1. Money
Susan M. Heathfield

Use a PIP Properly: Help People Succeed

By March 11, 2014

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Are you looking for a format that's a winner when you want to help an employee who is struggling, clueless, or underperforming - succeed? You'll find what you are looking for here. Used correctly, the purpose of a formal Performance Improvement Plan is to help an employee succeed.

This format enables you to set goals, establish measures, conduct review sessions and chart progress. Not convinced of the need for this procedure? Check out my introduction to the form. You'll be happy you did.

Image Copyright Jack Hollingsworth / Getty Images

The above post on Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) reminds me of the Energizer Bunny. First published on May 24, 2004 (yes, I have been writing this blog for awhile - back then, I was just learning - a lot!), comments just keep coming and coming and coming. It's a topic that almost everyone has an opinion about... Do you?

Please note: I don't publish comments that are written in all caps or that are overwhelmed with cuss words.

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Comments
October 31, 2009 at 8:31 am
(1) Paul Bentley says:

Whenever a client or blog reader tells me he or she has been placed on a so-called “Performance Improvement Plan,” or “PIP,” I worry for them. In over 25 years of counseling and representing employees, I can count on one hand the number who have remained employed at the conclusion of a “PIP” . . . unless they’ve stood up for themselves by challenging the PIP.

The concept of helping someone put together a plan to improve their workplace performance is wonderful. However, in 95% of the times I’ve seen PIP’s used, what’s really going on is close to evil: it is nothing but a “paper trail” that looks objective in order to justify firing an employee who everyone knows is a good employee.

February 2, 2011 at 11:15 am
(2) Doc says:

As a former management side attorney, I agree. Ussualy a PIP follows a determination that the employee meets most, if not all, objective job criteria, but that the manager still wants the employee fired. Be wary of PIP’s that are full of soft and subjective comments – i.e., “employee needs to be a better team player,” “employee neeeds to have a more positive persona.” If you are placed on a PIP consider hiring an attorney.

February 6, 2011 at 3:20 am
(3) BJ says:

The PIP has had a horrible effect on my health and wellbeing. Doc my comment is really a request for a good employment attorney. Should I wait to be fired in two weeks or resign for medical reasons first?

I have been on a PIP for very long a torturous course the PIP ends in 2 wks. 2.5 mo. shy of a year. My story goes like many I have read here in this thread. 14 yrs ago I disclosed that I had a Learning Disability (LD) when I was hired by my employer a local government agency.

I declared foul when presented with my annual performance appraisal in May. I had never heard of a PIP. I have a good track record for the past 10 yrs. resulted in Sept.09 in a level adjustment. Due to the harshness in the PIP, I went straight to our State Voc. Rehab. Office & filed for assistance. Later I learned my employer lost my medical records & had no previous knowledge of my LD, thus the PIP stood as is without consider all the facts of the situation

I tried to make a case that the PIP was invalid because my LD was not considered in its implementation. I would later wish to make the case that this PIP procedure was totally inappropriate & abusive. Furthermore that recklessly implementing the PIP was violating professional standards of due care.

My situation continues stemming from caregiver fatigue starting treatment in Apr. 08. So 2 yrs before PIP started I was being followed so has the total the PIP delivery that compounded my mild case became severe enough to require a FMLA to recover. Enough I hoped “back to work” approval and returned to the PIP process.

I came into this new year with a “can do attitude” only to have every attempt rejected. I have since had a relapse after only 3 wks of torture. I was thinking about filing a hostile work environment complaint until I snapped 2 wks ago at PIP meeting. Oops now I am considered the aggressor and disrespectful and insubordinate. Thus they added three more performance issues to my PIP.

February 7, 2011 at 9:35 pm
(4) Moni says:

Doc, what if the manager wants you to write your own PIP and submit it for approval? Is that normal? I have a boss who will be on a PIP as soon as he puts it together. It’s an awful, unfair situation and they definitely just want him gone. He’s the best boss that I’ve had in a long time, so it just plain sucks!

February 9, 2011 at 1:12 am
(5) donna says:

are you aware of any good attorneys who handle this? if so…..can you refer?

May 4, 2011 at 12:10 am
(6) AHEC says:

These comments are typical of lawyers and attorneys (for those of you who are American).

What does an employer do? You have some underperforming employee and all you want is for them to pull finger and do what it is that you employed them to do. But…oh no…OMG…heaven forbid….they object to being told they are not performing…like it comes as such a shock.

The shock is really embarrassment that they have been flushed out.

How about those poor staff who do work hard, do an honest day’s work and watch some underperforming employee get away with underperforming.

The purpose of a PIP is to move the person from zero to hero…if that’s a threat then democracy is dying a slow and painful death.

March 11, 2011 at 10:28 am
(7) Advice Needed says:

What is the recommended course of action to fight a PIP?
Is a Verbal Warning, followed up by a letter titled “Stage 1 Performance Improvement Process” the same as a PIP? I was told this was not a PIP by the manager (2 years on the job). He stated, it is a verbal warning. When he sent the f/u letter with the title, it threw me. He has yet to answer my question as to if this is a PIP or not.
Is it better just to start looking even if you enjoy what you do? I have been with my company for over 10 years and it is a sales position that i enjoy very much and would like to continue. I have had a multitude of successful years, in fact — in ’09, knocked my number out of the park, however 2010 was a tough year. I have many letters of accolades (which include letters from the President of the company). As much as I enjoy what I do, I have to say part of me wants to leave on principle. Looking for some objective and legal “words of wisdom”.

May 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm
(8) RAY says:

This comment from Paul really hit me hard since I received PIP in 2008. I already knew my supervisor wanted to get rid of me. She planned the PIP when the owners were away on holiday. I was told during the PIP that the owners were in agreement that I was not getting along with everyone. It was a very strange since I thought I was fine. I thought it was suspicious and mentioned to one of the owners. The owners were livid but she kept throwing me under the bus until one year later they let me go with “severance”. Now, I see the money as a payoff. It is so sad that small and large companies are treating their employees like this.

November 19, 2009 at 12:26 am
(9) deanna says:

I have personal experience having to work under a PIP plan. I worked in a department where sales, measures, and credit were never consistant with anyone. I had nothing but great reviews for over 3 years with the company.When a new manager/supervisor came into the picture with no experience in our department and changes started being made I was put onto a PIP plan. This plan was unrealistic and was set up for failure. It was a way to cause fear of my job through intimidation. Far from helpful. This way of managing to improve someones performance is nothing but EVIL. There are far better ways to improve someones performance.

Needless to say I went on a job hunt and when I found something better, I went in and put in my written two weeks notice….they refused the two weeks and made me leave that night and now im considered “non-rehireable”. As far as I was concerned I had two options
1. get fired anyway because there was no way I was going to meet their projected goals
2. Find something else and be professional at putting in my two weeks.

I went for the second outcome and they still found a way to not only fire me but make me un rehireable.
This is a plan to get rid of you not to improve your abilities to do better.

December 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm
(10) D says:

I completely agree with both comments on this subject. I am currently going through a PIP. It is nothing but evil and in no way preparing to keep me in my job. They won’t even give me a final employment date. I am just going along doing all of this work they are throwing at me. I feel like a puppet in their evil plan.
I am 42 years old with many years professional experience and have never been fired, let go, or anything from any job. This is horrible and devasting to your ego.
I am looking for another job, however, the area I live in is very depressed economically and the jobs are scarce.
Mr. Bentley, if you have any advice for me as an employee, I would greatly appreciate it.

December 29, 2009 at 4:22 pm
(11) tups says:

I’ve been placed on a “pip” by a major company (one of the AAA rated in the USA). It was a fantastic compnay in all my 7yrs, until we got a new manager in!

An installation went wrong from a-z, the company was mainly at fault and also the manpower for the job was almost down to zero. My manager decides to aim the blame on me and puts me on this pip.

I comply at first to avoid the grief, but lo and behold it turns nasty! He was seeking to challenge me on every objective and couldn’t find reason to do me.

He failed miserably and then sought my customers to become his allies and tried to find reason with them for him to fail me.

This has now escaleted into bullying & harrrassment and I am now off with work-related stress. In all 7yrs I have neevr taken time off sick, even when I was unwell I still carried on due to the nature of the job.

I have contaced drs, union, colleagues, omdudsman etc. and find that I need to get myself another job!

However, I cannot allow this to rest and will be suing hais ass for constructive dismissal. Guy’s listen!!! They will seek anything and everything to fire you! you’re a number even if though you’re the best in the job!

There are no loyalty points in the job except “just do as your told”!

I agree, yes, it’s nothig but evil. But there’s a God who has to listen! His name is Jesus! call on him ask him for direction and he’ll give it! you’ll win, just be head strong no matter what it takes. I’m preaching to myself, but I will win against my employer for bullying and constructive dismissal and I will win!! God as my witness I will! Bless you! Amen

January 29, 2010 at 12:05 pm
(12) Kay says:

I can respect all of the comments posted, yet I found this form while searching for a more friendly way to counsel & improve a 5-year employees performance for the same issues that pop-up every six months. This employee has been given “warnings” and counseled at periodic reviews. Things “appear” to improve for a few months, but cannot be sustained. My situation relates to the core job functions, not pinning blame for a loss, nor targeting for firing. As a manager, I’ve always recognized the value of bringing a poor performer around versus starting from scratch. However, if an employee just doesn’t want to put the effort in, what can you do?

