Sometimes employees get off track towards achieving performance expectations. There may be one or multiple reasons. Sometimes a quick analysis can be done to get back on track. In some cases a more formalized process is needed to help the employee identify performance gaps and refocus. A Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), or Performance Action Plan (PAP), can be used to give an employee with performance gaps the opportunity to succeed. It's purpose is to communicate and address gaps related to specific job goals or to amend behavior-related concerns.
The City of Dallas has a formal process. The process is a partnership between the supervisor and employee. Both work together to put a plan in place to close performance and/or behavior-related gaps.
The purpose is to work with the employee to close performance and/or behavior gaps. An Improvement Plan is not considered disciplinary action. It is a positive engagement event between the supervisor and employee. However, it is important to inform the employee of potential consequences if the gaps are not successfully closed within the specified time period.
The information below outlines the process to use to implement an improvement plan.
Determine if a PIP / PAP is needed
The first step is to meet with your department HR Partner to discuss if a PIP / PAP is needed. We all have performance blind spots. A blind spot is when an employee is not aware of some of performance / behavioral deficiencies others see. Is such cases a PIP / PAP may not be needed. Gaps can sometimes be resolved through routine feedback and coaching. The HR Partner will step the Supervisor through a process to determine the correct actions to implement. If a formal plan is needed, then the HR Partner will work with the Supervisor to develop an improvement actions path. The following steps explain the PIP / PAP process.
This is the PIP / PAP initiation process
If the HR Partner determines that a PIP is in the best interest of the employee the following steps will be followed to initiate a PIP / PAP.
Step1: Meet with the employee
The first step is to meet with the employee. During this meeting the Supervisor will inform the employee of what is going to happen, why is it going to happen and the process that will be followed. The HR Partner must participate in this initial meeting. The Supervisor will lead the meeting. The HR Partner will serve as a resource for the Supervisor and Employee to answer questions about the process and serve as knowledge expert on City of Dallas workplace policies.
The Supervisor may use a Pre-meeting Checklist to prepare for the meeting. Click
HERE to download the ISO document from HR SharePoint.
Step2: Request a PIP / PAP template
After completing Step 1, the HR Partner will send an email to the Talent & Performance Management Manager to request adding a PIP / PAP template to the Employee's NEOGOV profile. The template will be used by the Supervisor to identify current state and future state. The Employee will provide information about resources needed to successfully completed the PIP / PAP.
The HR Partner must include the following information in the email:
- Employee name
- Employee ID number
- Due date you'd like the PIP to be completed (the default date is 3 months)
Be sure the Employee is aware they will receive a PIP prior to requesting as the Employee will have immediate access to see it in NEOGOV.
Step 3: Add goals to the plan
After completing Step 2, the Supervisor will add goals to the plan in NEOGOV. The Supervisor will inform the Employee of:
- what has been observed
- what is expected
- due date to close the gaps
- expectation of no future recurrence
Step 4: Review the goals with the employee
After completing Step 3, the Supervisor will meet with the Employee to discuss the goals added to the NEOGOV template. The HR Partner must participate in the initial goals reviews meeting. The Supervisor will lead the meeting. The HR Partner will help guide this meeting and will serve as a resource for the Supervisor and Employee to answer questions about the process and serve as knowledge expert on City of Dallas workplace policies.
During this meeting the Supervisor and Employee will also agree on how often they want to have Check-in meetings. Check-in meetings are required to keep the employee apprised of progress. The Employee may schedule additional Check-in meetings as needed. The HR Partner may also request additional Check-in meetings. The HR Partner is not required to attend all Check-in meeting, but must participate if requested by the Supervisor or Employee. The HR Partner is required to participate in the final Check-in meeting.
Step 5: Initiate the signature process in NEOGOV
After completing Step 4, the Supervisor must take the NEOGOV template out of Draft status to initiate the signature process. After this step the Supervisor and Employee will be able to add notes to track progress towards achieving goals. The notes can be used in Check-in meetings.
Locating an Employee's PIP
- Login to NEOGOV: https://login.neogov.com then navigate to the Perform module
- Locate NEOGOV at upper left corner of screen
- To the right side of NEOGOV is a menu. Place mouse point on menu then select "PE Perform" to go the Perform dashboard
- From the Perform dashboard scroll down the screen until you get to the section heading "My Direct Reports".
- Click the name of the appropriate employee to view the employee's profile page. The employee's profile page will show a list of available evaluations
- Scroll down the screen until you get to the section heading "Evaluations". Review the list of available performance plans assigned to the employee. To view/open the plan, click the name of the Improvement Plan for that employee.
- Now you are ready to follow the steps in section "Completing the NEOGOV Process Steps" below to initiate and complete the improvement plan.
