Learn How to Coach Your Employees and they’re Less Likely to Require Discipline

Posted by in Employee Management | Comments Off on Learn How to Coach Your Employees and they’re Less Likely to Require Discipline

Part of being an employer l is to think ahead and implement policies and programs, such as “a proactive employee-coaching program,” that replace old-fashion discipline and all its negative connotations.

Coaching is a positive approach that addresses the improvement of job performance instead of criticizing or reprimanding employees’ work effort and productivity. Such a coaching program promotes the kind of behavior that companies want to see in their employees, eliminating the need for discipline as it makes employers’ jobs easier — no anxiety, no confrontations.

Of course, supervisors and managers must evolve to a different mindset, where anger, shouting and overt discipline are not automatic reactions. Supervisors and managers can make that transition by learning that discipline must be a progressive process.

That learning process begins with an employee handbook that fully explains the progression of verbal and written warnings that occur before suspension and termination. Management or employees must know the disciplinary policies that could be applied if employees don’t take advantage of a proactive coaching program to avoid those policies altogether.

This is another reason why a comprehensive employee handbook is so important. Employers want to be sure that employees not only receive a copy of the handbook (with its explanation of the coaching program and discipline policies), but also read those contents and affirm their understanding of them with their signature.

Employers should also revise those policies in the handbook as needed and inform current employees of those changes in a documented manner: memo, email and/or employee meetings. Proof of employees’ acknowledgement of disciplinary policies is often a company’s best defense against litigation.

An example of a progressive process and proactive approach is how to resolve an employee’s lateness issue. A verbal warning may be the first step in the process, but the employee may perceive that as confrontational and negative, as in “You must be on time!”

A manager will address this situation by discussing with the employee why he or she is late and how to eliminate those barriers or even change the employee’s work schedule.

This kind of proactive employee-coaching program can also help to retain more employees and not incur the cost to replace them. Employees recognize that their employers are making a conscious effort to provide solutions to improve their relationship and the work environment — and that’s good for everyone!

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