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Why Performance Counseling Must Be Done Right!

Resolving performance issues is a high-stakes leadership challenge. One of the ways to resolve performance issues is through performance counseling. However, one wrong step can shatter morale and fracture teams. According to the United States Office of Personnel Management:

"Most supervisors haven’t been trained in how to handle a performance-centered counseling and usually fail to hit the significant issues."

Conducting performance counseling correctly can yield several benefits for both employees and organizations. Performance counseling is a structured and constructive process aimed at addressing performance issues, improving performance, and promoting professional growth. When done effectively, it can lead to the following advantages:

  • Improved Performance: The primary goal of performance counseling is to address performance deficiencies and provide guidance for improvement. When done correctly, it can help employees understand their shortcomings and develop strategies to enhance their performance, ultimately leading to better job performance.

  • Enhanced Job Satisfaction: Employees who receive constructive feedback and support through performance counseling are more likely to feel valued and engaged in their work. This can boost job satisfaction and morale.

  • Professional Growth: Performance counseling can identify areas where employees need development or additional training. This can lead to opportunities for skill enhancement and career growth, benefiting both the employee and the organization.

  • Clear Expectations: Through performance counseling, managers can communicate clear performance expectations and goals to employees. This reduces confusion and ensures that employees understand what is expected of them.

  • Conflict Resolution: Performance counseling can help address conflicts and misunderstandings in the workplace. By providing a forum for open and honest communication, it can lead to the resolution of interpersonal issues.

  • Increased Accountability: Effective performance counseling holds employees accountable for their performance and behavior. When employees know that their performance is being monitored and evaluated, they are more likely to take their responsibilities seriously.

  • Better Team Dynamics: Addressing performance issues can contribute to a healthier team environment. When one team member's performance is improved, it can positively impact the entire team's dynamics and productivity.

  • Alignment with Organizational Goals: Performance counseling helps employees understand how their individual performance contributes to the organization's goals. This alignment can lead to a more cohesive and goal-oriented workforce.

  • Retention and Reduced Turnover: When employees receive support and guidance to improve their performance, they are more likely to stay with the organization rather than seeking opportunities elsewhere. This can reduce turnover and the associated costs of recruitment and training.

  • Legal Protection: Properly documented performance counseling can provide legal protection for the organization in case of disputes or claims related to performance-related issues.

  • Improved Communication Skills: Managers and employees alike can benefit from improved communication skills as they engage in performance counseling conversations. These skills can be valuable in various aspects of work and life.

  • Data for Decision-Making: Performance counseling can generate data and insights that can be used for decision-making, such as identifying training needs, assessing the effectiveness of performance improvement plans, and evaluating the impact of interventions.

To realize these benefits, it's essential for organizations to ensure that performance counseling is conducted in a consistent, fair, and respectful manner. This includes providing training to managers on effective counseling techniques, emphasizing a growth-oriented and constructive approach, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement and feedback within the organization.

S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling addresses this using psychology, social and behavioral science, communication, and current professional and ethical coaching and mentoring practices. We focus on changing the behavior while saving the relationship. S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling training is available for your organizations. Dr. Fuzie and staff with personally conduct the training for your organization. Contact us here to schedule your training:

About the Author: Dr. Chris Fuzie is the author of "S.C.O.R.E. Performance Counseling: Save the Relationship, Change the Behavior." Chris is also the owner of CMF Leadership Consulting and is currently the Business/HR Manager for a District Attorney’s office in California. Chris is a Leaderologist II and Vice President of the National Leaderology Association (NLA) who holds a Doctor of Education (Ed. D), M.A. and B.A. in Organizational Leadership, and has graduate certificates in Human Resources and Criminal Justice Education. Chris is a developer, trainer, consultant for leadership of public, private, profit, and non-profit organizations since 2010. Chris is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a former National Instructor for the International Association of Chiefs of Police and California P.O.S.T. Courses. Chris is honorably retired from the Modesto Police Department after 28 years of public service leading such teams as the Homicide Team, the Hostage Negotiations Team, the Street-Level Drug Team and the School Police Officer Team.


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