118

This is the first time I am hearing about this. I have a questions:

What can one typically expect in a meeting such as this?

I have been at this company for more than a year now and this is my first full time job as a developer. Am I right in being concerned that I will be let go eventually and this could be the last straw?

Also:

  • Should I hire a lawyer just in case?

  • How can I make sure this doesn't kill my morale & enthusiasm?

Update:

First, I didn't expect my question to get so many up-votes and answers, so thank you all for that.

Upon reading the comments and answers, one of the main strategies I have come up with is to just listen to whatever my boss & his boss have to say.

Being defensive is probably the last thing I would want to do & even if it comes to leaving the company I want to leave on a positive note.

Also, I am in a uncertain situation where I am about to submit my application for permanent residence & my work permit will expire in few months. That alone makes me worry about my future & the thought of leaving the country & starting again from scratch is not what I want to do.

I have mild cerebral palsy as well & couple that with a lot of stress and anxiety, you tend to forget a lot of small things that would have helped you in the job. I don't want to have that as an excuse for this job or my future jobs & that's why I am trying to fix that via therapy.

I am preparing myself for the worst & hopefully things will be alright.

Further Update:

I have opened up another question with a detailed update, here.

closed as off-topic by Lilienthal, gnat, Mister Positive, Jarrod Roberson, The Wandering Dev Manager Feb 18 '17 at 15:11

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  • "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – Lilienthal, gnat, Mister Positive, Jarrod Roberson, The Wandering Dev Manager
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  • 3
    Related workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/73958/… – Myles Feb 14 '17 at 18:51
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Jane S Feb 15 '17 at 23:28
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    Where in the world are you? The legal implications of a PIP probably vary depending on country. – AndyT Feb 16 '17 at 9:36
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    PIPs are usually designed to provide a legal justification for an already planned termination. While its not certain, you should probably get ready to start looking for another job. As another answer mentions, its pretty much unheard of to survive a PIP. – Mark Rogers Feb 16 '17 at 19:03
  • @MarkRogers sad but true, went through one naively thinking my manager was on my side but turned out that he was trying to set me up for failure by setting impossible deadlines. I resigned, OP you should too. Easier to get a job saying that you resigned as opposed to being fired. – bobo2000 Feb 20 '17 at 14:28

13 Answers 13

130

While there may be some workplaces in which the PIP is actually used to improve an employees performance, it's usually management's way to provide documentation to justify an employee's termination in a way that pre-emptively invalidates any claim to wrongful termination.

No one has a crystal ball that can tell you what is going to happen or really what to expect. In general though, they start with a discussion of where an employee's performance fails to meet the expectations of the job followed up by laying out a plan (maybe with some input from the employee, maybe not) with specific goals and timing for improvement along with the consequences for failing to meet those goals. Then the plan is signed.

So, how would you know if they're just covering themselves for your eventual dismissal? Look at the goals and ask: Are these realistically achievable in terms of both scope and timing? As you move ahead under the PIP, consider the support you receive from them in achieving these goals: Are you getting the resources you need or are they sabotaging you at every step?

You'll have to judge your particular situation for yourself, but I'd advise that you at least polish your resume and get it out there if not launch a full on job search.

  • 23
    +1 for "Are they realistic in scope and timing. PIPs are almost always evidence gathering exercises. I might add to also look for what the conditions are to exit a PIP and what the status will be. Even successful completion of a PIP will often mean that you're career will never recover at that company. – Retired Codger Feb 14 '17 at 18:49
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    @RichardU you're absolutely right. I have NEVER seen a PIP being used to "rehabilitate" an employee, I've just heard about it being done, so I have to assume that it is a real thing. I have also seen a years-old PIP dusted off and used to justify termination. – DLS3141 Feb 14 '17 at 18:53
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    @user3777390 There's no point arguing about being terminated if it comes to that unless you are working under a contract. When and if the time comes, you might want to have a lawyer review any agreements you're asked to sign when you leave e.g. NDAs, Non Competes, etc. – DLS3141 Feb 14 '17 at 20:19
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    I had a brief talk about this with my co-worker, he says that it might just be an yearly review. He could be right & I am panicking without any reason. – user3777390 Feb 15 '17 at 15:57
  • 2
    What usually happens if you decide the PIP is not realistic and so you decide not to sign it? – svick Feb 16 '17 at 15:49
94

No, do NOT seek a lawyer. The last thing you need is expensive litigation that will only result in large legal bills and being blackballed in your industry as being one who sues employers.