February 1, 2010 at 2:22 pm
(13) j says:

i’m on a PIP now, and i believe its a way to fire someone. I have been at this company for 10 years, and never got a bad review. have a new manager. apparently i didn’t do some work order over 7 months ago, and just finding out about, that wasn’t even in the pip, the pip was very vague. i didn’t get a followup, until i initiated it. then was told that i close my door all the time. which to me has no validity, when everyone who has one, closes theirs, and i only close it when i’m on a conference call. i told him there are others that close theirs all the time, so i don’t think that is something that you should be bringing up. I was tempted to ask should i be looking for another job. i mean these things are coming out of left field sort of speak.

Then he couldn’t give me an update, because he hadn’t been able to speak to anyone in regards to how i’ve been coming along, and its been well over a month. I only have 2 weeks left for my PIP.

February 13, 2010 at 5:50 am
(14) Runeberg says:

I am a teacher and have been placed on an improvement plan. However, my Principal has never seen me teach, although he still feels able to say what is wrong with my teaching, my room and my philosophy. I don’t know what the outcome of my challenge will be, but I see it is an opportunity for intimidation.

February 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm
(15) Jim says:

I agree with D. PIPs are nothing but the beginning of the end and I learned the hard way. Although I met every item on the list, I was given some other very obscure reason for not having the skills necessary. Interestingly the prior year these “skills” existed as per my review. Where’d they go? I was a victim of the new president’s housecleaning and nothing I could’ve done would have been good enough. It was a cruel, pressure filled few months of spinning my wheels, naively thinking I will get through it since I KNEW I was an excellent performer after decades of good reviews. A lesson to learn: HR is never on your side, so be careful what you tell them. They can use it to beef up your boss’s case against you

March 12, 2010 at 12:49 am
(16) Geoff says:

I’m currently on a PIP, and I have to echo the above comments.

The most frustrating part is going above and beyond to get everything done and then having my manager search for something, anything, to point to that is negative.

As soon as you catch wind you are on a PIP, get your resume in order and spin up your network. And then get out of there.

March 30, 2010 at 2:47 pm
(17) M says:

A PIP isn’t always a means to an end, but does hold someone accountable. I have an employee who for 2 years has rated himself as needing improvement which is the lowest of 4 ratings on results orientation.

We are trying to give him a chance but he keeps missing deadlines he sets. So we aren’t trying to get rid of him but just hold him accountable and if it isn’t official, he doesn’t care.

April 3, 2010 at 9:21 am
(18) JB says:

I too was placed on a PIP after 7 years of excellent reviews. It was definitely a tactic used to first torture me, then fire me. I didn’t stand a chance.

A PIP should be used to bring a substandard employee up to par after other methods have failed. It is not SUPPOSED to be used against good employees by asking them to perform superhuman tricks. You should not be expected to make 250 widgets per day when production for everyone else is 100 widgets per day. That is illegal.

And yes, HR is definitely NOT your friend.

April 18, 2010 at 9:12 am
(19) Doug Alberta says:

I somewhat agree the PIP has been a tool that is not used correctly. However, that does not mean the manager looking into the future could not use this outline to define the tasks and goal of a team.
We are trying this method to define and clarify roles in a changed structure. The PIPs are interlinked and checks and balances in place for time lines.
We are also managing a group of individuals out, with clearly definded and measured expectations with measured results and time lines. These processes are not the same!

May 6, 2010 at 7:08 pm
(20) H. Snipes says:

I have to agree that I have never seen a PIP that was more than a CYA for the employer. The employee who gets on is a dead man/woman walking.

May 10, 2010 at 6:43 pm
(21) true fool says:

Everyone here is right,I have been on a PIP for nearly a year , and now have received a written warning, which nicely coincides with a significant piece of work now completed for the boss which has lead me to work late nights and not see my very young children not see daddy come home to play with them each night.

Faith no more where I work. – i feel destroyed.

May 11, 2010 at 6:07 pm
(22) laire says:

Yes, PIPs can be used to get rid of people but they can also be very useful tools to improve people who are willing to improve…I have been moved as a manager through several stores in my company and have used PIPs a lot.I have had staff go from near dismissal to employee of the year after successfully completing a PIP so they are not all doom and gloom…also a lot of staff members in a company for a long period can think they are doing everything right but may not be reaching company standards.I have found that during this recession the qualities needed in a staff member have changed from previously!!!
Don’t see all PIPs as a negative or you may end up getting yourself fired unnecessarily!!

February 2, 2011 at 11:24 am
(23) Doc says:

Laire,
You would do yoourself and your employee’s well to look at other mangement tools short of PIP’s. If you are going to use PIP’s they should not be a matter of first chice but should only be implemented after fair warning through documented counselling. Yes, it is a lot of work, but that is what you get paid to do as a manger of human beings.

You should also be aware that the Plaintiff’s bar almost universally views PIP’s as a tool to cover an otherwise unjustified termination.

February 2, 2011 at 11:46 am
(24) Susan Heathfield says:

I agree with this comment. I see a PIP as almost a desperation move. We only use a PIP when we have tried everything else we can think of to help an employee improve. This includes months of documented counseling and coaching, specific action plans, goals, and expectations documented on a performance development plan, which all employees have, and escalating involvement from HR so the employee understands the severity of the situation.
The PIP is a last ditch effort to gain the employee’s attention and we only use them when we believe that the employee is actually capable of improving and delivering the performance that we need from him or her. Anything else is a time waster for the employer and torture for the employee.
From reading this thread over the past couple of years, it has become very obvious that not all employers use the possibility that a PIP represents, ethically. In fact, the stories conveyed here lead me to believe that its use is actually evil in some workplaces.

May 18, 2010 at 6:30 pm
(25) evil boss says:

laire , what planet are you on…PIPs are evil.

If you are asked to go on a PIP get you resume together NOW.

End of the line sunshine..

May 21, 2010 at 7:58 am
(26) Luvs PIP says:

By reading some of the poorly written comments here, I can understand why some of you are on PIP. Everyone’s blameless and PIPs are an evil conspiracy. I hope to never have to work with you folks.

January 31, 2011 at 5:01 pm
(27) Jim says:

What planet do you arrive from last week?

May 21, 2010 at 3:10 pm
(28) Jim says:

Luvs PIP – I have to disagree entirely. Most folk are hard workers and in this current financial environment, I would suggest that most are desperately trying to hold onto the jobs they have…not put them on the line.

Unfortunately, most often these PIPS are designed to manage a person out of the organisation. At best it could be done as a genuine improvement, but only if all other avenues have failed. And at worst, it’s designed to add pressure and final outcomes that never are in favour of the employee.

Sometimes people are not given enough support to do the job properly, lack of training and are then are conveniently blamed when things go wrong. What it tells you is that Managers often are more to blame for lack of action in supporting employees do their jobs.

PIP = get your CV/Resume out the door sharpish.

June 12, 2010 at 4:59 pm
(29) loveislandsun says:

I would have to agree that generally PIPs are misused, whilst the original purpose of them was probably instigated for good, many managers use them to get rid of staff setting their colleagues up for failure.

By the way Luvs, your comment is very inconsiderate and thoughtless. Im sure many of the people that have tried to share their thoughts with you, would be happy not to work with you too.

June 15, 2010 at 7:33 am
(30) Nilesh says:

PIP is definitely not good.The employee which trust company ,company also have trust on them. If company hired a new employee giving training to them takes lot off time. So trust on employee give him another chance to improve.Show their mistakes,their pitfalls,their lackunas and give chance to improve them.

June 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm
(31) ImOut2 says:

Yep, after 13 and a half years of giving my all to a “great” company, I got the “severance” lecture or the alternative…PIP. Of coure, if I failed the PIP, I would be let go with NO severance. In all the years there, I never had a bad review…Never. After going to HR about a situation, for not feeling comfortable enough to talk to our NEW DM, the new DM flew in to let me know that they did not feel it is to their “best interest” for me to continue working that week.
I took PIP to buy some time, since I’d never heard of it and didn’t know exactly what it was. EVERYONE I asked gave me the same answer….”Oh, the good ole PIP. *with laughs*. Take the severance. I’ve known people who jumped through all the hoops and still got let go.” Even a doctor friend of mine said some of his colleagues got the same garbage. I consulted a lawyer. Same thing. “Get out with the money.”
Needless to say, I let them know that since I hadn’t signed anything yet, I would take my severance and go.
Don’t let some of these company board trolls tell you they aren’t out to get you. They are. If I worked for 13+ years without a complaint and good reviews, there was no reason I needed “performance improvement”.

July 4, 2010 at 2:12 pm
(32) Geoff says:

I have some more advice now that I’ve been through it and out the other side. (And a relative went through something similar.)

Before taking the severance you have to figure out whether you can get unemployment if you take it. Currently, you can get reduced COBRA rates if you didn’t leave of your own accord, so you need to figure out if that is affected as well.

Also, if you are taking severance, negotiate a recommendation. This will make it easier to get your next job.

I had the following scenario: on the PIP for 2 months and then left in limbo for about 4 weeks. They wouldn’t tell me one way or the other what they were going to do.

The second to last day of the month was when I was let go. That’s not a coincidence. My relative had the same thing happen. They have to pay the insurance company for your health care if you are an employee on the 1st. Although I’m not certain your benefits would stick with you through the end of the month even if you were fired on the 2nd.

So if you find yourself at the 28th or 29th and you’ve come through the PIP but haven’t gotten official word yet, consider taking a few days off on short notice. It may buy you some time.

