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“Unlocking Enhanced Performance and Positive Workplace Dynamics: A Comprehensive Approach Using Learning Contracts”

Are you grappling with employee or participant performance challenges that persist despite training efforts? CFALpro introduces a holistic solution that delves into not just correction but also addresses underlying attitudes. Join us on a step-by-step journey to recognize and redefine performance issues, fostering a comprehensive approach to improvement.

Key Steps in the Process:

  1. Facts Recognition: Listing observable facts devoid of personal bias.
  2. Opinions Development: Identifying assumptions about behavior causes, challenging premature judgments.
  3. Objectives Alignment: Reviewing course objectives to pinpoint performance deficits.
  4. Performance Contracts: Crafting agreements specifying behaviors, actions, expected outcomes, and consequences, forming a roadmap for improvement with a formal probationary period.

Elements of a Performance Contract:

  • Goal: Define the overall goal.
  • Objectives: Clearly outline objectives.
  • Trainer and Employee Activities: Detail responsibilities for both parties.
  • Time Frame: Set assessment intervals with supervisor recommendations.
  • Signatures and Date: Formalize commitment through signatures.

Results and Benefits: The article highlights a real-life case where a structured performance contract led to satisfactory improvement and mutual respect. Benefits include improved performance, clear communication, targeted training, mutual responsibility, continuous improvement, ethical treatment, personal and professional growth, positive work environment, and options beyond termination.

Enhance Your Workplace: Discover how this process goes beyond correction, promoting positive outcomes such as increased productivity, positive departures, and greater success for the business. By adopting a collaborative approach, it fosters growth, development, and success, creating a workplace that prioritizes employee satisfaction and productivity.

Using Learning Contracts For Enhanced Performance And Positive Workplace Dynamics

Are you facing challenges with an employee or course participant whose performance doesn’t align with your expectations? Have you trained them, but it seems the training just hasn’t stuck? If you’re nodding along, let’s explore a solution together.

At CFALpro, we understand that addressing performance issues involves more than just correcting what’s wrong—it’s about tackling attitudes too. If you’re interested in a holistic approach to resolving these challenges, read on!

A Step by Step Approach

The first step in resolving employee performance problems is to clearly recognize and define the issue. At CFALpro, we believe that understanding the facts is crucial.

Step One – Facts  List the observable facts without letting personal feelings cloud judgment.  For instance, you taught the person how to do X, but they keep dong Y instead.

Step Two – Opinions  Develop opinions or assumptions about the causes of the behavior. These are beliefs that fall short of certainty. It’s crucial to recognize and challenge assumptions. For example, thinking the employee is lazy might be a premature judgment.

Step Three – Objectives Review your course or training objectives and select those relevant to the observed performance. Specify objectives clearly, focusing on the performance deficits.

Step Four – Performance Contracts  Develop a performance contract or agreement specifying behaviors, actions, expected outcomes, and consequences. This contract serves as a roadmap for improvement and provides a formal probationary period.

Elements of a Performance Contract


The goal of this contract is (state what your overall goal is)

OBJECTIVES (define your objectives)

ACTIVITIES OF THE TRAINER: What you as trainer of coach will do.

ACTIVITIES OF THE EMPLOYEE or PARTICIPANT: What new behaviors you expect of him or her. 

TIME FRAME: Example The trainer and employee will meet weekly to discuss progress towards goals. At the end of (insert time, usually between 2 weeks and 6 weeks depending on the complexity of the performance, the employee’s performance will be re-assessed by his supervisor and recommendations will be made for continuing employment or for leaving.

Signatures and date

Employee ____________________   Date__________

Trainer ______________________    Date_________

Supervisor/Management ______________Date______________

Results of Using a Contract

The real-life outcome was that the employee was able to use a checklist and perform in a satisfactory manner, not great, but satisfactory. Shortly after the probation period ended, he quit. But non of this was a waste a waste of time.

  • As a trainer I developed a new training tool in the process and integrated it into my next training as a trainee assignment. Trainees were asked to develop their own checklist for my review. Based on their individual checklists I could immediately tell where each learning deficit was and correct it before going on the job.

The process showed respect and caring for the employee, who left on a good note saying that he didn’t realize how detailed the job was and he didn’t enjoy working with so much to keep in mind. This is good for both morale and public relations for a company, rather than being fired and bad-mouthing the company’s reputation.

Benefits of Using a Performance Contract

The process outlined for resolving employee performance problems through clear identification, objective setting, and performance contracts can yield several positive outcomes:

  1. Improved Employee Performance: The process encourages employees to address and rectify performance issues, leading to overall improvement.

  2. Clear Communication: By defining facts, opinions, and objectives, the process promotes transparent communication between supervisors and employees.

  3. Targeted Training: Identifying specific deficits allows for targeted training, addressing areas where improvement is needed.

  4. Mutual Responsibility: Performance contracts establish a mutual commitment, fostering a sense of responsibility on both the part of the trainer and the employee.

  5. Continuous Quality Improvement: The reflection on original training during the process allows for continuous quality improvement in training programs.

  6. Fair and Ethical Treatment: The process is viewed as fair and ethical, respecting the opinions and experiences of working adults.

  7. Personal and Professional Growth: Employees are given the opportunity to reflect on their behavior and make positive changes, contributing to personal and professional growth.

  8. Positive Work Environment: Collaborative problem-solving rather than blaming creates a positive work environment, promoting teamwork and understanding.

  9. Options Beyond Termination: The process offers alternatives to termination, allowing employees to change behavior, leave on good terms, or be let go if necessary.

  10. Enhanced Morale and Public Relations: Addressing performance issues respectfully can improve morale within the team and contribute to positive public relations for the company.

  11. Greater Success for the Business: The collaborative approach fosters growth, resulting in greater success for the business and increased customer satisfaction.

  12. Tool Development: The process can lead to the development of new training tools, enhancing the effectiveness of future training programs.

  13. Employee Satisfaction: When employees feel their concerns and challenges are addressed constructively, it contributes to overall satisfaction in the workplace.

  14. Increased Productivity: As performance issues are addressed and resolved, there is potential for increased productivity within the team.

  15. Positive Departures: Even if an employee chooses to leave after the process, it can be on good terms, preventing negative sentiments and potential harm to the company’s reputation.

By focusing on these positive outcomes, the process becomes not just a corrective measure but a proactive approach to fostering growth, development, and success within the workplace.