Employee Performance Counseling Checklist

Q.  Can you give me a checklist for counseling employees about their performance to reduce the likelihood that I will leave something out, allowing the employee to manipulate me by saying some element of our discussion was omitted?

A.  Try the following checklist: First, ask the employee how things are going, and whether he or she is having any difficulty with assignments.  You’ll be surprised at the self-awareness.  Next, discuss your concern, and any discrepancy between what you’ve observed and the employee’s self-assessment.  Then, tell the employee exactly what expected outcome or result must be achieved.  Discuss specific examples of the performance issue in question and how it can be corrected.  Before ending the meeting, ask your employee whether he or she understands what needs to be accomplished.  Failure to make this clarification will lead to a claim that confusion existed at the end of your meeting.  Note: Prior to your meeting, consider your employee’s essential duties and performance standards.  Are they reasonable?  Clarify and affirm that expectations are reasonable, and advocate or make changes, as needed.  Also, don’t forget to make the EAP a key part of your supervisor’s toolbox.

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