The first response to a performance problem (e.g.,unacceptable attendance, unsatisfactory job performance or inappropriate conduct) is a coaching session. A coaching session is the most effective way to deal with a small problem before it becomes a bigger problem. The goal of the coaching session is to help the employee understand and focus on the problem so that performance is improved. The coaching session should focus on specific ways the employee's job performance and/or behavior must improve. The coaching session is an opportunity for the employee to (1) recognize that a problem exists, (2) understand the nature of the problem, (3) acknowledge that he/she needs to correct the problem, and (4) realize consequences exist if he/she does not correct the problem.
The coaching session involves three major steps as outlined below:
- Preparing for the Coaching Session
- Determine the category of the problem (i.e., performance, attendance, conduct).
- Identify the specific difference(s) between the desired and actual performance.
- Determine the good business reasons why the problem must be solved.
- Determine the logical consequences if the problem continues.
- Determine the appropriate action the employee must take to correct the problem. Sometimes the supervisor may also be required to take action to correct the problem.
- The Coaching Session
- Confirm that the planned action is appropriate. *Allow the employee to provide a reasonable explanation of his/her performance or conduct if one exists.