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Best performance improvement plan (PIP) templates 10 min read
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Giving feedback to employees is a crucial part of improving your team’s productivity. Especially if a particular employee is consistently failing to meet the mark, whether they’re failing to meet deadlines or their standard of work is dropping, a negative trend in job performance needs to be addressed.

But sometimes, nothing seems to change even after you’ve spoken to them multiple times about their behavior. What then? That’s where a performance improvement plan comes in.

In this article, we’ll share our custom-made performance improvement plan template, so you can start giving your employees the direct guidance they need. We’ll even break down exactly how to use the template to get your employees back on track.

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What is a performance improvement plan template?

A performance improvement plan (PIP) template helps you lay out something also known as a performance action plan, which is a corrective strategy for dealing with employees’ recurring behavioral or performance issues. This plan is a procedure and a document that details corrective actions. It provides resources and sets an expected outcome timeline for underperforming employees.

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A performance improvement plan template typically includes:

  • Corrective actions
  • Resources
  • Timelines
  • Consequences of failing to meet your company’s stipulations

Screenshot of performance improvement plan template

A performance action plan holds employees accountable if they are unable to meet an acceptable standard of performance as laid out in their job description. If an employee fails to meet the PIP’s expectations within the specified time-frame — usually 30, 60, or 90 days — and fails to improve their work performance, the PIP lays out explicit repercussions. This includes possible termination of their employment.

Why use a performance improvement plan template?

There are many benefits to using an improvement template plan for your business. Templates are fully customizable and help you address each employee’s underperformance issues.

Gives employees a chance to succeed

While a performance improvement plan can be nerve-wracking for employees, it should ultimately be designed and presented in order to give them an opportunity to succeed and a clear roadmap for doing so.

One of the main benefits of a performance improvement plan is that it constructively boosts employee performance. You should describe exactly how an employee is failing to meet company expectations and give them the guidance and resources to change their habits. That way, they’re significantly more likely to succeed than if such guidance was never provided.

Prevents high turnover rates

The right performance improvement plan template will help you give underperforming employees the constructive feedback they need to improve their performance. It acts as a wake-up call for underperforming employees so that they can change their actions and hopefully prevent termination.

By using a performance improvement plan, your business stands to save the resource drains and high turnover expenses associated with hiring new employees. On average, a single new hire can cost your business $4,425.

Promotes good communication

A performance action plan serves as an effective workplace communication tool. It provides simple, clear, and concise documents and standards of accountability that your employees can refer to. In this way, it goes beyond the conventional disciplinary write-up. Rather, it gives employees a real chance to better themselves and excel in their positions.

Sets clear expectations for employees

Using a performance improvement plan template may improve the quality of the relationships between staff and leadership personnel. By setting clear expectations with a detailed performance improvement plan, there is greater transparency between management and employees.

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What are some examples of performance improvement plan templates?

There are many situations where it’s appropriate to use a performance improvement plan, including customer complaints, missed deadlines, and general poor performance.

PIP templates for poor employee performance

Poor employee performance can encompass many different areas for improvement and the context that surrounds it.. For example, maybe an employee has performed well in the past, and their performance issue has only developed recently. Or it could be that they’ve gotten off to a rough start in a new role.

 Reason  Goal  Action  Criteria for Assessment
Employee displays low productivity rates and motivation.Improvements in employee’s productivity and attitude towards work.Employee should undergo time management and productivity training. Deadlines should be set to ensure that company goals are reached.Regular analysis of employee’s productivity and performance.
Assessment of the amount of time the employee is spending on work, and a comparison of these hours to past hours.


You might even have an employee who produces noticeably lower quality work than other workers. Maybe they are facing personal challenges, and you can no longer accommodate them.

 Reason  Goal  Action  Criteria for Assessment
Employee produces work of unsatisfactory quality.Improvements in employee’s ability to meet deadlines and minimize the number of errors in their work.Employee should be provided with a timesheet of their working hours, and should follow it closely. Their work should also be monitored by a team leader.Analysis of the number of deadlines met on time.
Assessment sheet of the employee’s work quality and reports of errors from a supervisor or team leader.


The final variable is if a worker is displaying unacceptable workplace behavior towards fellow employees.