Yes, you should be concerned. I have NEVER known anyone to survive a PIP. Update your resume, and blast it out. Take careful note of what they say in the PIP and correct your behavior for your future employer. You have no future with this company.

In THEORY a PIP is supposed to outline your weaknesses, and help you correct course so that you can be a happy and effective employee where you and the company live happily ever after.

the REALITY is that you are most likely being set up to be fired for cause. There have probably been subtle, and even not so subtle hints that it's time for you to go. They have likely been trying to push you out the door and now they're going to throw you out.

Update your resume and start applying TODAY. You don't want "Terminated for cause" on your work history.

  • 55
    It's anecdotal, but I know at least one coworker who had a PIP and who did meet their PIP objectives and then thrived - sometimes people naturally coast and just need a reminder to shape-up, and other times management isn't clear in what they require of an employee so the PIP can clear things up. The company even hired a job-coach to come on-site to meet with him every week too. – Dai Feb 14 '17 at 22:36
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    I “survived” a PIP but there were lasting repercussions that made it a Pyrrhic victory. Don’t be surprised if you forfeit a significant fraction of your total compensation. Many employers have performance clauses on bonuses and equity grants. You may hit zero multipliers on annual bonuses or stock vesting, losing money you thought you had already earned. – Bradd Szonye Feb 14 '17 at 23:43
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    Also anecdotal, I was given the option to be put on a PIP with the option to let me go at the end of the time frame (with no severance), or they'd lay me off with a severance package immediately. I was given a weekend to think about about it, but there was no other warning that it was coming. My boss & I had never seen eye to eye even when we were peers so I wasn't especially surprised. I didn't see how staying around for another four months under strict observance was going to be beneficial, so I took the severance. I have a much nicer job these days, without the stress of a grumpy boss. – delliottg Feb 14 '17 at 23:58
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    This may depend on location. In the United Arab Emirates, PIPs evolved into a very positive thing for employees. I have up-voted, because your comprehensive and well thought out response, however. – Mikey Feb 15 '17 at 4:31
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    "Terminated for Cause" does not go on anyone's record in the USA, at least in a way that is shared. That is, employers will not share this with people checking references. They'll check dates of employment, and nothing more. The OP should not resign and this would lead to a loss of unemployment benefits. – Tony Ennis Feb 15 '17 at 22:05
57

I work in management at a law firm and have experience with PIPs. In the meeting, you should expect to receive a list of what the firm considers to be your deficiencies and a list of ways for you to rectify the deficiencies against a specific timeline. The people giving the PIP do not want you to try to defend yourself. They've already determined that there is a problem. What they want to hear from you is that you understand what they are saying, you agree with them and you'll immediately start working through the PIP checklist. If you argue with them, even if justified, it will damage your chance to get through the PIP.

The PIP should not be a surprise. Your manager or HR should have tried to guide you previously to avoid this. If you think back and can remember times when your manager started tracking/questioning your project times or results, those were early warning signs.

At my firm, a PIP is not an automatic fail. We genuinely want the employee to address the problems head-on and get off the PIP. It's like being on probation as an initial hire again except your management is likely expecting you to fail. They probably don't wish you to fail. This expectation is from prior experience. If you want to stay, don't fail.

You do not need a lawyer. If you had done something illegal you would need one but you wouldn't be getting an invitation to a PIP -- you would be pulled in and fired.

I can't help with the morale and enthusiasm part other than to say your outlook/attitude will be a factor in management's final decision.

  • Even though I know it depends on the company. How can I make sure they want me to succeed? – user3777390 Feb 15 '17 at 16:18
  • The day comes soon when people believe that all PIPs are unjustified. – Joshua Feb 15 '17 at 16:36
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    +1 great answer, especially pointing out that it is not the time to justify yourself! – Artery Feb 15 '17 at 17:04
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    @user3777390: “How can I make sure they want me to succeed?” Aside from developing some sort of telepathy, you can’t actually ever be sure about what other people are thinking. – Paul D. Waite Feb 16 '17 at 10:28
  • I assume the question about the lawyer stems from the OP's desire to defend himself against a wrongful termination as opposed to accusations of having done something illegal on the job. This answer appears to only consider the latter reason. – aroth Feb 17 '17 at 15:11
31

What should I expect?

"Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die!".

What's exactly going to happen?

Your will be placed on a PIP as a precursor to termination of your current employment.

Anecdotally, some employees survive a PIP, but I think it is well under 1%, so you would do well to look for another job.

