Restoring Performance Success with Holistic Performance Management

The purpose of Performance Management is to enable individuals make their best contribution to the organization as self-directed team members.

Part 2 of a two-part series on Holistic Performance Management. Read Part 1 here.

In our previous discussion we focused on the top half of the Holistic Performance Management model. We saw how effective managers and supervisors invest 80% of their staff time in Equipping activities, such as setting expectations, teaching, observing, coaching and giving feedback.

The Establish quadrant (1) is essential for introducing staff members to new things, while the Coach quadrant (2) is where each staff member masters what has been established. Wise managers recognize that in order for staff members to make the best contribution to the organization, no shortcuts can be taken in Establish and Coach quadrant activities. This model over time engages employees who are self-directed, performing their duties at a high level.

Equipping Wrong Hires

Question: What happens when you hire the wrong person and invest in equipping them?

Answer: You have an equipped wrong staff member!

Whether you have hired a new employee, or moved an existing good performer into a wrong role, you are likely faced with needing to make a change. You have an obligation to the employee, his or her coworkers, customers, and shareholders (or stakeholders), to remedy the situation. Best advice: hire (or promote) the right people into right the roles for them and the organization.

If you have placed the right person in the right role, and equipped him or her for success, then he or she can master the optimal use of knowledge, skills, talents and abilities, along with the appropriate workplace behaviors.

The Correcting Zone

Sometimes problems arise that cause a previously equipped employee to perform or behave below expectations and below the levels previously observed. This is the time to enter the Correcting Zone, with the objective of restoring the employee to optimal performance and behavior. Perhaps up to 20% of an effective manager’s time needs to be spent in the Correcting Zone. There may be long periods of time that no time needs to be spent here because of the effectiveness of the manager’s day-to-day Equipping Zone activities.

Unlike fine wine, sub-standard performance and behavior rarely get better with age, so wise managers speedily address deficiencies rather than to hope they go away on their own. These five activities associated with the Correct quadrant (3) are typical of corrective activities to restore optimal performance (but not the only ones that could be used here).

1. Gap Analysis is crucial for qualifying and quantifying the difference between the standard and what is being observed.

2. Counseling is a process that contains these seven essential steps, ALL of which are needed in order to counsel effectively:

a. Stating the standard for performance or behavior.

b. Stating what the observed performance or behavior has been.

c. Stating the specific gap between the two.

d. Describing the impact the sub-standard performance or behavior is having on the organization, its customers, co-workers, the department, and you.

e. The requirement to meet or exceed the standard, reminding them they previously did so.

f. A commitment from the employee to do so.

g. Continuous follow-up to assure the employee’s behavior or performance is restored to standard.

3. Correcting Behavior may require a determination if the individual is capable of behaving correctly.

4. Performance Warnings express what happens if performance or behavior is not restored to acceptable levels. Warnings are needed when repeated counseling has not resolved the same issue.

5. Performance Improvement Plans are the formal documents that outline the restorative process, incorporating the issue history and the activities above.

Most of the time Correct quadrant activities will restore the employee to optimal performance. For the times where performance or behavior continues to fall below standards, it is necessary to move to the Discipline (4) quadrant, which is correction with consequences. These are typical Discipline activities:

1. Corrective Action is the establishment of performance milestones, which if not met, will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

2. Investigate Complaints is a disciplinary activity undertaken whenever coworkers, customers, vendors, or others lodge a formal complaint against an employee or volunteer. A speedy but thorough investigation is required to determine the merits of the complaint.

3. Violation Resolution includes situations where code of conduct violations have occurred, possibly involving unlawful activities, and may involve others (such as coworkers or customers).

4. Disciplinary Action is the punitive consequence associated with continued unacceptable performance or behavior (or violations of policy or prevailing law) and generally the last stage in which an employee or volunteer can seek restoration.

5. Terminate Employment is the only recourse for uncorrectable performance or behavior, including certain violations of company policy and law.

Correcting unacceptable behavior and performance should be undertaken with the objective of restoring the employee or volunteer to optimal levels. If handled appropriately, consistently, and in accordance with your organization’s policies, most of the time it will achieve that objective.

Boyer Management Group works with employers, organizations, and job seekers alike to help them become more successful. For employers, we offer world-class talent management, acquisition and onboarding tools and programs to help employees and volunteers achieve consistent, optimal performance. For job seekers and universities, we offer tools, assessments, books, and curricula to help connect people with careers. To find out more, please visit us at, or call us at 215-942-0982.


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