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One bad apple...

COUNSELLING a staff member whose job performance is unacceptable is an uncomfortable process for both the manager and the person, which is probably the main reason many managers avoid doing it. Here is a process to follow which will make it easier on both of you. Setting up a meeting Approach the person in private or out of earshot of others. Explain that you would like to meet with them to discuss their job performance. Explain that you will be doing this with other team members as well. Explain how you will prepare for this meeting and how you would like them to prepare for the meeting. Agree a specific time, date and place to meet in private. Preparation (by the manager) List some areas of performance in which you would like the person to improve. List specific things that you would like this person to do new, different and better in each area. List the areas in which the person is performing effectively. List specific examples of things that they have done effectively. Preparation (by the team member) List the aspects of their job they think they do well. Cite a couple of examples in each aspect that demonstrate how effective they are. Identify aspects of their job they think they could improve. Identify the specific things that they could do new, different or better in each aspect. Identify what other things would need to happen to enable them to make those improvements. Identify what training or coaching assistance they require to make the improvements. Identify what they would like the manager to do more of or less of to help them make the improvements. The counselling session Explain that this is an opportunity to improve the quality of work life for both of you. Say that all people have different perceptions about various things that happen in the workplace and this is an opportunity for a frank and honest exchange of perceptions. Explain how you will conduct this meeting – the format and your expectations. Discuss the areas of their job that they do effectively and the examples of specific things in each area. Ask them to discuss their view of the things that they do effectively. Reach agreement on the things that they do effectively. Discuss the areas in which you think they could improve and specify the things you would like them to do new, different and better. Ask them for their view of what they could improve and the specific things they could do new, different and better. Agree a list of things for them to work on to show improvement. Discuss their view of the support they believe they need to make these improvements. Agree on things you (the manager) will do differently and better to support their efforts. Agree what actions you will take to support them in the achievement of these improvements. Discuss your and their feelings about this session. Schedule a specific time, date and place to review how both of you have implemented your agreements. Thank them for their time and contribution.

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