Not all employees perform at the same level. The variation in performance can become an issue where an employee doesn’t know or care about their work. They come in late or leave early (or both). They are unproductive with their time, disruptive in the workplace, and they cause problems with customers or other employees. Often, they hold the team back from reaching its potential. This course explores right and wrong ways to coach employees and address these deficiencies. The first part of this course focuses on how to clearly identify performance issues, set goals for improvement, and outline consequences. Part Two addresses how to document the process in a way that provides the employee a reference, gives the manager a tool for accountability, and demonstrates a reasonable approach where the action is later reviewed by a neutral third party (such as an attorney or labor commissioner).

Most managers don’t like dealing with discipline – either dispensing it or receiving feedback of poor performance. The ones who do look forward to discipline can be scary! But the reality is that coaching conversations and discipline are necessary. Good discipline leads to improved performance or a defensible position if challenged. Bad discipline will result in poor morale, higher turnover, allegations of unfairness or favoritism, and potential financial losses due to lost productivity – and in extreme circumstances due to the costs of defending regulatory and legal challenges.

How managers handle discipline AND how they document that discipline is key. Good managers will seize the opportunity to focus on improvement and motivation. Poor managers will leverage their title for short-term success and long-term detriment.

Learning Objectives
  • Explore the varied impact that well-planned or poorly-executed  performance management can have on employee morale, the business’ overall performance, and the company’s reputation.
  • Discover a clear, concise and consistent approach to communicate and document employee performance improvement conversations.
  • Recognize the importance of clear documentation to provide the employee for further reference and to demonstrate to third parties, such as state/federal agencies or attorneys, that the conversation and expectations were reasonable and fair.
  • Identify basic steps every manager should take to ensure that they thoroughly and efficiently optimize performance improvement conversations to best enable success. 



Last updated/reviewed: March 7, 2024
3 Reviews (14 ratings)


Anonymous Author
There were good examples and also things to consider. I don't have to do this often, but I did learn from a prior experience that the documentation and conversations need to be clearer than I was so no one feels blindsided or like they weren't given the opportunities to improve.

Anonymous Author
This course was an excellent and clear overview of the discipline process, from what the goals are to what exactly needs to be included in documentation and conversations. It breaks down the steps clearly and demystifies something that a lot of managers struggle with.

Anonymous Author
I liked the directness of this training class. I think new managers would benefit the most from taking this class

Course Complexity: Intermediate

No advanced preparation or prerequisites are required for this course.

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Introduction to Discipline Boot Camp13:11
  Discipline's Role9:17
  Creating Good Documentation13:28
  Adverse Impact and Discrimination12:18
  Documentation, Defensible Excuses, and Reasonable Accommodations11:23
  Delivering Effective Discipline8:11
  Discipline Boot Camp1:07:48
  Slides: Discipline Boot CampPDF
  Discipline Boot Camp Glossary/IndexPDF