Performance Management

Performance management will occur naturally as part of the mentoring and coaching process but sometimes there are situations that warrant some more specific advice.

Dealing with difficult conversations

Managing a young staff member is sometimes a challenge. Each of the below scenarios are situations that real employers have encountered when coaching and mentoring young members of staff.

We have offered best-practice guidelines on how to deal with these scenarios.


Situation one: the phone

My employee knows that I don’t want them texting their friends and spending time on Facebook when they’re at work. I’m sick of asking them to stop using their telephone. I feel like every time I turn my back they are back on their phone. I’ve just given up over it; but it’s annoying.

Our response:
The addiction to the phone is not uncommon amongst Gen Y employees.  However, it’s no wonder they keep pushing the boundaries if your rules aren’t enforced. We recommend:

 Asking your employee for a ten minute chat.

  1. Explain that you have asked them a number of times not to use their phone at work, and ask if there is any real reason why they can’t be without it (give them the benefit of the doubt).
  2. Explain to your employee the business case for restricting the use of their phone at work. For example, ‘it’s a safety issue and I don’t want to be the one to tell your parents something happened to you’, or ‘it’s a rule we have in the business because it takes the focus away from our job and our customers’.
  3. Explain to your employee that you’re serious about this issue, and that if they don’t think they can be responsible for managing their telephone, you will have to confiscate it if they use it again on the job.
  4. If you do take their phone, explain that it will be put in a safe/drawer etc. and available at morning tea and lunch. If it gets to this point, follow through on your action.
  5. Also, if you make this a rule, it must apply to every member of staff, not just the young ones.


Situation two: lateness

My employee keeps coming to work late, or not showing up. I don’t know what to do.

Our response:
The research shows that if young employees don’t have available transport to get to and from work this can impact on their engagement levels. However, arriving to work on time is part of their contract and we must train our employees to take responsibility for their actions. We recommend:

  • Asking your employee for a short, one-on-one conversation.
  • Explain to them that you’ve noticed an issue that is causing you concern.
  • Explain that on a number of occasions they have arrived late to work and that it is a mutually agreed expectation for them to arrive on time as part of their work contract.
  • Ask your employee if there is a reason that’s preventing them from sticking to the agreed rules.
  • Ask them if they are serious and want to keep their job.
  • Ask your employee what needs to happen in order for them to start coming to work on time.
  • Ask them whether they can commit to this. Let them know if they can’t, you need to decide whether you want them to continue working for you. In this case, you may need to implement a rule that if they can’t change their behaviour, they will no longer have the job.

Register as a member of Skillsroad to donwload our free e-guide to Dealing with Difficult Conversations.




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