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Please read case study and answer each question in apa format. Please make sure to cite with scholarly sources (4). Please answer each question with 750 word count for each question. The total word count should be 1500 word.

How Would You Coach?

Read Case Study 9-1 in text

1.Based on the description please describe Bob’s coaching skills. Provide a detailed explanation of what he could have done better?

2.Describe what behaviors and strategies you would engage in, while coaching in this situation? Describe how this could motivate an uptick in productivity?

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Chapter 9 Performance Management Skills G A T E A leader becomes complete only S after giving something back. —LAURENCE S. LYONS , D E to do the following: By the end of this chapter, you will be able  Understand that managers need several Akey skills to manage the performance of their employees effectively, including skills N regarding coaching, giving feedback, and conducting performance review meetings. D  Understand four guidelines that provide a framework for successful coaching R relationship, the central role of the including the importance of a good coaching employee as the source and director of change, understanding employees as unique A and whole, and realizing that the coach is the facilitator of the employee’s growth. LEARNING OBJECTIVES       Define coaching, and describe its major functions, including giving advice, providing guidance and support, and enhancing employee confidence and competence. 1 Identify behaviors that managers need1to display to perform the various coaching functions. 2 Understand that a manager’s personality and behavioral preferences determine his 3 or her coaching style. Understand your own coaching style and T the need to adapt your coaching style to the situation and your subordinates’ preferences. S Describe the coaching process and its components including setting developmental goals, identifying developmental resources and strategies, implementing strategies, observing and documenting developmental behavior, and giving feedback. Understand the time, situational, and activity constraints involved in observing and documenting an employee’s progress toward the achievement of developmental goals and good performance in general. 226 Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills          Implement a communication plan and training programs that will minimize the impact of constraints present when observing and documenting performance. Describe the benefits of accurate documentation of an employee’s developmental activities and performance. Implement several recommendations that will lead to documenting performance in a useful and constructive manner. Understand the purposes served by feedback on performance regarding the achievement of developmental goals and performance in general. Implement several recommendations that will lead to creating useful and G constructive feedback systems. A giving negative feedback, and Understand why people do not feel comfortable recognize what happens when managers refuse T to give negative feedback. Implement a disciplinary or termination process if an employee does not overcome E performance problems over time. Sperformance review meetings and the Understand the various purposes served by various types of meetings that can be conducted. , Understand the signs of employee defensiveness, implement suggestions to minimize employee defensiveness before a performance review meeting takes place, D and deal with defensiveness during the performance review meeting. E development. Specifically, Chapter 8 Chapter 8 addressed issues about employee discussed how to use a performance management A system to help employees develop and improve their performance and to address more long-term career goals and N are not likely to help employees aspirations. Performance management systems develop and improve their performance if managers do not have the necessary skills to D help employees accomplish these goals. Such skills include being able to serve as R accurately, to give both positive and coaches, to observe and document performance negative feedback, and to conduct usefulAand constructive performance review discussions. Unfortunately, these skills seem to be in short supply; hence, this chapter addresses each of these topics. For example, a survey conducted by the consulting firm Watson Wyatt found that, in about 50% of 1 the organizations included in the study, managers are only slightly effective in helping underperforming employees improve 1 their performance.1 This lack of supervisory skills is not unique to the United States. 2 organizations in Barbados found that, For example, a study including more than 100 overall, employees are not satisfied with their 3 performance management system and some of the culprits are “poor management of the process” and “low levels of superviT these issues: coaching. sory motivation.”2 Let’s begin with the first of S 9.1 COACHING Coaching is a collaborative, ongoing process in which the manager interacts with his or her employees and takes an active role and interest in their performance.3 In general, coaching involves directing, motivating, and rewarding employee behavior. Coaching is a day-to-day function that involves observing performance, complimenting good work, and helping to correct and improve any performance that does not Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 227 228 Part III • Employee Development meet expectations and standards. Coaching is also concerned with long-term performance and involves ensuring that the developmental plan is being achieved. Being a coach thus is similar to serving as a consultant and, for coaching to be successful, a coach must establish a helping relationship.4 Establishing this helping and trusting relationship is particularly important when the supervisor and subordinate do not share similar cultural backgrounds, as is often the case with expatriates or when implementing global performance management systems.5 In such situations, a helping and trusting relationship allows for what is labeled cultural transvergence in performance management, which means that cultural differences are discussed openly, and alternate practices, which enhance individual and team performance, are G implemented. Coaching is a pervasive organizational A activity and, since the mid-1990s, there has been an explosion of interest in coaching. Specifically, the first scholarly article on T coaching was published in 1955, and between then and December 2005, 393 articles 6 have been published on the topic. Increased E interest in recent years is evidenced by the fact that, of the total of 393 articles, 318 have been published since 1996. Although S many theories on coaching exist, there are four guiding principles that provide a good 7 , framework for understanding successful coaching: 1. A good coaching relationship is essential. For coaching to work, it is imperative that the relationship between the coach D and the employee be trusting and collaborative. As noted by Farr and Jacobs, the “collective trust” of all stakeholders in E the process is necessary.8 To achieve this type of relationship, first the coach must listen in order to understand.AIn other words, the coach needs to try to walk in the employee’s shoes and view the job and organization from his or her N perspective. Second, the coach needs to search for positive aspects of the D to a better understanding and acceptance employee because this is likely to lead of the employee. Third, the coach R needs to understand that coaching is not something done to the employee but done with the employee. Overall, the A and compassion. Such compassionate manager needs to coach with empathy coaching will help develop a good relationship with the employee. In addition, there is an important personal benefit for the coach. This type of compassionate coaching has the potential to serve 1 as an antidote to the chronic stress experienced by many managers.9 It has been 1 argued that this type of coaching can ameliorate stress because the experience of compassion elicits responses within 2 the human body that arouse the parasympathetic nervous system (PSNS), which can help mitigate stress. 3 2. The employee is the source and director of change. The coach must understand that T and self-growth. After all, the purpose of the employee is the source of change coaching is to change employee behavior and set a direction for what the S employee will do differently in the future.10 This type of change will not happen if the employee is not in the driver’s seat. Accordingly, the coach needs to facilitate the employee’s setting the agenda, goals, and direction. 3. The employee is whole and unique. The coach must understand that each employee is a unique individual with several job-related and job-unrelated identities (e.g., computer network specialist, father, skier) and a unique personal history. The coach must try to create a whole, complete, and rich picture of the Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills employee. It will be beneficial if the coach has knowledge of the employee’s life and can help the employee connect his life and work experiences in meaningful ways. 4. The coach is the facilitator of the employee’s growth. The coach’s main role is one of facilitation. A coach must direct the process and help with the content (e.g., of a developmental plan) but not take control of these issues. The coach needs to maintain an attitude of exploration; help expand the employee’s awareness of strengths, resources, and challenges; and facilitate goal setting. In more specific terms, coaching involves the following functions:11 G their performance. In other words, • Giving advice to help employees improve coaching involves not only describing what A needs to be done but also how things need to be done. Coaching is concerned with both results and behaviors. T • Providing employees with guidance so that employees can develop their skills and knowledge appropriately. Coaching involves providing information both about E the skills and knowledge that are required to do the work correctly and informaS tion about how the employee can acquire these skills and knowledge. • Providing employees support and being, there only when the manager is needed. Coaching involves being there when the employee needs help, but it also involves not monitoring and controlling an employee’s every move. In the end, coaching is D E BOX 9.1 A N Dickinson, and Company Taking Coaching Seriously at Becton, D viewed as competitive strengths at Becton, A coaching culture and leadership development are Dickinson, and Company (BD, R The U.S.-based company manufactures and sells medical supplies, devices, laboratory instruments, antibodies, reagents, and diagnostic products to Aindustry, and the public. The coaching culture health-care organizations, clinical laboratories, private at BD includes the following points, as noted by Joseph Toto, the company’s director of leadership development and learning: 1 1. We place high expectations on corporate leaders to model coaching as a productive and effective way to improve performance. 1 2. We expect leaders at all management levels to be coached as well as to coach the develop2 ment of others. 