TO DEAL WITH LOW
Dr. S. Bronack
December 8, 2010
Hospital System Industry
• Culture has evolved into one where low performers are accepted.
• Leaders are reluctant to consistently apply accountability across
• Leaders lack confidence to effectively deal with low performers,
therefore they choose not to.
• Leaders undermanage low performers; place more work on
middle and high performers.
• Morale is affected; productivity and patient care suffer.
• Leaders need coaching and training to develop skill set to move
low performers up in the organization or out through progressive
• Coach defines goals that he or she hopes the learner will achieve:
• Effectively managing low performers.
• Training can be accomplished by providing leaders with knowledge
and information through:
• Presentation (telling) and
• Showing through examples such as role play
• Coach is responsible for presenting:
• Why leaders must rid their organization of low performing
• Barriers that prevent leaders from dealing with low performers.
• How leaders can effectively manage low performers.
• What impact low performers have on individual units and the
• Coach must determine methods of training that will be most
effective for targeted audience.
• Pairing less effective leaders with high performing, highly skilled and
experienced leaders to develop skill set to:
• Manage conflict
• Conduct difficult conversations
• Deal with passive –aggressive personalities
• Basic training methodology:
• Presentation (telling)
• Showing, through examples such as role play
• Observing leaders emulate what they learned from role play
• Providing feedback
• Developing own coaching model to reach audience:
• Provide evidence proving low performers negatively impact morale
and employee turnover leading to why low performers must be
dealt with and not ignored.
• Address reasons leaders give for not dealing with low performers.
• Train leaders where to start and how to take steps to manage
• Define low performer; describe behaviors and
• The goal; to move low performers to achieve high
• Where to start low performer conversations.
• How to have an effective conversation .
• Coach provides role play of conducting low performer
• Coach asks leaders to practice with each other.
• Coach observes.
• Coach provides feedback.
• Coach is available for individualized instruction and
Points out problems in a negative way
Positions leadership poorly
Master of “We/They”
Thinks they will outlast the leader
Says manager is the problem
Does not communicate effectively about absences from
work. Handles personal phone calls in a manner that
interferes with work. Breaks last longer than allowed.
Demonstrates little commitment to their team and the
Shows little interest in improving own performance or the
performance of the organization. Develops professional
skills only when asked.
Does not communicate organizational information. Uses language
to create we/they culture. Does not provide feedback.
Performs work with little regard to the behaviors of safety
DEFINITION OF LOW PERFORMER
FROM SHORT TERM GAINS TO
SUSTAINABLE RESULTS . . .
Low Performer Conversation:
Clarify Expectations, Consequences and
• Do not start on positive note.
• Describe what employee behaviors have been observed.
• Explain the impact of the employee’s behavior.
• Show/Tell the employee what behaviors or actions need to
• Discuss consequences with employee of continued same
• Schedule a follow-up conversation within improvement time
Conversations with Low Performer
Competence Assessment Exercise