Am I right in thinking that I will be let go eventually & this is the last straw?

Yup, that's totally it.

should I hire a lawyer in case?

This can only work if you have a sliver of evidence that you were terminated due to racism, sexism, or something like that.

how do I make sure this doesn't kill my morale & enthusiasm?

Try to cultivate some confidence that you will find a better job soon.

  • 8
    Can you source your 1% estimate? Have you known enough people who have gone through a PIP to make an accurate assessment in this regard? I would generally assume it to be true if not for all of the people who have posted on this site (see comments on Richard's answer) that they have survived a PIP. It'd be odd in a community like ours that we have several people posting who have had such an unlikely success. – Myles Feb 15 '17 at 19:02
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    @Myles No source, but I think it's selection bias: people who didn't survive a PIP aren't posting their intriguing story. The first comment is not about someone who survived a PIP, but merely a second-hand account of knowing someone else who survived a PIP, which is probably 20x more likely. The second comment is about someone who experienced a reduction in compensation after surviving a PIP - which just reinforces the point that once you're on a PIP the employer really wants to get rid of you. Even if you perform very well, the employer will find some other way to sabotage the relations. – DepressedDaniel Feb 15 '17 at 19:35
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    This is the best answer. It is to the point. – Tony Ennis Feb 15 '17 at 22:20
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    And many extra points for quoting Goldfinger! – Nolo Problemo Feb 15 '17 at 23:00
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    The Goldfinger quote alone makes this answer worth it. I can totally see an employee asking "Do you really think this will help?" and the manager answering "Of course not - we fully expect to fire you within a month." – Omegacron Feb 16 '17 at 19:30
16

All the answers here are correct that you should be concerned. They don't try to improve your performance unless your performance needs improving.

That being said, they may not be trying to fire you, but actually trying to improve your performance. We're working on an improvement plan for one of my employees, and everyone involved genuinely wants to help this guy get better. We'll give him all the support we can and make our expectations very clear, but if he can't or won't improve, termination would be the eventual logical conclusion.

So, yes, be concerned, but if you look at the plan and think you can achieve it, then focus on that, not worries about being fired.

A Note on Contracts

At my company, everyone is employed "at-will". This means that any employee can quit whenever they want without giving a reason. It also means that the company can fire anybody whenever they want without cause (although there's still some potential legal liability if it looks like the company has discriminated against a protected class).

So, if we wanted to fire someone, we could fire them with significantly less effort than a formal PIP. The fact that we're going to all the effort to put together an improvement plan indicates just how strongly we don't want to fire him.

  • 9
    @MaxW Unless you work at the asker's company and know the people involved, I don't think you have any evidence for that statement. Like I say in the answer, I am actually involved in one of these, and we are actually trying to help him. – DCShannon Feb 15 '17 at 1:00
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    My point was simply that if the meeting were "friendly" then the meeting would be between the poster and his manager. The fact that the second level manager is involved means that this is part of a company process which must be followed before an employee can be fired for cause. I wouldn't say that most managers want to fire someone, rather that it is a pain in the neck to do so. So a manager isn't going to this extra effort unless termination is likely outcome. – MaxW Feb 15 '17 at 1:10
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    @MaxW The assertion that one would need a PIP to fire someone struck me as a bit odd. After thinking about it for a minute, a relevant detail concerning my company occurred to me, and I'm editing it into the answer. – DCShannon Feb 15 '17 at 1:25
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    The meeting doesn't have to be "friendly" to be a serious attempt to tell an employee that the options are shape up or ship out and they think you can do either. A formal PIP should be a last resort when it has reached that point, and it coming as a surprise usually indicates a failure on management's part as well as concern about your performance -- unless your manager was incompetent this should have been addressed by normal management action/discussion long before reaching this point. – keshlam Feb 15 '17 at 13:22
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    @user3777390 If you're an immigrant, your manager may be afraid to talk to you about your performance for fear they might look like they're discriminating. By going through HR and setting up an improvement plan, they can make sure that the company approves of what they are saying and doing, and that there's a record you actually had issues, rather than them just having a biased opinion toward you. All the protections put in place to protect certain classes are great for the people being protected, but they may not realize how difficult it can make it to work with them. – DCShannon Feb 15 '17 at 17:31
7

It is interesting that the boss's boss is involved. From a UK perspective, if this is a precursor to disciplinary action the second line manager should not be involved. If the outcome leads to disciplinary action, the second line manager is who an employee appeals to, so this person should be impartial/independent of previous decisions.

