“Correcting Poor Work” Case Study


In this paper, I will review all three scenarios of the “Correcting Poor Work” case study, exploring the statements and responses of both Joel (the manager) and Tim (the employee) to identify which scenario was the best example of managerial influence and correction. I will also address why the chosen supervisory style is beneficial and what mistakes Joel made in attempting to find a solution and motivate Tim to become successful once more. Finally, I will share my experience of supervisors I have had in the past, as well as my thoughts on what makes a supervisor effective when it comes to employee performance correction.

Discuss which scenario did you see Joel properly correcting Tim’s poor work? Why did you pick that scenario?

Regarding the “Correcting Poor Work” case study, I believe that Joel displayed the optimal managerial style in scenario three. In scenario three, Joel’s behavior before, during, and after the meeting was handled significantly better, and with more professionalism. To start, sending an email to Tim before the meeting began helped Tim to be prepared for the following performance review; this allowed Tim to collect his thoughts and not be blindsided by a mountain of adverse insults, thus reducing the chance of a heated or violent exchange. In scenario one, without the pre-meeting email, Tim forgot about the meeting and therefore, went into it already stressed-out. In scenario two, Joel caught Tim looking at a non-authorized website and decided to initiate the session then, starting it off with the high-potential of arguing or disagreement.

In scenario three, Joel’s statement regarding losing points on his performance review immediately showed Tim how his actions have directly impacted his success at the company, starting the meeting with a clear and concise reason and the effects of his poor performance; by not addressing this in the first two scenarios, Tim was undoubtedly scrambling to make sense of everything, not knowing the seriousness of Joel’s words. Joel’s calm and precise summary of everything he noticed Tim doing was said without anger or judgment; instead, he plainly laid out why the meeting was taking place and what he views as negative actions. In scenario one, Joel immediately scolded Tim without explaining why he was upset. In fact, Tim had to ask Joel what he did wrong, and when asked, Joel told him that he should already know about the unsatisfactory items. In scenario two, while Joel did state early on why he was upset with Tim, he did so by starting with a vague “You’re in a lot of trouble right now” statement; this sentence alone can cause undesired turmoil before the conversation even starts.

Another reason Joel’s handling of the situation was optimal in scenario three was his inclusion of what will happen if Tim loses any more points on his performance review; he will get fired. In scenario one, while Joel did mention that if he continues to portray the same low performance he will be terminated, he did so in an excited state, showing both anger and hostility. Furthermore, the fact that Joel mentioned the possibility of being fired numerous times in both scenarios further adds unnecessary insult to Tim. In most cases, the employee in question in a situation like the one Joel and Tim were in is fully aware of the possibility that they might be terminated, saying it more than once, if at all, is just pouring salt on the wound.

What were Joel’s behaviors? Please give your opinion of how correcting poor work should be taken care of as well as how you would approach correcting a subordinate’s poor work.

In scenario three, Joel went out of his way to fill his statements with both positive and negative implications. For example, after Joel finished his opening statement outlining the many things Tim is doing incorrectly, he follows up with sharing how Tim was one of his top performers; this statement couldn’t have come at a better time as I am sure Tim’s stress level was extremely high, believing he was about to be fired. With a little positive enforcement, Joel changed the entire flow of the meeting from only detrimental to a mixture of both ‘this is what you have done wrong’ and ‘this is what I know you can do.’ Per Forbes, only “30% of employees strongly agree that their manager involves them in goal setting” (Comaford, 2018). In both scenarios, there was little to no positive reinforcement, and actually, each was filled with angry accusations. While the ‘break the person down to build them up’ model works well in boot camp, in a professional setting, if you are not firing someone for doing something wrong, then the meeting is to motivate them to be better; due to this, throwing the employee in the dirt with nothing to influence him to get out of it, does nothing to improve their performance.

