After an employee is coached about their performance, a follow-up meeting should always be scheduled. Always. Even if the employee turns their performance around a full 180 degrees. Actually, let me rephrase that. Especially if an employee turns their performance around.
Why? Because having a follow-up meeting allows you to find out what they did to correct the situation. That generates a proven strategy for success that could be used in the future. Correcting a performance issue is tough. IMHO, the key to improving performance is having an awareness of proven solutions. Think of them like a treasure map. When faced with a challenge, we can pull out the right map and use it to help us get to the right place.
The question becomes, what are those right solutions (i.e. maps) that can help us. In many cases, they’re right in front of us. Here are eight that came to mind:
- Blogs. I certainly hope that readers find HR Bartender a source of ideas and practical solutions. That being said, there are lots of other blogs that can be useful and very helpful. Harvard Business Review has an outstanding blog. I also love their Management Tip of the Day email. The blogs “Ask a Manager” and “Evil HR Lady” focus on answering reader questions, which can provide some terrific insights.
- Books. If you enjoy reading, look to books for models, theories, and stories about how to solve problems. One of the great things about books is they’re often the source of case studies. Right there, you get proven solutions about how an organization was faced with a problem, developed a program, and measured results. Friend and fellow blogger Laurie Ruettimann hosts an HR Book Club that can provide some creative inspiration in terms of takeaways.
- Podcasts. I understand books aren’t for everyone. If books aren’t your thing, consider podcasts. Speaker and business advisor Jennifer McClure has launched a podcast series called “Impact Makers”, where she interviews people who are making a positive difference in the world. Looking for new ideas and solutions? I guarantee that you’ll get more than enough while listening to these people’s stories.
- Conferences. I honestly believe there’s a conference for every person and budget these days. From the very large Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conferenceand Association for Talent Development (ATD) International Conference to the HR Technology Conference and Expo and the WorkHuman Conference Pioneered by Globoforce. These events give participants an immersive experience focused on education and information.
- Expositions. Speaking of conferences, I cannot say enough about the professionals who work the expo hall at conferences. They are some of the smartest people around when it comes to designing solutions for individuals and organizations. Next time you’re at a conference, take a moment to chat with them. It’s okay to grab the swag too…but have a conversation as well.
- Seminars. A common complaint that I hear about conferences is that the information doesn’t go deep enough. In those situations, opt for a workshop or seminar instead of a conference. Many are available in both an in-person and virtual format to fit with your schedule. SHRM and ATD both offer programs on a variety of topics. Also, don’t forget to check out the programs that your local HR associations provide.
- Meetings. Speaking of local chapter meetings, building networks with fellow professionals can help tremendously when it comes time to problem solve. I’ve always felt in HR that we can’t always talk to anyone about our challenges. Either the person wouldn’t understand, or they would be a bit judgy. Having an HR network allows us to discuss matters with colleagues in a safe environment. And hopefully get some really good suggestions!
- Social Media. Last but certainly not least, remember that social media can be a conduit to learning solutions. Whether it happens through an article posted on Facebook, a video on YouTube, or participating in a LinkedIn group (LinkedIn HR is the largest and most active one around). And there’s also Twitter chats like the one hosted by SHRM every Wednesday at 3p Eastern.
It doesn’t matter if you use books, conferences, meetings, or social media. What matters is that we’re constantly looking for solutions. So, when we need them, we have them handy. Because that’s how we solve problems and improve performance.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while exploring the Wynwood District in Miami, FL13