Recently I was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), for a six month period. I am very confused because although it was not a huge surprise it did not have to come down to this. My manager has given me verbal warnings in the past for minor things but now putting everything in writing including lies and unconfirmed and not crossed referenced facts shows ill- intentions (or maybe I am over analyzing it). I have been in the industry for over 15 years and never had anything like this happen to me. I had issues in the past that were addressed with a review and by next years review expectations and performance were in perfect alignment.

I have been with this company for almost two years. Some of the things that came up on the PIP happened my first year at the company. Why didn't they get addressed then?

I want to think that my manager had the best intentions to keep me that is why he gave me the PIP but the fact that he lied Is telling me that he is giving me a heads up to start looking for another job. Do you think he is buying time for him self to start the hiring process and have me finish the project I am working on under much more pressure?

What is your advice do I have a chance to stay if I successfully meet all the PIP objectives? Or should I move on? My gut feeling is telling me to move on. The bridge is already on fire!!

  • 3
    I don't think we can objectively answer this. Regardless of how it came to be that you were put on the plan, what happened is between you, your boss, and HR. – Makoto Mar 2 '15 at 3:24
  • Be aware that all too many managers seem to have no understanding of the fact that a formal PIP will always be taken as a threat to fire, and invoke it when they should just be doing their jobs and clarifying the expectations for that individual/position and suggesting general areas for improvement. I know several folks who are dealing with exactly that right now. In that scenario you can walk, of course, or you can complete the PIP and then talk to HR about irreparably damaged trust and see if they will let you change managers. Unfortunately the answer to that is often no in the short run. – keshlam Mar 2 '15 at 4:38
  • Sophman - you requested that this question be deleted in an edit. If you are the same person as Disappointed, you will need to request deletion from that account. – David K Mar 24 '15 at 12:33

a PIP is not necessarily the end of a relationship. You've worked here for about 2 years so obviously you've learned about the organization, work culture and customers. You've invested your time and energy as much as they've invested in you.

For the manager to hire someone new and bring up to the same level of knowledge, its a much more expensive and risky venture. This is probably the driving force behind giving you a chance with some structured improvement approach. From what you're explaining, it sounds like the manager discussed this with HR and they likely advised him to start documenting things. This is not always to gather proof against you - it might even be to collect proof against his own incompetence.

If you're feeling anxious, you can talk to the HR department directly and share your side of the story. Preferably, stick to facts and things you can corroborate from emails etc.

The best way to prove him wrong will be to exceed the expectations from the PIP and emerge a strong candidate for the job. Your story will then be more believable and you might even be able to get out from under this supervisor by claiming that he is stifling your productivity.

If the HR dept does not support you, then it would be time to look for another job.

  • 1
    +1 for talking to hr about whether the pip is being used/evaluated fairly. They're the ones responsible for preventing wrongful termination lawsuits, so they're motivated to make sure rules are applied appropriately and uniformly. They may also be able to provide some indication of whether this is really threat to fire or just an unnecessarily rude way of asking you to be a bit more proactive. If there's a employee ombudsman (unlikely except in academia or union shops), get them involved too. – keshlam Mar 2 '15 at 4:46
  • And you may want a lawyer if you think this is any form of unfair discrimination, including age. – keshlam Mar 2 '15 at 4:48

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