Performance Appraisal Tutorial | Features of Performance Counseling

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Features of Performance Counseling

  • Conditions for effective counseling: A climate of trust, confidence and openness is essential for effective counseling. Counseling cannot be effective if the subordinate does not trust his boss.

The subordinate should feel free to participate without fear or inhibition as it is a dialogue between supervisor and subordinate and hence should be a two way communication.

The main purpose of performance counseling is employee development.

  • Phases of Performance Counseling
  • Rapport Building: A good counselor attempts to establish a climate of acceptance, warmth, support, openness and mutuality. This phase involves generating confidence in the employee to open up frankly, share his perceptions, problems, concerns, feelings etc. The subordinate must be made to feel wanted and that his superior is genuinely interested in his development.
  • Exploration: The counselor should attempt to help the employee understand and appreciate his strengths and weaknesses. He should also understand his own situation, problems and needs. Questions should be asked which help the employee focus on his problem. Problem identification is a critical step in planning for improvement. Open-ended questions may be asked to help the employee make a correct diagnosis of the problem.
  • Action Planning: Counseling interviews should end with specific plans of action for development of the employee. The main contribution of the superior is to help employee think of alternative ways of dealing with a problem. After helping the employee brainstorm, the superior may also add more alternatives to the solutions already generated.

Finally the superior may render some assistance in helping the employee implement the agreed upon action plan. Often good counseling sessions fail to produce effective results due to lack of follow.

Effective Performance Counseling

  • Prevention is better than cure!
  • Effective performance counseling skills give you the practical skills to effectively deal with apparent employee shortcomings at an early stage, thus preventing major problems.
  • Unfair dismissal legislation
  • Procedural fairness
  • Conducting a performance counseling session
  • Effective counseling also helps to:
  • Understand the legal requirements in respect of discipline and dismissals
  • Recognize employee shortcomings
  • Understand the need for corrective discipline
  • Conduct a performance counseling session
  • Effectively reprimand an employee
  • Recognize improved performance
  • The Counselor must:
  • Listen
  • Not judge
  • Pay attention
  • Accept the employee’s feelings
  • Understand the employee’s world and feelings; put yourself in the employee’s shoes. Express that understanding.
  • Think about the client
  • So that the employee can:
  • Develop his/her thinking
  • Feel safe and respected
  • Know you care
  • Know he/she is not being judged
  • Know you are with him/her
  • Get the best help possible
  • The counselor may
  • Ask questions
  • Summarize
  • So that the employee can
  • Develop her/his own thinking
  • Hear her/his thoughts and know she/he is understood.
  • Counselors should not
  • Argue
  • Dwell on their own difficulties
  • Solve the problem for the client
  • Give advice
  • Belittle the clients’ concern
  • Avoid painful areas
  • This will make the employee
  • Defensive
  • Withdraw
  • Dependant
  • Dependant or hostile
  • Withdraw or attack
  • Be frustrated

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