Underperform in appraisal...Is PIP always granted? Need your advice please.

Neue Antwort am 17. Mai 2023
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Anonym A fragte am 12. Mai 2023

I have joined a strategy consulting firm for around one year. I have passed probation previously (although have been flagged that some areas need development. But this was the first time for an official appraisal, and I was rated underperform.

Would like to know - do consulting firm always give employees another opportunity for further improvement (i.e. performance improvement program which lasts for a couple of months)? In the worst case scenario I might be laid off…so would like to know whether it's legally binded to have a round of Performance Improvement period before requesting employee to leave? How can I negotiate more time in order to demonstrate my improvement?

Thanks for your thoughts!

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Content Creator
antwortete am 13. Mai 2023
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

100% they do!

In fact, I'm actively coaching 3 candidates right now to get them past their performance reviews.

I highly highly recommend you take this underperform seriously. You need to demonstrate clear progress in those areas in order to prevent being managed out.

You absolutely will be given time to improve. Make sure you come up with a plan to improve, really focus on it, and make those improvements visible.

Please take this very seriously and consider using a % of your salary to hire a coach…why not invest what you're earning…in order to keep what you're earning.

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Content Creator
antwortete am 14. Mai 2023
Ex-BCG Principal | 8+ years consulting experience in SEA | BCG top interviewer with ~5 years of interviewing experience


This will be firm and geography (depending on how the firm is organized/run) specific.

At least for BCG, there are 2 key events/phases:

  1. Performance Improvement Plan (informally known as “watchlist”)
    • This is when you are underperforming at a level that does not meet your current tenure's expectations
  2. Transition
    • This is after the decision has been made that you will be counselled out

Legal rules around firing employees differ by country, but more often than not at least at MBB, you will know when you are underperforming and the firm will let you know that you are underperforming

Whether or not its negotiable - drop me a dm 


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Content Creator
antwortete am 13. Mai 2023
#1 McKinsey Coach by rating & recommendation rate

Hi there,

Sorry to hear you had a tough start. I was also close to Issues at the end of my first year at McKinsey and it took quite some effort to turn it around. But it’s definitely doable! 

Happy to connect and share some thoughts. I’ve also put some of my key learnings in these two articles: 


Then, if you are asked to leave, the process differs from country to country also in line with their employment law. Overall, though, it’s negotiable. I’ve seen consultants in Germany being asked to leave and receiving almost half a year pay ahead and I’ve also seen consultants in other geographies receive nothing, but being allowed to sit on the bench for 3 months doing nothing (guess in a way it’s still being paid in advance).

Try to rather speak with other people from your office who have left and they will know better the degrees of freedom you have there. 

Best of luck!

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Anonym antwortete am 15. Mai 2023

Dear candidate, 


when underperforming in appraisal, do not worry, take it as a big reminder to immediately develop a path to greatness, act as much on the feedback as you can and most importantly, develo your own path, decide what matters to you, where you are heading and HOW you want to work? Sometimes you yourself want to go another path or have more choices and figuring this out helps a lot, you can also get another great review next time, if you ensure you focus your efforts on addressing this.


Best regards, Pope

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antwortete am 17. Mai 2023
Top-Ranked Coach on PrepLounge for 3 years| McKinsey San Francisco | Harvard graduate | 6+ years of coaching


Yes, underperforming consultants are always given an opportunity to improve! It will be crucial to make sure you understand the areas you are underperforming in, make a concrete plan to address them, put in the work to do so, seek feedback throughout the process, and demonstrate clear improvement.

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Content Creator
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep
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