Episode 30: "Performance Punishment" May Be Destroying Teacher Morale At Your School

Episode 30 Show Notes


What is “Performance Punishment”?

Performance punishment is the negative consequences that high performing individuals may face as a result of their exceptional productivity. 


This can include being given additional tasks or responsibilities, being expected to work longer hours, or being subjected to additional scrutiny or criticism.


These are usually recurring tasks that someone else has failed to do well or do on time and are therefore falling into the laps of people who have demonstrated their ability to pull through at the last minute.


Why is Performance Punishment a problem?

  • High performers get burned out.
  • Exhaustion, low productivity, decreased motivation
  • High performers get resentful, but they don’t say no.
  • High performers leave
  • Low performers are not held accountable
  • Low performers never grow
  • High performers will rarely speak up for themselves or say “no”


7 Ways To Avoid Performance Punishment


  • Acknowledge that this has to stop if you want to keep your good people.
  • Take an inventory of the workload of your high performers
  • Stop piling on the projects. Your high performer may not feel comfortable telling you it’s too much. She’s thinking (subconsciously, of course), “Hey, I’m a high performer. I can handle it.” Or “He needs my help. I can’t turn him down.’
  • Have a talk with them. A heart-to-heart. Find out how they are ‘really’ doing. Ask (sincerely) if the workload is too much. Are they getting enough time at home? Where do they want to be in five years? Do they have the professional development they want or need? It’s a lot of questions, but it’s stuff you really should know about your best employees.
  • Recognize that your low performers will NEVER grow this way.
  • Consider paying a stipend for the extra work.
  • Invest in their professional development. No one minds working hard if they know they are appreciated and valued. Nothing says ‘you’re important’ like the opportunity to learn new skills, grow and advance your career. If you are piling on the work of your high performers, the last thing that they have time to do is self PD.

CLICK HERE for all blog posts referenced in Episode 30


I want to give you a gift to say “thank you” for listening to the podcast. I have created a FREE guide for you called “5 Strategies To Help You Work With Difficult Parents”. We know that working with parents is part of the job and most of our parents are great, but some of them can be very demanding and emotional and difficult. This guide will give you the tools that you need to build better relationships and have better meetings with the difficult parents at your school. CLICK HERE to grab the guide. Thank you again for listening every week!


If you implement any of these strategies at your school, I would love to hear from you! Send me a quick note at [email protected] and tell me about it. I can answer your questions and I’m also good at giving pep talks when you get stuck!


CLICK HERE for a bunch of free resources, including Plug & Play PD's (video webinars with guided notes) for you to use with your teachers, Top Lists of Leadership Books, Productivity Books, TED Talks and much more!


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Music by Twisterium from Pixabay