PLAN OF IMPROVEMENT: What It Is, Sample and Guide

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Table of Contents Hide
  1. Employee Plan of Improvement
  2. How an Employee Improvement Plan Works in 5 Simple Steps
  3. What are the Benefits of an Employee Improvement Plan?
    1. #1. It Encourages Employees to Accept Responsibility
    2. #2. It Has the Potential to Improve Employee Retention
    3. #3. Feedback Is Extremely Valuable
    4. #4. It Takes Away the Element of Surprise.
  4. 5 Employee Performance Improvement Plan Must-Haves
    1. #1. Be Specific and Objective in Your Language
    2. #2. Agree on a Plan
    3. #3. Recognize All Possible Outcomes
    4. #4. Maintain Consistent Follow-up
  5. Action Plan to Improve Performance Sample 
    1. Why Do You Need a Plan of Action to Improve the Performance Sample?
    2. How to Write a Performance Action Plan Sample
  6. What Is a Plan of Improvement for a School
    1. What are the Topics Covered in a School Improvement Plan?
  7. How Long will the School Improvement Plan be in Effect?
  8. Who Develops the School Improvement Plan?
  9. Effectiveness of the School Improvement Plan
  10. Plan of Improvement for Teachers
  11. Creating a Performance Improvement Plan for Teachers
    1. #1. Make a Plan
    2. #2. Activities and Resources Should Be Listed
    3. #3. Compile the Evidence
    4. #4. Keep Track of Your Follow-Ups
    5. #5. Teacher Introspection
    6. #6. Keep Track of Evidence of Progress
    7. #7. Final Validation
  12. How do you write an improvement plan?
  13. What is an improvement plan?
  14. What is the importance of an improvement plan?
  15. Does Pip mean fired?
  16. Can you survive a PIP?
  17. Conclusion
  18. Plan of Improvement FAQs
  19. What are your 3 main areas for improvement?
  20. What is an example of performance improvement?
  21. What are the opportunities for improvement?
    1. Related Articles

Not every company will be staffed with superstars who consistently meet or exceed all expectations. Employees who do not fall into that category often rely on their managers to help them improve their performance. A performance improvement plan is a popular tool for getting them on the right track. This document establishes expectations to improve employee in improving performance. In this article, we will look at an employee improvement plan for a school, teachers, and a sample action plan to improve performance.

Employee Plan of Improvement

An improvement plan is a formal, structured document that addresses performance or behavioral issues and includes specific steps for getting an employee back on track. These plans can also be used for new employees who are on probation.

An employee improvement plan has traditionally been used to retain a valued employee who has shown an unusual drop in performance. Employee improvement plans typically last 30 to 90 days and can be the final stage before termination, though this is not always the case. A well-structured plan should include input from both the employee and their manager, and all parties must be committed to finding a solution.

How an Employee Improvement Plan Works in 5 Simple Steps

A performance improvement plan typically consists of five steps:

  • Needs assessment: The supervisor works alone or with a member of the HR team to determine where the employee needs to improve.
  • PIP write-up: In a templated PIP form, the supervisor outlines these improvements.
  • Formal meeting: The supervisor meets with the employee in a formal performance review meeting to explain the document.
  • Questions: The supervisor allows the employee to ask any pertinent questions to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  • Sign-off: Both the supervisor and the employee sign the document as proof that it was received, discussed, and understood.

What are the Benefits of an Employee Improvement Plan?

A performance improvement plan, also known as a development plan, can be beneficial to both employers and employees. You want the best from your employees as an employer. After all, higher-achieving employees can result in a higher return on investment for your company.

Here are some additional advantages of providing performance improvement plans:

#1. It Encourages Employees to Accept Responsibility

Staff members cannot accept responsibility for poor performance if they are unaware of how management perceives it. A performance improvement plan provides team members with the knowledge they need to accept responsibility for their performance and work to improve it.

#2. It Has the Potential to Improve Employee Retention

As job roles change, your employees may be unaware of how their role affects the company or whether it even matters. When employees know exactly what is expected of them, it can empower them by demonstrating that they make a difference and providing them with goals to strive for, which can help you retain otherwise bored and unmotivated employees.

