How to coach an employee who is underperforming

The successful leaders are those who are efficient coaches and provide apt guidance to employees to become an overall better person. These leaders instill skill and practice in their employees for success at work and at home. 

If some of the employees or team members are not providing quality work or underperforming in any way, then it is the responsibility of that employee and leader to locate the problem and find its solution. However, it can get extremely difficult for the leader to identify unique methods and strategies to deal with different employees and problems appropriately. Ideally, the leader should have life coaching skills and qualifications. ICF training for life coach is one example of credentials a leader must hold. 

When dealing with any such employee than here is summarized and basic model to follow for better handling. While coaching, cut through the clutter and address these needs in four simple ways:

STEP 1: EXPLAIN. Start with explaining the member what and why things need to be amended. Providing a clear view of the employee will clear your requirements and his lacking to all the involved parties. It will give meaning to everyone’s participation in work. 

Remember to remain proactive in every matter. You must be aware of what questions might arise and therefore, answer them beforehand. After this, clearly explain every member how essential every member is and how their individual performances affect the team and goal. 

STEP 2: QUESTIONS. Listening to others is a very important skill in every leader. Therefore, confirm that the underperforming employee understands the situation. Always follow the rule of 80% listening and 20% talking in this stage. This will help the leader to assess the matter more rationally rather than acting emotionally. 

A leader should be patient and wait for an appropriate break in the employee’s work and search for why and what lead the employee to perform in such away. This will provide a clear view of what part needs attention and amendment. 

STEP 3: INVOLVE. Remember to involve all related members when finding a conclusion. The more the merrier. People can provide potential solutions and approaches. Involve, interact and discuss the root cause of problem and solution simultaneously. 

Collaboration can help provide the employee with SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-framed) performance goals. It will also help the other members and underperforming members to adjust, learn and focus in a proper manner. If the performance does not improve, you can opt for the alternatives mentioned during discussion or bring changes in other members to help lift underperforming employees. 

STEP 4: APPRECIATE. Appreciation is the key to development. Every small improvement is an achievement and is worthy of appreciation. It will motivate the employee to put in more effort and strive harder to overcome the problem and provide the best returns.

The model will help you in every situation. Therefore, incorporate the mentioned steps and you will be able to decipher the path to enhancing accountability and performance.