Next to an expertly drafted Employee Handbook,  Progressive Corrective Coaching (PCC) is the second most important tool you can have in your office. PCC is not just a “PC” term for discipline. It’s an effective way to address employee performance issues and it protects you from predatory employee claims.

Use PCC Often and with Every Employee in Your Office

Doctor And Nurse Having Informal Meeting In Hospital CanteenEmployees who know what’s expected of them and where they stand tend to be happy, productive employees.  Giving feedback regularly, both positive and negative, can create an atmosphere of open communication.  PCC doesn’t have to make you into the Bad Guy.   What makes most people dread criticism is when it comes from a place of condescension (i.e., “What were you thinking?”), shaming (“I really expected more from you” or worse yet, anger (“I’m sick and tired of this!”).  Ugh.  The truth is, as a manager, your role is not to be their parent, and when you use parental style communication, you can almost guarantee a childish response (i.e., rebellion, excuses, blame, counter-attack).

Instead, your approach should be objective, all the while communicating that you respect them enough to let them know where they need to improve, and to give the person the best and clearest opportunity to self-correct the problem. Show confidence in their ability to do a better job, and to make the changes necessary to meet your expectations if they put their mind to it.

Beyond that, understand that you are also establishing a legal record to document your legitimate business-related reasons for any action you may need to take, such as termination, demotion, or cutting hours or pay.  When it comes to preventing employee lawsuits, documentation is the the key to coming out on top.  Everything else is “he said, she said.”

How to Use PCC Safely and Effectively

  1. Document everything, even verbal warnings, if you can.  A simple note to the employee’s file that you spoke to them about being late  is good practice.
  2. Treat all employees the same.  If you document tardiness for one employee, do it for every employee.
  3. Require all employees who receive written progressive corrective coaching (beyond minor verbal warnings) to sign and acknowledge that they received the written record and discussed it with you.  It doesn’t matter if they disagree or write a book about why you are wrong. They must still acknowledge that you documented and spoke to them about their performance. If they refuse to sign, have a witness sign that the employee received the notification.
  4. Limit written records to the facts.  Leave emotion out of it.  Include:
  • What they did or didn’t do;
  • What the impact of that behavior is;
  • What their job requires;
  • What your expectation is for the future; and
  • What happens if they don’t improve.

That’s it. Use clear, direct, communication.  Give them a chance to respond, but keep the discussion focused on their behavior and do not allow them to divert your attention to complaints about other workers.

Progressive Corrective Coaching is a small, easy-to-use tool that makes a world of difference.

That’s CEDR’s 2 Minute Trainer!  Now, go create a productive and harmonious day!

Need help? Members may call 866-414-6056 to speak with an advisor.