#3. Feedback Is Extremely Valuable

Giving employees a documented understanding of how they are doing and where they can improve helps them feel engaged and improve in areas they may not have realized they were lacking in.

#4. It Takes Away the Element of Surprise.

If an employee needs to be fired because of poor performance, a performance improvement plan may make the process easier for both the employee and the company. Workers who are fired will already know of their employers’ expectations and will be forewarned of what is to come if they fail to meet their targets.

5 Employee Performance Improvement Plan Must-Haves

The employee must realize they have the opportunity to improve. Instead of making employees feel like they’re being laid off, emphasize their opportunities for advancement. They need to know what needs to change and when. Make it clear that while they are ultimately responsible for their improvement, they have your support and resources.

Consider the following five suggestions as you develop your performance improvement plan and prepare for your conversation:

#1. Be Specific and Objective in Your Language

Explain clearly why the employee’s productivity and/or behavior isn’t up to par. Bring examples of good performance, preferably from previous projects the employee worked on. Prepare to answer questions and explain why the employee’s performance falls short of the ideal.

#2. Agree on a Plan

Create shared expectations that are acceptable to both parties. Include the employee in the planning process, giving them a say in their future. Employees have increased buy-in and are more likely to face their challenges head-on when they agree to a plan and understand the intention.

Provide complete clarity by developing a SMART goal that both you and the employee believe addresses the current issue. Your employees can visualize their path to success with clear, outlined steps.

#3. Recognize All Possible Outcomes

Will the employee be fired if they do not improve? Could they be promoted or transferred to another department? What happens if their performance improves? The employee should be aware of all potential outcomes.

Be honest rather than threatening your employees. Outline the potential positive and negative outcomes of the employee’s actions. This realization will not only provide transparency, but the possibilities should motivate improvement.

#4. Maintain Consistent Follow-up

Regardless of their performance level, all managers and employees should have regular conversations. However, when performance is low, these discussions become even more critical. We recommend meeting with the employee every two weeks to monitor progress and discuss what’s working and what isn’t.

#5. Take Notes on the Conversations

It’s easy to forget what you talked about and when, so write down your conversations in a central place that you and your partner can both access. This concretizes and clarifies your expectations and allows both parties to reflect on and track progress based on the discussion. With an effective one-on-one tool, any potential miscommunication or forgotten details are reduced.

Action Plan to Improve Performance Sample 

An action plan to improve performance sample is a checklist of the steps or tasks you must complete to meet your objectives. It is an important part of the strategic planning process and aids in teamwork planning. Individuals can use action plans to prepare a strategy to achieve their personal goals in addition to project management.

A sample action plan to improve performance includes the following components:

  • A clear description of the desired outcome is provided.
  • Tasks or steps that must be completed to achieve the goal
  • Individuals in charge of carrying out each task
  • When will these tasks be finished
  • Materials required to complete the tasks
  • Metrics for measuring progress

What’s great about having everything in one place is that it makes it easier to track progress and plan things out effectively. An action plan is not a set of rules. As your organization grows and the surrounding circumstances change, you will need to revisit and make changes to meet the most recent requirements.

Why Do You Need a Plan of Action to Improve the Performance Sample?

Businesses sometimes don’t spend enough time developing an action plan before launching an initiative, which almost always fails. Planning allows you to prepare for and stay on track in the face of adversity. And, with an effective action plan, you can increase your productivity and focus.

You should be aware of the following advantages of an action plan:

  • It provides you with a clear direction. You will know exactly what you need to do because an action plan specifies the steps to be taken and when they should be completed.
  • Writing down your goals and breaking them down into steps will give you a reason to stay motivated and committed throughout the project.

Improve your approach to action plans. With Creately, you can stay organized and track all of your projects and goals in one place.

How to Write a Performance Action Plan Sample

Human resources personnel in many organizations assist supervisors and managers in developing performance-action plans. Performance-action plans, also known as performance-improvement plans, or PIPs, are plans with specific goals for employees whose performance falls short of the company’s expectations.

When an employee’s regular performance appraisal reveals significant room for improvement, a performance-action plan is a detailed plan of action to help the employee get back on track.

