Coach Your Employee Toward Success

Do you have an employee that just can’t get it right? Are you wondering why can’t he/she do what you ask? It’s probably not that the person doesn’t want to. Something is getting in the way of success. And it’s part of your job as a manager to deal with it, because whether you like it or not, your employee’s success, or lack thereof, will reflect your ability to manage.

Avoiding a problem is not going to make it go away. Rather, dealing with it and solving it together with your employee is a sign of a good leader. Coach your employee towards success. Here’s how to go about doing that:

  1. Discuss the issue with the employee. Talking about it may fix things quickly. It’s possible that the employee didn’t understand your directions and a discussion will clear things up. Regardless of whether it’s a big problem or minor issue, talking with the employee must be the first step. If the employee is later terminated due to this issue, it would be to your benefit to have first demonstrated that the employee was given clear instructions on how to act, along with the chance to improve.  And be sure to talk with the employee privately, in a respectful manner.
  2. Describe the behavior or performance issue. The employee can’t improve unless you are very specific and clear about what the problem is. Make it clear where the discrepancy is – what the employee is not doing that he/she should be doing, or vice versa.  Clarify expectations as well as the consequences for not improving.
  3. Acknowledge the employee’s opinion. Getting the other person’s perspective is always a good idea to determine if you have interpreted things correctly and if you need to make your expectations more clear in the future. It also shows respect for your employees and gives them the sense that you consider their points of view. Ask your employee if he/she is aware of the problem and how he/she sees things. 
  4. Get employee’s input. Once you’ve acknowledged a problem, include the employee in the next steps. Give the employee a chance to come up with a solution. Set goals together. This will increase buy-in and accountability and increase the odds of success. You can also figure out what motivates a particular employee.
  5. Express confidence in the employee. Communicate to the employee that you are trying to help, not criticize. While remaining firm, you can also stay positive and indicate to them that your expectations are positive ones and that you expect them to live up to your expectations.
  6. Observe and reinforce. You will need to observe in order to determine the extent of the change and improvement. Reinforce any positive changes towards the goals you set for and with your employee. Continue communicating regularly. Constant communication will prevent misunderstandings and will also convey a sense of caring and fairness. The more people believe they are being treated fairly, the more they trust, and the more willing they are to go the extra mile.


By: Rose Opengart, Interviews That Work

© 2018, Rose Opengart, Interviews That Work

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