Behavioral Remediation / Coaching

Quite frequently following a workplace investigation or incident, employers are at a loss as to what steps they should take to remediate behaviors-of-concern. One often hears the phrase let’s provide the identified individual with "sensitivity training" as one option. Although the intent may be clear, the outcomes of this type of intervention are not.

Simply put, there are no generic educational programs that can effectively change behavior across a broad spectrum…everyone is different, as are the circumstances. What often happens is that the individual dutifully attends the program, listens with intent, but fails to transfer the learning to his/her specific situation. The only thing that is accomplished is that the organization can say they have acted, even though it may be ineffective. 

Given the unique nature of every situation and the learning style of the participant, we find it far more useful and economical for employers to consider individual coaching or consultation for the employee-of-concern. In this way, specific behavioral deficiencies can be identified and realistic goals set which can be monitored over time. 

Several considerations should be taken into account when deciding on remedial action involving an individual whose behavior has been deemed unacceptable. First, the intervention should be tailored to the specific circumstance, including unacceptable behaviors. Individual coaching focuses specifically on the offensive conduct. Secondly, there should be a well-defined and transparent plan to address troublesome behavior, which includes the host organization. Thirdly, there needs to be a process by which the employer can, independently, monitor the individual’s behavior going forward. In this way, the organization is well positioned to take additional action in the future, should the individual fail to adjust his/her behavior.

Individual coaching, apart from being more results driven and accountable is often much less expensive than sending individuals to generic courses where there is no feedback. We strongly encourage employers to consider this individual approach which compliments other performance management measures.