Performance Counseling

Learn from Experiences

Clarify performance expectations for each member of your team. Make sure that expectations are measureable and observable. Use this tool to clarify expectations (DOC). To ensure clarity, ask a fellow manager or team member to read your expectations and offer suggestions for improvement.

Make sure that you counsel employees about performance issues promptly and in private. Don’t wait until the yearly evaluation to address performance concerns! Contact your Human Resources Client Partner for advice.

When you need to counsel an employee about their performance use the simple four-step method detailed in this worksheet (DOC):

  • Describe what you’ve observed
  • Describe the impact on performance and the team
  • Communicate your expectations
  • Ask how you can support the employee

Enhance your ability to give actionable feedback. Use the planning to give feedback tool to prepare for your next conversation with an employee in which you need to give difficult feedback.

Follow up with your employee after you provide counseling. Check in regularly and offer support and guidance. Notice and compliment improvements to reinforce expectations.


Learn from Others

Contact your HR Client Partner for guidance on performance counseling. Inquire about appropriate next steps. Seek feedback from them on written communications regarding performance or for guidance on how to address performance verbally.

Seek guidance from your supervisor. In your next one-on-one meeting, describe a specific performance situation you are experiencing with an employee and brainstorm possible solutions. Agree on next steps.

Ask your manager for their observations and tips about how to enhance your ability to give and receive constructive feedback in difficult situations.

Identify the best mentor you’ve ever had. Think about how your mentor corrected performance.  What did the mentor do and how? Why was it effective? Make a list of specific behaviors you want to use when counseling your employees based upon your “best mentor model.”