I’m been ordered to call you. Nothing personal against you, but I’m not having any.
For the last year, I’ve busted my backside for this company. I’ve never gotten a thank you. Instead, this morning I was hauled into my manager’s and given a “performance improvement plan” and told to make an appointment with you.
Apparently, a few “powers that be” in my company think I have a “smart mouth” and need a personality lobotomy. Some reward for all my hard work.
I get the message. Keep my mouth shut and look for a new job. I know what these PIPs mean. They’re a way to document that an employee is on the way out and HR wants to grease the skids.
When employers ask us to coach employees they’ve placed on a PIP, it often means the exact opposite of what you suspect. It means your employer is willing to invest in you by paying for coaching. I admit the situation is different if you only receive a PIP.
Here’s what comes through loud and clear in your email. You’re cynical and ticked off. You’ve worked hard and feel unappreciated. You consider coaching the equivalent of electric shock treatment. It’s not. It won’t change your personality, just your behavior.
I can almost hear you saying, “There’s nothing wrong with how I behave. It’s all those vanilla people who can’t handle me.” Maybe, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t use a tune-up — we all can. Coaching can give you skills and strategies for getting through to those higher-ups who need to hear what you have to say.
Meanwhile, if what you say is true, your manager may need his own PIP — one that reminds him to thank hard-working employees.
© 2020, Lynne Curry
Lynne Curry is the author of “Beating the Workplace Bully” (AMACOM, 2016) and “Solutions” (both books are rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com). Send your questions to her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on twitter @lynnecurry10.