Improving Work Habits

Imagine that you are a pretty conscientious employee and relatively new to your team. You follow rules, get things done on time, and produce high quality work. Fred sits one desk over. While you do not monitor Fred, it seems that he is always shopping or looking at cars, music videos, or other personal surfing activities. You are assuming he just works quickly and lacks enough work to keep him busy, yet this activity seems so continuous, you begin to wonder when he works. 

Because of your diligence, you ask the supervisor why nothing has been done about this. Surely it has been going on long before you joined the team. Work habits cover a range of non-performance related behaviors including: abuse of PTO, using drugs/alcohol on the job, being personally disorganized, or not being able to work well with others. Regardless of what the challenge, work habits need to be addressed quickly. 


  • Delivery Methods: Classroom, online or blended
    Timing: 4 hours and 45 minutes including 30 minutes of suggested breaks.
  • Custom Versions: Office, Industrial and Healthcare included in each facilitator kit.
  • Class Size: 8-21
  • College Credit: All of Vital Learnings courses are pre-approved for college level credit.
  • Online Timing: on average, learners spend 60 minutes 
  • LMS: All courses are SCORM compliant. Hosted through your LMS or ours
  • Intended audience: First line supervisors, team leaders, managers
  • Reinforcement: two kinds are build into each module
  • Certification: There is no requirement. 
  • Train-the-trainer: on-demand TTT’s available for all modules.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that unsatisfactory work habits must be dealt with quickly before requiring disciplinary action.

  • Distinguish between a team member performance issue and a poor work habit.

  • Describe the team member’s poor work habit objectively and factually to address the issue collaboratively and avoid personal attacks.

  • Ensure the team member takes ownership of the poor work habit and takes responsibility for solving the issue.

  • Respond with empathy to team member reactions and concerns to maintain team member self-esteem.

  • Use the Improving Work Habits Skill Points to plan and conduct a meeting with your team member.

Skill Points

  1. Open: Explain the observed work habit and why it concerns you.

  2. Clarify: Ask the team member why the work habit is occurring.

  3. Seek/Share: Ask the team member for ways to solve the issue.

  4. Agree: Agree on the actions the team member must take to solve the issue.

  5. Close: Set a follow up meeting to check on progress.

“After we started using Vital’s materials we saw our turnover drop by almost one-third over the course of a year.”
Krista Soucy, HR Mgr
Demo Workbook
Sample from Trouble Shooting Guide

For the Facilitator:

For the Participant:

  • Facilitator kits- everything needed to facilitate this course
  • On-demand train-the-trainer with tips, best practices, enhancements and alternate ways to deliver activities
  • Facilitator level access to the Vital Hub- jogger card templates, trouble shooting guides, reproducible worksheets and more


  • Participant workbook – in digital or print versions
  • 48 Hour reinforcement tool – reinforces what’s been learned in first 48 hours following training
  • Vital Boost- six weeks of reinforcement questions with a leaderboard to compare scores
  • Participant level access to tools in the Vital Hub such as reproducible worksheets to put what has been learned into practice and trouble shooting guides that cover barriers that may occur when practicing skills with strategies

Applications for this course:

Reinforce DiSC with this course

  1. Brand new team leader or supervisor, or lower level manager.
  2. Team leaders, supervisors, managers who have missed basic supervisory training along the way.
  3. Team leaders who are experience frequent turnover, conflict on their teams, lawsuits, or any issues that requires them to call upon HR to their team.
  4. A great number of issues team leaders bring to HR are due to a lack of basic supervisory skills. If you want to reduce the time HR is spending doing the work of the supervisor, the Leadership Essential Series is a perfect choice.
  5. If your organization has previously introduced DiSC to supervisors, it can become a thread through these courses. It can also be brought into the skill practice in each course.

Skill Practice – “Skill Practice #2”

    • Add a layer of complication by assigning DiSC profiles and asking the team leader to keep the profile of the team member in mind during the discussion. During the debrief, discuss how the DiSC profile of the team member impacts how the team member approaches the discussion.

How will the “Improving Work Habits” help our organization?

Employees always know when someone on the team is abusing a work habit. They watch and wait for the supervisor to act. When the supervisor takes no action, the team’s morale begins to suffer because there is a feeling of unfairness. Employees hesitate to go to the supervisor due be additional negative consequences for taking such action, but sometimes, but employees will confront the supervisor about the infractions regardless of any potential fall out on the team. If the supervisor still fails to act, morale will take a nosedive and performance on the entire team can be affected.

Improving Work Habits provides a clear path for addressing these kinds of issues swifty and moving on. Not addressed, work habit issues almost always morph into much greater challenges.

Course Outline

Class introduction

  • Open the course
  • The unintended consequences of disruptive work habits

Key Concepts

  • Determining if performance or work habit issue introduction
  • Determining if performance or work habit issue scenarios
  • Describing the work habit
  • Keeping ownership with the team member
  • How would you empathize?

Skill Points

  • Introduction to the skill points
  • What would you say?

Foundational Skills

  • Overcoming obsticals

Positive model

  • Introduce positive model
  • Positive model video

Skill Practice

  • Skill Practice #1 Preparation
  • Skill Practice #1 Coaching
  • Skill Practice #1
  • Skill Practice #1 Feedback
  • Skill Practice #2 Preparation & Coaching
  • Skill Practice #2
  • Skill Practice #2 Feedback
  • Skill practice debrief


  • 48 hour reinforcement
  • Vital Boost


  • Review achievement path
  • Close the class
- Center for Internal Change is an Authorized and Certified Distributor -