Washington University in St. Louis

MGT642: Addressing Poor Performance

Course summary:

A single employee with chronic performance problems can dominate a leader's time and drag down the productivity and morale of an entire workgroup. Learn how to document and present a solid case for needed improvement and use effective interaction skills to provide ongoing feedback and support.

Course experience:
This course builds leaders' skills in handling chronic performance problems. They learn how to document and present a solid case for needed improvement and use useful interaction skills. Leaders identify the steps to take after the performance problem discussion to provide ongoing feedback and support and determine if it is necessary to impose formal consequences. 
Who should take this course?
Technical professionals wishing to earn Washington University's Advanced Technical Leadership Certificate. This course is designed to teach participants ways to increase their effectiveness with teams, in meetings and in individual discussion with peers, managers, vendors and customers.

Course outline:

  • The Challenge of Poor Performance: Learners watch a two-part video depicting a leader who mishandles a chronic performance problem. The facilitator then leads a discussion focusing on where the leader missed opportunities. Pairs of learners 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 collect data to prepare for a discussion of poor performance. Learners discuss using the STAR technique to document operational and behavioral performance data and then practice writing their STARs.
  • Addressing the Problem with Interaction Essentials: The facilitator introduces the Interaction Essentials and highlights the behaviors that are most important for conversations addressing performance issues. Learners describe how they’ll use the Interaction Essentials to acknowledge the team member’s emotions and keep the discussion on track.
  • Putting the Skills into Action: Learners watch a video of the case study’s leader effectively discussing poor performance with her team member. In groups, learners track the leader’s use of Key Principles and coaching techniques. Learners describe what they will do to provide ongoing feedback and support to their team member after the discussion.
  • Skill Practice: Learners prepare for and engage in 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, learners discuss and coach one another around their concerns about conducting a poor performance discussion back on the job.

Learning outcomes:

  • 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
Virtual Classroom
Day & Time:
Monday Nov 13, 2023
3 to 7:00 p.m.
Enrollment Deadline:
November 6, 2023
Course Fee(s):

Enrollment Deadline is November 6th, 2023 at 5 PM CST. Beyond this date, please call 314-935-4444 to register.

A full refund will be given when a registrant cancels more than five (5) business days prior to the start of the class. Cancellations received within 5 business days of the start of the class and no-shows will be billed in full. Another person may be substituted at any time at no additional charge.
A request to transfer a class to a future date can only occur if the request is more than 5 business days prior to the start of class.  Otherwise, the request will be considered a cancellation and the policy will apply.

Attention Boeing employees: The course section designated for Boeing is currently full. However, we invite you to register for any other available course section and still enjoy the same benefits, including all related discounts. Don't miss out on the opportunity to continue your professional development with us!

Accrediting Associations:

Applies toward the following certificates:

Advanced Technical Leadership Badge
Performance Management Badge
 Have questions?
Contact us if you would like to speak with a program director or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for answers to common questions about our courses.
"Great techniques to help deal with difficult conversations." MGT642: Addressing Poor Performance