Last piece of advice: Don’t let the bastards get you down. Yes, we all make mistakes. Try to correct them. But be willing to move on. You’re in a situation that stinks. Realize you are going to get fired and try to relax. If they are putting you in no-win situations, don’t stress about it. You aren’t the first person this has happened to and you won’t be the last.

July 12, 2010 at 7:29 pm
(33) Mona says:

The so-called “Performance Improvement Plan” is simply a way for the company to cover itself legally when it has decided to fire someone.

I too am an individual with a successful work record who found myself entangled in one of these obscene “plans” after new management came in.

It’s like receiving a death sentence in some countries – you don’t know when your execution date will be, and remain on hard labor until they march you to the firing squad.

July 23, 2010 at 6:10 am
(34) Just WOW says:

Well here is a good story! I was placed on 2 PIP’s by the same company! One for 3 months and was taken off because they had nothing based on the PIP to fire me on.

The second PIP lasted for 6 months, and when they still didnt have anything to fire me on they EXTENDED it for another 3 months. Sadly they had found the smallest little thing they didnt like at the end of the 3rd month and fired me.

For those people that think the PIPs are good, all I have to say is that I was the Best at what I did for the company and my manager was threatened by it! Going to HR and telling them that my manager is out to get me only made it worse!

Small advice for those just placed on a PIP, you have 1 month to find a new job, cause they dont want you there anymore for some stupid reason!

July 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm
(35) Lizzy says:

I was placed on a PIP when I returned from Maternity leave, I was back for 3 days and they considered my work unsatisfactory which I still do not understand why. That was almost a year ago and now with a new manager in place who reviewed my PIP in my file had it dismissed and removed because there were really no grounds for it, the old supervisor just considered me a liability because I was now a parent and wanted me gone.

August 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm
(36) Brenda J says:

Boy–now I’m not feeling so bad. Today I was put on a PIP because my work performing an audit was “inconsistent”, though everyone on this program is struggling with the same issues because we have not been given formal training. I went back to my desk, was about to finish another audit I was just finishing, when the person who is talking smack to my boss, and making her think I’m a dumb-ass, had finished the same audit. Guess what. SHE was “inconsistent” as well, and made errors that I caught. I went to my boss with the evidence and am asking for them to remove the PIP from my record. As I see in comment after comment, a PIP is a good way to put someone’s cheese in the wind. And it AIN’T gonna be mine!!!!

September 8, 2010 at 7:52 am
(37) boss1 says:

PIP is often used by us as a more formal way of saying time to pull your socks up. Sometimes people improve sometimes they don’t. I’m sure some companies including ours use them to get rid of the bad underperforming staff. If you perform particularly in a sales environment you will be spared. If not then get looking for another employer as we would PIP you out the front door. In an economy.like today, its survival if the fittest. There is no room for underperformers. Good luck anyone on a PIP. Remember one thing. Make sure the info on the PIP that you are graded on is very specific, measurable, achieveable and time agreed. If not your gone.

September 23, 2010 at 12:27 pm
(38) R. Coleman says:

I agree with many of the comments here. I was set up and my work sabatoged. I’ve been made to look like a poor performer with inaccurate info, placed on a PIP, ordered to meet with my manager weekly, and also a coach. My work is better than many coworkers, but the stress has made it difficult.
For me, it is obvious this is a way for the employer to fire me and make it appear justified and make a paper trail.
HR works for the company and would probably help the managers do this.
Jim has made excellent points.
If you have been placed on PIP get your resumes out.
Consider volunteering for references if necessary.

September 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm
(39) B B says:

What would you think if a new company just merged with the company you worked for. And the new company just gave you your 90 day eval. After speaking with your 2 coworkers who also got a bad eval from the new company you realize they used the exact same words for all of you. (And to add, none of us have ever got a bad eval from any job)And to top it off the supervisors who gave the eval hasn”t even observe you work, they are going by their own employees comments.Does this sound like they are pushing out the new employees so that their present ones can have their jobs?

October 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm
(40) jj says:

Any Supervisor who places someone on a PIP should place themself on a PIP. You have failed your employee as a leader by not providing the proper tools and availability to help this person improve. You cannot write up an employee to success, onlt coach and provide proper tools.

October 10, 2010 at 11:19 pm
(41) MO says:

During my early management, I put two engineers in PIP to help them improve. In both cases, the engineers came out stronger and kept their jobs.

PIP isn’t inherently good or bad, as with most tools, it depends on how it is applied.

September 8, 2011 at 12:03 am
(42) Mrs Mill says:

thank you .. I needed this

October 29, 2010 at 3:45 pm
(43) K says:

I am currently going through this PIP… and yes it is EVIL…. They are looking for any single movement, word to destroy you. They even get people to spy you and report you for comment you might make…
I am on IP for 1.5 months and every week on review of he week I am living 55 minutes of psychological destruction, blames, put downs, accusations in huis clos. 55 minutes of moral harassment that I can not prove as it is all done verbally and he denies eveything afterwards.
I am now to the point that I am getting seriously close to the depression.

I do make efforts but he does not want to recognise them and carries on saying that I am not improving.. He is pushing me to the fault and next week I will be under investigation again for “bad behaviour”…

I am gathering feedback and try to find something.. I nothing improves in the way my boss talks to me I am going to request for a grievance for moral harassment and get constructive dismissal..
This is where I am now, after 4 years of hard work, 4 years on improving my Department, this is how they thank me…..

So depressing….

Is there somewhere one of you who successfully got out of this hell????
And yes, I did like most of you… my CV has been sent and every evening I am checking the web for job offers…
I have the feeling that it is over for me and I have reached the point when I do not stress anymore as for me it is just a question of time…. It is over…. I am waiting of that d

October 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm
(44) K says:

I am currently going through this PIP… and yes it is EVIL…. They are looking for any single movement, word to destroy you. They even get people to spy you and report you for comment you might make…
I am on IP for 1.5 months and every week on review of he week I am living 55 minutes of psychological destruction, blames, put downs, accusations in huis clos. 55 minutes of moral harassment that I can not prove as it is all done verbally and he denies eveything afterwards.
I am now to the point that I am getting seriously close to the depression.

I do make efforts but he does not want to recognise them and carries on saying that I am not improving.. He is pushing me to the fault and next week I will be under investigation again for “bad behaviour”…

I am gathering feedback and try to find something.. I nothing improves in the way my boss talks to me I am going to request for a grievance for moral harassment and get constructive dismissal..
This is where I am now, after 4 years of hard work, 4 years on improving my Department, this is how they thank me…..

So depressing….

Is there somewhere one of you who successfully got out of this hell????

And yes, I did like most of you… my CV has been sent and every evening I am checking the web for job offers…
I have the feeling that it is over for me and I have reached the point when I do not stress anymore as for me it is just a question of time…. It is over…. I am waiting of that day of when they are going to announce me the result….

end of the story and the hell and psychological destruction

November 7, 2010 at 1:53 pm
(45) D says:

I’ve been a on PIP previously and am still employed by the same company some years later.

I’ve since been promoted twice and I use PIPs as a way to aid improving performance.
Some people need a PIP to give them focus on what they should be doing instead of what they think they should be doing.
In the past three years I have put around 15 employee’s on PIPs and out of those, one left as he was under the same narrow minded impression, that it would appear most people on here are, that once on a PIP you are on your way out the door.
Two have since been promoted and are doing really well, and are appreciative of the guidance they were given.
11 have all achieved the required targets and are no longer on PIPs.
Unfortunately, one is still on a PIP has been for the best part of six months now. I have no intention of sacking him or making him leave. I intend to get him through it. I see it as time invested not time wasted by focusing my efforts on him.

I don’t use PIPs lightly and from my experience, those generally on PIPs are on them for a good reason. I know I was! I do agree that some people may misuse them but these are, again in my experience, a minority.

September 8, 2011 at 12:05 am
(46) Mrs Mill says:

Thank you … I am so discouraged

November 17, 2011 at 12:23 pm
(47) TenAcreWds says:

I was hire by a company 1 1/2 yrs ago. I took over for a loved and very capable woman. I supervise two women who have been here for more than 10 years. They have not been trained and don’t want to be. They want to do things the way they have for years. We are moving into a new building where we will be many times busier. We need to work in a more efficient manner in order to get the work done. One woman walks in the door at 7:30 and thinks she’s on time. We pay her from 7:30, yet she is not ready to work at 7:30. She still has to put her things away, get her coffee, take the phones off nights, then sit down to work. I have put them both on a PIP. They are both angry with me; yet some of the things I’m trying to improve are things they’ve been advised of before. I’m just the one getting the blame. My boss has told me these changes have to be made. I’m trying to be gentle, make changes slowly, and give them time to acclimate. They tell me “that’s not the way we’ve done it before.” I know, but we have to make some changes before we get into the new building. I’ve told them that those are my orders. So you tell me what my next step should be. I would love to be able to work with them; that doesn’t seem to be what they want.

November 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm
(48) Geoff says:

Why is this handled by a PIP? PIP, to me, should be reserved for things like not being able to handle their job, basic competence, etc.

This sounds like a disciplinary problem. Warnings followed by firings. Or am I wrong and a PIP is appropriate for this?

November 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm
(49) Geoff says:

For those managers who put people on a PIP in the way it was originally intended, congratulations on actually being a good manager/boss.

However, if you are on a PIP find no comfort in this for the following reason: They may be lying to you and tell you that you can accomplish unobtainable goals. The odds are not in your favor that your manager is an exception.

