The University of Memphis

Performance Improvement Process



POLICIES

Issued: February 20, 2004
Responsible Official: Vice President for Business & Finance
Responsible Office: Human Resources

Policy Statement


Policy Statement

Managers are encouraged to approach employee job performance and behavior problems in a way that is positive and straightforward. The intent of the Performance Improvement Process (PIP) is to address problems as soon as they are detected and to make every effort to correct problems that cause job performance deficiencies.

PIP applies only to regular, hourly paid full- and part-time employees who have successfully completed their initial six-month probationary employment period.



Purpose


 

The Performance Improvement Process (PIP) is designed to provide face-to-face counseling and documentation that clearly identifies the following:

  • Specific job performance standards or behavior that must be improved.
  • Level of performance or behavior expected.
  • Period during which improvement is expected to occur.              

Employees are to be given every opportunity to make improvements within a reasonable period of time. PIP ensures that a fair and consistent approach will be taken to address problems related to job performance or behavior.



Contents

Procedures
Related Forms
FAQs
Links

Procedures


Initial Warning

The immediate supervisor or manager must discuss the job performance or behavior problem with the employee. This warning should include (1) specific information regarding the performance or behavior problem; (2) a reasonable amount of time in which improvement is expected, usually 30 to 90 days; and (3) the corrective action that the employee is expected to take.

Documentation of this warning is required to advance the employee to probation at a later date. The employee will be given an opportunity to review and sign the PIP notification form found at http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/employeerelations/pip.pdf. The immediate supervisor or manager will provide a copy of the PIP notification to the employee and send the original to the Office of Employee Relations.

Note: The initial warning will not become a part of the employee file unless the employee advances to one of the PIP probation levels.

 


PIP Probation

The employee may be placed in any one of three levels of PIP probation depending upon the nature of the job performance, behavior problem, and/or prior disciplinary history. Usually an initial warning is issued before entering PIP probationary status. However, a serious infraction may cause the employee to be placed immediately on PIP probation up to the highest level. The PIP probation levels are as follows:

Level I

Formal PIP probation for 30 days due to the continuing or recurring deficiency noted in the initial warning. During this period an employee may be advanced to Level II if he/she is unable to meet and sustain the required expectations outlined in the PIP notification form or if additional performance or behavior problems are detected.

Level II

Formal PIP probation for 60 days due to the continuing or recurring deficiency noted in Level I or if in PIP for the second time within eighteen (18) months, including the initial warning. During this period, an employee may be advanced to Level III if he/she is unable to meet and sustain the required expectations outlined in the PIP notification form or if additional performance or behavior problems are detected.

Level III

Formal PIP probation for 90 days due to the continuing or recurring deficiency noted in Level II or if in PIP for the third time within two years, including the initial warning. During this period an employee may be recommended for termination if he/she is unable to meet and sustain the required expectations outlined in the PIP notification form.

At each level of PIP probation, a face-to-face discussion between the employee and the supervisor/manager must occur. The PIP notification form http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/employeerelations/pip.pdf must be prepared which will include all factors outlined above in the initial warning. The employee will be asked to sign the PIP notification form to acknowledge the PIP probationary status, and the immediate supervisor or manager must provide the employee a copy. The supervisor will forward the PIP notification to the Office of Employee Relations where it will be placed in the employee's file. If the employee is advancing from the initial warning, the PIP notification form for the initial warning will, at that time, become a part of the employee's file.

The employee has the right to submit a written response to his/her personnel file regarding the decision to be placed on PIP probation. However, the employee's response does not alter the terms and conditions of the probation nor is the PIP subject to the grievance process.

Note: Employees who are on PIP probation may not be considered for job openings elsewhere in the University and may be denied salary increases.

 


Removal from PIP

Written documentation is required to remove an employee from PIP probationary status. The mere lapse of the PIP probationary period without notification to both the employee and Human Resources does not constitute removal from PIP probation. The Employee Relations Director will notify the supervisor/manager when PIP levels expire and will request documentation to lift or extend the probation, where applicable.

Employees may make a request for written documentation of their status. A face-to-face discussion should occur so that the supervisor/manager can reinforce the progress the employee has made in overcoming work performance deficiencies.


Job Behavior Not Covered Under PIP

Employee behavior that constitutes gross misconduct may be addressed outside the Performance Improvement Process, and in this case, the employee may be immediately terminated for cause. The termination is subject to appeal . Examples of such offenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Theft
  • Possession or use of alcohol or illegal drugs on the job
  • Being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs on the job
  • Sexual or racial harassment
  • Refusal to follow safety standards
  • Falsification of University documents
  • Alteration of University documents
  • Abuse/misuse of University information systems
  • Threatening the life or well being of others

For additional information, refer to Tennessee Board of Regents Personnel Policy  5:01:00:00.


Termination

Supervisors/managers may recommend termination to the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources in the event the employee does not successfully complete the requirements of PIP Level III or commits one of the serious infractions listed above. Approval of a recommendation to terminate rests with the Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, who would ordinarily confer with the offices of Legal and/or Affirmative Action on such matters.

Refer to the grievance process found at http://policies.memphis.edu for additional information or contact the Office of Employee Relations at emprelations@memphis.edu in the Department of Human Resources.



Related Forms


Performance Improvement Notification Form

 http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/employeerelations/pip.pdf 


Separation Form

http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/forms/clearance.pdf


Grievance Form

Exempt/monthly employees       http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/employeerelations/p110eor.pdf

Non-exempt/hourly employees  http://bf.memphis.edu/hr/employeerelations/p111eor.pdf 



FAQs


Does PIP apply to exempt (monthly paid) employees?

PIP applies only to regular, hourly paid full- and part-time employees who have successfully completed their six-month probationary employment period. Consult with the Director of Employee Relations regarding the performance issues of exempt/professional employees.


Does the employee have to sign the PIP notification form?No, the employee's signature is not necessary to execute the PIP process. Should an employee decline to sign the PIP notification form at any level, the supervisor may add a statement attesting that the employee was given the opportunity to sign, but declined. Regardless, the employee should be given a copy of the PIP notification, whether or not he/she signed it.

Can a supervisor remove an employee from PIP before the release date?

Each probation level has a specific time frame, and early removal is not an option. However, positive feedback during the probationary period is highly recommended for continuous employee development.


Who do I contact with further questions?

Employee Relations at emprelations@memphis.edu.



Links


Tennessee Board of Regents Personnel Policy 5:01:00:00

http://www.tbr.edu/policies/default.aspx?id=1402 


Grievance Policy

http://policies.memphis.edu



Revision Dates


 UM1557 - Issued: February 20, 2004 - supercedes procedure number 2D:05:05B


Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyStudent Affairs
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