  • Examine the employee’s performance appraisal results as well as the documentation used by the supervisor to prepare the employee’s performance appraisal for the evaluation period. Collect productivity logs, attendance records, disciplinary reviews, and any self-evaluations completed by the employee as part of the appraisal process.
  • Consult with the supervisor who evaluated the employee to determine the employee’s areas for improvement. Determine the shortcomings following the company’s performance standards and expectations.
  • Create a separate section for each area where the employee’s performance is subpar. Describe specific steps the employee must take to improve her performance after each performance area.
  • Establish and incorporate follow-up dates for reassessing the employee’s performance into the plan. If you believe the employee only needs 30 days to improve, schedule follow-up meetings every 10 days to discuss milestones and progress. If 60 days is a better time to see improvement, schedule follow-up meetings with the employee every two weeks.
  • Describe the consequences of failing to meet the goals of the performance-action plan. It may not be prudent to specify consequences for failing to meet certain milestones. That’s because an employee can miss one or two of the plan’s milestones while still completing the performance-action plan with flying colors.

What Is a Plan of Improvement for a School

A school improvement plan, or SIP, has requirements that vary by state, but its overarching goal is to document goals, strategies, and action steps that aim to improve the quality of education students receive. Most of the time, the goals for school improvement plans are the same as the measures for plan outcomes at the state level.

What are the Topics Covered in a School Improvement Plan?

A school improvement plan must meet very specific requirements, according to the US Department of Education. It must address all areas where students are failing to meet requirements in a scientific and highly structured manner.

A school improvement plan must include, among other things, the following criteria:

  • It must employ strategies based on scientific research, strategies that have been shown to improve the core academic areas in question.
  • It must employ policies that are most likely to improve the areas in question, policies that also ensure that all student groups improve.
  • The plan must include benchmarks and measurements to ensure that it is effective. Objectives must be stated clearly and measurable.
  • The plan must work to increase parental involvement in their children’s education.
  • When appropriate, extracurricular activities such as after-school programs and school-year extensions must be included in the plan.
  • It must encourage educators’ professional development.
  • There must be a teacher mentoring program.

The Department of Education’s requirements for school improvement plans are extensive and detailed, and they provide schools with a road map for developing an effective approach to addressing academic challenges.

How Long will the School Improvement Plan be in Effect?

It takes two years for a school to meet the requirements for requiring a school improvement plan, and two years to work its way out of one. If the plan is effective over two years and student scores meet federal benchmarks, the school is exempt from the requirements of its improvement plan.

Who Develops the School Improvement Plan?

The school will consult a variety of sources, including teachers, administration, parents, federal and state agencies, and various experts. When a plan is finalized, it is then reviewed by the Department of Education’s LEA before it is implemented by the school. When the improvement plan is approved, the school will begin immediate implementation.

Effectiveness of the School Improvement Plan

A school improvement plan can be very effective for schools that are struggling to meet federal education benchmarks in reading and math. A school can quickly improve its students’ educational outcomes by closely examining its weaknesses and developing scientific-based approaches to addressing those weaknesses.

Plan of Improvement for Teachers

Any teacher who performs poorly or has a deficiency in one or more areas can benefit from an improvement plan for teachers. This teacher development plan can be used independently or in conjunction with an observation or evaluation. The plan highlights their area(s) of deficiency, offers suggestions for improvement, and provides a timetable for meeting the goals set in the teachers’ improvement plan.

In many cases, teachers and administrators have already discussed the areas of the plan that require improvement. Those discussions produced little to no results, so an improvement plan is the next step. A plan of improvement is intended to provide teachers with detailed steps to improve as well as critical documentation should the teacher be terminated. A sample improvement action plan for teachers is provided below.

Creating a Performance Improvement Plan for Teachers

NEE provides administrators with a template to use when creating a performance improvement plan. It’s referred to as a short-term professional development plan. Depending on the circumstances, you could write a suggested improvement plan and then discuss it with the teacher, or you could write the plan alongside the teachers.

You decide which approach is best for your personality and the situation. However, whenever possible, it is best to complete this document with teacher input. When teachers can work together to create this document, they are more likely to be invested in the process and to achieve the goals they set.

