the chain of command doesnt care, and ignorance of
standards can all lead to poor performance. Before
jumping on your personnel, observe their work habits,
see if they have an obvious problem, and then try to work
with them to solve the problem. Occasionally, counseling
is required. A good rule of thumb for these situations is
to correct in private and praise in public. Practicing
that rule will help you avoid embarrassing your
subordinates in front of their peers.
Follow five basic guidelines to provide performance
Always praise good performance or correct poor
performance as soon as possible; delay doesn't
make a hard job any easier.
Praise in public; correct in private.
Look for the reason behind the action; find out
why someone is not performing up to par.
If a problem exists, work with subordinates to
solve the problem. If the problem is your fault,
acknowledge and resolve the problem.
Try to be aware of what is going on with your
workers; many times you can avoid problems if
you see them coming.
Always remember that your workers are
people. If you treat them as adults and show
respect for them, you will be amazed at what they
can accomplish. That does not mean you should
allow subordinates to run wild; you must insist on
adherence to rules and regulations. Last, but
definitely not least, be sure to praise good
performance. Positive recognition is one of the best
motivators in a supervisors arsenal.
One of the hardest tasks you will undertake as a new
petty officer is the evaluation of people who just weeks
ago were your peers. You somehow must put aside
friendships and dislikes and present an honest,
professional opinion of a person's ability to perform
assigned tasks. When doing that, take note of the
successes, failures, and complexity of the tasks. Was
Seaman Jones work exceptional because of a 100
percent success rate on easy jobs? While Seaman Smith
was successful only 80 percent of the time, but was
performing tasks normally done by a petty officer? When
comparing a person's performance to that of others, you
will have to consider those facts.
Your supervisors will occasionally call upon you (or
you may find it necessary) to discuss the performance of
your subordinates with your supervisors. Generally, that
will happen on two occasions. First, your supervisors
may request input for a formal performance evaluation or
to clarify a worker's ability. When that situation arises,
be completely honest with yourself and those you are
evaluating. Don't let personal feelings and attitudes blur
your professional judgment. Differences of opinion do
not necessarily mean poor performance. Avoid reporting
minor problems you can correct yourself through
counseling and leadership. Second, you will need to seek
help from your supervisor on occasions when you are
unable to correct a performance or behavioral problem.
You also will need to provide a performance evaluation
to your superiors for such occasions. When those
occasions arise, hold a counseling session and document
the session. Formal performance counseling requires
written statements of the problem or deficiency and the
steps required to resolve the matter. Remember, the goal
is to correct a problem; and the counseling session is to
train, direct, and help the subordinate correct the
deficiency. You, as the supervisor or counselor, and the
counselee sign the form acknowledging the steps to be
taken to correct the deficiency. Then the form is placed
in the individual's division or department file.
Sailors are capable of developing an almost infinite
variety of problems, which may or may not be job
related. Sometimes friction arises between workers, or a
personal problem causes workers to stop pulling their
weight. Since these problems ultimately affect the job
performance of all your subordinates, they should be of
concern to you. In some cases, members may come to