3. We establish coaching as a norm. Leaders must 3 view coaching and development as some of the key responsibilities and deliverables in their roles. T Part of the company’s training program includes developing skills through peer coaching and S support, and guidance. The training sessions building management skills through peer interaction, emphasize several skills, including listening, asking facilitating and open-ended questions, sharing experiences, and challenging assumptions or discussing actions that might not be productive in the view of the coach. Training also involves self-assessment of strengths and weaknesses and identifying behaviors that would assist leaders in any given circumstance in which they might find themselves as managers in the company. In summary, BD has utilized training programs to develop and reinforce a coaching culture. This culture is credited with developing leaders to provide direction to others in a constantly changing business environment.12 Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 229 230 Part III • Employee Development about facilitation. The responsibility for improving performance ultimately rests on the shoulders of the employee. • Giving employees confidence that will enable them to enhance their performance continuously and to increase their sense of responsibility for managing their own performance. Coaching involves giving positive feedback that allows employees to feel confident about what they do, but it also involves giving feedback on things that can be improved. • Helping employees gain greater competence by guiding them toward acquiring more knowledge and sharpening the skills that can prepare them for more complex tasks and higher-level positions. Coaching involves a consideration of both Gincluding how the employee can benefit short-term and long-term objectives, from acquiring new skills and knowledge A that could be useful in future positions and in novel tasks. T Based on this list of the various functions of coaching, it is evident that coaching E requires a lot of effort from the managers. For example, consider the case of NCCI S Raton, Florida, that manages the largest Holdings, Inc., a company based in Boca database of workers’ compensation insurance information in the United States , ( NCCI analyzes industry trends, prepares workers’ compensation insurance rate recommendations, assists in pricing proposed legislation, and provides a variety of data products to maintain a healthy workers’ compensation system and D reduce the frequency of employee injuries. At NCCI Holdings, supervisors undergo E how to listen and how to be empathic. extensive coaching training, including learning Managers also attend monthly roundtables A where they can learn from one other’s coaching experiences. At these roundtables, managers can solicit feedback from other 13 N managers regarding their own coaching performance. Coaching helps turn feedback into results. For this to happen, coaches need to D engage in the following: R • Establish development objectives. The manager works jointly with the employees in creating the developmental plan andA its objectives. • Communicate effectively. The manager maintains regular and clear communication with employees about their performance, including both behaviors and results. 1 • Motivate employees. Managers must reward positive performance. When positive 1 are motivated to repeat the same level of performance is rewarded, employees positive performance in the future. 2 • Document performance. Managers observe employee behaviors and results. Evidence must be gathered regarding3instances of good and poor performance. • Give feedback. Managers measure employee performance and progress toward T goals. They praise good performance and point out instances of substandard S performance. Managers also help employees avoid poor performance in the future. • Diagnose performance problems. Managers must listen to employees and gather information to determine whether performance deficiencies are the result of a lack of knowledge and skills, abilities, or motivation or whether they stem from situational factors beyond the control of the employee. Diagnosing performance problems is important because such a diagnosis dictates whether the course of action should be, for example, providing the employee with resources so that she can Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills acquire more knowledge and skills or addressing contextual issues that may be beyond the control of the employee (e.g., the employee is usually late in delivering the product because he receives the parts too late). • Develop employees. Managers provide financial support and resources for employee development (e.g., funding training, allowing time away from the job for developmental activities) by helping employees plan for the future and by giving challenging assignments that force employees to learn new things. Not all coaches perform all the coaching functions by engaging in all of the behaviors described here. Managers who do so, of course, are highly effective. In fact, some have become legendary leaders.G Consider Table 9.1, which summarizes the critical functions served by coaching and the behaviors coaches used to perform these functions. For example, take the caseA of Jack Welch who was extremely dedicated to developing his employees by engaging T in several of the coaching behaviors described here when he was CEO of General Electric (GE).14 To get involved with E his employees, Welch spoke during a class held at a three-week developmental S the course of his career, he attended course for GE’s high-potential managers. Over more than 750 of these classes, engaging over 15,000 GE managers and executives. , During these presentations, he expected to answer hard questions, and he communicated honestly and candidly with his employees. After the class, he invited all the participants to talk with him after the course. DIn addition to attending these sessions, he held meetings with his top 500 executives every January. Although Welch did not E engage in formal coaching, he used the opportunities to communicate his expectations and receive feedback from the variousAbusiness groups at GE. Welch also conducted formal performance reviews in which he engaged in N including establishing developmental several of the behaviors included in Table 9.1, objectives, motivating employees, documenting D performance, giving feedback, and diagnosing performance problems. He set performance targets and monitored them R heads of GE’s 12 businesses received throughout the year. Each year the operating individual two-page, handwritten notes about A their performance. Welch attached the previous year ’s comments to the new reviews with comments in the margin about the progress made by the individual managers toward his goal or the work that he still needed to do to reach the goal. 1 Then, he distributed bonuses and reiterated the goals for the upcoming year. This process cascaded throughout the TABLE 9.1 Coaching Major Functions Give advice Provide guidance Give support Give confidence Promote greater competence 1 2 3 T Key Behaviors S Establish developmental objectives Communicate effectively Motivate employees Document performance Give feedback Diagnose performance problems Develop employees Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 231 232 Part III • Employee Development organization, as other operating heads engaged in the same performance review discussions with their subordinates. Another example of Welch’s coaching behaviors occurred after he had heard customer complaints about a specific product. Welch charged the manager of the division with improving the productivity of that product fourfold. The manager sent Welch detailed weekly reports over the course of the next four years. Welch would send the reports back every three or four weeks with comments congratulating successes or pointing out areas in which the manager needed to improve. The manager stated that the fact that the CEO took the time to read his reports each week and send back comments motivated him to reach the lofty goal that Welch had set for him. In addition to this, Jack Welch tookG the time to recognize hourly workers and managers who impressed him. For example, Aafter one high-ranking leader turned down a promotion and transfer because he did not want his daughter to change schools, Welch T sent him a personal note stating that he admired the man for many reasons and that he appreciated his decision to put his family E first. The employee explained later that this incident proved that Welch cared about him both as a person and as an employee. S In short, Jack Welch was a legendary leader who developed his employees by , documenting and diagnosing performsetting expectations, communicating clearly, ance, motivating and rewarding his employees, and taking an interest in their personal development. In fact, he engaged in virtually all the behaviors and performed most DHow does Jack Welch compare to the CEO of the coaching functions listed in Table 9.1. of your current company or to a CEO youE have known or heard about? We can see that Welch was an extremely effective coach. In general, however, how do we know whether a manager is doing aA good job of coaching her employees? From a results point of view, we could simply measure N how many of a manager’s employees go on to become successful on their own. But, as in the case of evaluating performance D in evaluating coaching performance. in general, we should also consider behaviors Consider the good coach questionnaire included R in Table 9.2. If you are or have been in a management position, answer the questions about yourself; otherwise, think about A you know. To how many of these quesyour current or latest supervisor or someone tions can you answer “yes”? To how many would you answer “no”? Overall, given your responses, what is the evaluation of this person (yourself or someone else) as a 1 coach from a behavioral point of view? 1 2 TABLE 9.2 The Good Coach Questionnaire 3 1. Do you listen to your employees? 2. Do you understand the individual needs T of your employees? 3. Do you encourage employees to express their feelings openly? S and intangible 4. Do you provide your employees with tangible support for development? 5. Do your employees know your expectations about their performance? 6. Do you encourage open and honest discussions and problem solving? 7. Do you help your employees create action plans that will solve problems and create changes when needed? 8. Do you help your employees explore potential areas of growth and development? Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills 9.2 COACHING STYLES A manager’s personality and behavioral preferences are more likely to influence his or her coaching style. There are four main coaching styles: driver, persuader, amiable, and analyzer. First, coaches can adopt a driving style in which they tell the employee being coached what to do. Assume that the coach wants to provide guidance regarding how to deal with a customer. In this situation, the preference for a driver is to say to the employee, “You must talk to the customer in this way.” Such coaches are assertive, speak quickly and often firmly, usually talk about tasks and facts, are not very expressive, and expose a narrow range of personal feelings to others. Second, coaches can use a persuading style in which they try to sell G what they want the employee to do. Someone who is a persuader would try to explain to the employee why it is beneficial for A the organization as well as for the employee himself to talk to a customer in a specific way. Like drivers, persuaders are assertive, but T they tend to use expansive body gestures, talk more about people and relationships, and expose others to a broad range of E personal feelings. Third, other coaches may adopt an amiable style and want everyone to S subjective than objective and direct be happy. Such coaches are likely to be more employees to talk to customers in a certain way , because it “feels” like the right thing to do or because the employee feels it is the right way to do it. Such coaches tend not to be very assertive and to speak deliberately and pause often, seldom interrupt others, and make many conditional statements. Finally, coaches may have a preference for analyzD ing performance in a logical and systematic way and then follow rules and procedures when providing a recommendation. To use E the same example, such analyzer coaches may tell employees to talk to a customer inA a specific way “because this is what the manual says.” Analyzers, then, are not very assertive but, like drivers, are likely to talk N about tasks and facts rather than personal feelings. Which of these four styles is best? AreD drivers, persuaders, amiable coaches, or analyzers most effective? The answer is that no style is necessarily superior to the others. R Good coaching should be seen as a learning opportunity and as an opportunity to set clear goals and delegate action. Coaching involves A sometimes providing direction, sometimes persuading employees how to do things a certain way, sometimes showing empathy and creating positive effects, and sometimes paying close attention to established rules and 1 exclusive emphasis on one of these four procedures. One thing is for sure, however: an styles is not likely to help employees develop1and grow. Ineffective coaches stick to one style only and cannot adapt to use any of the other styles. On the other hand, adaptive 2 to an employee’s needs are most effeccoaches who are able to adjust their style according tive. In fact, 56% of participants in a survey3of employees who had a coach at work reported that coaching was not helping them because there was a mismatch between coaching style and employee need.15 In sum, aT combination of styles is needed. S 9.3 COACHING PROCESS The coaching process is shown in Figure 9.1. We have already discussed many of the components of this process in previous chapters. The first step involves setting developmental goals. As discussed in Chapter 8, these developmental goals are a key component of the developmental plan. These goals must be reasonable, attainable, and derived from a careful analysis of the areas in which an employee needs to Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 233 234 Part III • Employee Development Set Developmental Goals Identify Developmental Resources and Strategies Implement Strategies G A T E S , D E A N D R A Observe and Document Developmental Behavior Give Feedback FIGURE 9.1 Coaching Process 1 1 into account both short- and long-term improve. In addition, goals should take career objectives. 