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Having Difficult Performance Conversations

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- Having Difficult Performance Conversations -

Course Overview

From time to time, all managers and supervisors  deal with some type of employee underperformance. This could include unacceptable behaviour, investigating reports of bullying, saying no to employee requests, managing sensitive personal issues, grievances, disciplinary processes, or telling an employee that their job is at risk.

Having a difficult conversation with a team member can be stressful and gut-wrenching and some managers will delay it in the hope that the issue will go away.  That’s why this training is essential for managers, team leaders and supervisors, as it teaches the proven steps to prepare for and how to have difficult conversations. By adopting the right approach and knowing what to say, participants will learn to handle tough conversations and sensitively manage emotions.

This training makes sure every manager’s message gets through and any employee behavioural changes that need to be made are accepted and adopted.

Key Learning Outcomes

  • What’s difficult about having conversations about underperformance
  • Discuss the four primary reasons for workplace underperformance and why it’s in your interests to identify and work together to go from unproductive conversations and reactions to a collaborative approach when managing underperformance
  • Understand Fair Work Australia’s approach to dealing with underperformance and the law
  • The right and wrong way to initiate a difficult conversation
  • How to start a conversation and manage reactive emotions during these conversations
  • Developing a ‘turnaround’ framework
  • Transactional analysis – A framework for helping to maintain an objective and balanced position during a challenging conversation
  • Using calming communication to bring upset people to the point of reason and how to problem-solve together
  • Setting targets, using coaching, offering feedback and following up to see a positive turnaround

Training Outline

Morning Session
  • Why having effective and productive employee performance should matter to you and council
  • The value of employee performance and the cost of underperformance
  • What is underperformance
  • Understanding Fair Work Australia’s definition of underperformance
  • Case Study: The costs of doing nothing, getting it wrong and the benefit of doing it correctly
  • The 4 core reasons for all employee underperformance
  • Using the Fair Work Australia process for dealing with underperformance
  • How to have a performance discussion with a team member
  • Using a performance managing conversation model that focuses on behaviours that can be observed and corrected
Afternoon Session
  • Managing differing perspectives about an employee’s performance
  • Having a conversation when an employees performance is measured against their goals
  • Practice specific conversations and rebuttals to use during your performance conversations
  • Practice specific conversations and rebuttals to use during your performance conversation
  • Dealing with different emotions in a performance appraisal (crying, anger, raising of the voice, etc.)
  • How to get the employee to acknowledge their (unacceptable) performance
  • Setting objectives for improvement and how to make sure your employees take the next steps towards improving their performance

Training Options

We realise every client is different. You may have only half a dozen people to train, or perhaps you’re running a conference and want a guest speaker or a trainer to undertake a high impact, short breakout session.

Whatever you have in mind, we want to help you achieve your training goals. Let’s start a conversation and find out what’s happening at your place and what you want your people to be able to do differently as a result of training. If you’re on a tight budget, we get that as well. Rest assured, we are good listeners, and we are here to help you achieve your outcomes.

  • 1-day Training (7 hours)
  • Half-Day Express (3 hours)
  • Lunch & Learn (60 minutes)
  • Online Training (Self-paced)
  • One-on-One (Zoom) Coaching