If you push back on unobtainable goals (really unobtainable and unrealistic, not just unobtainable b/c you aren’t good), and they don’t budge, you are in trouble. If you are doing well and they are still trying to find major fault with minor things, the deck is stacked against you.

I guess another possibility also exists. Your manager and those above him are unreasonable and unrealistic and they legitimately believe the PIP they gave you is obtainable. Any attempts to show or prove to them otherwise shows them that you are a whiner and/or not capable of performing.

So just do the following: work really hard and do your best while at the same time trying to get out of there. Document everything. Consult with a lawyer.

Also, if they have set a timeline for you, ask them what methodology and what inputs did they use to come up with the time estimate. This may get them to rethink their estimate. Most people perform time estimation by guessing. Don’t allow them to guess. This is your job on the line.

November 9, 2010 at 9:08 am
(50) roockieemtI says:

I agree with you Pau. I a dilema and need advice. I was recently fired from work because I was trying to reason out or seeked help to my boss also the owner of the company to have a meeting to air out current moral situation of the company. The owner refused the request, instead bombared me with false and unproven accusation of insubodination, violation of company policy and eventually fired me. I never had any verbal warning, PIP, write ups in my file. Until now the owner has yet to show me proof that I violated something and what was the outcome of the violation.

I tried to pursue it with legal matters but no one seems to be interested in my case because they said.. a private company can do what ever they want because of Employer at Will policy. Which for me, has been nothing but good for employer only.. and has been abused by a lot of employers. What about the right of the employees… where does the EEOC comes in the picture? I am buffled and I need help.

Sincerely yours,

November 9, 2010 at 9:19 am
(51) roockieemt says:

Geoff,

I hear you.. PIP is great tool to motivate and bring out the best of your staff and in return rip the fruit of your labor.. but I was too late.. just starting to see some changes from my staff a real positive things.. until my boss turned around on me and went bananas on me. I did not have a chance to speak out and now being accused of misconduct.. I wish I am in one of those “protected class” where I can come in and demand for my rights and right to be heard even though I am wrong and still get rewarded afterwards for not doing my job. Because they are afraid that these so called protected group will cry the blues to the DOL for racial discrimination or unfair treatment.. it is just never fair.

November 9, 2010 at 10:44 am
(52) buddy says:

I used PIPs sparingly. I believe the mangager and the employee need to communicate with each other. I do not instruct my managers to hire someone they plan on letting go. During the interview, they need to look through a person for things they feel might be detremental and choose to not hire the person. I have personally placed 4 people on PIPs in the past 4 years. One did not do anything to improve, in fact took it to the contrary and continued the behavior that put her on the PIP in the first place. She has since been terminated. The other 3 (male and 2 females) have done a 180 degree turn around and are now all outstanding employees. I think if PIPs are used constructively, they can be a fabulous tool. Unfortunately they can and often are used as a means to start the termination process. At my work, no one goes on a PIP without careful consideration and without documented conversations with manager and employee.

September 8, 2011 at 12:07 am
(53) Mrs Mill says:

Thank you for sharing this!!! It is so helpful!!!

November 3, 2011 at 2:26 am
(54) atwitsend says:

i wish you are like my manager/company

November 10, 2010 at 11:54 am
(55) fatima says:

PIP reviews do provide great opportunities to have face to face talk with manager. But very often, they are used as a formal process to be in line with company requirements. Then, instead of being a motivation tool, they are a frustrating process.

November 15, 2010 at 8:52 pm
(56) intrigued says:

All you people who made fete compli comments about PIPs — take a look at your grammar. Perhaps that will lead you to why you could so easily be replaced. Attention to detail is the most common lacking investment that I see. Each time I’ve ever used a PIP, it’s been excruciating and I’ve sincerely been trying to help a completely dense, recalcitrant employee. Wake up!

November 25, 2010 at 5:41 am
(57) dw1 says:

Intrigued, perhaps you shouldn’t be talking about grammar standards when you use phrases like “fete compli”, “most common lacking”, and “each time I’ve ever”.

Better stop lashing those stones around your glass house, halfwit.

May 6, 2011 at 9:31 pm
(58) Evil empires says:

Bravo!! And to all the managers trying to defend PIPs I’d like to see you be place on one the tell us how you feel. After several years and positive reviews and awards my new manager felt it necessary to place me on one because I was being too assertive. PIPs are grossly misused in my organization. It has caused my irreversible psychological damage and is just as everyone else has sad – a product of evil

December 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm
(59) Jatzor says:

Hmmm a lot of bad press on PIP’s here. I have been asked to place myself on a PIP… now what does that mean?? I have been taking it positively until now, well kinda.

Found this forum when I googled PIP before I could start wirting one up. I have to create my own objectives and track my progress towards them over the next 6 months. At the end my manager signs off on it if he is happy with the tasks and their completion levels. A signed PIP allows me a bonus and training of my choice. An unsatisfactory one… well they didn’t tell me that! But seriously, I’m not gonna set objectives for myself that I can’t complete in 6mnths.

So I guess its not all bad.

December 5, 2010 at 11:54 pm
(60) L says:

I agree. The pip’s are typically used to “get rid of employees” whether it be for political reasons – or actual poor performance. Sometimes I think they are put in place when the boss really is not a good boss (or do not tkae teh time to effectively communicate) and cannot describe to the employee what they really want or need. It is then that the employye on the PIP suffers the consequences.

December 6, 2010 at 8:43 am
(61) Victor says:

I personally have PIP’s made every year for my employees. And in 3 years since i am in the management of the company we had to fire 4 or 5 persons out of 100-120 reviews.

But I admit that if you want to fire someone and do nor know how – a PIP is the perfact way to do it. I regret if someone uses this measure – it sucks..

December 19, 2010 at 5:31 am
(62) P says:

Please can anyone tell me what the correct procedures are for implementation of a PIP. Surely the employee is given some sort of written or verbal indication of their development area’s and given guidance to improve on these area’s first and then the PIP is given as a last resort ? Just recently I have been told in my job that I am doing brilliantly by my manager and then a few days later and completely out of the blue I am taken into the office where my PIP is drawn up and printed and placed neatly on the desk ready to hand to me. I am really struggling to come to terms with how a company can do this. I have only been given two weeks to “sell myself” to the company. How on earth can people treat you like this and put you under this amount of stress. This has not motivated me, it has made me worry and feel anxious. I have not eaten and I keep looking at my previous monthly 1.2.1 feedback forms which are all brilliant. What is going on!

December 19, 2010 at 9:06 am
(63) Geoff says:

P, you have been given a magical special PIP that very few employers are stupid enough to do.

They are trying to give you a PIP in order to fire you. However, they were too dumb to pull it off successfully or without much pain to themselves. If they recently gave you some praise about your performance, either written or verbal, document it. Then consult a lawyer right away.

You may have a basis for a lawsuit if they actually fire you. You may not want to sue, but you have leverage over them, at the very least, to get a pretty sweet out of court settlement or severance package.

Again, consult with a lawyer before any threatening. But if you want to say something like “this is odd. Just two weeks ago you said my performance was great.” that might be a nice little hint for them that they screwed up. Again, consult a lawyer.

But all this may give you is time. They may just redouble their efforts to create a trail of “poor performance.” Become paranoid without being a nut. Document everything.

And for all the management types on this thread who try to defend the PIP, I give you exhibit A on why this process is generally evil.

December 22, 2010 at 5:24 am
(64) P says:

Thank you Geoff
I referred my concerns to the HR Dept and they decided to take this through the grievance procedures of the company. To my astonishment they have returned their findings and have informed me that they are happy with the reasons behind the PIP, however, the in the report the reasons for my PIP are for a completely different aspect to my job role and have no connection with the action points in the PIP.
I have found that I am no longer able to trust the company and have realised that the distress that this has caused me and the impact on my partner and our young little girl is not worth the job role and have resigned my position.
I am absolutely amazed at how this process has been implemented and how they are able to do this. I am also amazed at how much better I feel now that I have taken myself out of the situation. Now I am just angry and upset.

December 22, 2010 at 9:03 am
(65) Geoff says:

P,

A few last words for you.

Yes, you feel a lot better when it’s over. I’m bouncing between contracting work and odd jobs until I land something permanent. Stressful? Sure. Especially in this economy. But the stress of dealing with the PIP is horrible. It’s just having to drag yourself into work every day into that whole situation. I’m happy I’m gone even if I have to struggle a little bit.

I hope you took a severance package.

When I say “consult a lawyer”, I mean it. You may not want to do anything. But you really have to know what your options are. I don’t like lawsuits and didn’t sue because it wasn’t worth the time or the stigma to other companies. But “consulting a lawyer” is not the same as “I’m going to sue”.

December 26, 2010 at 1:49 pm
(66) Reality Checker says:

If you put anyone under intense scrutiny–Albert Einstein, the Dalai Lama, Jesus–you’re going to find enough specs of dust on them to collectively call it dirt.

Those managers who are saying they put employees on PIPs with great success are delusional or just lying. A PIP is typically a one month period of intense scrutiny. If performance really was an issue, and you worked in a professional position, you wouldn’t get a PIP, you would get a six month Probationary Period, during which you would meet regularly with your supervisor to discuss performance issues and ways to improve. You would also be a participant in the process of improving your workplace as you discussed workplace and management issues which may have contributed to your inability to fulfill expectations–for instance, maybe the expectations are the problem or maybe there was a failure to train you properly, or perhaps you were not provided the resources necessary to do the job properly.

