If Staff Members Don't Meet Expectations

Do you have a staff member whose performance or workplace conduct is not meeting expectations?  If so, have you:

Given the staff member clear, detailed goals and performance expectations in writing?

Provided the appropriate coaching, training, resources, and guidance?

Provided regular, specific, timely and accurate feedback to the staff member on where s/he is and is not meeting expectations?

Documented feedback given to the staff member?

Told the staff member that his/her performance is unsatisfactory?

Discuss Unsatisfactory Performance or Conduct with Staff Member

If you determine that a staff member’s performance or conduct is unsatisfactory and is not consistently meeting expectations, it is vital that you discuss this with the staff member, giving detailed specific examples of how their performance or conduct is not meeting expectations.  For example instead telling the staff member “the monthly reports are wrong” you should give the staff member specific feedback about where the reports met and do not meet expectations.  For example, you can explain to the staff member that although last month’s report followed the prescribed format, there was inaccurate information in the following sections; the totals on the number of participants per program were wrong, activity about the Sponsorship Program was missing from the report, in the executive summary section there were three typos in the last two paragraphs and one of the program sponsors names was misspelled. 

Performance Improvement/Discipline Process

If performance continues to be unsatisfactory or inconsistent you should determine if you want to begin disciplinary action.  Disciplinary action for unsatisfactory performance or misconduct is normally imposed on a progressive basis and in consultation with a representation of the Division of Human Resources/Staff and Labor Relations or your school/center human resources professional.   The steps include oral warning, written warning, probation and termination.  Steps may be omitted or repeated depending on the frequency, severity and/or nature of performance or misconduct exhibited. Progressive discipline or corrective action may not be imposed in situations involving serious misconduct. Cases of serious misconduct could result in termination of employment.  The Performance Improvement/Discipline Policy provides further information on the progressive disciplinary progress.

If the staff member is in the Introductory Review Period (for newly hired staff) or the 90 Day Evaluation Period (for internal transfers), you should refer to the information found on the Performance Management Programs webpage.


Staff and Labor Relations professionals (215-898-6093) or your school/center human resources professional are available to consult with you on addressing situations where staff members are not meeting expectations. This consultation should occur prior to issuing discipline at the written warning level or higher.  You must always consult with a human resources professional in cases of serious misconduct and/or before terminating the employment of a staff member. 


Performance Improvement/Discipline FAQ

Disciplinary Letters Checklist

For Further Assistance: Consult with Staff and Labor Relations (215-898-6093) or your school/center human resources professional. 

Staff and Labor Relations Contact List