Reduces the frustrations managers have in correctly identifying situations with employees that represent employee problems and problem employees.
What Causes Breakdowns in the First Place?
The session kicks off by identifying what mangers do, and oftentimes don’t do, that leads to employee problems and problem employees. As this is discussed, we begin building a company-specific identify and profile of what the participants view as real world performance problems and problem employees. This helps to clarify how the group will define an employee performance problem and a problem employee.
What’s Keeping You Up at Night?
The facilitator solicits the real world issues the participants want to see addressed in the session. Emphasis is placed on selecting those issues where managers have a high degree of influence or control to act on and thereby, avoid discussing issues that are outside their ability to act on.
Getting Off on the Right Foot: They Can’t Hit What They Can’t See!
The importance of the manager’s engagement in on-boarding employees and helping them get acclimated to their jobs is discussed. This is further built on regarding managing existing employees. Emphasis is placed on the manager’s skill in creating “expectation bulls-eyes” for each employee. Discussions are held about their real world issues and the possibility that the reason they exist is because the employee has an unclear bulls-eye of what’s expected and as such, the real problem has nothing to do with performance or the employee, but resides in ineffective communications.
Observe, Decide and Then Get Chicken
Brief case studies are used to increase skill and confidence in accurately identifying what is a problem employee versus an employee problem using the Observe and Decide Model. This opens up the door to the fact that since having these types of conversations can be uncomfortable for both parties, our natural inclination is to “chicken out”.
The Courage to Have and Manage Difficult Conversations
Managers are taught how to use facts, perceptions, feedback techniques, and conversation control strategies in conducting these conversations. Then using a situation from their real world, they apply these techniques and have the opportunity to practice segments of the conversation and get feedback on their effectiveness.
You Get What You Inspect: Creating Accountability for Change and Improvement
Managers are taught about the variety of responses employees have during and after these conversations. Since many of these reactions can be counter-productive, the mindset of employees is oftentimes “this too shall pass”. To avoid this, managers are taught how to follow-up on these conversations, analyze the results of the sessions, and most importantly, create accountability and ownership for change and improvement with the employee.
Back on the Job
Small group are formed to work on ideas on how to best apply the skills learned in diagnosing the problem, managing difficult conversations and creating accountability. As they report out, we begin discussing the barriers and obstacles they will face in being more assertive and action oriented back on the job. Time is devoted to exploring the positive consequences for the manager, the employee and the work team when the manager decisively and successfully initiates actions to remedy employee performance problems and problem employee situations.