In scenario three, compared to both previous situations, you see a drastic change in not only Joel’s interaction, but Tim’s as well. Due to the decreased anger in Joel’s voice, reduced unnecessary allegations, the inclusion of positive reinforcement, as well as a clearly-structured statement, Tim’s responses are calmer and even inquire how to fix the issues addressed and perform at a higher caliber. With Joel’s changes in scenario three, the communication on both sides is increased, allowing both Joel and Tim to find solutions to the problem at hand. When asked if Joel can provide help to Tim in correcting his faults, Joel calmly instructed Tim that he is always available to discuss any complications he is having with a deadline, as well as applying an actionable solution to the unauthorized website problem, which doesn’t even involve Tim performing the fix. In situations such as employees accessing websites they shouldn’t, among many others, it is vital to look at other solutions outside of the individual employee. Since it is quite easy to block certain websites, while the blame still falls on the employee who accessed them when they shouldn’t, the easiest and possibly most effective solution is merely having IT remove the ability to access them.

Finally, in scenario three, Joel’s closing statements are essential to the overall success of the entire conversation. Joel points out that he recognizes Tim’s usually satisfactory performance and goes on to say that he respects his nature/attitude. Since Tim then knows that he has not always been viewed negatively, he can now get back into Joel’s good graces. It is quite clear in scenario three that Joel wants Tim to succeed; while there were a few positive things and actionable suggestions in scenario one, yet nothing in scenario two, both previous scenarios’ attitude, tone of voice, inclusion of numerous additional insults, and minimal positive reinforcements, created the mentality that Joel only wanted to fire Tim or at least motivate him with threats, which never truly works as intended.

If you have encountered this type of situation, please relate this in your paper.  This may include your experiences in dealing with difficult people.  You should provide tips on handling difficult situations.  (This is important because security professionals are often in stressful situations that require tact, patience, and understanding.)

During many of my performance reviews in the military, fear was the prime motivator in; this style was often inadequate in terms of morale; however, it certainly was effective in creating results. In the civilian world, supervisors are quite different in the methods they implement when correcting their subordinate’s actions. For example, I often haven’t encountered many of my supervisors unless I have done something incorrect, which leads to an immediate negative thought process whenever I am called into their office. More often than not, supervisors make the mistake of not noticing the high performance and accolades of their subordinates, which usually feels worse than getting in trouble. “Motivated employees are much more likely to perform at a higher standard than employees who feel unmotivated to do their best” (Quain, 2019).

In a situation where a manager has to address and attempt to correct an employee, there are many methods one can implement to ensure that the meeting is successful for both the supervisor and subordinate. First, a full analysis of the employee’s problems needs to be compiled, making sure to include every issue they are facing, failed tasks, and overall job performance for a specified length of time. Next, proper research needs to be completed to create a plan of attack, consisting of a wide range of factors regarding the employee, situation, risks involved, and what both a successful and failed meeting will include. For example, seemingly-unrelated things like the age of the employee, their workplace friends, what department they are in, what they have access to, and the time of day/day of the week the meeting takes place, can all affect the outcome of the meeting.

Right before the meeting, the supervisor should use their research to determine how the data will be communicated, as well as find the best way to address the employee’s performance. During the meeting, the manager should start by discussing what the meeting is about, convey the seriousness of the offenses, and outline the steps required for the employee to increase productivity/work ethic. It is vital for the supervisor to calmly communicate and listen effectively to the employees’ reasonings, as well as any promises to perform better. At the end of the meeting, it is recommended to review all actionable items and ask the employee if they have any questions. Positive reinforcement should be a part of the beginning and end of the meeting, offering the employee the notion that their performance hasn’t always been negative, thus allowing them to change.

The ‘Correcting Poor Work’ case study offers a unique perspective on three methods a supervisor can utilize when addressing and correcting a subordinate’s performance. There certainly is a science behind how to properly communicate in the workplace, consisting of equal parts psychology, risk assessment, and project management skills. In my experience, I have been subjected to various types of leadership with managerial styles ranging from drastically ineffective to not only effective but inspiring. To both obtain and maintain the skills and knowledge necessary for administrative excellence, one must continuously seek to hone their abilities using both internal and external sources, such as the “Correcting Poor Work” case study.


Fennelly, L. J. (2017). Effective Physical Security (5th ed.). (pp. 67-84). Cambridge, MA: Elsevier.

Quain, S. (2019, February 13). Positive & Negative Effects of Employee Motivation. Retrieved December 17, 2019, from

Comaford, C. (2018, March 29). Why Leaders Need to Embrace Employee Motivation. Retrieved December 17, 2019, from

Bellevue University. (n.d.). CYBR510: Physical, Operations, and Personal Security Case Study. Retrieved December 17, 2019, from


Categories: Security

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