If PIPs were really “performance improvement plans”, managers/supervisors would be held accountable for their success or failure, and they would statistically improve performance rather than be a foreshadowing of dismissal.

Obviously the vast majority do not lead to performance improvement–so who do you think you’re fooling?

Shouldn’t this be illegal given the facts?

January 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm
(67) Defiant says:

I do agree that PIPs are a poor excuse for a witch hunt. In my company I was the victim of a typical blame game in which the upper management needed to make an example of, so they could demonstrate to the client that a corrective action plan had been put in place for a costly error that occurred. This mistake was in fact the fault of everyone involved as the project had to be reviewed by EVERYONE prior to the launch. As the mistake was clearly not picked up by anyone, especially the upper management who should have known more than anyone else about the details of the project, they laid the blame downstream (as they say, sh*t rolls down hill…). I was simply following instructions on how to carry out the project, which was clearly outlined on an e-mail. However, the argument was that I should have known better given my two and half experience working for the company! Needless to say, I was placed on this PIP, and there was paperwork to fill out. Initially I was advised not to say too much on paper, but I felt that I needed to be heard. So I wrote exactly what I thought of the whole situation and stated clearly that I followed instructions, kept all the e-mail trails and indicated that if the upper management failed to pick up the error during the review process (which occurred in several rounds, I might add), then why would somebody as junior as myself pick this up???
The PIP was three months long and I was pretty confident that they wouldn’t find any legal reason to get rid of me, so I survived. I am still with the company but extremely jaded. I am mistrustful of the management and looking to jump ship when that opportunity comes along.

January 29, 2011 at 3:19 am
(68) VanXing says:

Why don’t people who have had a bad PIP experience tell us what company you worked for so smart talented people can avoid going there. That way those companies will lose their competitiveness due to lack of talent in their staff and eventually go bankrupt.

I know for one thing you don’t want to work for Motorola or Nielson because both companies have been or are currently controlled by management from GE. They are good at creating the forced ranking and PIP firing systems.

January 29, 2011 at 8:18 am
(69) Mike says:

PIP = FIRED PIP = FIRED

What you need to do:

1. Contact an attorney

2. If you know the company is doing something bad, illegal give it 30 days after you receive PIP and send a letter in response to a PIP

3. This letter can contain inside secrets, things on your boss, management, company etc..

4. Example…I previously sued my company for wrongful termination. They settled with me months after filing becuase I had damaging documents.

5. New company, after being in field for 2 months put me on PIP. Things happened in training that I said I would NOT participate in illegal things company was doing. KEPT EVERY DOCUMENT!

6. They got mad at me for opening my mouth, put me on PIP after 2 months in field. Called my attorney, she told me create letter. I did.
Will be handing a letter drafted to my boss, identifying all the illegal crap and copy to State Attorney General.

All I can say with PIP is this

FIGHT BACK
FIGHT BACK
FIGHT BACK

Most people put their tails between their legs, company know this, which is why they DO IT!!
But if everybody where to push off, fight back, write a letter that you’ve been discriminated, sexually harassed, whistleblower, etc…

Then guess what…yep, they will back off doing them.

But until everybody starts being pro-active rather than scared the company will OWN YOU!!!

Good Luck everybody!!

Need advice? I’ve done this twice so I’m experienced LOL

bcmichguy00@yahoo.com

February 4, 2011 at 11:47 am
(70) d says:

I have been on PIP. I was newly hired , it was my first job. They hired me because they were super desperate to get someone, n they failed to take into consideration that I am an entry level candidate. I joined in September. I was on PIP mid october, mid november I was fired. The first 6 months is supposed to be an introductory period. I lost the job within 2 months !! Now one major reason was company politics. My My boss wanted my colleague X to get my job ( she told me this). But the company wouldnt let her get the job because she had only a bachelors. But if they fired me, now the company wouldnt risk hiring another new person, so X would get the job, strategic hah! Also, X was a b**** to me the whole time and the management was stupid to let X train me. I would be pissed too if I had to train someone whos gonna get paid more than I do. I sincerely hope this company s an exception and tht not all companies are this unprofessional. SO yes, PIP is just an eye wash, when they have made up their mind that they dont want you. If you hear PIP, start applying for other jobs. or even better, resign and save your dignity

February 6, 2011 at 11:11 pm
(71) Geoff says:

BJ,

I can only say be very careful about quitting without consulting a lawyer first. Only they can help you figure out all the pros and cons. Especially since there are local laws we don’t really know.

If your health is an issue, you may want to legitimately do medical leave as well.

February 12, 2011 at 9:49 am
(72) JD says:

I was just given a PIP. I use to give PIP’s out as well at a former company so I know what it means, I’m done. Here’s my case; About three years ago I received an excellent review and raise and was told that a review would be given each year, not. about 2.5 years ago they took 25k away from me after a meeting with the Prez saying they had cutbacks, that I was not performing, needless to say that the clients that I managed thought I was great and gave me recommendation. He put me in a role that I had no experience or back ground in (I have 25+yrs)experience in other operations not this one at all. I told him that he was setting me up to fail, simply put he stated ” That’s not true”. there was no training, just criticism. Prior to the sitdowns I had 3 of them I heard that’s great, good job etc. Just recently during a company wide meeting the Prez did a presentation talking about initiatives for 2011 and I saw, everyone saw that they were looking to get an experienced person to take over my role, and in the afternoon I received my PIP. Associates asked me what was that about? One said that was nasty the way they roled that out, did you know about it? I have a 1 month PIP If I told you what was in it you would laugh! I cannot make a mistake in any area, hey guys I’m human!! By the way the last sitdown I had the Prez said, if it does not work out and you need help in finding a new job, we’ll help! are you serious?? I refused to sign the PIP, I will have weekly F/U meetings to see how I’m doing during the 1 month period. Guess what my report too is on a daily, it’s hell month for him, not me. I will document, keep files, e-mails etc. and use it against them. I know the outcome, but I’m still going to have fun as this is new to him, not me

February 12, 2011 at 12:17 pm
(73) Susan Heathfield says:

Please consider consulting an attorney given this series of events. Did you make someone angry? In my world, a PIP does not mean that you are finished, but from reading all of these messages, that apppears not to be true in most companies.

February 12, 2011 at 9:04 pm
(74) JD says:

I heard that you would be blackballed if you consider seeking an attorney and taking the next step, is this true?

February 13, 2011 at 9:03 am
(75) Geoff says:

I don’t know anything for sure. But I was advised that may be the case if I actually sue and something is in the public record. Just talking with your lawyer won’t do that. And a good lawyer should give you the pros and cons.

February 27, 2011 at 12:26 am
(76) MCB says:

I’m very glad I found this site with all of your comments As most here, I’m on a PIP that is a path to no where – ambiguous goals, it’s a moving target. What I want to know is has anyone had luck fighting this using a lawyer? – I’m told if it’s not a discrimination case sex, gender, sexual orientation involvement, there’s nothing that can be done – I’m definitely interested in the legal road, if it’s possible. Also, any recommended attorneys? thanks

February 27, 2011 at 4:12 pm
(77) aussienurse says:

“PIP” should stand for “Punitive Improvement Plan”;
it’s the new HR lingo & euphemism for being “written up”.
Speaking of HR, don’t waste your time speaking to an
HR rep, as their sole function is to protect the employer
& NOT the employee! As a former manager, I’ve
always used the supportive coaching approach,
not the punitive, threatening one.
The day I see a “PIP” coming my way, is the day I resign!

May 13, 2011 at 3:25 pm
(78) Sally says:

It seems like all of you are excuse makers. I have to laugh. Have all of you been stellar employees? Have you ever wondered what it is like to be a scrutinized manager having to put an employee on a PIP? I have literally lost sleep over my employees not being successful. If you are an excuse maker and looking to sue…I can guarantee that you are the problem; not your manager. Take a look in the mirror and stop making reasons why your job is in the wrong and not you. Get over yourselves.

May 13, 2011 at 3:44 pm
(79) Geoff says:

While everyone needs to have honest self-examination of their own faults, that applies to management as well.

I think my opinion on the matter is feel free to fire me. It’s your right. But don’t put me on a PIP when there is no hope of coming out of it successfully. That is what is truly evil. It’s just lying. Either give me a chance to right my ship or just fire me. Don’t torture me.

My experience was that I couldn’t have an honest conversation with management, probably due to fear of lawsuits. And the sense I had was that my manager was afraid of getting fired, so he couldn’t admit anything was his fault (or the system’s fault or that sometime things go bad and it just happens).

I’ve also found when the accusations come fast and furious at your direction, any attempt to defend yourself sounds like excuse making. Not to mention actual excuse making.

June 16, 2011 at 4:15 am
(80) diane says:

I have a friend – yes a stellar employee – who is achieving 98% of his targets in a really difficult market. He, his boss and his bosses boss are on PIPs right now. They are the most expensive employees in a company recently taken over by a larger organisation. Cheaper employees who are not achieving their targets are not on PIPs. It is clearly a move to rationalise their overheads and standardise the payment structure. He will leave, of course, and is called by head hunters almost daily. So thats not a worry. But still its stressful and damaging to someone who cares a great deal about their work and their achievements. Using PIPs in this way is a sneaky, dishonest and cheap way of being rid of workforce when they are just numbers on a spreadsheet in a large organisation. If you have so many employees on PIPs because of their performance – and losing sleep – then you need to look to your recruitment process and management skill. Are you sure that you are clear about who you want in your organisation and what you need them to do? Or do you just want people to do ‘stuff’ to a standard you yourself cannot describe or achieve? PIPs are tools for poor management who havent a clue how to manage and motivate. We used to have such a thing when I first started work many moons ago. The really great manager is a thing of the past. We have ‘processed’ them to death and set the bar way way too low for such an important role. Everyone is a bloomin ‘manager’ these days. Its sad that these stories make you laugh, Sally, perhaps you should take a glimpse in that mirror yourself. Whilst we all ‘get over’ ourselves – perhaps you might do a bit of growing up too. I am sure your employees would appreciate it a great deal.

June 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm
(81) BAE2U says:

I’m amazed at how many people think their annual evaluations are a “true” reflection of their job performance. We all know where we can make improvements in any job. The “bad manager” is not the new one coming in and implementing PIPs, but is instead the previous manager who didn’t have the skill to make these so-called “stellar” employees accountable for their bad behaviors and low performance. No one goes from a “great” evaluation to a PIP unless there has been the injustice of ignorance from the previous maanager who chose not to deal with the bad behaviors and under-performing employee.

If you an placed on a PIP, you have choices.
1) Pull your horns back in and take a realistic look at your self. If you want to improve, then commit it. Quit blaming everyone else and figure out how to make the changes you do control.

2) If you don’t think you deserve the PIP, then look for a new job. Without the committment to improve, your job WILL be terminated. Managers spend too much time and effort on the lower 30%. It will be better for you and the company.

Reality bites!!

June 28, 2011 at 7:16 am
(82) diane says:

BAE2U – You clearly believe that everyone who is placed on a PIP deserves it. That PIPs are only used to manage poor performance and only good management uses PIPs. Thats the point and the problem. They are misused with monotonous regularity. You are being naive if you think otherwise. This particular reality ‘bites’ too.
Your point 2) – is exactly WHY they are misused. Better to jump than be pushed, right? It works. Best get another job before word gets out that you are on a PIP or PMP. Redundancy had a ‘no smoke without fire’ stigma. These people must have blotted their copy book, somehow. That reinforced the belief in those not being made redundant that they are clearly more valued and doing a great job. I now see a similar situation developing as companies misuse the PIP process for purposes other than to truly manage performance. If PIPs were used appropriately the numbers of those ‘surviving’ one would be far greater than they are. The very fact that the word ‘survive’ is used is an indicator of how they are misused and perceived. People are sacked for a host of reasons, including personality differences and just plain old bullying. PIPs seem to have facilitated this kind of behaviour. The PIP process does not in itself make a good manager of a poor one! If you are on a PIP and its a surprise to you, if you are being railroaded through the process, if you find targets are impossible or inexplicably raised during PIP or PMP, theres a problem. People are finding themselves deserted by hitherto supportive colleagues. “On a PIP? You must deserve it” Its lonely. Just when you need to be gathering your resources, just when you need that support – you are hung out to dry! If you are on a PIP and you feel you dont deserve it – FIGHT IT. Dont sign anything. Get a lawyer. Dont resign unless you get good legal advice – and do your best to get through your day!

July 13, 2011 at 2:55 pm
(83) Beth says:

I am really concerned right now as I have been placed on a PIP plan after only 3 months of employment. I was given a 360 review after only 90 days, I work 100% remotely and my manager lives in another state. I thought I was on track and doing everything on track, I was shocked when they performed my review – my customers love me and the review feedback seemed to be more personal than professional in nature – I don’t know what to do! I have hired a coach to help me work through this as I have 60 days to turn it around. Should I talk to a lawyer?

Please help!

July 13, 2011 at 3:01 pm
(84) Geoff says:

Should you talk to a lawyer? Absolutely. A good one that isn’t sue-happy, but is looking out for your rights.

August 5, 2011 at 6:36 am
(85) risi says:

All I can say is that any manager who uses pip as a very convenient way of getting rid of a subordinate should realise that he has failed in his monitoring and productivity skills. Turn the table over and see how you could have done better for your staff. My case was so bad that one minute I was the golden apple and before I could blink the director had turned all managers against me. Boy, did I feel alone – I was. Me, that I was labelled the life and soul of the dept with excellent interpersonal skills was suddenly reduced to a tearful person. i became an expatriate over night in where it was once a very familiar territory. Boy – i can’t even wish that on my enemy!
Ok what did I do? I fought (I was notified the director resigned when I left for a new job with might salary) and I also took a look at my destiny. Either a become a slave forever or I become the trump card for myself. I chose the latter cos I know my worth and started working for myself. Very hard step to take but I love being my own boss – certainly I can’t do a pip against myself,can I. I can only wish myself the best. The Lord is on my side

August 9, 2011 at 10:47 pm
(86) chugachoo says:

PIPs are used at my company when there’s any chance an employee might be saved in the process. If there’s no hope after coaching and verbal and/or written warnings or it’s a professional position where they either know their stuff or they don’t, the employee is terminated without being put on a specific PIP.

Of course people have bad experiences with them. Managers are people too and as fallible as the next person. Sometimes it’s luck of the draw that you end up with a manager that you don’t click with and there’s nothing you can do to turn it around. Right or wrong, in an “at will” state, assuming there’s no tortious action going on by the employer, they can terminate without a reason. A manager that believes the staff member is not going to work out often has to jump through several hoops anyway because of our litigious society so some of the blame has to go to that because otherwise the manager would just cut to the chase sooner.

November 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm
(87) Kris says:

Is it legal for a employer to put a employee on a 90 day PIP plan and keep the employee on the plan for 120 or 150 days without closing the PIP

November 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm
(88) Geoff says:

Probably depends on your state. As always, consult a lawyer.

If they aren’t closing out a PIP in a positive way, assume they are going to fire you eventually and prepare.

November 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm
(89) shoei says:

I agree that PIPs are mostly evil. Very rarely they are used properly. I was put on one several months ago by my (now former, thank God!) employer. The company is crazy political, and everybody hates everybody there. After several departmental changes I was moved to a new department under a new manager who had no clue what I was doing, provided barely any guidance to me, and I basically managed my own work. I have been receiving good feedback from him (but he was not one to talk to you very much or develop you at all). There was one project that I missed a deadline on that was not formally stated – if I knew that there was an actual deadline, I would have met that). BTW, the customer was fine with getting the work a bit late. He told me I had to be more efficient without having any sort of conversation with me about what could be done in the future to make things better, and what kind of support he can provide to help me. In fact, there was absolutely no development plan or support from him. Then a month later I am on PIP – which came in unexpected.

December 2, 2011 at 1:55 am
(90) Not so personal? says:

Hello,

One coud easily conclude that PIPs are used as a tool to cover up for poor management. In most cases it is a signal telling the employee that the exit door is been formatted for him/her. .
Yes they are simply ” plan improvement performance” for the company. By gently conditioning employee’s mind to the exit.
Employee’s language is self explanatory ” I WAS PUT ON A PIP” seems like a diffusing message isn’it! Ever heard of a second PIP? No it is a one off plan.

What was your input? The wording is misleading. Any legal input on this point would help employees dealing with these imposed plans.

Keep up, do not get hurt.

November 24, 2011 at 11:37 pm
(91) shoei says:

part 2:

Now, I am not against improving myself, and I don’t think that I am the best employee ever, or that there is nothing to work on – there always is, for anyone. I would have done my best to improve. However, I have started to analyze the situation and came to the conclusion that my performance improvement was not the purpose of this PIP. More likely than not, they were trying to get rid of me. First of all, there was absolutely no attempt to try to improve my performance informally at all – nada. All my internal customers loved me and one of them, in fact, wanted me to take over parts of her job while she went on leave. Then, reading the PIP carefully, I had to laugh at some supposed lack of performance. I was able to go to my emails and find comments from the senior management about those projects that I supposedly did not perform well on that were positive. It was obvious that they had to go on a fishing expedition to find anything wrong with my work. I probably know the reason why they wanted to get rid of me – I had a pretty high job grade (which is what I was hired for by my old boss), and all the pay that came with it. I also believe there was personal animosity involved. I saw how they would tell me one thing to my face, and then something else during our meetings with HR. I met with a lawyer who advised me to document everything and look for a new job. Which I did. And, a few weeks before my PIP was supposed to be over, I was out of there, working at a new company which I love, doing more exciting things.

Couple of words of advise to people on PIPs:
1. Document EVERYTHING, every conversation/save all emails that are related to your job performance, any positive or negative comments on anything you did/currently do.

November 24, 2011 at 11:38 pm
(92) shoei says:

part 3:

2. Talk to a lawyer. Even if they can’t do anything at the moment, many of them have seen these types of situations before, and they can advise you on how to behave/what to do. I never ended up needing a lawyer, but conversation with him was very helpful.
3. Don’t trust HR – they’re not on your side.
4. Start looking for a new job ASAP.
5. Don’t do or say anything before consulting with a lawyer, including quitting. I know some people recommend pushing against the PIP if you find it unfair, but analyze the situation first and figure out if it’s worth your sanity to do that.
6. Once again, DO NOT QUIT. Believe me, I was dreaming about how I would come to the HR and tell them to go f$%# themselves, but your quitting is the BEST possible outcome for the employer, but not for you. If you quit, you are not eligible for unemployment. You company’s unemployment insurance rates depend on how many people who used to work for them file claims, and if you are not eligible to file, their rates don’t go up. Don’t make it easy on them – in this situation, you want to be fired, or if you do leave on your own accord – that’s because you found other employment.

Good luck to everyone. Managers, please use PIPs sparingly, and only after you exhausted other means of improving your staff’s performance. Those who are on PIPs – know that you’re not alone, start looking for a new job, and know that you’ll get through this very unpleasant situation.

January 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm
(93) jay says:

Is ripping up an unfair performance review grounds for immediate termination?

January 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm
(94) Damage Goods says:

PIP’s cause irreversible psychological damage similar to PST.

Better to just resign and have our dignity and sanity.

Each one I got placed on drove me to a mental break down.

It is a heartless process that does not give a shit and is not thereto pick up what ever pieces of you are left after the process.

February 10, 2012 at 10:06 am
(95) HR Director says:

When used appropriately and in good faith, a PIP can be a win/win for both employee and employer. I have placed many employees on PIPs with very positive outcomes. The company I work for currently, and this HR Director, want the employee to be successful, and use a PIP as a tool for improvement and change.

However, if the intent is to use the PIP as a document to build a case toward terminating the employee, then regardless of how well the employee actually does, the employer will find a way to use the PIP to exit the employee.

I have worked in HR for over 25 years for several companies, and have seen the PIP used as a tool to educate and assist the employee, and I have also seen it used as a means to terminate an employee.

I agree with the comments above, if you are placed on a PIP, document, document, document. Ask for clarification if you are unsure what you need to do to achieve success while on a PIP. Ask for training if appropriate, schedule regular meetings with your manager to touch base and to get feedback on your goals, and whether or not you are achieving them. Keep records of your accomplishments. Be positive and accept feedback, but make sure you also give feedback on how you think you are doing. If you are terminated, but have the documentation to prove you have met the expectations of the PIP, you certainly will be prepared if you want to hire an attorney.

February 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm
(96) kelly says:

I have been placed on a pip 9 months after some mistakes at work, I have been working hard at getting back on top and have been extremely careful not to put a foot wrong. I am now on this pip for the aforementioned mistakes and for having low confidence. However, I have been told that I am doing fine and if I carry on then I will be fine. So why am I on this pip?! Can you be on a pip for lacking confidence?! Advice please!!!!!

February 24, 2012 at 10:37 pm
(97) Robert says:

I have been given a record of discussion threatening a PIP. I have worked for this company for 32 years with NO write ups or other disciplinary actions.

But because of the impending factory closure in a few years, the corporation has decided to use PIPs to reduce manload rather than Union Seniority.

An FYI, the SPEEA Union covering Sprint Aerosystems is in a similar situation and has had to take the Company to the NLRB for redress.

My Union The UAW is considering that path.

I thank all those who have advised that an attorney should be consulted immediately…. As a working person my first instinct was recourse to my Union.

March 24, 2012 at 6:53 pm
(98) The new girl says:

New staff member (3 months). Had yearly review last month, as did all staff, in which a few concerns were mentioned, but put down to settling in period or have improved since. I recently had a PIP Meeting, and among a bombardment of issues, which I wasn’t previously aware of, the main issue seems to be that the boss feels my CV is misleading (due to differences in definitions of terms used or depths of knowledge expected, it seems). I now have a 3 week review period in which I’m to improve on a variety of topics and find and apply for three funding streams, alongside my regular work load. I understand the role and business is high-paced and has high standards, but in part I feel I’m being set up for failure.
Stress, like many in this post, is affecting my performance which isn’t helping matters.

I don’t feel that I can be too specific here due to already being seen in a negative light, just in case it happens to get back.

Any advice is welcome.

May 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm
(99) Tony says:

I was put on a PIP last December when I had a new manager. It was an absolute joke, to be honest. Our team had a deadline to reach to finish this project but not a single person was hitting the targets as they were unrealistic and they just kept changing the goal posts as we got closer to the deadline. The project, as a whole, was very poorly managed and to me, it just felt like they wanted someone to blame. They clearly didn’t have the manpower to see the project through and had no idea how much work was involved and how in depth it was. The training was a shambles and this was not a project I had much experience with. But this, along with the lack of training and support, was not taken into consideration. It was horrible. I was being measured against unrealistic targets and threatened to be put on a capabilty if I did not reach them. The rest of my team were not performing either. Some of them were not even at the same level as me, yet I was the only person put on a PIP. Doesn’t take Einstein to figure out she targeted me and wanted me gone. When we had reviews, it just felt as though I could never be good enough for her. And if I had done well, she would always find something else to mark me down on so I just couldn’t win. The only reason I was taken off the PIP was because the project ended and we were all moved to different areas. So yes, I agree the PIP is used as a threatening means to try and get rid of someone.

June 2, 2012 at 2:06 am
(100) Bobby says:

Here’s a fresh one for you scratch your heads at. 18 + years on the job, top performer, newish manager. I’m out sick for 1 week and can’t physically do my job because I’m home sick. When I return the following week I’m still recovering and not 100%. I receive my first ever PIP! Forget this, not prioritizing, not communicating with the team on an equipment install that the manager knew about. Not sure how to handle this one, I spoke to the next level of management, he says to just sign it and move on. “Look at it as constructive criticism,” he says. I think it’s wrong. How could I possibly be responsible for this when I wasn’t even working? My next step is HR, but after reading all these comments I’m wondering if I should just speak to an attorney. I feel like I’m being set up. (Do both, the attorney and HR. Try to see what’s happening and document every single discussion.)

July 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm
(101) Barbarella says:

After six years of great reviews and documented coaching sessions, I was given a less than satisfactory review and put on a PIP. My managers justified this by claiming that I had been wrongfully given good coachings and reviews all those years, and they needed to tell me the truth and get me to improve. However, the managers who made this claim are the same ones who had given me ALL my coachings and reviews during my entire past tenure there. My newest manager was my former peer who had been promoted over me by our mutual manager just before this happened, and he wanted to crush me. So, my former manager and he were willing to risk branding themselves as liars and as givers of false performance reviews, just to get rid of me. I fought back enough to get a neutral layoff with generous severance, but there has been some sabotage of my subsequent job hunts. I don’t give them as references, but a prospective employer always wants to talk to your former manager. I’m working again, but with a damaged career. The PIP was entirely subjective, btw. That’s one way you can tell if it’s real or evil.

July 11, 2012 at 12:37 am
(102) Julia says:

My experience of PIPs from an employer is that the objectives in a PIP have to be measurable. You can’t just say “Employee is always late”, you must state something that can be measured like, “It is required for you to be in the office by no later than 9:00 and complete work no earlier that 5:00 pm each day. If you are running late or expect to run late or sick, you are required to contact your immediate supervisor by phone prior to 9:00 am on the day”.
This is clear, and measurable for the employee and can in no way be manipulated by either party.
It always amazes me that anyone put on a PIP thinks that they are being hard done by. Sure, there are employers that misuse this process but my experience has been that this is a last resort in getting an employee to do the job to an adequate level that they were employed and paid to do! It’s not hard. Show up, work, go home. I have someone at the moment who thinks it’s ok to show up late – or whenever they feel like it, leave early, take 1 hour lunch breaks (instead of 30 minutes as stated on their time sheet) do no work in between and surf the net all day or talk to their family on the phone. Whenever I ask them about something to do specifically with their job and duties they, ‘Don’t know” or “aren’t sure” and tasks required have to be spelt out in minute detail, by which time I could have done it myself. It’s very frustrating and yet the other employees around them have commented and resent this behaviour. If you have been put on a PIP and you know deep down inside you have done the wrong thing, own it, act on the PIP objectives and you might find yourself still in a job at the end of it, not complaining on a blog about how hard done by you are. Just saying…..

August 11, 2012 at 11:29 am
(103) Stand up for Yourself! says:

If you know you deserve the PIP, look for another job. If you know you are innocent, or if you know the PIP has been administered unfairly – STAND UP FOR YOURSELF! I have been with my current company for years. Never had any sort of record of discipline, never had anything but good things said about me, etc. We recently switched District Managers and HR representatives. I was placed on a PIP and given about 5 reasons why. I disputed all 5 reasons and had proof of their falsehood. I was told that it’s not any one reason, it was a collection of the 5 reasons I was placed on the PIP – even though I was able to prove each individual reason as false!

I subsequently gathered all of my notes (take LOTS and LOTS of documented notes!) and wrote a 7 page letter to the Director of HR requesting a meeting with them specifically and copied the CEO. I was granted the meeting. After a 2 hour meeting, I was told they had to talk to a couple of folks and verify what I was saying as true or untrue. The very next day my district manager came for our weekly PIP meeting and informed me we had a new HR representative, my PIP was being discarded and I would receive written documentation stating as much, they apologized and told me in hindsight they should have handled the situation differently.

Again, you know whether you deserve a PIP or not. If you do, begin looking. If you don’t, stand up for yourself or you may be unfairly terminated! It was a very long, stressful and humiliating road, but in the end – persistence and resilience paid off. Again, you must take lots and lots of notes, documenting all of the circumstances surrounding the PIP. It is a huge inconvenience, but it could very well end up saving your job and sanity in the end. Stand Up For Yourself!!!!

October 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm
(104) We're not dumb says:

I was put on a PIP after 7 years of highly successful reviews and meeting expectations at my mid-year review in June. My new manager told me he’s not dumb and he realizes these goals in my PIP aren’t achievable within the 30 day time frame. Any advice on any course of action I can take? Of course “we’re not dumb” comments were not included on the PIP and HR works for the employer, not the employee.

