February 17 - Addressing Problematic Employee Behavior with Insights from Neuroscience

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. PT
Virtual HR Round Table
If you're not able to attend live, register to watch on-demand!

As many as 37 percent of employees experience or witness bullying (Workplace Bullying Institute U.S.), and 40 percent of women report being harassed at work (Quinnipiac). Too often managers—and sometimes HR Business Partners--address the problem with threats, moral judgments, and/or avoidance. Such responses are often ineffective and can result in unnecessary tension, lost productivity and avoidable exits.  

In addition, HR BPs are often tasked to coach for underperformance, to address a wide array of self-destructive patterns like insensitivity (low emotional quotient; EQ), inhibition, self-censoring and procrastination. 

Advances in neuroscience have informed the creation of tools that can help HR BPs intervene more effectively in these circumstances. We will describe those tools and prepare you to help your staff use them to improve employee performance—and to do so in a manner that reduces or eliminates the moral judgments that can make such interventions unnecessarily difficult. This process will help your employee replace counter-productive behaviors with motivated self-management of positive behavioral change.

We will discuss the specific skills HR BPs can use to better manage interventions aimed at changing unacceptable workplace behavior. We describe in detail a real situation: an intervention to help an otherwise high-performing employee who was considered a bully, micromanager, hostile and misogynistic.

We will present a simple seven-step process aimed first at helping employees deepen their motivation to improve their behavior. We will then describe a variety of action plans employees can use to address problematic behaviors, providing a rapid determination of the likelihood of success. We will close with an interactive session during which participants will explore with the presenters how the tools can be applied to actual problems they are facing, or have faced, and how to deal with any possible obstacles to implementing this process in their organization.


  • Understand the neurological influences that generate inappropriate or unproductive workplace behavior,
  • Acquire tools to evaluate and enhance employee motivation to improve, and
  • Learn new approaches to behavioral interventions that are more effective—and less stressful!

PDCs: 1.5
Member: $15
Non-member: $30



Robert Goldmann has been CEO of several manufacturing and financial service companies. In his business coaching and mentoring practice (now in its 18th year), he works with executives, business owners and professionals. In addition, he is an experienced meditation instructor and has facilitated groups dealing with life-threatening illness and bereavement.  This talk—and his book, Act from Choice—are derived from his studies in psychology, neurobiology, and organizational process, as well as a lifetime of business leadership and coaching experience. 

Robert has a B.S. in mechanical engineering from MIT, an MBA from Harvard, and is a graduate of CoachU. He has spoken widely and leads workshops on self-management, business strategy, and mindfulness. 




Steve McElfresh is the principal at HR Futures Inc, which engineers organizational solutions to enable growth through people. He also coaches first-time CEOs and CHROs. Steve was the senior vice president, people at Duo Security, supporting its acquisition and integration with Cisco. He has been the CHRO at three other tech companies, two of which he took public. He was the president and CEO of Saratoga Institute and taught at the Boston College School of Management.

Steve has a Ph.D. from Boston College and a J.D. from Santa Clara University. He has led programs for SHRM worldwide on people analytics, HR strategy, and scaling fast-growth organizations.