February 19, 2018

How far do you go… to coach an employee?

Four business people in a discussionI often see business owners and managers struggling to secure reasonable performance from certain of their employees – one or two members of staff who, for some reason, aren’t effective. Cases where it’s not a skills issue, more of an attitude problem.

Usually, the leaders try to manage more performance out of the individual. In essence, they apply pressure, with perhaps some effort to coach them in a narrow, task-related way as well.

The thing is…

Often, more fundamental help is required. Somebody needs to get across to the individual what being a working person entails, what life is about, ultimately.

Sometimes, an individual has just never had that kind of education, from parents or other role models.

The question then is (and I’m often asked this)…

How far should a business owner or manager go into this kind of territory?

How much of a leader of the whole person should they be?

The answer is… as far as it takes to stimulate the change in performance they need. Or the individual realises they are in the wrong place.

If the time and effort involved in doing that is beyond what’s justifiable then it’s time to recognise the appointment isn’t working out and deal with that.

Because it’s just too damaging to leave it alone.

Our choice is…

Do whatever it takes to get to the point where the individual is productive, perhaps getting an older, wiser head to talk to them about life, if that’s what’s needed.


Remove them from the team.

Holding back, doing less than it takes, isn’t an option.