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Tips to Effective Communication while Issuing PIP

Performance Evaluation is the root through which the two branches called Appraisals and PIP evolve for the benefit of both- the organisation and the employee.


When Appraisals relates to the fruits for better performance, PIP is more like a seed which requires nourishment to produce those fruits.


For Performance Evaluation there are few things to be done by the Manager:


  1. The Manager should identify the key performance Indicators (KPI’s). KPI’s are the parameters or guidelines for an employee towards better performance. Also, KPI’s are the parameters through which a Manager does the evaluation process. KPI’s differ with change in Roles, Responsibilities, Designations, Tasks assigned.

  2. The Manager should observe and analyse the overall performance of the employee to identify the Areas of Improvement and rate the employee accordingly.

  3. Rating the employee makes it easy to segregate the whole employee set into 3 different categories which are as follows:

  • Employee exceeding Expectations relates to his/her better performance which leads to Appraisal

  • Employee meeting the Expectations relates to consistent performance and appraisal can be negotiated 

  • Employee not able to meet the Expectations relates to under performance and will be issued PIP. 

  1. The Manager must initiate a one on one discussion with the employee to cross check with the Areas of Improvement and come up with a better solution.

  2. Post one-on-one discussion, a PIP will be raised by the Manager to underperforming employees.


Though PIP focuses on   development, progress and growth, in most cases issuing a PIP creates a heavy impact on the employee and further may lead to negative outburst.

Therefore, the period after having a one-on-one discussion and before the PIP is issued/ raised should be handled delicately by the Manager to help the employee,

  1. Understand the reasons for issuing PIP.

  2. Clarify on his Areas if Improvement and

  3. The impact he/she has on work post PIP.


For right nourishment and performance improvement PIP is most commonly issued for 4 to 8 weeks. The employee gets an opportunity to fill in the gaps and put on better efforts under right guidance of their Managers.


Post one-on-one discussion, the Manager needs communicate the performance reviews.

Following few pre- defined do’s and don'ts will lead to a better communication.



  • Criticize the person in general.

  • Sugar-coat the issues and avoid discussing real problems.

  • Focus on the negative

  • Dominate the conversation.

  • Ask employees to come empty-handed.

  • Focus only on the negative.




  • Provide constructive feedback on specific performance issues so that they know exactly what they need to improve.

  • Be upfront about areas for improvement.

  • Balance positive and negative but highlight the negative.

  • Engage employees. Remember that it is a two-way conversation.

  • Ask them to take notes and have concrete take away post the discussion.

  • Tell the team member what they are doing well and recognize accomplishment.


Also, there are few tips to be followed:

  • Listen : Most common thing people do is, they listen only to respond but a Manager must listen intently to what is being said without thinking about what and how to respond.

  • Management :A manager is always know for the management skills. During the outburst of an employee, the manager needs to manage the emotion and acknowledge it. 

  • Build Trust : At that point, trust acts a driving factor for an employee to get back to normal. A Manager must communicate in such a way he/she could build trust within the employee.

  • Conversation Shift :Deviations are also key tools which divert the employee’s thought process. Speaking about the positive impacts post PIP will motivate the employee towards working for his/her future.


Though the duration for PIP  range from 4 weeks to 8 weeks, it is negotiable basing upon the employee performance.

Post PIP:

  • If the employee tends to have growth in the skills and development in performance then consistent performance creates a path for appraisal.

  • If the employee tends to have no progress in the skills and performance then the employee may get terminated due to Lack of Performance(Inconsistent performance).

Written by Vineela Konagalla