 Reason  Goal  Action  Criteria for Assessment
Employee is behaving inappropriately in the workplace.Improvements in the employee’s ability to communicate with their coworkers and elimination of unwanted behaviors and insubordination.Employee should undergo communication training, team-building activities, and behavior correctional counseling.Positive feedback from coworkers and superiors on employee’s conduct and communication at work.


PIP templates following customer complaints

When customers are complaining about poor performance or service from an employee, it’s crucial that you address the issue quickly. You don’t want to ruin your company’s good reputation.

 Reason  Goal  Action  Criteria for Assessment
Customers are complaining about poor service from an employee.Improvements in customer service, communication, and product and service knowledge.Employee should undergo training sessions on customer communication and study the company’s product and service catalog to improve their knowledge.Testing on employee’s knowledge of the company’s core offerings.

Customer satisfaction scale ratings.

Review of recorded calls and interactions.’s performance improvement plan template’s performance improvement plan template is all you need to create concise and effective PIPs. The template is fully customizable, so you can edit it to completely suit the needs and goals of your organization. Since they’re digital and hosted in the cloud, you can easily share them with managers, teams, and employees anywhere in the world. It also means that your managers have instant access to the performance improvement data whenever they need it.

Within the Work OS, you can also create timelines and step-by-step processes based on your performance improvement plan in order to set milestones and track the performance of employees.

Kanban view of PIP template

With fully customizable tables and custom automation rules, you can create an efficient workflow for getting your employees back on track. You can even set up a board that gives you a birds-eye view of the long-term performance of different employees.

using to track employee feedback

You can also use our native integrations to track employee performance in real-time, for example, the percentage of resolved customer tickets in your help desk.

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Performance improvement plan template tips and tricks

Here are our top tips and tricks for creating effective performance action plans that improve your organization at every level.

Clearly communicate your expectations

Ensure that your employees understand why improvement is needed and what’s expected of them. Explain to them why a performance improvement plan is needed and how their work is failing to meet expectations. Clearly detail what your ideals are, and ask them for feedback so that you both agree on the goals that have been laid out.

Have employees lead the conversation

Ask your underperforming employees for input as to how their progress should be improved. Work with them to define what the success of the PIP should look like, and the interventions that they feel would be most appropriate and effective to give them the opportunity to succeed.

Create realistic and measurable objectives

It’s unrealistic to expect an employee that struggles to meet deadlines to change this issue in a day or a week. A more realistic approach would be to set incremental goals — to gradually improve their ability to meet deadlines over the quarter. You must also provide them with relevant training, so they have the necessary resources to succeed.

Schedule regular check-ins

It’s important to check in with your employees to ensure that they are working towards the PIP’s goals, that they understand these goals and how to reach them, and that they have the resources and guidance they need to do so. Make it known that they are always welcome to ask questions if there are any aspects of the plan that they are unsure of.

Make sure that everything is in writing

Using templates from will help to ensure that you have your performance improvement plan in writing and that it can be referred back to at any time. Our platform also allows you to track how your employees measure up against the PIP in real-time. So your managers will know exactly when they should reach out to an employee and offer extra guidance.

FAQs about performance improvement plan templates

How do you write a performance improvement plan?

You can use’s performance improvement plan template to write concise and professional performance improvement plans with ease. Use them to detail each performance issue, corrective action, and end goal to give underperforming employees the guidance they need to succeed.

What is the ‌PIP format?

A performance improvement plan format is the structure in which your PIP is laid out typically it looks like this:

  • Problem
  • Desired solution
  • Corrective action
  • Resources
  • Evaluation date’s performance improvement plan templates let you customize your performance action plan to include any fields or information that will help your employee reach their goals. For example, you can add columns and a timeline for minor goals to meet along the way to the main performance goals of the PIP.

How do you do a PIP?

The easiest way to do a performance improvement plan is to use an improvement plan template from Use a template to add core issues with specific employees, goals for improvement, suggested actions for improvements, and methods of assessment that will help you ‌gauge each employee’s progress.

Does a performance improvement plan mean I’m getting fired?

Performance improvement plans are designed by businesses to address performance issues and give employees another opportunity to succeed. If you can meet the goals specified in your PIP, you will be able to meet your employer’s requirements and likely retain your position.

How long should a PIP last?

Most PIPs last between 30 and 90 days on average. The duration of a performance improvement plan will depend on the issues it has been designed to address, and other factors, such as the organizational goals of the business that designed the PIP.

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