How do I know if a performance plan is unfair?

Clues to spotting unfairness of a PIP

  • If you have a long period of service, the introduction of a PIP could be seen to be rather surprising. This is especially where there has been no prior issues with your performance. In fact, there may even be a history of good performance positively reinforced by your employer- for example, through good appraisals or bonuses (and this takes prime importance the closer the time period of a previous positive review).
  • Your relationship with your line manager may give a clue as to the real reason for the PIP. The importance of workplace relationships should not be underestimated; it is frequently the case that contention in the workplace is down to a personality clash. Many individuals who are put on a PIP can cite an underlying motive which has nothing to do with the standard of their work and more a breakdown of personalities.
  • The terms of the PIP itself may provide a clue. A PIP that puts forward unrealistic targets and/or timeframes for improvement lends credence to the possibility that you are being set up to fail.
  • Where you are part of a team with no overall responsibility for the tasks at hand, and yet you have been selectively chosen for a PIP when your peers have not, this could be a giveaway.

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