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June 20, 2010
Guidelines for New Supervisors on Effective Employee Coaching

In a BLR webinar entitled "Training Your New Supervisors: 11 Practical Lessons for Turning Brand-New Managers Into Effective Leaders," Tracy Graves Wolf, Esq., senior counsel in the Dallas office of Gordon & Rees, enumerated effective coaching guidelines for new supervisors when communicating with their employees.

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Coaching employees through times of change:

  • Explain what's going on
  • Offer reassurance
  • Involve employees in the process
  • Teach them the new skills they need
  • Set clear goals
  • Monitor performance

Coaching top performers:

  • Provide frequent feedback
  • Be specific
  • Ask top performers for input
  • Keep them challenged
  • Give them adequate recognition and rewards

Coaching average performers:

  • Determine if this is the best these employees are capable of doing
  • Find out why employees who are capable of more aren't doing better
  • Reinforce strengths
  • Clarify standards and expectations
  • Develop a plan for improvement and professional growth

Coaching poor performers:

  • Consider possible causes for poor performance
  • Encourage the employee to talk about the problem
  • Coach the employee to develop solutions
  • Renegotiate goals and objectives
  • Agree on a plan of action to improve performance
  • Schedule frequent follow-up sessions

Tracy Graves Wolf, Esq., serves as senior counsel in the Dallas office of the nationwide law firm Gordon & Rees (www.gordonrees.com). She counsels her clients on the full range of labor and employment law issues, from disability accommodations and discrimination claims to family/medical leaves and terminations. She has also defended employers in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies.

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