2 The second step in the coaching process is to identify resources and strategies that 3 will help the employee achieve the developmental goals. As discussed in Chapter 8, these can include on-the-job training, attending courses, self-guided reading, mentoring, T attending a conference, getting a degree, job rotation, a temporary assignment, and S membership or a leadership role in a professional or trade organization. The third step involves implementing the strategies that will allow the employee to achieve the developmental goals. For example, the employee may begin her job rotation plan or take a course online. The next step in the process is to collect and evaluate data to assess the extent to which each of the developmental goals has been achieved. Finally, the coach provides feedback to the employee, and, based on the extent to which each of the goals has been achieved, the developmental goals are revised, and the entire process begins again. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills BOX 9.2 Training Coaches at Hallmark Hallmark ( sought to improve management communications with employees and initiated a training program that has been well received and viewed as a strategic benefit to the company. U.S.-based Hallmark is a retailer and wholesaler of greeting cards, stationery, flowers, and gifts with operations in the United States and Great Britain. The company initiated training to help managers become more effective in communications, enhancing their ability to provide leadership and coaching to employees. The training program sought to provide skill development in increasing two-way communication, with a greater frequency of communication and increased interG action of managers with employees. Training sessions included self-assessment, small group role-playA of the role of communication. Engagement ing, and viewing video clips to enhance understanding training focused on gaining the trust of employees asT well as their involvement and ownership in business outcomes. Follow-up resources were also made available for managers to continue to improve their leadership competency. Following the training inEthis area, managers gave positive feedback, and employee surveys have shown that employee engagement has increased at all levels of the organizaS tion. In summary, Hallmark provides an example of a company that made a commitment to leadership and coaching through training managers and focusing , on communication skills that has translated into a more engaged workforce and enhanced strategic business results.16 D Chapter 8 included a discussion of developmental goals and developmental resources and strategies. Let’s discuss the two remaining components of the coaching model: observE ing and documenting developmental behavior data and giving feedback. A 9.3.1 Observation and DocumentationN of Developmental Behavior and Outcomes D Chapter 6 addressed the fact that people may make intentional and unintentional errors R Managers may make similar errors in while observing and evaluating performance. observing and evaluating behaviors relatedA to developmental goals. For example, a manager might make a halo error by assuming that if an employee does a good job at working toward one developmental goal (e.g., improving her typing skills), she is also doing a good job at working toward a different 1 developmental goal (e.g., improving customer service). As is the case for performance in general, it is important to observe and 1 document behaviors specifically related to developmental activities. Documentation can include memos, letters, e-mail messages, handwritten notes, comments, observations, 2 descriptions, and evaluations provided by colleagues.17 The discussion presented in this 3 section complements information given in previous chapters because, although it is T specifically related to behaviors regarding developmental activities, it can be easily generalized to behaviors related to performance in general. In other words, the following S discussion applies to the observation of all performance behaviors, not just those displayed while working toward achieving developmental goals. Observing an employee’s progress in achieving developmental goals is not as easy as it may seem. Consider the following constraints that managers might experience in attempting to observe an employee’s performance regarding developmental activities: • Time constraints. Managers may be too busy to gather and document information about an employee’s progress toward his developmental goals. Consequently, too Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 235 236 Part III • Employee Development much time may elapse between the assignment of the activity and the manager’s checking on the employee’s progress. • Situational constraints. Managers are often unable to observe employees as they engage in developmental activities and therefore may not have firsthand knowledge about their performance. For example, managers do not observe the extent to which an employee enrolled in an online course is an active participant and contributor or is a passive learner. • Activity constraints. When the developmental activity is highly unstructured, such as an employee’s reading a book, the manager may have to wait until the activity is completed to assess whether the activity has been beneficial. G How can we address these constraints and make sure that a manager will be able to A observe and evaluate an employee’s performance regarding developmental activities? The recommendations provided in Chapter 7 regarding the observation and evaluation T of performance in general apply here as well. Specifically, a good communication plan E should explain the benefits of implementing a developmental plan effectively. This helps S be trained so that they minimize errors managers accept the plan. Also, managers should (i.e., rater error training), share notions of what it means to complete developmental , activities successfully (i.e., frame-of-reference training), observe performance accurately (i.e., behavioral observation training), and are confident and comfortable in managing employees’ developmental activities (i.e., D self-leadership training). Finally, we need to understand the forces that motivate managers to invest time and effort or not in the development of their employees. In otherEwords, what does the manager gain if her employee’s developmental activities are supervised appropriately? A The importance of documenting an employee’s progress toward the achievement of N Similarly, it is critical to document emdevelopmental goals cannot be overemphasized. ployee performance in general. Why is this so D important? Consider the following reasons: • Minimize cognitive load. Observing and R evaluating developmental activities, and performance in general, is a complex cognitive task. Thus, documentation helps A prevent memory-related errors. • Create trust. When documentation exists to support evaluations, there is no mystery regarding the outcomes. This, in turn, promotes trust and acceptance of decisions 1 based on the evaluation provided. 1 • Plan for the future. Documenting developmental activities and their outcomes enables discussion about specific facts instead of assumptions and hearsay. A care2 ful examination of these facts permits better planning of developmental activities 3 for the future. • Provide legal protection. Specific lawsTprohibit discrimination against members of various classes (e.g., sex or religion) in how developmental activities are allocated. Smale employees with better developmental For example, it is prohibited to provide opportunities than female employees. In addition, some court rulings have determined that employees working under contract may challenge a dismissal. Thus, keeping accurate records of what developmental activities employees have completed and with what degree of success as well as performance in general provides a good line of defense in case of litigation based on discrimination or wrongful termination. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills The importance of keeping thorough performance documentation and taking actions consistent with this documentation is illustrated by the outcome of several cases. In one such case, John E. Cleverly, an employee at Western Electric Co., was discharged after 14 years of good service.18 Western Electric was found guilty of age discrimination, and Cleverly was awarded back pay because the documentation indicated that Cleverly had been given adequate performance ratings and increases to his salary over a course of 14 years. Upon his discharge, six months before his pension vested, Cleverly was informed that one reason for his discharge was to make room for younger employees. As illustrated by this case, documentation of performance should be taken seriously. In this case, the documentation available indicated the employee had a valid claim. In other G cases, documentation could be used to discount charges of discrimination. If Cleverly A had alleged age discrimination, but the company could show that his performance was deteriorating over time, then the T company would have won the case. What can managers do to document E performance regarding developmental activities and performance in general in a useful and constructive way? Consider the S following recommendations:19 , • Be specific. Document specific events and outcomes. Avoid making general statements such as “He’s lazy.” Provide specific examples to illustrate your point, for example, “He turns in memos D after deadlines at least once a month.” • Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly. The use of evaluative adjectives (e.g., good, E may lead to ambiguous interpretations. poor) and adverbs (e.g., speedily, sometimes) In addition, it may not be clear whether the A level of achievement has been average or outstanding. N instances of both good and poor • Balance positives with negatives. Document performance. Do not focus only on the positives or only on the negatives. D • Focus on job-related information. Focus on information that is job related and specifically related to the developmentalRactivities and goals at hand. • Be comprehensive. Include informationAon performance regarding all developmental goals and activities, and cover the entire review period as opposed to a shorter time period. Also, document the performance of all employees, not just those who are not achieving their developmental goals. 1 • Standardize procedures. Use the same method and format to document information 1 for all employees. 