How to Tailor a Performance Improvement Plan to Your Own Needs


In the business world, managers are always looking for ways to motivate and encourage their least performing employees. One of the hottest tools for doing so is something known as the performance improvement plan (PIP). A PIP can be a good tool if used the right way. Did you know that you can tailor a PIP to your own needs?


Combining a personal PIP with tools like a high-performance planner and habit tracker can make a significant difference in your quest to improve your own performance. Best of all, the PIP strategy isn't exclusive to work performance. You can use it as a tool to help improve your performance in just about any area.


Basic PIP Concepts


The first step companies take toward utilizing the PIP strategy is to identify underperforming employees. The only way to do that is to set some basic expectations and then measure how well employees are meeting those expectations. The ones that aren't are obviously underperforming.


With underperforming employees identified, managers then create a PIP document for each one. The document includes three key components:


  • Expectations and objectives
  • Available resources
  • A timeline for improvement.


You can create your own PIP document utilizing the same three principles. Start by analyzing the expectations you have for yourself. Set one or two objectives that you would believe constitute improved performance for you. Next, look at all the resources you have available to reach those objectives. Give yourself a specific amount of time and then get to work.


Use a Daily Planner


A PIP document gives you the framework to improve your performance. A daily planner can be one of your available resources. Using a daily planner provides a way to turn those goals and objectives into doable daily tasks. You create small, incremental tasks that you can work your way through. Doing so gradually helps you improve your performance over time.


A high-performance daily planner with a built-in habit tracker works extremely well for this sort of thing. What is a high-performance daily planner? It is one that gives you maximum control over how you plan your day. It allows you to use the planner in a way that makes sense to you rather than forcing you to use the planner the way its designer would.


More About Habit Tracking


We have mentioned habit tracking multiple times in this post. Although some people may feel differently, we believe tracking your habits is essential to improving performance. In the early stages, habit tracking is about identifying both good and bad habits. Good habits are those that will help you improve performance. Bad habits only hinder you.


Tracking your habits gives you a way to remind yourself to keep pursuing the good habits while diminishing the bad ones. It is a lot like budgeting. Where a budget helps you get your finances in order by revealing good and bad spending habits, a habit tracker helps improve performance by revealing good and bad habits. You make changes based on what you are seeing from the tracker.


It Doesn't Happen Overnight


One thing to remember in all of this is that improving one's performance is a gradual process. Things don't happen overnight. That's why business managers create PIP documents. The documents are a starting point. They are also a measuring stick of sorts.


You can adapt the same PIP principles to your own life. With a PIP document, a high-performance planner, and a habit tracker, you can figure out where you want to be 6-12 months from now and start working in that direction.