Developing Performance Improvement Plan

Developing Performance Improvement Plan

Developing a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

Begin your paper with an introduction and then provide a summary of the case study.
Prepare a needs assessment to analyze both employees’ skill levels identified in the scenario.
Based on the needs assessment, prepare an analysis of what should have happened, and what actually did happen, in the scenario.
Based on the needs assessment, evaluate the appropriateness among possible choices of action (strategies), including discipline, development, improvement, or termination for the two employees.
As a Human Resources professional, create a performance improvement plan for each employee that outlines the following:
Expected behaviors;
Metrics for improvement;
Required action steps;
Consequences for not meeting the plan’s expected outcomes;
Their manager’s role.
Prepare instructions for the manager on how to conduct a meeting with each employee about improvements and consequences.

Developing Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) is an opportunity given to underperforming employees to help them boost their skills. It is usually a vital tool for addressing failures that hampered the achievement of particular performance goals (SHRM, 2015). When used, the employees are expected to show a specific behavior and meet the set objective or else suffer the consequences.

Case Study Summary

The case study is about 30 students from the University of Berkeley who missed an opportunity to compote for Fulbright research grant award. The students’ unfortunate event is attributable to the late delivery of their applications. This happened because the Federal Express, the courier, failed to pick up applications and deliver them to the Education Department before the deadline elapsed. Federal Express blamed the failure on “software glitch” (Murphy, 2004). The employee from university email the Education Department explaining the error. The Department gave the employee a greenlight by telling them to send applications with an explanation from FedEx. It took four months for the University to realize that applications were rejected on the basis that they were delivered late. The lawyers from the Education Department argued that the email by the employee contributed to the rejection of the applications. The lawyers stated that if the employee had not emailed, they would have accepted the late applications because they would have understood there was a problem (Murphy, 2004). The University’s chancellor, Berdahl’s intervention, could not save the students’ chance to compete for the award as the Department of education refused his plea.  The only solution remained with FedEx to help in addressing the stalemate. The two letters that have been made by the FedEx apologizing to the University did not solve the problem. The FedEx deliver error had adverse effects on the University of Berkeley.

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Need Assessment Analysis for Employees

Need assessment analysis is usually linked to gap performance analysis and involves evaluating the current employees’ skills and performance against the acceptable performance standards (SHRM, 2015). The variance between the actual performance and the acceptable standards leads to the gap. In the scenario, “Missed Pickup Means a Missed Opportunity for 30 Seeking a Fellowship,” Both employees, the university clerk, and FedEx employee can be said to have proficient skills. They cannot qualify as trainee, novice, or expert. They need additional training to reach the expert level. They both committed errors that led to 30 students missing an opportunity to complete for the research grant. This shows a lack of expert skills to execute responsibilities effectively and on time.

Scenario Assessment

The clerk would have made sure the applications were ready for delivery before one day or two days to the deadline. When it appeared clear that the applications could only be delivered on the deadline day, the clerk should have made a follow up with FedEx to enquire about the delivery. The FedEx employee, on the other hand, had the responsibility of ensuring that the applications reached to the Education Department by the deadline. The employee would have done so by maintaining an efficient tracking and monitoring system to ensure mails and packages are picked and delivered hours before the close of working hours. By doing so, the two employees could have avoided the delivery error and seek another delivery by seeking other alternatives before the close of the day. The clerk laid her trust on the FedEx,  only later to realize that they have missed the deadline. The FedEx employee, on the other hand, appears to blame glitch software.

Possible Choices of Action

Based on the need assessment, the two employees possess proficient skills. Therefore, appropriate strategies will be discipline, development, and improvement. Termination might be costly and unfair since they have been delivering the responsibilities on time, as illustrated by the past acceptance of applications in the previous years. However, discipline would be justified to deter them from committing a similar error in the future. The most appropriate strategies would be development and improvement. The two employees would be undertaken through training and development programs to improve their proficient skills to expert level. Budwort et al.  (2014) argued for improvement to correct employee’s performance deficiencies. The benefits of improvement are again advanced by Hofeditz et al. (2015), who argue that they increase motivation and influence employees to observe the expected behavior.  The performance improvement plan (PIP) for each employee has been presented in the appendix one and appendix two.

Meeting with Employees about Improvement and Consequences

The manager will undertake a formal performance improvement meeting with each employee. The manager would first consult the employee’s supervisor, adviser, or human resource manager to understand their areas of concern and the improvement programs offered to them before. This will let the manager know what is expected from each employee. The manager should be equipped with all evidence and choose a convenient place where they can discuss the issue. Upon meeting with the employee, the manager will explain the issue and provide an opportunity for discussion. Explain the required expectations for the employee, including the objectives that they should meet. The manager should state the consequence for failure to conform to the expected behavior as well as to meet the desired goals. Finally, the manager will record the discussion and the agreement with the employee and share it with the relevant staff members to follow up.


Budwort, M. A.-H., Latham, G. A., & Manroop, L. (2014). Looking Forward To Performance Improvement: A Field Test Of The Feedforward Interview For Performance Management. Human Resource Management, 54(1), 45–54. doi:10.1002/hrm.21618

Hofeditz, M. E., Neinaber, A.-M., Dysvik, A., & Schewe, G. (2015). “Want To” Versus ” Have To” Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivators as Predictors of Compliance Behavior Intention. Human Resource Management, 56(1), 25-49. doi:10.1002/hrm.21774

Murphy, D. E. (2004, Feb 5). Missed Pickup Means a Missed Opportunity for 30 Seeking a Fellowship. Retrieved from New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/05/us/missed-pickup-means-a-missed-opportunity-for-30-seeking-a-fellowship.html

SHRM. (2015). How to Establish a Performance Improvement Plan. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/how-to-guides/pages/performanceimprovementplan.aspx

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