Dealing with Poor Performance


A colleague--no one I work with, so no speculation on that point--in another school district shared the following scenario with me:
A workshop facilitator just isn't measuring up, even though he's come a long way and has been coached/mentored to improve. I'm considering "firing" him but I'm just not sure how to approach it. What would you do?
Before I offer advice, I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on these two approaches below, and maybe share what you think? Are these approaches totally wrong?

Most folks are conscientious and committed to doing a quality job in an area they feel strong about. I'd review the evaluations with your facilitator and ask him for his take on them. Share frankly that continued poor performance may suggest that 1) In spite of his commitment to the job, he may not be connecting well with participants and/or 2) He needs to reflect on how he's facilitating sessions and see what he needs to improve on. Share your rubric of what constitutes a quality workshop performance.

Here's Approach A: (Short time frame)
1) Observe his class.
2) Debrief afterwards and offer suggestions for improvement. This will be a "crucial conversation." Focus on improving performance and that this is "external" to who they are. After all, I'd make a lousy car mechanic. Someone would have to mentor me and help me learn, but I'd have to be open to the idea. If the attitude to learn and receive feedback isn't there, then you can move directly to terminate if you have sufficient documentation of poor performance.
3) You have to give him time to improve, and then gauge progress.

Approach B: (long time frame)
You could start out doing this as a whole group activity, too.

Stage 1 - Refining Our Work
"Folks, although we're mostly doing pretty well on session presentations, and I know each of us has our own strengths that we build on, I want to ensure that we have a uniform delivery and common expectations. To help clarify that, let's review this rubric that shows what I think is important. Notice that there are 3 indicator boxes that are blank...let's work together to identify OUR top 3 priorities and what that looks like (descriptors) so we can fill in the holes in this rubric."

Stage 2 - Workshop Evaluations
"I've re-designed our workshop evaluation form so we can get feedback tied directly to our rubric and agreed upon expectations. For example, our goal is to achieve a 4 out of 5 points per evaluation item, and get positive comments we can share on our web site and with supervisors. Over your next few sessions, I'm going to ask you to visit each other's sessions and complete an anonymous evaluation. I'll take those and then we can discuss our areas needing improvement as a group, as well as celebrate our areas of strength."

Stage 3 - Intervention
"Mr. Rodriguez, thank you for coming in. In reviewing workshop evaluations for the last few sessions (at least 3), I can't help but notice that the feedback has not been as positive as we would like to see. What can I do to help you better meet the needs of your workshop participants so that they feel comfortable giving your workshop higher marks?" 

Stage 4 - Termination
"Mr. Rodriguez, I appreciate your hard work. Unfortunately, the workshop evaluations for your sessions continue to be less than what we all agreed upon as our target level of performance. I regret that I will have to end your service with us as a workshop facilitator. Thank you for your efforts; I wish you well."

Save Austin Schools 
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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure


Quintosol said…
Cmon man! Mr. Rodriguez?!? Jeez! ;)

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