Apr 8th, 2011

Yes. Discipline Without Punishment solves performance problems promptly and permanently by placing the responsibility for change exactly where it belongs—with the individual. The core concept of giving an individual whose performance is not acceptable a day at the company’s expense to make a final decision about whether he can meet the organization’s expectations and is […]

Apr 8th, 2011

There are several reasons that it makes sense to pay the employee for the day he is away from work on decision-making leave. As a practice, the paid suspension: Changes the supervisor’s role from adversary to coach. Demonstrates the company’s good faith. Is more consistent with organizational values. Eliminates money as an issue. Doesn’t harm […]

Apr 8th, 2011

Why not just issue a final written warning, or create a performance improvement plan, or place the individual on probation? At the final step of a discipline procedure, when earlier formal discussions have failed to convince the employee to change behavior and return to fully acceptable performance, a dramatic gesture is required to clearly communicate […]

Apr 8th, 2011

Our discipline system seems harsh and inappropriate for professional employees with its warnings and reprimands and suspensions without pay. Is there a better approach? The traditional ‘‘progressive discipline system,’’ with its criminal-justice mentality and its use of punitive warnings and reprimands and probation and suspensions without pay, is outmoded. Discipline Without Punishment is a more […]

Apr 6th, 2011

The individual’s performance is very good, but her attendance record is spotty. How do I convince someone that we need to come to work, on time, every day? Start by making your attendance expectation clear. The attendance expectation the organization has of every single employee is the same everywhere: ‘‘We expect each employee to come […]

Apr 6th, 2011

The individual’s quality and quantity of work are okay. It’s his attitude that’s the problem. How do I solve an attitude problem? Ask any group of managers what the most common ‘‘people problem’’ they encounter is and they will uniformly answer, ‘‘Attitude problems.’’ One of the reasons that attitude problems seem so hard to resolve […]

Apr 3rd, 2011

When a manager documents a performance improvement discussion or a formal disciplinary transaction, what is it that the manager is actually documenting? Too many managers think that what they are documenting is the existence of a problem. That’s a mistake. You are not documenting the existence of a problem. You are documenting the discussion that […]

Apr 1st, 2011

Begin by writing down a clear and unarguable statement of the difference between desired performance and actual performance. If you can’t write down exactly what you want and exactly what the employee is doing that concerns you, there is no way that you can get the individual to agree to change. Next, simply ask for […]

Apr 1st, 2011

Probably the toughest ten seconds in management comes when the manager has told the employee that they need to get together to talk about a problem. The appointed time comes, the employee arrives in the manager’s doorway, knocks, and says, ‘‘You wanted to see me, boss?’’ What should the manager say to start off the […]

Apr 1st, 2011

The most important step is to clearly identify the difference between the desired performance and the employee’s actual performance. Several other pieces of preparation help ensure that you are successful in your meeting with the individual: Identify the impact. Determine the consequences. Check for defensibility. Tell Me More 1. Identify the impact. What are the […]

Mar 30th, 2011

Identifying the gap between desired and actual performance is the most difficult part of solving performance problems. The reason is that we usually define the problem in very general and abstract terms (e.g., ‘‘Harriet’s got an attitude problem’’), or we label the individual with an accusation (e.g., ‘‘George is a slacker’’ or ‘‘Tony isn’t a […]

Mar 28th, 2011

I have an employee whose performance is not acceptable. I have had one or two informal conversations with him, but nothing’s changed. What should I do? Most of the time, with most of the people a manager supervises, a word in the ear is sufficient to solve a problem whenever one arises. But when informal, […]

Mar 28th, 2011

No. You may be delighted that the individual has successfully completed a significant development plan, or disappointed that she has ignored all of your suggestions about development. But development isn’t performance. Performance appraisal needs to focus exclusively on how well the person did the job that she was paid to do. However, a person’s commitment […]

Mar 26th, 2011

The tasks, assignments, and activities that a person performs on the job can also serve as developmental experiences. In Performance Execution, we discussed ways of enriching the developmental nature of a job by deliberately building in challenge and autonomy. By assigning specific projects to her subordinates, a manager can provide a developmental experience to a […]

Mar 25th, 2011

Most development plans seem to involve little more than just signing up for training programs. Where does training fit into a development plan? Training isn’t ‘‘development.’’ Training is simply one component in a complete development plan. Here are six suggestions to use training as an effective part of a development process: Never start a development […]

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