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Performance improvement plans (PIPs) are given to low performers with a view to improving their performance rather than being fired.

It is extremely important to manage PIPs effectively. We don't use PIPs for show. This is a genuine opportunity for the employee to improve, and the ideal outcome is for the employee to go on to do great work at Clearbit. Indeed, this is the case for many of the people we put on PIPs at Clearbit.

We want to show the people who work here that nobody is let go on a whim, and that we have a genuine desire to work together and help people improve. Firing someone without a PIP is reserved for situations where either misconduct has occurred or we truly believe that the employee is not likely to complete a PIP.

When do people get put on a PIP?

Someone will be placed on a PIP when they have shown a pattern of not showing any improvement after receiving a lot of critical feedback. We only put people on PIPs when we believe they have the potential to improve.

Nobody should be surprised when they are put on a PIP. They will have received multiple rounds of documented feedback regarding a specific issue that has been labeled as PIP-level critical by their manager during their one-on-ones.

Some examples of this could be many pull requests not being merged because of bad quality/direction, badly missing sales quotas, or a pattern of negligence or not caring about your work.

This type of feedback is different from the weekly "I like that/I wish that" feedback that we share for personal and professional development. PIP-level feedback must be clearly labeled in Asana or email. The key here is to preserve and document your critical feedback in a non-arguable way. Remember, the PIP is a plan for improvement and not where you are documenting your critical feedback.

What are the details of a PIP?

PIPs are confidential and will only be discussed with you, your manager, and the leadership team.

A PIP will last at least two weeks, and could last up to a month. PIPs are written plans with clear, achievable milestones and realistic due dates. Each week, the PIP’ed employee will meet with their manager, who will let them know in writing how they are performing against those milestones. Our aim is to give people the tools and help they need to complete the PIP successfully.

I'm considering a PIP for my report now. What do I do?

Talk to your manager and HR to discuss the issue, clarify what you have done so far, and discuss what the next steps should be. If it is determined that a PIP is the appropriate next step, you will be asked to fill out this PIP Template and review it again with your manager and HR before delivering.