Addressing Poor Performance

Learn how to document and present a solid case for needed improvement and use effective interaction skills to provide ongoing feedback and support, and determine if it is necessary to impose formal consequences.

Learning Objectives

  • Effectively address poor performance in a firm, fair and consistent manner
  • Minimize the impact of chronic performance problems on people, productivity and profitability
  • Provide problem performers with a clear understanding of what they must do to improve and the consequences of failing to do so
  • Encourage people to take ownership of and be accountable for improving their work performance


  • Coaching

Course Content

The Challenge of Poor Performance: watch a two-part video depicting a leader who mishandles a chronic performance problem. The facilitator then leads a discussion of what went wrong. Work in pairs to discuss the impact that poor performance can have on people, productivity and the team’s/organization’s profitability.

Seek and Leverage Data: The facilitator introduces three coaching techniques. Teams discuss the benefits of seeking and leveraging data, methods to gather data, and the importance of documenting performance problems. The facilitator introduces a case study in which a leader must gather data to prepare for a discussion of poor performance. Discuss using the STAR technique to document operational and behavioral performance data and then practice writing their own STARs.

Addressing the Problem with Interaction Essentials: The facilitator introduces the Interaction Essentials and leads a discussion of which are especially important in discussions of poor performance. Describe how you will use the Interaction. Essentials to address the team member’s emotions and keep the discussion on track.

Putting the Skills into Action: Watch a video of the case study’s leader effectively discussing poor performance with her team member. In groups, track the leader’s use of key principles and coaching techniques. Describe what they will do to provide ongoing feedback and support to their team member after the discussion.

Skill Practice: Prepare for and conduct two rounds of skill practice using prepared situations.

My Plan and Close: The facilitator leads a discussion about addressing poor performance with remote team members. In pairs, you will discuss and coach each other on concerns about conducting a poor performance coaching discussion back on the job.

Who should take this course?

  1. Are you ill-prepared to conduct performance problem discussions?
  2. Do you fail to gather and document the hard performance data you need?
  3. Can you defuse strong emotions when discussing performance problems?
  4. Do your employees understand why their performance doesn’t meet expectations and what will happen if they don’t improve?

Course Information

Target audience: Frontline leaders through mid-level managers

Course format: Classroom

Course length: 4 Hours

Cost: $75 per participant for materials

Course is required for: Coaching and Feedback Track 

Prerequisites: Feedback Essentials

Related Courses: Coaching for Improvement

Pre-Work Required? No