2 notes in behavioral terms and avoid • Describe observable behavior. Phrase your statements that would imply subjective3judgment or prejudice. Obviously, not all managers do a goodTjob of documenting performance about the accomplishment of developmental goals or performance in general. Table 9.3 S includes a summarized list of recommendations to follow in the documentation process. Now, consider the recommendations listed in Table 9.3 in evaluating the set of quotes appearing in Table 9.4 reportedly taken from actual employee performance evaluations in a large corporation in the United States.20 We can be sure that the employees at the receiving end of these quotes would not be very happy with them. It also goes without saying that this type of documentation Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 237 238 Part III • Employee Development TABLE 9.3 Documentation of Performance and Performance in Developmental Activities: Some Recommendations Be specific. Use adjectives and adverbs sparingly. Balance positives with negatives. Focus on job-related information. Be comprehensive. Standardize procedures. Describe observable behavior. G A T would be extremely detrimental to the performance management system. In fact, this organization would have serious problemsEbeyond the scope of its performance evaluation system. Now, let’s turn to the final importantScomponent of the coaching process: giving feedback. , D E Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom . . . and has started to dig. A I would not allow this employee to breed. This employee is really not so much of a has-been, N but more of a definitely won’t be. Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap. D He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle. R fails to achieve them. He sets low personal standards and then consistently This employee is depriving a village somewhereA of an idiot. TABLE 9.4 Individual Quotes Taken from Actual Employee Performance Evaluations This employee should go far, . . . and the sooner he starts, the better. He’s been working with glue too much. 1 He would argue with a signpost. He has a knack for making strangers immediately 1 detest him. He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room. 2 If you see two people talking and one looks bored . . . he’s the other one. 3 using it. Donated his brain to science before he was done Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but theT train isn’t coming. If he were any more stupid, he’d have to be watered twice a week. S If you gave him a penny for his thoughts, you’d get change. If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean. One neuron short of a synapse. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge . . . he only gargled. Takes him 2 hours to watch 60 Minutes. The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills 9.3.2 Giving Feedback Giving feedback to an employee regarding her progress toward achieving her goals is a key component of the coaching process.21 Feedback is information about past behavior that is given with the goal of improving future performance. Although “back” is part of feedback, giving feedback has both a past and a future component. This is why, when done properly, feedback can be relabeled feed forward.22 Feedback includes information about both positive and negative aspects of job performance and lets employees know how well they are doing with respect to meeting the established standards.23 For example, the so-called 2+2 performance appraisal model for teachers includes peer teachers who Gobserve each other perform in the classroom and then offer two compliments and two suggestions for improvement.24 A Feedback is important in the context of performance regarding development activities and goals. Our discussion of feedback, however, goes beyond that and includes feedT back about performance in general. Feedback is not a magic bullet for performance E improvement;25 however, it serves several important purposes: S • Helps build confidence. Praising good performance builds employee confidence regarding future performance. It also ,lets employees know that their manager cares about them. • Develops competence. Communicating clearly about what has been done right and D information that helps employees how to do the work correctly is valuable become more competent and improve their E performance. In addition, communicating clearly about what has not been done right and explaining what to do next time provide useful information so thatA past mistakes are not repeated. • Enhances involvement. Receiving feedback N and discussing performance issues allow employees to understand their roles in the unit and organization as a D whole. This, in turn, helps employees become more involved in the unit and the organization. R Unfortunately, however, the mere presence A of feedback, even if it is delivered correctly, does not necessarily mean that all of these purposes will be fulfilled. For example, a review of 131 studies that examined the effects of feedback on performance concluded that 38% of the feedback programs 1 reviewed had a negative effect on performance.26 In other words, in many cases, the implementation of feedback led to 1 lower performance levels. This can happen when, for example, feedback does not 2 in the right way. For example, feedback include useful information or is not delivered can have detrimental effects if it focuses on3the employee as a whole as opposed to specific behaviors at work. This is precisely the case of a very successful woman who T made many personal sacrifices such as not starting a family to reach the top echelons of the organizational hierarchy.27 She received feedback that included information that S she had failed to retain a valued client. The feedback was accurate and delivered in the correct manner; however, after receiving the feedback, she began to question her life choices in general instead of focusing on how to retain valued clients in the future. In this example, feedback was not instrumental in improving performance; instead, the feedback created self-doubt and questions about identity. Although some feedback systems do not work well, the advantages of providing feedback generally outweigh any disadvantages. Also, consider the possible cost of not Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 239 240 Part III • Employee Development providing feedback. First, organizations would be depriving employees of a chance to improve their performance. Second, organizations might be stuck with chronic poor performance because employees did not recognize any performance problems and felt justified in continuing to perform at substandard levels. Finally, employees might develop inaccurate perceptions of how their performance is regarded by others. Given that, overall, feedback systems are beneficial, what can we do to make the most of them? Consider the following suggestions to enhance feedback:28 • Timeliness. Feedback should be delivered as close to the performance event as possible. For feedback to be most meaningful, it must be given immediately after the event. G on an ongoing basis, daily if possible. If • Frequency. Feedback should be provided performance improvement is an ongoing A activity, then feedback about performance should also be provided on an ongoing basis. T specific work behaviors, results, and the • Specificity. Feedback should include 29 situation in which these behaviors and E results were observed. Feedback is not about the employee and how the employee “is,” but about behaviors and results S and results occurred. and situations in which these behaviors • Verifiability. Feedback should include , information that is verifiable and accurate. It should not be based on inferences or rumors. Using information that is verifiable leads to more accurate feedback and subsequent acceptance. • Consistency. Feedback should be consistent. In other words, information about D specific aspects of performance should not vary unpredictably between overE whelming praise and harsh criticism. • Privacy. Feedback should be givenAin a place and at a time that prevent any potential embarrassment. This applies to both criticism and praise, because N some employees, owing to personality or cultural background, may not wish to D be rewarded in public. • Consequences. Feedback should include R contextual information that allows the employee to understand the importance and consequences of the behaviors and Aemployee became frustrated and behaved results in question. For example, if an inappropriately with an angry customer and the customer’s complaint was not addressed satisfactorily, feedback should explain the impact of these behaviors 1 results for the organization (e.g., the (e.g., behaving inappropriately) and customer’s problem was not resolved, 1 the customer was upset, the customer was not likely to give repeat business to the organization). • Description first, evaluation second. 2Feedback should first focus on describing behaviors and results rather than 3 on evaluating and judging behaviors and results. It is better first to report what has been observed and, once there is agreeT what has been observed. If evaluation ment about what happened, to evaluate takes place first, employees may become S defensive and reject the feedback. • Performance continuum. Feedback should describe performance as a continuum, going from less to more in the case of good performance and from more to less in the case of poor performance. In other words, feedback should include information on how to display good performance behaviors more often and poor performance behaviors less often. Thus, performance is a matter of degree, and even the worst performer is likely to show nuggets of good performance that can be described as a starting point for a discussion on how to improve performance. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills • Pattern identification. Feedback is most useful if it is about a pattern of poor performance rather than isolated events or mistakes. Identifying a pattern of poor performance also allows for a better understanding of the causes leading to poor performance. • Confidence in the employee. Good feedback includes a statement that the manager has confidence that the employee will be able to improve her performance. It is important for the employee to hear this from the manager. This reinforces the idea that feedback is about performance and not the performer. Note, however, that this should be done only if the manager indeed believes the employee can improve her performance. In the case of a chronic poor performance, this type of Glater if the employee is fired. information could be used out of context • Advice and idea generation. Feedback can A include advice given by the supervisor about how to improve performance. In addition, however, the employee should play T an active role in generating ideas about how to improve performance in the future. E Many of the above-mentioned recommendations are particularly useful when feedback is given to employees who score low on aSpersonality trait labeled core self-evaluation, which is a combination of four traits: self-esteem , (i.e., the degree to which an individual holds a favorable attitude toward himself), self-efficacy (i.e., the degree to which an individual believes he is capable of taking action and taking control over events), emotional stability (i.e., the degree to which an individual isD not insecure, guilty, or timid), and locus of control (i.e., the degree to which an individual believes he can control events and outcomes E in his live). Individuals with low core self-evaluations feel they are less able to deal with the world and, consequently, are overall less satisfied A with their jobs and lives. Thus, supervisors need to be aware that feedback is likely to be received by individuals with low versus N high core self-evaluations.30 For example, low core self-evaluation employees may feel hurt and helpless after receiving negative feedback.DThus, the recommendations about “confidence in the employee” are particularly relevant. R Similarly, the recommendations about “advice and idea generation” are also particularly helpful so that there is a clear course of action—rather than feelings of helplessness andAlack of direction. Consider the following vignette in which Andrea, a supervisor, has observed a specific performance event and provides feedback to her subordinate. Andrea is the 1 manager of a small retail store with approximately five employees. With a small staff, Andrea looks for coaching opportunities on1a weekly basis. Andrea is working with Matt today, and she has just witnessed him complete a customer sale. Matt did not 2 included at each sale and, because the follow several steps, however, that should be store is now empty, Andrea decides it is a perfect 3 opportunity for a coaching