‘Performance Improvement Plan Is Pretty Much Them Quiet Firing You’: Recruiter Says To Look For A New Job ASAP If Placed On PIP

A career specialist went viral on TikTok for giving some pretty direct advice to those in the workplace who receive performance improvement plans. Viewers’ opinions on the TikToker’s advice were divided. Some stated that not all PIPs are necessarily bad, while others agreed with his assessment that PIPs are essentially ways for supervisors to “quiet fire” their workers.

The viral video is comprised of two stitched TikToks, beginning with a clip from @peopleculturecollective. The opening clip features a text overlay that reads, “We should put them on a Performance Improvement Plan because they are underperforming.”

Performance Improvement Plans, which are usually abbreviated as PIPs, are generally perceived as a death knell of sorts, signaling the end of someone’s tenure at a company. Many working professionals have stated that if you’re placed on a PIP, then upper management at a business is merely attempting to cover its tracks and make it appear as if they’re performing their due diligence prior to letting you go. The plan affords them plausible deniability if there is any dispute from the employee stating they were never given any cues that their performance was unsatisfactory.

Recruiter, career coach, and HR representative Sho Dewan (@workhap) posted their stitched response to @peopleculturecollective and says in the clip, “This ever happens to you and you get put on a PIP by a manager, don’t put any effort towards your job anymore.”

“Go all in on looking for a new job search and finding a new role because you are never gonna get out of that PIP,” he continues. “Performance Improvement Plan is pretty much them quiet firing you. They don’t have enough to fire you immediately so they’re doing things necessary to make you feel bad.”

Some of the top comments to Dewan’s post came from folks who pushed back against the idea that performance improvement plans mean that someone is getting fired no matter what.

“Not really, I had to put a staff on one and they improved a lot and 6 mths later I promoted them,” one user wrote.

“OR you can make sure you follow the PIP to the letter and it will be that much harder for them to get rid of you,” another commented.

Dewan responded to these claims by stating that while it’s true in some instances that if an employee sticks to a PIP they can get their job back, he believes workers should want to stay at a gig where they are “celebrated and can thrive.”

Many other viewers agreed with Dewan’s assessment of PIPs.

“Listennnn even if u follow PIP to a tee, they don’t want u,” one wrote. “They will find a reason to fire u later & no future promotions. It’s not worth it.”

“My favorite is when the PIPs are TERRIBLY structured,” a second commented. “Like no guidance on HOW to improve those milestones, just that they need to be improved.”

“As a manager, I can confirm,” wrote a third.

“I got put on one, passed it, then they put me through another one I resigned,” another wrote.

Other career coaches appear to agree with Dewan that “quiet firing” can come in the form of a PIP.

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