Plan ahead! Be specific and prepared. Thoughtful preparation for an employee coaching session effectively minimizes negative reactions. It's tempting to exert more and more control when you try to improve an employee's performance. Instead, you might give the responsibility for developing an improvement plan to the employee.
Steps of an Effective Coaching Discussion:
- Establish an agreement that a problem exists.
- Discuss the facts supporting the deficiency.
- Mutually discuss alternative solutions.
- Mutually agree on action to be taken to solve the problem.
- Established a follow up-schedule to measure results.
- Recognize any achievement when it occurs.
Before you attempt to improve productivity through a coaching process, you have to know the performance areas in which improvement is most needed. Without a clear picture of present levels of activity, attempts at improvement are haphazard at best. How do you find where you are? The answer is to make a thoughtful analysis of the work being done before you launch any attempt to improve it.
If an employee's performance is unacceptable, it is important to get all the facts and present them to the employee, allowing the individual to evaluate his or her present performance. Ask how they believe things are going for them? Ask what the employee is doing to resolve the situation. Help the individual to formulate a course of action by allowing an opportunity to make choices when appropriate but also by encouraging acceptance of the realities and responsibilities of those choices.
When disciplinary action is required, always base such action on the employee's failure to meet performance standards. Base your decisions on the facts presented and pertinent to the situation. A cardinal rule of disciplinary action is: never, under any conditions, discipline only one individual for the shortcomings of a group of identified offenders. The reverse also applies, never, under any conditions, discipline an entire work group for the shortcomings of one or two identified employees.