session. ANDREA: MATT: ANDREA: MATT: ANDREA: Hey, Matt, that was great the wayTthat you just assisted that customer in finding her correct size in the jeans. S Thanks for taking the extra time to help her. Thanks, Andrea, not a problem. I would like to go over the sales transaction with you. Sure. After you helped the woman find her jeans, you promptly brought her over and rang her up. That was a good sale because those jeans were a full-priced Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 241 242 Part III • Employee Development MATT: ANDREA MATT: ANDREA: item; however, you didn’t complete all of the tasks associated with closing a sale. In the training last week, we discussed the importance of adding on additional sales, entering the customer’s personal contact information in our computer, and letting them know about upcoming sales. Yes, I just remembered us talking about that. When customers seem in a hurry, I feel bad about asking them additional questions. That’s a very valid concern. Can we think of ways to increase the efficiency of adding these few steps into the sales transaction process so that you feel comfortable performing them in the future? I would like to help you do that because increasing the numberG of items you sell during each transaction could help you win the upcoming sales contests. A That would be great. I would really like some new ideas about talking to T customers. No problem; I know that you are E a very capable salesperson. You have great customer service skills, and I think that you can improve your sales S and possibly win one of the upcoming contests. , Andrea and Matt then generate ideas about how to improve Matt’s performance. In this vignette, Andrea demonstrated several of the feedback behaviors listed in D and results, the information was verifiTable 9.5. She was specific about the behaviors able, and it was timely because the behavior Ehad just occurred. In addition, since Andrea communicates her expectations on a weekly basis, the information she provides is A first and then evaluated its effectiveness; consistent. Finally, she described the behavior she communicated confidence in Matt, andN she offered to help him generate ideas about how to improve his effectiveness. On the other hand, Andrea left out several important things while coaching Matt. First, she didDnot communicate the consequences of his behavior (e.g., his failure to follow the procedures could hurt sales for the entire store). R Although the vignette does not describe the idea generation portion of the feedback A session, Andrea did not describe small behaviors that Matt could use to improve his 1 Feedback Should Be TABLE 9.5 Most Effective 1 Timely Frequent 2 Specific 3 Verifiable T Consistent Private S Consequential Descriptive first and evaluative second Related to a performance continuum Based on identifiable patterns of performance A confidence builder for employees A tool for generating advice and ideas Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills performance. Finally, Andrea did not communicate to Matt whether this behavior was a one-time incident or whether it was a pattern that was affecting his overall work performance. Overall, if Andrea continues to look for coaching opportunities with her employees, her relationship with her employees and their performance in the store will continue to improve. To be more effective, however, she may need to work on communicating the patterns of behavior that lead to poor performance and the consequences of continued poor performance. Good feedback includes information about both good and poor G more comfortable giving feedback on performance. Although most people are a lot good performance than they are on poor A performance, some guidelines must be followed when giving praise so that the feedback is useful in terms of future performance. First, praise should be sincereTand given only when it is deserved. If praise is given repeatedly and when it is notEdeserved, employees are not able to see when a change in direction may be needed.31 Second, praise should be about specific S so that employees know what they behaviors or results and be given within context need to repeat in the future. For example, a,manager can say the following:32 “John, thanks for providing such excellent service to our client. Your efforts helped us renew our contract with them for another two years. It’s these types of behaviors and results that our group needs to achieve our goal for Dthis year. And, this is exactly what our company is all about: providing outstanding customer service.” Third, in giving praise, E managers should take their time and act pleased, rather than rush through the information looking embarrassed. Finally, A avoid giving praise by referring to the absence of the negative, for example, “not bad” or “better than last time.” Instead, N praise should emphasize the positives and be phrased, for example, as “I like the way 33 you did that” or “I admire how you did that.”D Consider the following vignette which Rillustrates how a manager might give praise to his employee. A After the successful completion of a three-month project at a large telecommunications company, Ken, the manager, wants to congratulate Mike on a job well done. Ken calls Mike into his office one day after the project is completed. PRAISE 1 KEN: MIKE: KEN: Thanks for stopping by Mike, and thank you for all of your hard work 1 over the past three months. I know that I might not have congratulated 2 along the way, but I wanted to take you on every milestone you reached the time to congratulate you now.3Your organizational skills and ability to interact successfully with multiple departments led to the successful completion of the project on timeT and within budget. Thanks, Ken. I have really been putting S extra effort into completing this project on time. It shows, Mike, and I appreciate all of your hard work and dedication to this team and our department. Thanks again and congratulations on a great end to a long three months. In this vignette, Ken delivered praise to Mike successfully and followed the recommendations provided earlier. He was sincere and made sure not to praise Mike Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 243 244 Part III • Employee Development too often so that when he did praise him, it was meaningful. He described how Mike’s organizational and project management skills led to the successful completion of the project. Finally, Ken took his time in delivering the praise and made sure that Mike took the praise seriously. NEGATIVE FEEDBACK Negative feedback includes information that performance has fallen short of accepted standards. The goal of providing negative feedback is to help employees improve their performance in the future; it is not to punish, embarrass, or chastise them. It is important to give negative feedback when it is warranted because the consequences of not doing so can be detrimental for the G Dalton, president of Dalton Alliances, organization as a whole. For example, Francie Inc., noted, “In organizations where management imposes no consequences for poor A performance, high achievers will leave because they don’t want to be where mediocrity is tolerated. But mediocre performers willT remain because they know they’re safe. The entire organizational culture, along withEits reputation in the marketplace, can be affected by poor performers.”34 In spite of the need to address poor S performance, managers are usually not very comfortable providing negative feedback. Why , is this so? Consider the following reasons: • Negative reactions and consequences. Managers may fear that employees will react negatively. Negative reactions can include being defensive and even becoming angry at the information received. InD addition, managers may fear that the working relationship, or even friendship, E with their subordinates may be affected adversely and that giving negative feedback can introduce elements of mistrust A and annoyance. N themselves may have received negative • Negative experiences in the past. Managers feedback at some point in their careers and have experienced firsthand how feelings D can be hurt. Receiving negative feedback can be painful and upsetting, and R managers may not want to put their subordinates in such a situation. • Playing “god.” Managers may be reluctant to play the role of an all-knowing, A judgmental god. They may feel that giving negative feedback puts them in that position. • Need for irrefutable and conclusive evidence. Managers may not want to provide 1 negative feedback until after they have been able to gather irrefutable and conclusive 1 Because this task may be perceived as too evidence about a performance problem. onerous, managers may choose to skip2giving negative feedback altogether. What happens when managers avoid 3 giving negative feedback and employees avoid seeking it? A feedback gap results, in which managers and employees mutually T which creates a vacuum of meaningful instigate and reinforce lack of communication 35 exchanges about poor performance. A typical S consequence of a feedback gap is that, in the absence of information to the contrary, the manager gives the employee the message that performance is adequate. When performance problems exist, they are likely to become more intense over time. For example, clients may be so dissatisfied with the service they are receiving that they may eventually choose to close their accounts and work instead with the competition. At that time, it becomes impossible for the manager to overlook the performance problem, and she has no choice but to deliver Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills the negative feedback. At this stage of the process, however, feedback is delivered too late and often in a punitive fashion. Of course, feedback delivered so late in the process and in a punitive fashion is not likely to be helpful. Alternatively, negative feedback is most useful when early coaching has been instrumental in identifying warning signs and the performance problem is still manageable. Negative feedback is also useful when it clarifies unwanted behaviors and consequences and focuses on behaviors that can be changed. There is no point in providing feedback on issues that are beyond the employee’s control because there is not much she can do to improve the situation. In addition, employees are more likely to respond constructively to negative feedback when the manager is perceived as being trustworthy and making a genuine attempt toGimprove the employee’s performance. In other words, the manager needs to be perceived A as credible and as instrumental in improving the employee’s performance in the future.36 Finally, negative feedback is T most likely to be accepted when it is given by a source who uses straight talk and not subtle pressure and when it is supported by hard E data. The supervisor must control her emotions and stay calm. If managers follow these suggestions, it is more likely that S employees will benefit from negative feedback, even if employees are not particularly , open to receiving it.37 Following these suggestions leads to what has been labeled “actionable feedback,” meaning that such feedback will allow employees to respond in constructive ways and will lead to learning and performance improvement.38 D session includes praise or a discussion Overall, regardless of whether the feedback of needed areas of improvement, it should E provide answers to the following questions:39,40 A 1. How is your job going? Do you have what you need to do your job? 2. Are you adequately trained? Do you haveN the skills and tools you need to do your job? 3. What can be done to improve your and D your unit’s/organization’s job/products/ services? 