“To get the best from your employees, you need to be more than just a manager. You need to be a coach.”
There is a lot of wisdom from these words, courtesy of Michael K. Simpson, a renowned executive coach and management consultant. As a team leader or manager, helping your employees succeed is both your goal and your responsibility.
This is where your employee coaching skills come into the picture. Being a coach or mentor to your employees is one way for you to help them discover their talents, strengths, and potential. Through coaching, you can also guide your employees on how they can deliver optimum performance at work.
With this kind and level of self-awareness, your employees can achieve more success in their respective job roles as well as in contributing to the company’s growth.
Every business organisation has its fair share of under-performing and high-performing employees. Studies show that an involved and collaborative leader puts employees from the sidelines into the game. Meanwhile, winning leaders also acknowledge that they should inspire achievers in the workplace to continue developing their skills.
That said, knowing how individual employees in your organisation work can give you a better grasp of employee coaching. For one, you might find that some of your employees are performing below par because they’re not being supervised well enough. It could also be that they are dealing with unrealistic work goals. The key is in knowing what challenges they are facing and giving them the coaching they need to help them become more successful in their job.
Moreover, you should be able to set goals for your employees in a way that leads them toward the direction that your company is pushing for.
In this article, you’ll find helpful insights on how to incorporate employee coaching into your business strategy and company culture.
A coaching approach is helpful for various stakeholders, including the employees, managers, and the entire organisation. Internally, coaching improves the manager-employee relationship and your business processes. Outside of the organisation, coaching also paves the way for enhancing critical areas of your business, such as customer service, sales, and marketing. Here’s a look at what else employee coaching can do for your team:
The usual practice of coaching is for you to hold a dialogue with your employees. During these discussions, you are expected to ask questions about the most pressing challenges they commonly encounter at work.
Often, employees will talk about a problem that’s keeping them from performing to the best of their ability, which may include meeting deadlines, delivering quality outputs, and the like. Coaching serves as a way for you and your employees to identify available options, propose a solution, and agree on how to address those problems.
As a manager, one of your roles is to regularly make decisions for your team – whether they are as minor as buying notepads for office use or something major, such as purchasing additional computer units.
When it comes to task delegation, you also need to decide who does what. You’re in charge of giving instructions to the assigned employee. Last but not least, you have to provide proper and adequate coaching so he or she can fulfil the task efficiently and effectively. Otherwise, you might not get the results that you want.
Coaching is helpful in task delegation for a couple of reasons. First, coaching allows you to assess how knowledgeable or skilled your employees are for any given function or project. From there, you can decide which type of task to delegate to individual employees.
In a study conducted at the University of Wollongong in Australia, researchers found that managers with a coaching approach observed a rise in staff productivity from 35% to 100% within a 12-month period. This only goes to show that coaching plays a critical role in getting the most and the best out of your workforce.
Through regular coaching sessions, your relationship with your team members grows. As a result, you can honestly communicate how company management views success and, in turn, relate it to their personal goals.
By establishing that kind of connection, your employees are more likely to align their work practices and approaches so they can meet the company’s needs and expectations, and ultimately, their own professional motivations.
If you feel that coaching only serves below-average employees, think again. Your exceptional staff need your attention and guidance, too. Even though it seems that they have everything figured out and that they don’t need help from anybody, you have to consider that they are like everyone else who will benefit from the feedback that you share during coaching.
However, you can tailor the type of coaching or mentoring that you provide to top performing employees. Perhaps you can entrust them with a new client’s project or get them involved in leadership training seminars. The key here is to help them stay motivated and challenged while you mould them for bigger roles in your organisation.
Regardless of what your industry is, your company is bound to face competition from other businesses. To make your organisation stand out, you’ll need employees who are excellent problem solvers and great innovators.
As their manager-slash-coach, you can promote critical and creative thinking by training them to have multiple perspectives instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach in solving problems within the organisation. You can also encourage them to introduce new ideas, products, processes, or anything that will help your business grow.
Although coaching programs may vary to meet the needs of both employees and businesses, an ideal approach to coaching may consist of the following steps:
Coaching doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience for your employees. Although coaching is meant to teach them how to become better employees (not reprimand them for their shortcomings), it should offer a meaningful journey in their career, too. Consider personalising your coaching approach depending on the type of skill or level of expertise that you want your employees to achieve.
An authentic coaching culture means that you also give your employees a chance to coach anyone in the organisation, including their peers and even you or other team leaders and managers. This isn’t to say that you will be taking orders randomly, but there has to be a way that different teams and units should be able to have a constant exchange and evaluation of ideas between them.
Coaching should never be a one-way affair. It’s always a joint effort between you and your employees. That said, you have to invite everyone in your team to contribute their ideas on how to improve your coaching process. Ask them what they like or what they don’t like about the current practice and explain why their prescribed solution might be a better alternative for your team.
There’s no better way to help your employees improve their performance and deliver better results for the company than through coaching. As long as it’s implemented in a positive and encouraging way, your employees will appreciate and welcome it with an open mindset.
If you would like to enhance your coaching skills, Guthrie-Jensen Consultants is offering a program called Effective Performance Coaching where you can learn the best practices in leading your employees toward high-impact performance and making more significant contributions to the company.
Filed Under Leadership & Management