Completing the sections of the NEOGOV template
These are the NEOGOV sections of the PIP / PAP
- Section 1: Summary of Concerns & Expectations to be completed by the Supervisor
- Section 2: Goals sections to be completed by the Supervisor
- Section 3: Support/Resources to be completed by the Employee.
Section 1: Supervisor/Manager: Summary of Concerns & Expectations
This section is used by the supervisor/manager to list the summary of concerns and expected outcomes. List in details the problems with the employees performance. If there were any previous discussions, list the details of the discussion and the dates. List the specific work (performance and/or behavior) that needs improvement or issues to rectify. Enter the information under the appropriate line items.
Section 2: Supervisor/Manager: Add goals in this section
This section is used by the supervisor/manager to add goals required to close performance gaps. When adding a goal, make sure you assign each goal to the appropriate Category (Key Performance Area). Categories to select from have “PIP” at the beginning; for example “PIP – Customer Service”.
These are the steps to follow to add goals:
- First click Add items then click New Goals at the bottom of the drop-down list,
- On the pop-out window on the right provide the Goal Name,
- Select Goal Due Date,
- Select the appropriate Category,
- Provide a detailed description of current state, expected state, time period to close the gap and any other pertinent information.
- Under ADDITIONAL SETTINGS select Priority Level, then
- Under REMINDER SETTINGS turn Reminder Notices on. You can indicate the appropriate interval, and then
- Click Save.
- Repeat the steps until all goals have been added.
Section 3: Add support needed to achieve goals
Employees use this section to identify resources, equipment and/or support needed to accomplish the goals identified by the supervisor; however, the Supervisor may add support/resources that the Supervisor will provide to assist the employee with completing the goals. Supervisor's input does not remove Employee's responsibility to indicate what is needed to help the Employee close performance gaps.
Completing the NEOGOV Process Steps
These are the NEOGOV process steps for the PIP / PAP
- Task 1: Manager adds goals and support items to the improvement plan
- Task 2: HR Partner acknowledgement that goals were added and reviewed before releasing to employee
- Task 3: Employee add support items needed
- Task 4: Manager releases plan for HR Partner for review before releasing to Employee
- Task 5: HR Partner releases plan to Employee
- Task 6: Rating and notes added by Manager and Employee during plan duration
- Task 7: HR Partner reviews Rating submitted by Manager
- Task 8: Manager releases final rating to Employee
- Task 9: Employee signs final plan
- Task 10: HR Partner reviews and provides final signature
Task 1: First, the supervisor must take the plan out of Draft status. After changing the status, the manager will receive a notification that a task has been assigned. Goals should have already been added. The manager is simply acknowledging that goals were added.
Task 2: HR Partner acknowledge that goals were added and reviewed before releasing to employee. After completing Task 1, the HR Partner will receive a notification to complete this task. The HR Partner is responsible for reviewing what the supervisor added. Request revisions if needed before signing-off on this task.
Task 3: Employee add support items needs. After completing task 2 the employee will receive a notification to complete a task. The employee is acknowledging that support items were added if needed. The employee is not required to add items; however it is recommended.
Task 4: Manager releases plan to HR Partner for review before releasing to employee. After the completing of task 3, the supervisor will receive a notification to complete this task. This task is where the supervisor releases the plan to the HR Partner for final review before it goes to the employee.
Task 5: HR Partner releases plan to employee. After completion of task 4, the HR Partner will receive a notification to compete this task. Completing this task will release it to the employee and manager to start the rating and notes process. This is the performance period for the PIP.
Task 6: Rating and notes added by Manager and Employee during plan duration. The plan is now in performance period. The employee can now start working on closing gaps. The manager and employee will be able to add a note to goals. The manager will be able to give ratings and print the current state to share with the employee during Check-in meetings. If ratings and notes are added then the information will appear on the current state of the printed document.
The supervisor will share the printed document with the employee. The employee will sign and date the document. The supervisor will scan the document to PDF and attach it as a note to the performance plan.
Task 7: HR Partner reviews rating submitted by supervisor. At the end of the performance period the supervisor will submit the final rating to complete task 6. The HR partner will receive a notification that a new task has been assigned. The HR Partner will review the submitted information and complete the task. If the HR Partner does not agree with the final rating, the document can be sent back to the supervisor for further review. The two will meet to discus the plan as needed to make corrections if needed.
Task 8: Manager releases final rating to employee. The supervisor will receive a notification to complete the assigned task. After completing this task the supervisor will schedule a time to meet with the employee to discuss the final results. The HR Partner is required to participate in this meeting.
Task 9: Employee signs final plan. This is the final signature for the employee. Employee's signature is an acknowledgement that the process has ended. The employee is NOT acknowledgement agreement with the final rating.
Task 10: HR Partner review and final signature. This is the final signature for the HR Partner. The HR Partner will do one last review and if satisfied with the document, complete the task to release to the employee.