The University encourages open communication between employees and supervisors. It is the role of the supervisor to communicate job performance expectations to the employee. This communication exchange starts with the initial orientation and training of the new employee. As the employee performs the various job functions, it is essential for the supervisor to provide verbal feedback concerning the quality of work.
Coaching is the on-going process whereby the supervisor directs the development of the employee through regular performance feedback. If the employee is meeting the supervisor’s expectations, positive feedback can be used to reinforce the good performance and influence the employee. Coaching helps you address specific workplace concerns, such as conducting difficult performance evaluations, discussing corrective action with an employee, or managing difficult workplace situations, problems and conflicts.
Why Employees Fail to Meet Performance Goals
As a leader, your job is to create a climate in which employees can excel and move to even greater levels of responsibility within the university. The process of leading an employee from performance goal setting to goal accomplishment requires a good deal of coaching and feedback. Most employees who fail to meet their performance goals do so because of the following:
- They don’t know what’s expected of them on the job
- They don’t have the authority, the space, or the tools to do the job
- They don’t receive regular feedback about the quality of their performance
- They are punished when they do the job right or rewarded when they do it wrong
- They are ignored whether right or wrong, or
- They just do not know how to do the job.
Counseling occurs when there are performance problems. The supervisor should use counseling to address performance issues before initiating any corrective action. The supervisor must meet with the employee to clarify the performance expectations and determine what obstacles are impeding the employee’s ability to perform to standard. (At this time the position description can be utilized as a tool for looking at job responsibilities.) These obstacles might include, for example: A lack of clear instructions, a need for training, lack of tools/resources, or the impact of another employee’s behavior. The supervisor’s role is to minimize the barriers to acceptable performance.
In holding a counseling meeting, the supervisor should do the following:
- Before the meeting – review relevant documentation.
- During the meeting – state the problem in terms of expected performance vs. actual performance; allow the employee to respond; and jointly develop a solution.
- After the meeting – document the meeting; and most importantly, follow-up.
The counseling meeting should be viewed as developmental rather than punitive. The supervisor should stress that counseling is not part of the corrective action procedure, but that corrective action may result if the employee does not change the job behavior. Written documentation pertaining to the counseling meeting is not kept in the employee’s personnel file, it may be kept in the departmental file or a management working file.
Individualized coaching is available to support managers and supervisors in identifying and attaining goals to support their workplace effectiveness. Coaching is tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual, and may include an analysis of management approach, communication skills, conflict style, and skill development level in supervisory and management practices. In addition, the ODL staff provides resources to improve leader’s coaching skills.
Coaching can be done through individualized meetings and/or phone consultations. Please contact the ODL Office to set up an appointment at 478-5171.
Last updated: 12/4/2015