Does a Performance Improvement Plan Mean You’re Getting Fired?

A post from our friends at The Admin Pro Forum and Business Management Daily has generated a lively discussion with mixed views on whether an employee put on a performance improvement plan is on a slow road to nowhere or if it means opportunity lies ahead with a little effort and a bright outlook.What are your thoughts?

Is a performance improvement plan the end of opportunity?

Question: “I was placed on a performance improvement plan at work. I really think it’s a way to slowly fire me, and it’s such a morale killer to be under this kind of watch that I don’t have much enthusiasm left for the job. Does anyone ever come back from being on probation like this to do really well with their company and leave the black mark totally behind? I sure can’t think of an example.” – Violet, Insurance Researcher

For the full discussion visit: Business Management Daily.

Have you had a performance improvement plan? Share your comments below and let us know what you think on this hot topic.


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2 thoughts on “Does a Performance Improvement Plan Mean You’re Getting Fired?”

  1. Yes and no. In my case, it did. I feel that there was no way I could’ve improved enough working significantly reduced hours and with significantly reduced duties. Lo and behold, 6 months later, I was out the door.

    Lesson learned: when you get “the talk” from a supervisor, start saving your money. Chances are you’re going to be phased out–no matter how much you reach out/touch back with your supervisors and co-workers. Now, you may have a happier ending, but just the same, document, document, document! If you lose your job, at least you’ve got documentation. It may not do you any good at keeping your job, but at least your psyche will feel better.

  2. When I had been at my company for ~3 years, a government agency come to evaluate our practices and found that I was in violation of both company and state policies and charged me with falsifying government records. This put our entire multi-billion dollar company at risk of being shut down. I had to be put on administrative leave while the case was investigated, and I was certain that I would be fired and it was possible that I would be sent to jail.

    I was eventually cleared by my company and by the state agency, primarily because myself and my peers had all been trained incorrectly, and it was determined that the mistake that I made was a result of this incorrect training. My company did not fire me, but placed me on a performance improvement/probation period for one year, during which time I could not transfer positions, receive raises, nor be eligible for company bonuses. All of my work was monitored and inspected regularly. I was certain that I would never survive through the probation, and convinced that the company was trying to find reasons to fire me.

    I did make it though. I helped to re-write the policy that I violated to be clearer. I developed a training manual which was eventually spread throughout the organization. I became the go-to person for my department, and once my year was up, I received fantastic evaluation scores.

    I believe the reason I “survived” was because I responded with grace and humility. I was transparent through the investigation and never tried to argue with the decisions that were being made. I actually earned a large amount of respect from my managers and my peers for taking all of it so well.

    I eventually transferred out of the department to a higher paying position after remaining for 4 more years, but I am still with the company and am up for a promotion and raise this year. Ironically, I believe that part of the reason that I have gone further within the company was due to this incident and how I handled it.

    I wish good luck to you to have a similar result.

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