agreed in terms of support required to achieve the expected standard of performance
|Detail improvement made and any future review dates
First performance improvement meeting notification letter template
Use this template to arrange the first formal performance improvement plan meeting after previous informal discussions have not produced any progress.
Second performance improvement meeting notification letter template
Use this model letter to arrange the second formal performance improvement plan (PIP) meeting after the first meeting has not led to any progress.
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