The fact that the second line manager is present could mean there is no intent to go to disciplinary. Alternatively, it could just mean that the company is poor at following HR processes. There should be some information about Performance Improvement Plans in the staff handbook/company policies - have a look at what say.

Think back to your one to ones. How did they go? I am not saying it applies in this case, but I once inherited a team with an under-performing member of staff. I did coaching and one to ones with this person, and they didn't even try to implement the actions we discussed. We then had a documented conversation - which they signed - saying the next step would be formal PIP. When I initiated the PIP they were surprised about it.

However, as a few people have said a PIP isn't necessarily a bad thing. I use PIPs for everything. A PIP is a plan for improving performance. We have identified you as a potential future leader and want to send you on these courses so we can promote you, is just as much of a PIP as you are X% under target and need to improve.

If you genuinely feel that the company is trying to get rid off you unfairly, my advice would be to make sure you have the background to the PIP documented. Again, from a UK perspective an employer has to show that an employee clearly understood what was expected of them, had appropriate training, development and coaching and still can't meet expectations before the employee can be dismissed for performance related concerns. Without being aggressive try to find out what your targets/expectations are, where these are documented, when the issue was identified and where it has been discussed with you before.

  • That's what makes this meeting interesting. One reason that I could think of is that I have quite a good relationship with his boss (have worked alongside him as an intern) & he wants to keep him apprised of my situation. – user3777390 Feb 15 '17 at 15:33
  • Richard Firth "However, as a few people have said a PIP isn't necessarily a bad thing. I use PIPs for everything. A PIP is a plan for improving performance. ", there is nothing wrong with putting employees on 'training' program...the problem is when a PIP is used as a veiled threat against the employee. I have been there, and it sucked so much balls. – bobo2000 Feb 20 '17 at 14:59
5

There's a lot of doom and despair in the answers posted so far. It may be the case that your company is just creating a legal paper trail so they can terminate you. Alternatively, they may actually want to help you. The fact of the matter is, hiring (and firing) employees carries a lot of financial overhead.

You say that this is your first job, and you've been there for over a year. The company has made an investment in you. They hired you, they trained you, they have paid you. If they terminate you, they will have to start that process all over again with someone else, which will incur significant cost before that new person is at the level you are now. They will be short-handed until your replacement is ready. A smart company wants its employees to succeed.

So, what can you do?

Approach the meeting with an open mind and humility. Be very honest with yourself and your employer about whatever complaints are presented to you. Don't get defensive unless what they say is verifiably and quantifiably false. Are you doing the minimum required to get by? Are you committed to the work you are doing, or are you just collecting a check? Are you coming in later than everyone else in the office? Spending too much time talking at the water cooler or surfing the 'net?

I can say from experience that one of the biggest lessons I learned transitioning from college to the workforce is that a job is not a right, it is a privelege.

Early in my career, I had a sit-down with my bosses much like what you are describing. I got told to "shape up, or ship out." I shaped up. I put everything I had into my next project, knowing full well the consequences of failure. Importantly, I retained that attitude once the danger had passed. I spent several more happy years at that firm, receiving more than one promotion. Those bosses became people I respected deeply, who also respected me.

One final note:

I've answered this with the assumption that you work for a good, ethical company, that you enjoy working for. If your company culture is toxic, your reputation is already damaged beyond repair, or you don't really like working there anyway, take the advice of other posters. Get out of your own free will, before you wind up with a termination in your history.

  • One thing I want to note here is I have spent numerous nights fixing production issues when my boss or boss's boss needed me to. Even when our System Administrator left, I didn't hesitate to do those tasks as well since I was the only one left on the team who had some level of familiarity with the whole infrastructure (Most of the team had resigned & we had to bring in a whole new team including my current boss). – user3777390 Feb 15 '17 at 17:58
3

Disability (any condition preventing you from performing well on the job)

You have mentioned in your edit to your question that you suffer from cerebral palsy. I feel that may be an important factor (if not the whole issue, as answered by other posters) to keep in mind in the matter.

I know next to nothing about the condition, but you should ascertain if this has influenced your job performance in any way (e.g. lack of sleep or proper nutrition leading to lack of concentration and/or energy, the need for movement, etc.)

If you can state without doubt that yes, it has influenced your work, you probably need to bring that to the attention of your management. I say PROBABLY because many jurisdictions with socialist-leaning labor laws (many in the West) require provisions to be made for people with disabilities (which normally include anything hindering your normal performing of a job, getting promotions, or even getting hired - physical as well as mental - not only e.g. blindness or needing a wheelchair). Even if not a legal requirement, some employers have a more open outlook regarding employees with disabilities. If not, only then it probably won't serve any purpose to bring it up (and that's too bad, but life is not always fair).

