Beat the P.I.P.

Road to Improvement.001

There is a reality show on CNBC called “The Profit” that I occasionally watch. Marcus Lemonis, the star of the show, helps struggling small businesses to improve the profit of the businesses. Marcus invests his own money into the rejuvenation of them. In the last episode I watched, Marcus is trying to help a floral business get back its footing.

One of the issues Marcus identify was that the general manager (GM) was not performing the role of the GM to the level that was expected of her. He recommended that the GM be demoted.  Marcus told her what her new role was and what was expected of her. She was placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (P.I.P.). She was obviously hurt by the demotion as evident by her tears.

But what really impressed me was that she didn’t toss in the towel and quit. She stayed on and actually earned Marcus’ respect. She showed up each time with a positive attitude and did what was asked of her. In the end Marcus told her that he believed she should be the person in charge of the business at all times…even more so than the owner should be. The owner on the other hand was mostly negative throughout the episode.

As a manager, it was not pleasant for me to put an employee on a Performance Improvement Plan (P.I.P.). At this point of the decision, I found that the employee was performing his or her job way below expectation. In this case, I would work with the Human Resources representative to create a 30-60-90 day plan with measurable goals. Goals that were fair to the employee and the company. 

Are you on a Performance Improvement Plan? Here is what you can do to Beat the P.I.P.

Understand what is required of you:

  1. Review the Performance Improvement Plan with your manager to ensure you understand each goal and what is expected of you.
  2. If there is something that is not clear to you, ask questions.
  3. If the Human Resources representative is not present (in person, on video or on the phone) ask if you can have that person involved in the discussion.

Take it seriously:

  1. Don’t take a P.I.P. lightly. If you want to keep the job, then seriously take stock of what you need to do to meet the goals. Create your own plan and start implementing the activities that would get you there.
  2. Your feelings may be hurt, but this is an opportunity to show that you can rise above this low point. Put some sweat equity in. Action is what gets the job done…not sitting around and wishing things will work out.
  3. Like the general manager in the opening story, don’t quit. Reach out to those that may be able to help you meet your goals…whether it is an existing client, a co-worker or a mentor. Be open and willing to do some of the things that they advice you to do.

Maintain Positive Attitude:

  1. Be positive. I’ve seen so many people get put on a P.I.P. and immediately their attitudes become negative. This is not going to improve your manager’s opinion of you. It will validate that he or she is right about putting you on the P.I.P. in the first place.
  2. Start your day off with something that inspires you to push through. I sometimes like to watch an inspirational video on YouTube or read a quick affirmation statement to get me in a great frame of mind.
  3. Encourage others around you. The demoted general manager did not take her demotion as a defeat. Instead she maintained a positive attitude and started to encourage her peers and her direct reports. She provided positive feedback to them.

Being on a Performance Improvement Plan doesn’t mean that you cannot do the job. It simply means that you may need to make some adjustments that would move you to a higher level of performance. Just remember: understand what is required of you, take it seriously and maintain a positive attitude.

Many of my mentors have helped me and continue to help me attain my goals. Learn how they helped me in my book Live a Diamond Life, A Life of Purpose: Diamond Cutters.

I leave you with a short video that inspired me today:

GET INSPIRED – Never Give Up On Your Goals!

Remember the Diamond is within you on Timeless Tuesday!

Thank you for reading my post. Please hit the “follow” button at the top of the page. This will allow me continue to write and share with you on a variety of topics.

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