Beyond discipline: the reframing approach.

Beyond discipline: the reframing approach.

Reframing an employee’s performance in a constructive manner

In the current professional landscape, where speed and efficiency are of the essence, managers often face the delicate task of reframing their employees’ performance. This need may arise for various reasons, ranging from simple human error to problematic behaviors that can disrupt team harmony and productivity. Reframing is not merely a corrective action; it’s an opportunity to enhance skills, modify behaviors, and align individual performance with the strategic objectives of the organization.

The reasons for reframing an employee’s performance are as diverse as the personalities within a company. They can include inappropriate interactions with clients or colleagues, communications that fail to meet professional standards, or non-compliance with established rules and procedures. Each reframing scenario is unique and should be approached with a thorough understanding of the underlying factors and potential outcomes.

In a professional setting, several situations may necessitate the reframing of an employee’s performance:

  • Inappropriate or non-standard interactions and communications within the company.
  • Personal use of company equipment or resources during business hours.
  • Misinterpretation of instructions or goals, significantly impacting a project’s strategy.
  • Breach of established directives, whether regarding schedules, remote work, or other operations.
  • Mistakes in handling a case or project, risking its successful execution.
  • Unwarranted delays.

Constructive reframing, though a learning process, is primarily an act of managerial courage that requires firmness and clarity. It involves a sensitive intervention where the manager must address issues of behavior or performance directly and unequivocally. The aim is to rectify the situation before it escalates to disciplinary actions or more drastic measures.

With this in mind, reframing should be carried out with a constructive intent and a clear resolve. The manager must communicate the company’s expectations explicitly, highlight deviations from these expectations, and discuss remedies. This process should be viewed not as optional but as essential for the team’s well-being and the organization’s success.

Constructive reframing is a balance between support and demand. It entails acknowledging positive contributions while being uncompromising on areas needing improvement. Maintaining this balance demonstrates the manager’s commitment to the growth of their employees and the achievement of the company’s goals.

Distinguishing from disciplinary measures

The reframing interview differs from a disciplinary procedure as it does not lead to formal repercussions in the employee’s personal record.

Its purpose is to clarify what has happened and to rebuild mutual trust. The goal is not to punish but to guide the employee towards better behavior and to remind them of the expected professional standards (rule adherence, professional demeanor, etc.).

It also provides an opportunity for constructive dialogue, allowing the employee to explain their actions and possibly discuss any challenges they are facing. Sometimes, an employee’s mistakes stem from a misunderstanding of the company’s rules. Therefore, it is crucial to address these issues with kindness and objectivity.

It is advisable to document in writing the details of the performance reframing interview. Indeed, if after several follow-up meetings, the expected results or set objectives are not achieved, it may be necessary to adopt a different approach. The documentation of these interviews serves as a reference and provides tangible evidence of the communication efforts undertaken.


Reframing an employee represents an opportunity to “set the record straight” and to have a beneficial collateral effect on the rest of the team. For those who wish to deepen their knowledge and skills in constructive reframing, our online training is the ideal solution. Available on our platform, this training offers practical tools and proven strategies to turn challenges into opportunities for development.


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