According to a fellow blogger who quoted Samuel Culbert, companies should get rid of the Performance Review because its outcome does not determine pay, and salary is determined by market forces and budgets. I find that position interesting. Having the opportunity to supervise many professionals and especially entry-level employees – i.e., cashiers and shipping clerks – in a retail environment where the turn over rate is high, compelled me to look at an alternative to the traditional performance review. That alternative is job coaching. What is job coaching? It is the interactive process whereby managers and supervisors aim to solve performance problems and develop employee capabilities. The players or employees in this case are told about the business system of our organization, and I, in turn, assessed the functioning levels of employees based on how they learn, perform the required tasks and how interested they are in the subject matter. If you are a supervisor, you are probably wondering, why should I become a coach? You already have plenty to do and rarely have enough time to do it all. The answer is that effective coaching will actually make your job easier and enhance your career. Job coaching is generally accomplished through a four step process: observation, discussion classes, active coaching, and follow-up. I’d love to go over each of the four elements of coaching but it would be too extensive for the spectrum of this blog post. However, I’d like to state that job coaching is ideal for “on the job training” (OJT). As a training module, it enables a supervisor to identify countless coaching opportunities. Your players are put in the “Help Seat” instead of the “Hot Seat.” In addition, keep in mind that one of the basic rules of job coaching is to always point out three (3) things the employee does right (i.e., compliment) before pointing out a single (1) discrepancy (i.e., deviation from a training expectation sometimes perceived as a negative reinforcement by the employee) and then helping him or her to correct that discrepancy. In my experience of training employees for a few retail stores, those coaching opportunities in spite of the 3 to 1 ratio approach, are not without conflicts and friction. But good coaching in spite of this low level of resistance can make your job easier by producing better job performance, greater job satisfaction for you the trainer, and higher group motivation. Lastly, it helps managers and supervisors address and overcome performance problems, develop employee skills, increase productivity, and improve overall retention. Due to good coaching techniques, I always know who the team players are and who the slackers are.
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