Employee's Willingness to Change Key to Performance Improvement

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), August 26, 2007 | Go to article overview

Employee's Willingness to Change Key to Performance Improvement


Byline: Bureau of Labor & Industries For The Register-Guard

Counseling and disciplining employees to bring out their best performance is a concept similar to the old joke: "How many monks does it take to change a light bulb? Only one, but the light bulb has to want to change."

In fact, the entire subject of employee counseling and disciplining lends itself well to the analogy: The same kind of bulb doesn't fit in every socket; changing some bulbs requires special tools; if you invest more upfront for an energy efficient bulb, they last longer and work more efficiently than the cheap ones; and, just one bad bulb can cause a fuse to blow and cause a blackout of the whole electrical system.

So, how does an employer ensure it is getting the most "energy efficiency" from its employees? By investing its resources in actively managing and correcting employee performance problems as they arise.

Employee issues often can be repaired through competent employer coaching before discipline becomes necessary. Coaching and counseling most often follow a collaborative approach: Employer and employee identify improvements an employee needs to make and discuss the changes necessary to achieve the employer's performance expectations. The emphasis in disciplinary action is on notice to the employee of expectations and the consequences of the employee's failure to perform.

So, the employer's course of action when counseling or disciplining employees will depend on the nature of the employee's job position (type of bulb?), the specific performance issue (any special tools needed?) and the culture of your organization (the electrical system). But whether the employer is addressing an employee issue with verbal counseling or applying progressive discipline, there is a basic formula that is essential to success - employee change.

First, the employer should meet with the employee privately and without interruptions. …

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Employee's Willingness to Change Key to Performance Improvement
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