October 21, 2012 at 7:21 pm
(105) JK says:

Sounds like PIPs are bad all the way around. Some of you people treat your jobs like it’s your last job of your life. My advice – if you get a PIP – tell them you’ve heard of these things and that you are not interested. If that gets you fired – accept it, walk out, no notice and go after something else. Some of you are treating your jobs like they are your reason for living. I’ve been unemployed long enough now to realize that I am no longer a slave to employers, that they can’t and I won’t let them, walk all over me. If I ever have to face a PIP – all bets are off including non-disclosures and all other agreements. The moment you realize that companies don’t own you is the day you start living. Own your life. No company is going to follow you around to make your life hell. Take ownership of your life and move on. Believe me, you’ll thank me for the advice.

October 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm
(106) Sally says:

I was placed on a PIP after returning from 8 weeks of disability for depression and stress. I had never had any disciplinary action against me in the 8 years employed with this company. I had been the most dedicated person in my department; working at least 20+ hours a week above my regular schedule. I’ve had 4 different managers in 4 years and had almost always had nothing but positive feedback. I was told by a previous manager that my colleagues in the corporate office in OH make significantly less than me. I believe my manager is resentful of my salary but does not consider the cost of living in the DC metro area.

The expectations set for me are greater than my co-workers in the same position because of my salary. I was told that I had been over-servicing my clients and had set unrealistic expectations with them.

This has made me more depressed and sorry for returning. I also gained access to an email from my VP, who has no interaction with me at all, instructing my manager to lower my performance rating to be in line with my salary increase.

November 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm
(107) TJ says:

I was just put on a PIP that contains nebulous and/or patently false complaints about me, including an introduction that states that aside from the 3 listed problems, there are other problems that are not listed! How can I work on improving something that I’m not told about? In addition, the author wanted me to sign it as to being in agreement, which I refused to do. I signed it, but stated I didn’t agree with it. As stressful as being unemployed is, I will be very happy when I am no longer working there!

January 3, 2013 at 7:36 pm
(108) Anne says:

I am still in the PIP aftershock. I joined a leading company one year ago (among the top 5 globally) in a director position. My role was very demanding, my line manager on the other side of the globe. I managed to do a very good job, trying to learn my way around this new role and company as well as keep up with my deliverables. My boss was not the warmest kind but quite into deep personal discussions and ‘constructive’ personal criticism. After 6 months, my 1/2 year review was fine but I could see a change in his behaviour – distant, cold from ‘come to my room and bring your laptop’ (when traveling). In the meantime, a female colleague of mine, who experienced the room thing, took it very seriously and raised this with HR – I didn’t . A couple of months passed and I saw the continued aloof behaviour… Before I knew it, I received a formal PIP invite! I froze. No idea what it was so I spent some sleepless nights googling. I came to realise that this was truly the extreme display of bullying and from the worst kind. From being friends, he shot me in the dark with no warning. What I did? I declined the PIP as being on ‘no grounds or specific evidence’ and fired a grievance procedure against him. The grievance was based on his unusual behaviour, invitations to his room, unjust behaviour and spiteful misconduct, bullying and harassment. The HR department had their share of shock as I asked them how they allowed such a procedure to take place out of process? In addition I requested a change of line management (to report to his boss) during this time. The formal hearing has taken place with global HR directors and my recommended interviewees / witnesses are lined up. I am now waiting to see who will remain standing in the end.
I moved to another country for this job with my family of young children, I am a senior director in one of the world’s biggest companies – and I will not tolerate such abuse of power. (Please let us know what happens. You are an inspiration. Susan)

January 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm
(109) Anne says:

Still waiting for the outcome of the grievance as well as my line management. In the meantime, I applied for a position one level up (same level as my current line manager) and in scope of things that could materialise. I am already a senior level executive but now I am determined to gain rather than lose self-esteem.

March 1, 2013 at 5:56 am
(110) Jay Kay says:

Initially, leadership in my department never met with me nor communicated any issues with my performance. The task manager, who does not understand my domain area, started referencing the quality. The task manager sent email to me with a copy to my resource manager refusing to work with me.

The following day, at my first one on one with the resource manager, I was informed that I could be fired. Then, suggesting that I and the task manager were oil in water. Proceeded to inform me that another resource manager would interview me for another position. That position was not guaranteed.

The following day, the task manager was yelled at during a meeting with another member of the team in an unprofessional manner. However this proves the point that there is friction between the task manager and other members of the team.

I scheduled time with HR and was informed that the two resource managers mentioned a request to apply for position in the other department but never mentioned anything else. Leading HR to believe that it was my request.

This is an immature company with very few if any defined processes.

I now report to a resource manager that knows my domain area and we were told that this would be the approach to manage the conflict going forward.

Last week the first resource manager was sidelined but not fired. A new leadership person was brought in and part of his role is to replace that resource manager’s role on this project.

Now I am informed that this person is overseeing my PIP that I never was informed I was on in the beginning. Now I am told this new leadership person will participate in and share their observations with me. I was informed via email of this by a senior leader in the organization that the new leader reports up to. The final statement on the email is for me to reach out to them if any of this information is unclear.

What is clear to me is that this sounds like a setup to force me out. Any recommendations on how to proceed?

March 1, 2013 at 9:25 am
(111) Susan Heathfield says:

Hi,

You need to meet with the new management. Give them the facts without whining or blaming, just the series of events including the fact that you had no idea that you were on a PIP. Express your desire to succeed and contribute. Ask your new management what you can do to resolve the situation and continue as a contributing staff member. Ask what their expectations are so that you can meet them. Meanwhile, because your organization does sound strange, I’d be job hunting secretly, just in case the situation cannot be resolved.

April 11, 2013 at 6:00 pm
(112) Drew says:

Is there any way to get a transfer within a job prior to getting a pip. I feel that I am in a hostile environment with all the intimidation and harrasment. Anybody have any suggestions?

May 3, 2013 at 11:07 pm
(113) Anonymous says:

JJ is correct, any supervisor who places an employee on a PIP should be on a PIP themselves. Mine never would meet with me regularly to discuss terms and conditions, review all documentation I had to show progress, no coaching, etc. This supervisor also made inappropriate comments to me about other people and their age. I notified his supervisor and HR of the inappropriate behaviors and inaccuracies in the list of “sins” on my PIP. Four months later, due to a group reorganization, I got a new supervisor who said he’d help me go through the PIP, he was a very nice man. I met with him every 2 weeks with lots of documentation showing that all conditions had been met, ie prioritizing, better graphics, slides, etc. In each meeting he indicated all was acceptable. In the meantime the company was having poor financial performance. In my last PIP meeting I asked my supervisor if he had communicated my progress to his supervisor ( who is the same
supervisor over my former supervisor that initiated the PIP), he said no. The following week I was fired for “performance reasons”, plus HR said the company was having financial problems. How could this be so, if I was doing well under this supervisor. His supervisor is the one who has firing authority. How can you fire someone over things that were not
perfect in the past but were corrected and was being perfect?

Anyway, HR now ranks low on my list, I TRUSTED them, Now I don’t anymore.

September 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm
(114) Don says:

Judging from the comments above, I suspect that the “PRO” comments are from HR and management under the age of 50 and the “CON’s” are over the age of 60.

October 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm
(115) Baffled says:

Dear all,

I was on a PIP and successfully completed one. I too was blindsided and sabotaged. But I worked hard to prove EVERYONE wrong, and I got recognized for it. That being said, the resentment I will have towards the few Managers who accused me of underperforming will always be there…being put on a PIP gives everyone a pre-conceived notion about you. I could have left the moment they unfairly put me on this PIP, but I made it a personal goal to go through this PIP, prove them wrong, and THEN quit.

I was officially taken off the plan a few weeks ago (after 3 months). I received many Congratulations from Managers for successfully completing the plan. I even received a, “You proved me wrong” from the Senior Management. What I did not receive was a, “Sorry we blindsided you”.

I’ll be handing in my resignation in a week. Needless to say folks–YOU CAN GET THROUGH THIS. Hold your ground and work hard to prove these suckers wrong.

November 29, 2013 at 10:50 am
(116) .com @Piers says:

I was threatened with a PIP by a new manager. It was clear they wanted me to leave the organisation ( removal of responsibilities, undermining, confirmation bias, etc. ) so I quit.

I am now studying for an MA in HR and planning to write my dissertation on the use and effectiveness of PIPS. I intend to do it from the employers’ point of view since most of the material (union reports and case studies) and public perception, appears to focus on the employee and how destructive the PIP is to the individual. I would like to assess the extent of their positive use (if any) and evaluate their appropriateness as an improvement tool.

I have written many PIPs for trainees in the past, but know they are only effective if intensive support is provided.

Good luck to everyone who is currently struggling with their line managers’ opinions and motivations.

January 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm
(117) rosebud1922 says:

I was put on a PIP – and survived – believe it or not. New management came into my department and 6 months later they were telling me i was an underperformer. They never took any interest in what I was doing or not doing. I was never given a bad review in the 16 years I was there and had never been fired from a job before. I was shocked and humiliated. They told me they thought I would be better off in a job that was a lower level than I was at. I told no one because i was so embarrassed. They made me feel stupid and incompetant so I set out to prove them wrong. That was a year ago. I’ll never forget it and how they made me feel. I wrote it on my calender every year for the next two years. “Dont forget” appears every Friday on my email. It’s just a reminder to me that so many people go unappreciated. There has been a long list of people who have lost their jobs in my department since I have been there. It has gotten hard to remember how many but I keep track. YOU can survive. I am living proof and a better person for myself by proving I could do the job. I did it for me. I survived.

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