Complete the document’s first three sections:

#1. Make a Plan

The first step is to create a SMART goal to direct the teacher’s work. (The acronym SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.) Choose only one goal. If there are multiple issues to be addressed, prioritize the most important ones first. After completing the first goal, you can proceed to the next plan if necessary. Determine the goal’s timeline. Don’t let the process drag on too long.

#2. Activities and Resources Should Be Listed

List at least three activities or steps that will be taken to achieve the goal. Each step of the plan should be small and quick so that progress can be easily tracked. These steps could include using EdHub or another source’s professional development materials, observing another teacher’s classroom, or joining a professional learning network.

#3. Compile the Evidence

List three artifacts or data points that will be gathered to demonstrate the completion of the three activities. This could be completed EdHub tasks, notes taken during a peer observation, or a PD session attendance certificate.

You are now ready to put the plan into action after completing the first three sections. As you leave the meeting with the teacher, ensure that the teacher feels supported and equipped to complete the task.

#4. Keep Track of Your Follow-Ups

You must follow up with teachers and provide feedback throughout the teacher performance improvement plan. A feedback loop aids in the establishment of a coaching relationship that assists the teacher in achieving their objectives.

#5. Teacher Introspection

Following the completion of the activities and follow-up steps, the teacher will complete a self-reflection to record what was learned, the improvement achieved, and how the changes have been integrated into the teacher’s instructional practice.

#6. Keep Track of Evidence of Progress

The progress section allows the administrator to reflect on the progress made toward achieving the goal. Take note of the data and evidence you gathered during the plan.

#7. Final Validation

The final section allows both the teacher and administrator to record any additional comments about professional development as well as sign and date the form. The completed PIP should be placed in the teacher’s personnel file, with a copy made for the teacher.

How do you write an improvement plan?

Writing a Performance Improvement Plan:

  • Determine the appropriate circumstances for a performance improvement plan.
  • Describe the issue and the desired outcome.
  • Outline required employee actions as well as clear success metrics.
  • Describe the organizational support that is available.
  • Describe follow-up milestones.

What is an improvement plan?

A performance improvement plan (PIP), also known as a performance action plan, is a tool that allows an employee with poor performance to succeed. We use it to address failures to meet specific job goals or to address behavioral issues.

What is the importance of an improvement plan?

A performance improvement plan can help reduce the risk associated with any termination. It assists employees whose performance has slipped, become inconsistent, or requires improvement in other ways.

Does Pip mean fired?

A PIP is similar to job probation: you did something wrong, and your boss is ready to fire you, but they’re willing to give you another chance. If you can resolve the issues, you can stay, and you might even regain your boss’s respect. In some rare cases, a PIP may be a good sign.

Can you survive a PIP?

As previously stated, implementing a PIP requires additional effort, so you will need to devote additional time to your work. If you do, you will be more likely to “survive” the PIP and achieve your desired outcome. Work on your organizational skills to handle the requested goals and tasks.


As a last resort for managing underperforming employees, a performance improvement plan (performance action plan) is a valuable document. These documents detail the desired performance over a specified time frame, identify areas for improvement, track performance progress throughout the action plan, provide examples of available resources, and outline the consequences for failing to meet expectations.

When developing a performance improvement plan for your organization, keep in mind that these documents should only be used as a last resort when you have a fixable performance issue with a valued employee who is not responding to other forms of progressive discipline.

You can use employee computer monitoring software that measures employee productivity to track performance improvement throughout your action plan.

Plan of Improvement FAQs

What are your 3 main areas for improvement?

Emotional intelligence, mental resilience, and motivation are unquestionably important. And I believe that all three are essential in social work, given what we see and experience daily

What is an example of performance improvement?

To effectively manage the daily workload, meet deadlines, prioritize tasks, and respond to emails promptly. Measured by management observation of task performance.

What are the opportunities for improvement?

Opportunities for Improvement refer to a situation or condition in which a company can take actions to improve its performance in the delivery of products or services or to eliminate the causes of a potential nonconformity or other undesirable situation to prevent its occurrence.

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