Boost Your Team’s XP: Unleashing the Power of Performance Improvement Plans in the Gaming Industry

May 19, 2023 | Blog

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Transform Your Gaming Studio’s Underachievers into High-Scorers with the Ultimate Cheat Code: PIPs

Is one of your employees playing at Donkey Kong level when you desperately need them to be at a Legend of Zelda level? Maybe they’re trying to clear the hurdles with a Gameboy when what they need is a PlayStation 5. In the pixelated landscape of the video game industry, this can spell ‘Game Over’ for your project’s success. But don’t hit that reset button just yet! Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs) might just be the Power Star your team needs.

Now, if you’re imagining PIPs as a band of angry, fireball-throwing Bowser clones, let me hit you with a blue shell of reality. They’re not the villain of this story. They’re more like your trusty Yoshi, ready to help you navigate the challenging terrain of employee development. So, ready to level up? Let’s take a fun-filled ride through the world of Performance Improvement Plans in the gaming industry.

Level 1: Understanding the PIP Power-Up

A Performance Improvement Plan, or PIP, is not a contraption from ‘Fallout’. It’s a personalized roadmap designed to help struggling employees boost their skills and hit those high scores. Picture it as a ‘cheat code’ that helps them conquer their professional shortcomings and emerge as a champion. But remember, like all cheat codes, PIPs need to be used judiciously. They’re tools of empowerment, not weapons of mass employment destruction.

Level 2: The Anatomy of a PIP Power-Up

So, what does this power-up look like? A PIP typically includes:

  1. The Boss Level: Clear definition of the issues affecting performance. Remember the feeling when you couldn’t defeat that final boss? That’s probably how your employee feels about their performance issues.
  2. The Tutorial: A set of achievable goals and a clear pathway to reach them. It’s like that tutorial level in every game – guiding, not dictating.
  3. The Checkpoint: Regularly scheduled check-ins to measure progress. You wouldn’t expect a gamer to reach the end without checkpoints, would you?
  4. The Power Boost: Training and resources to help achieve the goals. You wouldn’t send Mario to fight Bowser without a Fire Flower, right?

Level 3: Unleashing the PIP Power-Up

Now that you have your PIP, how do you unleash it? Here’s a handy cheat sheet:

  1. Press Start: Begin with a candid conversation. Let them know this isn’t a ‘Dark Souls’ level of difficulty, but a challenge they can overcome.
  2. Choose Your Character: Make the plan together. This isn’t a single-player game. It’s co-op mode.
  3. Equip Your Gear: Provide them with the necessary resources. Just like how Link needs his Master Sword, your employee needs their tools.
  4. Save Your Game: Document everything. You don’t want to lose all that progress, do you?

Level 4: Pitfalls to Avoid in Your PIP Quest

Just like every game, implementing a PIP comes with potential pitfalls. Here are a few to avoid:

  1. The PIP of Doom: Don’t use a PIP as a precursor to termination. It’s a growth tool, not a ‘Mortal Kombat’ fatality.
  2. The Solo Run: Don’t leave your employee to struggle alone. This isn’t ‘Doom’; it’s ‘Overwatch’. Teamwork is key.
  3. The Endless Grind: Remember to celebrate small victories. Endless grinds can make any game – or job – dull.

Level 5: The PIP Power-Up: A Win-Win Game

When done right, a PIP is a win-win situation. The employee gets to power up their performance, and the company levels up its productivity. No one loses a life, and we all get to move on to the next level.

So, if you’ve been viewing PIPs as a last-resort ‘Final Fantasy’ summon spell, it’s time to change your perspective. They’re more like a ‘Zelda’ heart container, a crucial tool to replenish and enhance your team’s capabilities.

Boss Fight: Debunking PIP Myths

Like any video game lore, PIPs also come surrounded by myths. Let’s conquer some of them:

  1. Myth 1: The PIP is the Final Boss: Not at all. Think of it as a supportive NPC, guiding the employee towards victory.
  2. Myth 2: PIP is a One-Size-Fits-All Magic Spell: No, it’s a custom-built arsenal, designed to suit each employee’s unique needs.
  3. Myth 3: PIPs are as Complicated as ‘Eve Online’: With the right approach, they can be as straightforward as ‘Super Mario Bros’.

Bonus Level: Employee Engagement

Remember, an engaged employee is a high-performing employee. So while PIPs are a great tool, they are not the whole game. Regular team-building activities, a healthy work culture, and a well-stocked pantry (you can’t underestimate the power of snacks!) are all important too. They’re the side quests that make the overall game more enjoyable and rewarding.

The Final Level: Power Up Your Team with PIPs

So, are you ready to power-up your underperforming employees with PIPs? Remember, in the gaming industry, our ultimate goal is to create an epic experience – not just for our players, but for our employees too.

With the right strategies and a PIP in place, your team can go from ‘Flappy Bird’ amateurs to ‘The Witcher 3’ pros. It’s game time!

And there we have it, folks, the end of our playful jaunt through the land of Performance Improvement Plans in the gaming industry. Hopefully, you’ve found your magic mushroom, your power pellet, your ultimate weapon to level up your team’s performance. And remember, it’s not about winning or losing, but how you develop the game.

Thank you for reading this article to the end. I hope it has been informative and helpful. If you’d like to learn more about the topics we covered, I invite you to check out my podcast and my YouTube channel where I delve into these subjects in more depth.

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