Career coach says PIP IS ‘quiet firing’

A career specialist went viral on TikTok for giving fairly direct advice to those in the workplace who receive plans to improve their performance. Viewers’ opinions on 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 “quietly fire” their employees.

@workhap #stitch with @peopleculturecollective do this if you get put on a PIP #performanceimprovementplan #hr #career #fired ♬ Original sound – Sho Dewan | business

The viral video consists of two TikToks put together, starting with a clip by @peopleculturecollective. The opening clip includes a text overlay that reads, “We should include them in a performance improvement plan because they are underperforming.”

Performance improvement plans, usually abbreviated as PIPs, are generally perceived as a kind of death knell, signaling the end of an individual’s tenure at a company. Many professionals have explained that when you’re put on a PIP, senior management at a company is just trying to cover their tracks and seem like they’re doing their due diligence before letting you go. The plan offers them plausible denial if the employee denies that they were never given indications that their performance was unsatisfactory.

Recruiter, careers coach, and HR rep Sho Dewan (@workhap) posted her condensed response to @peopleculturecollective, saying in the clip, “This ever happens to you and you get put on a PIP by a manager, don’t bother.” more toward your job.”

“Go on a new job hunt and find a new role because you’re never going to get out of this PIP,” he continues. “The performance improvement plan is pretty much what you fire. They don’t have enough to fire you right away, so they do things necessary to make you feel bad.”

Some of the top comments on Dewan’s post came from people who objected to the idea that performance-enhancement plans mean someone gets fired no matter what.

“Not really, I had to hire an employee and they improved a lot and 6 months later I promoted them,” wrote one user.

“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,” commented another.

Dewan responded to these allegations by stating that while it’s true in some cases that an employee can get their job back by adhering to a PIP, he believes employees should want to stick with a gig that does they “can be celebrated and flourish”.

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

“Listen, even if you follow PIP to the tee, they don’t want you,” one wrote. “They will find a reason to fire you later, not future promotions. It is not worth.”

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

“As a manager, I can attest to that,” wrote a third.

“I was put on one, passed then they put me through another which I quit,” wrote another.

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

The Daily Dot has emailed Dewan for further comment.

*Initial publication: November 5, 2022 at 7:58 am CDT

Jack Alban

Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.

Jack Alban Career coach says PIP IS ‘quiet firing’

Jaclyn Diaz

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