Disciplining an employee who has engaged in improper conduct should be
different from dealing with an employee who is not performing work duties well.
In fact, most business people prefer to refer to the latter as coaching, rather
In a situation where there are performance problems, employees may not be
willfully doing something that violates your policies and may just need some
guidance. Some performance problems may even be the result of morale
Effective coaching and giving
constructive feedback can be difficult and challenging, but have their
- Employees learn more about their jobs and perform better.
- Employees develop a sense of loyalty
toward you and the business.
- Working conditions are improved.
is enhanced and maximized.
The characteristics of a good coach are that he or she is:
- confident in the abilities of individuals
- a good communicator
- an excellent listener
The coaching process has certain perspectives and behaviors that can be
duplicated in the workplace. They are:
- Mutual respect. Both you and your employees must accept the mutual
dependence each has on the other in order for each of you to succeed. From
that relationship, respect can grow based on the contributions of each
- Supportive environment. Where there is respect, it follows that the
working environment will be supportive. The opposite is true where there is
distrust or conflict.
- Trust. Where there is fear, there can be no trust. The workplace
must encourage an atmosphere of trust, which includes candor and an
acceptance of an initial level of failure.
In order to counsel employees, you must focus your attention on the goals
that you are trying to get the employee to achieve. Those goals may be to
increase profits, increase market share, create new products, reduce error
rates, or achieve other business-related objectives. In order for employees to
know how their work can contribute to the goal, they must be taught:
- what the goal is
- how it is achieved
- what part their work plays in reaching the goal
As the coach, you must:
- set clear expectations
- set performance standards
- measure performance
- correct deviations from performance standards
- make it clear that you are on the same side as the employee
- provide guidance while preserving the employee's self-esteem
Once you have an understanding of the philosophy of coaching an employee,
you're ready to move on to: