All organisations benefit from the continuing high level of performance of their staff and, where performance falls below the accepted standard, from the use of effective performance management systems and processes.
One challenge for many organisations however, is how best to manage and assist those members of staff who continue to perform at a level which is just about acceptable (meaning performance management would be inappropriate and/or unfair). Whilst there is no doubt such individuals do bring some value to the organisation, they also present a number of potential difficulties:
- their lack of success means other, more effective members of staff may be unable to progress/develop and as a result may decide to leave the organisation altogether
- their confidence levels may fall as a result of their continued lack of success resulting in a gradual diminution of performance which can be difficult to manage
- their performance in their current role may impede or prevent the organisation from introducing and embracing much needed change
- those managing such staff might find it difficult to understand or identify what it is that is holding them back, meaning they are unable to offer constructive help, guidance or support
- with a continued lack of success at finding a new role, the individual concerned may give up any efforts to move on or ahead, leaving the organisation with a more permanent problem.
Working with an external coach can assist in a number of ways:
- the organisation can be seen to be supporting and helping the individual in their aspirations – a coach can provide unbiased, objective opinions and feedback on aspects of selection procedures such as interview techniques and presentations – a coach can take the time to rehearse the individual in preparation for interviews and selection discussions – a coach can increase the individual’s self-awareness and confidence meaning future interviews (and all other interactions at work) are likely to be more successful – by working with a coach, the individual can be challenged to reflect upon their performance in their current role and encouraged to identify ways in which they can improve
Unsticking staff who are stuck, either by facilitating a return to improved performance or by helping them to secure a new role, sends a powerful message to the team about you as a manager. It clears the way for change and delivers the results needed by all concerned.