4. How can you better serve your internal R and external customers? A 9.3.3 Disciplinary Process and Termination 1 to the feedback provided and may not In some cases, an employee may not respond make any improvements in terms of performance. In such cases, there is one interme1 diate step that can be taken before the employee enters a formal disciplinary process 2 which involves a verbal warning, a written warning, and may lead to termination. The employee can be given a once-in-a-career decision-making leave.41 This is a “day of 3 contemplation” that is paid and allows the employee to stay home and decide whether working in this organization is what he or sheTreally wants to do. This practice is based on adult learning theory, which holds individuals S responsible for their actions. Unlike a formal disciplinary action, the decision-making leave does not affect employee pay. As noted by Tim Field, principal of a consulting firm in Los Angeles, California, “This element of holding people accountable without negatively impacting their personnel file or payroll tends to catch people off guard, because problem employees, like problem children, are often expecting negative attention for their bad behavior.” How can the decision to grant an employee a decision-making leave be communicated? Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 245 246 Part III • Employee Development Assuming this is a company policy and there is senior management support, you can communicate the leave as follows:42 Lucy, as you know, you and I have met on several occasions to talk about your performance. In spite of these feedback sessions, I see that you are still having some difficulties with important tasks and projects. Consistent with my observations, I have received comments from some of your peers related to some performance deficiencies they have also noticed. I think that issuing a written warning would be counterproductive—I am concerned that it may decrease your motivation and do more harm than good. Instead, what I am going to do is to put you on what we call a “decision-making leave” for a day. This is a type of G intervention that has worked very well with other individuals in your same A position in the past. I want you to know that this is a once-in-a-career benefit that T I decided to do this because I truly you should use to your advantage and believe that you are capable of improving your performance. It works like this. E I am going to ask you to not come to the office tomorrow but you will be paid for S your paycheck being affected. While that day, so you don’t have to worry about you are away from the office tomorrow, , I want you to give serious thought about whether you really want to work in this company. You and I will meet when you return to the office the day after tomorrow and I will ask you to tell me whether you’d rather resign and look D for work elsewhere. I will understand and will be fully supportive if that is your decision. On the other hand, if when E your job here, then I will give you an we meet you tell me you want to keep additional assignment on which I want Ayou to work while you are away from the office tomorrow. Recall that you are being paid for the day, so here is what N letter addressed to me convincing I want you to do. Please prepare a one-page me that you assume full and total responsibility for the performance issues we D discussed during our feedback sessions. You will have to provide clear and R specific arguments as well as describe a specific set of actions you will take to convince me that you will address theA problems. I will keep the letter in a safe place but I am not planning on including it in your personnel file for now. To be clear, however, this letter is a personal commitment from you to me and our 1 terms of your letter, you will essentially agreement is that if you don’t stick to the fire yourself. This is a very important moment for you and for me, and it could 1 be a turning point in your career development. Now that I have explained the 2 or comments you may have about process, I would like to hear any questions this “decision-making leave day” that you 3 will be taking tomorrow. Using a decision-making leave as partTof the performance management system can be a powerful tool to give problem employees an opportunity to improve their S to the desired outcomes, and the employee performance. However, this tool may not lead may have to enter into a disciplinary process. Note that a demotion or transfer may be a more appropriate action when there is evidence that the employee is actually trying to overcome the performance deficiencies but is not able to do so. However, termination is the appropriate action when performance does not improve and the employee continues to make the same mistakes or fails to meet standards. Also, termination is the appropriate course of action when an employee engages in serious violations of policies, laws, or regulations such as theft, fraud, falsifying documents, and related serious offences. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills The disciplinary process should not come as a surprise to the employee or supervisor if there is a good performance management system in place because there are plenty of opportunities for the employee to overcome performance problems and for the supervisor to offer support and feedback so that willing and able employees will be able to do so. However, when a disciplinary process seems to be the only recourse, it is important to follow a set of steps so as not to fall into legal problems. Also, all employees, even those who are terminated, deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Nevertheless, even if there is a top-notch performance management system in place, there are several pitfalls that must be avoided and specific actions supervisors can take to do so, which are the following:43 G 1. Pitfall 1: Acceptance of poor performance. Many supervisors may just want to Aproblem will go away. Unfortunately, in ignore poor performance hoping that the most cases, the performance problems escalate and become worse over time. T Suggested course of action: Do not ignore the problem. Addressing it as soon as E possible can not only avoid negative consequences for the employee in question, coworkers, and customers but also help S put the employee back in track in terms of his career objectives. , The poor performing employee may 2. Pitfall 2: Failure to get the message through. argue that she did not know the problem was serious or that it existed at all. Suggested course of action: In the decision-making leave described earlier, make D sure to be very specific about the performance problem and the consequences of not addressing it effectively. Make sureEyou document the action plan and that you have secured the employee’s agreement regarding the plan. A 3. Pitfall 3: Performance standards are “unrealistic” or “unfair.” The employee may argue that performance standards and expectations are unrealistic or unfair. N Suggested course of action: Remind the employee that his performance standards D are similar to others holding the same position. Also, remind the employee that perR over time with the participation of the formance standards have been developed employee in question, and share with him documentation regarding past review A meetings, including past appraisal forms with the employee signature on them. 4. Pitfall 4: Negative affective reactions. The employee may respond emotionally ranging from tears to shouts and even threats 1 of violence. This, in turn, may create an emotional response on the part of the supervisor. 1 Suggested course of action: Do not let emotional reactions derail you from your mission, which is to describe the nature of the problem, what needs to be done, 2 and consequences of not doing so. If the employee is crying, do offer compassion, 3 and give him some space to compose himself. You can give the employee some time and resume the meeting a few minutes later or a rescheduling of the meeting T at a later time may be a good alternative. If the employee reaction involves a threat S immediately. If such threats do take or suggest possible violence, call security place, report them to the human resources (HR) department. 5. Pitfall 5: Failure to consult HR. There are hundreds of wrongful termination cases that have cost millions of dollars to organizations that have not followed the appropriate termination procedures. Suggested course of action: If you are planning on implementing a disciplinary or termination process, consult with your HR department regarding legal requirements. For the most part, if you have a good performance management Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 247 248 Part III • Employee Development system in place, you have all necessary steps in place. However, consulting with HR is a good idea to ensure you are following all appropriate steps. Avoiding the above pitfalls will minimize the possibility of problems during the formal disciplinary process. If the goals are not reached, there will be a need for a termination meeting. This meeting is of course extremely unpleasant for all involved, to say the least. However, it is the right and fair thing to do at this stage. Suggestions for the termination meeting are as follows:44 1. Be respectful. It is important to treat the terminated employee with respect and dignity. Keep the information aboutG the termination confidential, although it is likely others will learn about it in subsequent days. 2. Get right to the point. At this stage, A the less said, the better. Summarize the performance problems, actions taken toTtry to overcome these problems, outcomes of these actions, and the decision about termination that you have reached. E 3. Wish the employee well. The purpose of the meeting is not to rehash every single S go and every single instance of poor reason why you are letting the employee performance. Instead, use the meeting to wish the person well in her next job and , endeavors, and tell her that she will be missed. 4. Send the employee to HR. Let the employee know that he needs to go to HR to receive information on benefits, including D vacation pay, and to receive information on legal rights. If you are working in a small business, seek outside legal counsel regarding the information toE give to the terminated employee. 5. Have the employee leave immediately. Keeping the terminated employee on-site can A lead to gossip and conflict, and disgruntled employees may engage in sabotage. 6. Have the termination meeting at the end N of the day. It is better to conduct the termination meeting at the end of the day so D that the employee can leave the office as everyone else when there are fewer people around. R The aforementioned information regarding the disciplinary process and terminaA tion may be used as a follow-up to a formal performance review meeting held because of a lack of remedial action on the part of the employee. So, let’s discuss performance review meetings next, which may or may not lead to 1 the disciplinary process and termination we just discussed. 1 2 9.4 PERFORMANCE REVIEW MEETINGS 3 Supervisors who manage employee performance often feel uncomfortable in this role because managing performance requires that T they judge and coach at the same time.45 In other words, supervisors serve as judges by evaluating performance and allocating S rewards. In addition, supervisors serve as coaches by helping employees solve performance problems, identify performance weaknesses, and design developmental plans that will be instrumental in future career development. In addition, supervisors feel uncomfortable because they feel they need to convey bad news and employees may react negatively. In other words, there is a concern that managing performance unavoidably leads to negative surprises. Not surprisingly, employees are usually not satisfied with their performance reviews. For example, a survey of Australian employees conducted by the Gallup organization Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills found that less than 20% of employees reported that their performance reviews helped them improve their performance. Overall, the majority of respondents reported being dissatisfied with the level of feedback and frequency of performance reviews from managers.46 Because supervisors play these paradoxical roles, it is usually helpful to separate the various meetings related to performance. Separating the meetings also minimizes the possibility of negative surprises.47 Moreover, when meetings are separated, it is easier to separate the discussion of rewards from the discussion about future career development. This allows employees to give their full attention to each issue, one at a time. Chapter 6 noted that performance management systems can involve as many as six formal meetings. Each of these sessions should be seen as a work meeting with specific G goal, including the following: A • System inauguration. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss how the performance T management system works, which requirements and responsibilities rest primarily on the employee, and which rest primarily on the supervisor. E • Self-appraisal. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the self-appraisal S prepared by the employee. • Classical performance review. The purpose , of this meeting is to discuss employee performance, including the perspectives of both the supervisor and the employee. • Merit/salary review. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss what, if any, compensation changes will result fromD the employee’s performance during this period. E meeting is to discuss the employee’s • Developmental plan. The purpose of this developmental needs and what steps will A be taken so that performance will be improved during the following period. N • Objective setting. The purpose of this meeting is to set performance goals that are both behavior and results oriented for the D following review period. R Although six types of meetings are possible, not all six take place as separate meetings. For example, the self-appraisal, classical performance review, merit/salary A review, developmental plan, and objective setting meetings may all take place during one umbrella meeting labeled “performance review meeting.” As noted above, however, it is better to separate the various types of information 1 discussed so that the employee and supervisor focus on each of the components separately. Note, however, that the conversation about compensation should be related to1performance (i.e., employees must understand the direct link between performance and2compensation decisions). Regardless of the specific type of meeting, there are several steps that must be taken 3 before the meeting takes place. Specifically, it is useful to give at least a two-week advance T of the meeting and enable her to prenotice to the employee to inform her of the purpose pare for it. Also, it is useful to block out sufficient time for the meeting and arrange to meet S in a private location without interruptions. Taking these steps sends a clear message that the meeting is important and that, consequently, performance management is important. As noted above, most organizations merge several meetings into one labeled “performance review meeting.” The typical sequence of events for such a meeting is the following:48 • Explain the purpose of the meeting. The first step includes a description of the purpose of the meeting and the topics to be discussed. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 249 250 Part III • Employee Development • Conduct self-appraisal. The second step includes asking the employee to summarize her accomplishments during the review period. This is more easily accomplished when the employee is given the appraisal form to be used by the supervisor before the meeting. This portion of the meeting allows the employee to provide her perspective regarding performance. The role of the supervisor is to listen to what the employee has to say and to summarize what he hears. This is not an appropriate time for the supervisor to disagree with what the employee says. • Share ratings and explain rationale. Next, the supervisor explains the rating he provided for each performance dimension and explains the reasons that led to each score. It is more effective to start withG a discussion of the performance dimensions for which there is agreement betweenA the employee’s self-appraisal and the supervisor’s appraisal. This is likely to reduce tension and to demonstrate to the T employee that there is common ground and that the meeting is not confrontational. Also, it is better to start with E a discussion of the performance dimensions for which the scores are highest and then move on to the dimensions for which the S scores are lower. For areas for which there is disagreement between self- and , take great care in discussing the reason for supervisor ratings, the supervisor must his rating and provide specific examples and evidence to support the score given. At this point, there should be an effort to resolve discrepancies, and the supervisor Dareas. The employee should be provided should take extra care with sensitive with the opportunity to explain her E viewpoint thoroughly. This is a very useful discussion because it leads to clarifying performance expectations. For dimensions for which the score is low, thereA should be a discussion of the possible causes for poor performance. For example, are N the reasons related to lack of knowledge, lack of motivation, or contextual factors beyond the control of the employee? D • Discuss development. After the supervisor and employee have agreed on the scores given to each performance dimension, there should be a discussion about R the developmental plan. At this point, the supervisor and the employee should A discuss and agree on the developmental steps that will be taken to improve performance in the future. • Ask employee to summarize. Next, the employee should summarize, in her own 1 words, the main conclusions of the meeting: what performance dimensions are 1 and how improvement will be achieved. satisfactory, which ones need improvement, This is an important component of the meeting because it gives the supervisor an 2 opportunity to determine whether he and the employee are in accord. 3 the meeting includes discussing the rela• Discuss rewards. The next step during tionship between performance and T any reward allocation. The supervisor should explain the rules used to allocate rewards and how the employee would S as a consequence of future performance be able to reach higher reward levels improvement. • Hold follow-up meeting. Before the meeting is over, it is important to schedule the next performance-related formal meeting. It is important that the employee understand that there will be a formal follow-up and that performance management is not just about meeting with the supervisor once a year. Usually, the next meeting will take place just a few weeks later to review whether the developmental plan is being implemented effectively. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills • Discuss approval and appeals process. Finally, the supervisor asks the employee to sign the form to attest that the evaluation has been discussed with him. This is also an opportunity for the employee to add any comments or additional information he would like to see included on the form. In addition, if disagreements about ratings have not been resolved, the supervisor should remind the employee of the appeals process. • Conduct final recap. Finally, the supervisor should use the “past-present-future model.” In other words, the supervisor summarizes what happened during the review period in terms of performance levels in the various dimensions, reviews how rewards will change based on this level of performance, and sums up what the employee will need to do in the next yearGto maintain and enhance performance. A Performance review discussions serve very important purposes. First, these discussions allow employees to improve theirTperformance by identifying performance problems and solutions for overcoming them.ESecond, they help build a good relationship between the supervisor and the employee because the supervisor shows that she S development and that she is willing to cares about the employee’s ongoing growth and invest resources, including time, in helping the , employee improve. Unfortunately, these purposes are not always realized because employees may be defensive, and many supervisors do not know how to deal with this attitude because they lack the necessary skills to conduct an effective D performance review. How can we tell when an employee is being defensive? Typically, there are two patterns of behavior that indicate E defensiveness.49 First, employees may engage in a fight response. This includes blaming others for performance deficiencies, staring mutely at the supervisor, and other, more A aggressive responses such as raising her voice or even pounding the desk. Second, employN ees may engage in a flight response. This includes looking away, turning away, speaking D agreeing with what the supervisor is saysoftly, continually changing the subject, or quickly ing without basing the agreement on a thoughtful R and thorough discussion about the issues at stake. When employees have a fight-or-flight response during the performance review discussion, it is unlikely that the meetingAwill lead to improved performance in the future. What can supervisors do to prevent defensive responses? Consider the following suggestions: 1 • Establish and maintain rapport. It is important that the meeting take place in a 1 good climate. As noted earlier, this can be achieved by choosing a meeting place 2 that is private and by preventing interruptions from taking place. Also, the supervisor should emphasize two-way communication and put the employee at ease as 3 quickly as possible. This can be done by sitting next to the employee as opposed to T across a desk, by saying his name, by thanking him for coming, and by beginning with small talk to reduce the initial tension. When good rapport is established, S both the supervisor and the employee are at ease, relaxed, and comfortable. They can have a friendly conversation, and neither is afraid to speak freely. Both are open-minded and can express disagreement without offending one another. On the other hand, when there is no good rapport, both participants may be nervous and anxious. The conversation is cold and formal and both may fear to speak openly. The supervisor and employee are likely to interrupt each other frequently and challenge what the other is saying. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 251 252 Part III • Employee Development • Be empathetic. It is important for the supervisor to put herself in the shoes of the employee. The supervisor needs to make an effort to understand why the employee has performed at a certain level during the review period. This includes not making attributions that any employee success was caused by outside forces (e.g., a good economy) or that employee failures were caused by inside forces (e.g., employee incompetence). • Be open-minded. If the employee presents an alternative and different point of view, be open-minded, and discuss them directly and openly. There is a possibility that the employee may provide information that is relevant and of which you are not aware. If this is the case, ask for specific evidence.50 G supervisor should be able to read verbal • Observe verbal and nonverbal cues. The and nonverbal signals from the employee A to determine whether further clarification is necessary. The supervisor should be attentive to the employee’s emotions T and react accordingly. For example, if the employee becomes defensive, the supervisor should stop talking and allowEthe employee to express her point of view regarding the issue being discussed. S • Minimize threats. The performance review meeting should be framed as a meet, punish him. ing that will benefit the employee, not • Encourage participation. The employee needs to have her own conversational space to speak and express her views. The supervisor should not dominate the D interrupting and avoid confrontation meeting; rather, she should listen without and argument. E In spite of these suggestions, defensiveness may be unavoidable in some situaA tions. In such situations, supervisors need to recognize that employee defensiveness is inevitable, and they need to allow it. RatherNthan ignoring the defensive attitude, supervisors need to deal with the situation headDon. First, it is important to let the employee vent and to acknowledge the employee’s feelings. To do this, the supervisor may want RThen, the supervisor may want to ask the to pause to accept the employee’s feelings. employee for additional information andAclarification. If the situation is reaching a point where communication becomes impossible, the supervisor may want to suggest suspending the meeting until a later time.51 For example, the supervisor may say, “I understand that you are angry and that1you believe you have been treated unfairly. It’s important that I understand your perspective, but it’s difficult for me to absorb the 1 information when you are so upset. This is an important matter. Let’s take a break, and 2 discussion.” To be sure, if the relationship get back together at 3:00 P.M. to continue our between the supervisor and the employee 3 is not good, the performance review meeting is likely to expose these issues in a blatant and often painful way. T is the manager at a large accounting firm, Consider the following vignette. Jason and Susan is one of the employees on hisSteam. He chooses a conference room with privacy away from the other offices. JASON: SUSAN: JASON: Hi, Susan. I wanted to meet with you today to discuss your performance appraisal for this quarter. At any time, please offer your input and ask questions if you have any. OK. You did meet two important objectives that we set this quarter: sales and customer service. Thanks for your hard work. Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills SUSAN: JASON: SUSAN: JASON: SUSAN: JASON: SUSAN: JASON: SUSAN: JASON: SUSAN: 253 No problem. You did miss three of the other objectives. What? I worked as hard as I could! It wasn’t my fault that the other people on the team did not carry their weight. Susan, I am not here to blame anyone or to attack you. I want to generate some ideas on what we can do to ensure that you meet your objectives and receive your bonus next quarter. SITTING BACK WITH CROSSED ARMS: I told you I worked as hard as I could. I know that you worked hard, Susan, G and I know how hard it is to balance all of the objectives that we have in our department. When I first started, A objectives as well. I had a hard time meeting all of the It is hard and I try my best. T Susan, can you think of anything E that we can work on together that would help you meet the last three objectives? Is there any additional training or S resources that you need? , all of my daily tasks. There is a class I am having a hard time prioritizing offered online on prioritizing, but I feel I am too busy to take it. That is good that you think the class will help. Take the class online, which D and I will go to all of your meetings will not disrupt your work schedule, and follow up with clients as needed. E Thanks, Jason. I really appreciate A your help. N How did Jason do in dealing with Susan’s defensiveness? Overall, he did a good job. Jason was empathetic, he picked up on Susan’s nonverbal behavior, he had D her offer her input, he held the meeting in a comfortable, private location, and he R future performance and not to punish emphasized that the meeting was to work on her. In the end, he was able to address Susan’s A defensiveness and turned a meeting that could have gone very poorly into a productive exchange of information and ideas. 1 1 Summary Points 2 • Managers must possess several impor-3 tant skills to manage the perfor-T mance of their employees effectively. Managers need to serve as coaches, toS observe and document performance accurately, to give both positive and negative feedback, and to conduct performance review meetings. • Coaching is an ongoing process in which the manager directs, motivates, and rewards employee behavior. Coaching includes several key functions such as giving advice about what is expected about performance and how to perform well, giving employees guidance so employees know how to improve their performance, providing employees with support without being controlling, and enhancing employees’ confidence and competence. Coaching must be based on a helping and trusting relationship. This is particularly important when the Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. 254 Part III • Employee Development supervisor and the subordinate do not share similar cultural backgrounds. • Managers need to engage in a complex set of behaviors to perform the various coaching functions. These include the following: establish developmental objectives, communicate effectively, motivate employees, document performance, give feedback, diagnose performance problems, and develop employees. • Managers’ personalities and behavioral preferences determine their coaching style. Some managers prefer to be drivers and just tell employees what to do. Others prefer to be persuaders and try to sell what they want the employees to do. Yet others adopt an amiable style in which feelings take precedence and urge the employee to do what feels right or what the employee feels is the right way to do things. Finally, others prefer to be analyzers and have a tendency to follow rules and procedures in recommending how to perform. None of these four styles is necessarily better than the others. The best coaches are able to change their styles and adapt to the needs of the employees. • The coaching process is ongoing and cyclical, and it includes the following five components: (1) setting developmental goals, (2) identifying the resources and strategies needed to achieve the developmental goals (e.g., securing resources that will allow employees to engage in activities to achieve their developmental goals), (3) implementing strategies (e.g., enrolling the employee in an online course), (4) observing and documenting developmental behaviors (e.g., checking on the progress of the employee toward the attainment of his developmental goals), and (5) giving feedback (e.g., providing information to the employee that will help him adjust his current developmental goals and guide his future goals). G A T E S , D E A N D R A 1 1 2 3 T S • Observing and documenting performance in general and performance regarding developmental goals in particular are not as easy as it may seem. Time constraints can play a role when managers are too busy to gather performance information. Situational constraints may prevent managers from observing the employee directly. Finally, activity constraints may be a factor; when developmental activities are unstructured, such as reading a book, the manager may have to wait until the activity is completed to assess whether any new skills and knowledge have been acquired. • Observation and documentation of performance can be improved in several ways. These issues, which were described in detail in Chapter 7, include implementing a good communication plan that managers accept and establishing training programs that help managers minimize rater errors (i.e., rater error training); share notions of what it means to complete developmental activities successfully (i.e., frame-of-reference training); observe performance more accurately (i.e., behavioral observation training); and become more confident about managing employee performance (i.e., selfleadership training). • Documenting an employee’s progress toward achieving developmental goals and improving performance in general has several important benefits. These include the reduction of the manager’s cognitive load, the enhancement of trust between the employee and the manager, the collection of important input to be used in planning developmental activities in the future, and the development of a good line of defense in case of litigation. • For documentation to be most useful, it must be specific, use adjectives and adverbs sparingly, balance positives Performance Management, Third Edition, by Herman Aguinis. Published by Prentice Hall. Copyright © 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. Chapter 9 • Performance Management Skills with negatives, focus on job-related information, be comprehensive, be standardized across employees, and be stated in behavioral terms. • Feedback about performance in general and about developmental activities in particular serves several important purposes. These include building employee confidence, developing employee competence, and enhancing employee involvement with the unit and theG organization as a whole. A • The mere presence of feedback does not T mean that there will be positive effects on future performance. For feedback toE be most useful, it must be timely, freS quent, specific, verifiable, consistent over time and across employees, given, in private, and tied closely to consequences (e.g., rewards); address description first and evaluation second;D discuss performance in terms of a con-E tinuum and not in terms of dichotomies (i.e., more and less and not all or noth-A ing); address patterns of behavior andN not isolated events; include a statement that the manager has confidence in theD employee; and include the active par-R ticipation of the employee in generating ideas about how to improveA performance in the future. • In general, managers do not feel com1 fortable about giving negative feedback. They may fear that employees will react1 negatively because they themselves have 2 been given negative feedback in the past in a way that was not helpful and do not3 want to put their employees in the sameT situation, because they don’t like playing god, or because they think they need toS collect an onerous amount of information and evidence before giving negative feedback. When negative feedback is warranted, however, and managers refuse to give it, poor performers may get the message that their performance is not that bad. Eventually, the situation 255 may escalate to the point that the manager has no choice but to give negative feedback; the situation then becomes punitive, and feedback is not likely to be useful. For negative feedback to be useful, it must be given early when the performance problem is still manageable. • Supervisors play the paradoxical roles of judge and coach at the same time. These roles are assumed during the performance review meetings, which can include as many as six separate formal meetings: system inauguration, self-appraisal, classical performance review, merit/salary review, developmental plan, and objective setting. In most organizations, these meetings are merged into one or two meetings. It is most e...
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Running head: COACHING

Student’s Name
Professor’s Name
Course Title


Description of Bob Coaching Skills

Bob’s coaching skills are excellent because he pays attention to all the individuals
involved including in making decisions, assembly-line, and contractor in deciding the best
approach in assisting the corporation in achieving goals. Bob is a good listener, precisely an
active listener, he actively engages with his subordinates and displaying to them that he not
giving them undivided attention (Was Robert Eaton a good coach? n.d). Bob does not dismiss
anyone he is conversing with when he hears something he does not agree or understands. Giving
people undivided attention provides them with powerful experience, mostly because it is rare in
an organizational setting. Being a good listener creates a good double message, that you support
them in what they are doing, and that you are paying attention and you expect people to be
committed in their responsibilities.
Bob is also good in empathizing with his subordinates. He feels other people’s emotions
that is why he does not respond rudely to others who try to provide him advice. He allows
criticism, maybe how would not change his mind but he would explain politely what’s behind his
thought processes (Was Robert Eaton a good coach? n.d). The capability to empathize is
essential for a coach in business who is good. Empathizing does not only assist Bob to accept the
other individual with their strengths and weaknesses, but also to gain insight into the thoughts
and emotions of which Bob is not fully aware.
Another key skill in Bob’s coaching capabilities is involving the employee in decision
making. Companies are successful because of the personnel employed. Involving all personnel in
the process of making decisions empowers them to contribute to corporate success and also save



the firm money and time in increased productivity and decrease outsourcing. The action of
involving everyone in the organization in making decisions is a good coaching skill and ensures
the personnel gains a personal and professional stake in the company and its overall success.
Actively engaging staffs in making decision upsurge overall organizational morale. Constant
employee involvement reduces the gap between the distinct separation of authority between the
personnel and management, improving communication between employees and supervisors.
A specific proposal for an effective coach
Presentation corporation is a single of the foundation of individ...

Excellent resource! Really helped me get the gist of things.


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