Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Most employees want to do the best they can at their job. There are times, however, when even a good employee hits a stumbling block and needs to be coached into improved performance. When that happens, aside from offering additional training, knowing what to do will help the employee in getting back on track.
Step 1 Ė Clarify expectations from the micro to the macro. You may think they know exactly what to do and how to do it. Perhaps they do, but itís always best to start at step one. Clarify their role within the organization and how it ties in to their job. Help them to see that they are not operating in a bubble, but that every action has a consequence for other departments. Discuss each of the procedures for their assignments and set expectations on the required level of work.
Step 2 Ė Provide the appropriate culture. If we task a member of the staff with a job and then provide an atmosphere which is not conducive to getting it done, we have just set that individual up for failure. Make sure they have the resources available (within budget) and the tools required to do the job. Also, make sure the atmosphere is work-friendly, non-hostile.
Step 3 Ė Provide the training necessary. While training is not the only thing needed, it is still definitely essential to make sure the employee has all the tools they need in order to get the job done.
Step 4 Ė Provide feedback. Agree upon a timing and method of feedback, but donít be afraid to offer it in between. Depending on the severity of the coaching needed, set up a weekly meeting on a set day and time. Most importantly, donít cancel. Let the employee know this is their time to discuss their progress and any other topics they need to discuss. If they are doing well, let them know it. If they are still struggling, be specific. Donít sugar coat, but still provide continual encouragement.
Step 5 Ė Be a role model. You cannot expect employees to show up on time if you are constantly late. Be a role model for every behavior you expect your staff to exhibit.
Aim to improve the performance of an under-performing employee and to turn an average worker into an outstanding employee. The ultimate goal is that we never want to set an employee up for failure, but to help them be the best they can be.
Short on time? Looking for a quick read to improve your leadership skills? Check out Ken Blanchard: