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Interim Performance Coaching

Any new job title comes with a certain level of reasonable goals that the employee is expected to strive for. In run down, inefficient job situations, these goals are often left undetermined and never accurately evaluated. For the successful enterprise, however, there is a high level of clarity when it comes to defining, and assessing, how an employee measures up to the required achievements set before him or her. Yet even when the strategy is clear, many supervisors fail to see the dynamism of reality and unforeseen circumstances that can impact normal expectations.

All too often an employee is given the burden of normal, competitive expectations alongside a departmental crisis as early on as a month into his or her employment. High turnover or budget scares can send the department reeling, and while the new employee may the one who actually holds things together, it is safe to say that all of the initial expectations for achievement may not have been met by the time that he or she comes up for review. Nevertheless, and as odd as it may seem, many supervisors fail to acknowledge the special circumstances under which such an employee may not have met the predefined goals, and opt to castigate the exceptional worker without giving congratulations. This is a perfect example of how having clearly defined goals is really not enough. Indeed, the clarity often equates to rigidity if the goals are not attended to by regularly scheduled interim coaching.

What is Interim Performance Management Coaching?
This dynamic process is a fundamental component to effective performance management. It works by assessing employee achievement not only by the goals set before him or her but by the circumstances under which the employee is working. By its very name – coaching – this review process does not take six or eight months to start working, but rather allows the supervisor to take a hands on approach to his or her workers, continually providing feedback that encourages the employee in the strengths demonstrated as well as giving constructive criticism in the areas that need improvement. The key points to effective coaching include knowing when to praise an employee for his or her accomplishments. Unfortunately, many supervisors often display timidity when it comes to employee criticism. Ignoring a worker’s mistakes can ultimately prove disastrous for the company. That’s why an effective supervisor will clearly point out a new employee’s areas of weakness, so as to root out the problems before they become ingrained bad habits.

By coaching, the performance manager can use his or her discretion regarding when it is necessary to sit down and talk about the issues and when to drop a few instructive words here or there, thus most effectively promoting the best level of achievement from the employee. While effective interim coaching is always recommendable for nearly any performance management strategy, it has proven exceptionally useful when crises hit. By shifting goalposts to admit the priority of a department’s survival over record profits, a good supervisor can honestly praise a new employee who exhibits a high level of talent in keeping things together, rather than chastising him or her for not achieving the unrealistic.