Unfortunately many employees are unaware of such legal provisions regarding disabilities, or do not want to "hide behind" something like this. Keep in mind, as a condition acquired at birth, you can't help it, but still need to be employed just like a "healthy" person (probably even more so, due to medical expenses).

If in doubt, it may be worth your while consulting a professional versed in the labor laws in your jurisdiction, e.g. a labor consultant or even a lawyer specializing in labor law. This person should be able to tell you if you would qualify for disability benefits, and how to approach the matter with your employer.

One thing that you need to keep in mind if going this route, is that you should be able to come up with a specific plan how your employer can make changes to accommodate your situation, that will enable you to perform your job to satisfaction. Or at the very least, make a list of specific things that are a hindrance to your performing well and see if your employer is willing to work with you in providing a solution. Let's say someone is bound to a wheelchair, so to accommodate that person, the employer needs to provide access (e.g. ramps) to all areas where the employee needs to be to do his work, adapted toilet stalls, etc. Some person may have a psychological disability where people around her cause anxiety, and so the employer can accommodate her by providing a private office. So think of things that you would need to make your job doable (But be careful to keep it reasonable from the employer's point of view too. I doubt that they will buy you your own solid gold coffee cup when the white china one works as well, to make a stupid example.)

Also, even if/when you get a new job, the same applies and should be addressed from the start, else the problem will just come up again.

2

You're either not performing to management's expectations, have stepped on some toes, politically, or both.

If I were you I would update my resume and start looking for a new job ASAP.

In a fair world your manager or team leader would be giving you pointers on how to improve or succeed on an ongoing basis. Maybe you should have asked for some feedback and performance metrics before this point.

In the future, if you feel like someone might be unhappy with your work don't be afraid to ask for a private meeting and request guidance or help.

  • 1
    That's the thing, my manager used to do one on ones and would give me feedback on what's wrong & what's right but that stopped months ago. And now this, ever since I have gotten the invite, my morale has dropped quite a bit. – user3777390 Feb 14 '17 at 21:27
  • 2
    @user3777390 if your manager stops talking about your performance, that's either a good sign or really bad one. It may happen because you are good enough now - or because he thinks talking to you is pointless waste of his time anyway so why bother. Always ask for feedback if it stops suddenly, to know which one is it. – Mołot Feb 16 '17 at 14:44
  • @user3777390 - I agree with Molot's comment. You need to compare your productivity with that of your team mate's sometimes. Are you constantly failing to meet deadlines? Are you asking for a lot of help, and unable to figure things out on your own? Are your submissions riddled with bugs? Obviously I have no way of knowing, and sometimes people won't tell you to your face, but watch out for people's attitudes to you and your work. Try to get involved, learn as much as possible, etc. There's no one formula to success. Hell, maybe you're a great programmer but just don't fit in with the team. – AndreiROM Feb 16 '17 at 14:53
1

In your question you didn't add if you did something that may cause you get fired you don't need add the details required in your question, though., but, if you did, maybe that could be one reason for the meeting.

If you didn't, I think that you should be fine.

Just in case, you can consider talk in private with your boss first and get more details about the meeting.

In the meeting, try to be calm and listen them.

  • 5
    The company is starting the process to justify a dismissal. There is no way that the boss will now talk about this before the meeting. The 2nd level boss is coming to be a witness for the company, not a helpful mentor. – MaxW Feb 15 '17 at 0:51
  • A good suggestion. – Teacher KSHuang Feb 15 '17 at 9:48
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    @MaxW: We can suspect that, but we don't know. Maybe the boss wants to offer counseling or additional training to help the employee, and needs their boss in the meeting to agree to the training cost. It's probably best to be careful, but keep an open mind. – sleske Feb 15 '17 at 10:36
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    @sleske if that were the case it would not be a formal meeting. The boss would slap him on the back and say, "Hey man, how about going to Cancun for some training?" – Tony Ennis Feb 15 '17 at 22:23
1

One more question, should I hire a lawyer in case?

If you think you're about to fired for an illegal reason, if your legal/employment rights are being violated, then it may be better to talk with a lawyer (get advice from a lawyer) before you're fired rather than afterward.

  • 3
    The PIP means he's not being fired right now so you can contact the lawyer after you get the PIP text. – MSalters Feb 15 '17 at 14:54
0

Try to go there openminded.

