6 Common Failures to Avoid in Performance Counseling

Do you worry about conducting performance counseling with your employees? Are you afraid they are going to not like you anymore? Do you stress over telling someone their performance is not reaching the expectation? Do you worry that you may not be successful and the poor performance may continue? You are not alone!


The United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducts a survey every year of the approximately 1.6 million employees. And every year OPM has determined that the supervisors are not adequately holding people accountable. Employees are asked this question: In my work unit, steps are taken to deal with a poor performer who cannot or will not improve?

From 2013 to 2020 there has been an increase from 29% to 42%. This 13% increase may seem a significant achievement, however this actually means, in 2020 at least 68% of the time, there was nothing done about a poor performer who cannot or will not improve. Would this be acceptable in your organization? I didn't think so, but if this is the rate for the federal government, is it possible that this is occurring in many other industries? This is exactly what I was studying while conducting my Doctoral course work, and the results were alarming. Most organizations identified similarities with what was happening within OPM.


What's even more surprising is OPM was able to identify the causes for the poor performance not being addressed by the supervisors. And it wasn't the poor performers who were causing the performance counseling to fail, it was the failure of the supervisor in the following 6 behaviors:


The six common failures of supervisors were identified by OPM:

  1. Supervisors failed to focus on modifying behavior.

  2. Supervisors failed to create a supportive climate for the counseling.

  3. Supervisors failed to provide clear behavior expectations to achieve organizational goals.

  4. Supervisors failed to use an organized method to complete the performance counseling.

  5. Supervisors failed to create an effective behavior redirection action plan with input and effort from the follower as well as the leader.

  6. Supervisors failed to make the counseling about the behavior and not the person.

Because of these usual failures, S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling was purposefully and specifically designed to help employees improve behavior whether the employee consciously or subconsciously chooses to be deficient or defiant of satisfactory performance or behavior in the workplace. S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling is an employee performance-centered counseling method specifically designed by Chris Fuzie, Ed. D, M.A.OL to overcome these failures.


Why SCORE Performance Counseling Works

S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling was developed to help overcome each and every one of these failures, and also focus on modifying or changing the behavior, while maintaining a healthy relationship with the person. Over a three year period, S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling was developed using psychology, social and behavioral science, communication techniques, decision-making skills, and motivation theories to apply to each of the failures of the supervisors. How does S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling "save the relationship, and change the behavior?"


How S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling Works

The 8-hour, interactive training teaches participants:

  • The differences in relationship, leader role, follower role, and the primary driver of development.

  • How Motivation, Satisfaction, and Performance are impacted by performance.

  • The specific differences between mentoring, coaching, counseling, and performance counseling.

  • How to make a coaching plan.

  • The different types of counseling.

  • How to overcome Communication Apprehension when discussing performance with employees.

  • How to separate the behavior from the person while being supportive of the person, yet changing the behavior.

  • A step-by-step method for addressing performance.

  • How to include their perceptions and interpretations in the review and ultimate solutions.

  • How to show the gap in performance and expectations in a non-confrontational way.

  • How to use Participative Decision Making and involving the employee in changing the behavior.

  • How to create a written plan to ensure proper follow-up and documentation for both employee and supervisor to assess performance improvement.

Now that we are starting to get employees back in the workplace, and even more employees are working remotely than before the pandemic, trainers, supervisors and managers need to learn how to maintain those relationship while still creating a supportive climate and changing the poor performance behavior. If you would like to learn how to use S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling in your organization, please call us to arrange for training specifically for your organization, or you can attend one of the two trainings (in-person and online) being offered in January, 2022 by clicking here.


With S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling, you can avoid the 6 common failures of performance counseling. There will be no reason to continue to see that 68% of the time, there was nothing done about a poor performer who cannot or will not improve.

Come and see for yourself, it works! Or, do you want to see what others have said about it, then click here for some testimonials and results.


About the Author: Dr. Chris Fuzie is the author of "S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior," and owner of CMF Leadership Consulting. Chris is a developer/trainer/consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations. Chris holds an earned Doctor of Education (Ed. D), M.A. and B.A. in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris has experience as a Director in a multi-college, community college district in California, as well as a Business Manager and HR Manager in a county district attorney's office. Chris is honorably retired from the Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service where he last served as the Assistant Division Commander of Investigations.



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