I never heard the term PIP in a negative way where I work, but we got at each year performance meeting called like that.

The goal is to see where Iam and what can be done to be more on track versus my job reports/metric in place that I got to follow. Its a place to discuss what I want as training and such.

It get bad at my job when we got recovery plan meeting.

I tell you my answer as every business got their own way to manage HR, but never forget that usually they could fired you rightaway to prevent you to sabotage your workspace. I see a planned meeting as less negative than getting fired, but I might be wrong.

  • Your annual performance meeting sounds like a Performance Development Program, not a Performance Improvement Program. – mcalex Feb 16 '17 at 2:17
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    @mcalex you are surely right, I just realize that the bad terminology they use at my shop could backfire, and I realize now why one of my new coworker was afraid to go in the meeting this year. – yagmoth555 Feb 16 '17 at 3:25
-1

I think every other answer is missing the basics of a workplace.

The fact is most PIPs happen because your boss does not like you. The degree of this correlates with the hostility and the surprise factor of the topics discussed in the PIP. But overall I think the answers you have gotten have been a little cynical about the employee's role.

The reason why I am mentioning this is because you honestly seemed surprised. There is no reason if you are getting along with your boss (takes two to get along) that you would get a meeting to a PIP without knowing 90% of the issues already, hence you wouldn't have written the question.

Let me tell you some of the reasons I have seen people in PIP situations just to give you examples:

  1. Employee didn't agree with boss on future technology, boss was afraid that he was wrong and would get fired if this was pushed.

  2. Employee was so good at dev work that boss would lose vendor budget.

  3. Employee had a college education from prestigious school, boss was taking night classes to complete college.

  4. Boss listened to Mr. Gossiper at work, who lied about employee. Boss didn't realize this until after the PIP.

  5. Boss does not even understand what the employee did, due to their lack of intelligence and knowledge in the field. Another boss right next door found out about PIP and plucked good employee.

I am just giving you examples here. What do you do in a PIP?

  • Be honest.
  • Don't give into any negative claims unless there are hard facts backing them up. And no it is not your fault if you missed a deadline because employee X missed their deadline.
  • Defend yourself but make it quick. Follow up via email on your defenses but make sure they are solid and hold up.
  • Do some self-reflecting. You need to figure out if this is an actual performance issue, a boss issue, or a boss/employee issue. If performance ask them if they want you to perform better. If it is a boss issue you need to defend yourself (boss issue means your boss is lying or doesn't understand how to evaluate you). If it is a boss/employee issue then you need to talk to your HR rep and see how far they are on boss's side.

What do you do after your performance review?

  • Try hard to find someone you can trust in your workplace to talk to about your performance and your boss - and someone who won't go tell boss about the conversation. Ask your friend's their opinions. Keep questions open. Let them know you think you are getting fired and ask them if they have heard anything. And don't take stuff personal or I doubt the tell you anything else.
  • If you have relationships with other groups at your company, get conversations started. The easiest way out of a PIP is if someone else at same company wants you. Unless current boss can prove beyond a doubt your are inept or didn't show up to work, you can get plucked.
  • Start looking for another job. Right away. You don't have to take another job and you don't have two weeks to find one but get the ball rolling. But don't do this at work and don't let it effect your performance.

I would venture to say that your boss doesn't like you personally or doesn't value you at all as an employee. I have no idea if this is justified or not. But the fact is unless your boss is getting pressure from their boss or another higher-up to do the PIP (which is same issue) there is no reason why they wouldn't sit you down a few times and go over issues before a PIP. I have had very very underperforming employees and I have had many many conversations with them before even thinking PIP if I cared about them at all.

Really the only people who I have brought to a PIP or fired were those who didn't show up to work or "fake worked" (the art of sitting at a desk and watching movies, reading websites or whatever and then popping up work stuff when anyone came by). I have had over 100 employees in tech work for me over the past 20 years and honestly that is my PIP history. So either you are that bad of an employee or boss dislikes you that much (and my money is on boss disliking you).

But don't take my answer as a witch hunt on bosses. Boss probably doesn't like you and has turned a bit passive-aggressive. There may be justification for the PIP but the boss is handling it really poorly. The boss doesn't have to be a huge a-hole, he could just be not good at handling a poorly performing employee. If the boss really understand what your group is doing, you think you haven't been hitting your marks, and friends aren't saying much I would not only get the resume going but I would think about what positions you are applying for in the future.

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