Employee coaching is a great way for managers to encourage their workers to motivate themselves. Rather than telling employees what to do, an effective coach will raise their confidence, offer guidance and allow them to achieve goals on their own. If you can train employees to do the best job they can, their self-esteem and productivity will increase, giving you the positive results you’re seeking.
Here are 10 tips to help you be the most successful employee coach possible:
1. Obvious Objectives—
Make sure employees know exactly what is expected of them. Your job as leader is to help them “win,” but it’s hard to be open to coaching when you don’t know the rules of the game. Establish clearly what objectives you’d like your employee to accomplish.
2. Present Positivity—
If you are busy, tired or having a bad day for any reason, postpone all employee coaching sessions for a later time when you’re doing better. Enthusiasm and a positive attitude will rub off on whomever you’re coaching, but if you’re not at your personal best, you can’t teach others how to attain theirs.
3. Instill the Skill—
Make sure your employees have been completely trained at their jobs before you attempt to coach. Trying to coach a poorly-trained employee is like trying to teach someone who’s never watched a basketball game how to play. If employees don’t know the job requirements, you may be wasting your time.
4. Don’t Be a Bossy Boss—
The most effective managers know that the best way to teach someone is to allow them to reach conclusions on their own with guidance, not by assigning them a to-do list. Nobody likes being ordered around, and being pushy might actually have the opposite effect you’re seeking on some people, making them feel rebellious and contrary.
5. Prepare a Performance Plan—
It’s important to develop a plan of action or contract together. Allow your employee to play a large role in defining the steps needed for performance improvement, and how they intend to reach the goals. Letting someone make decisions to further their career empowers and motivates them to work harder to achieve personal objectives.
6. Future Follow Up—
When establishing your performance plan, be sure to set dates for future check-ins to encourage follow-through and keep everyone on track. This type of accountability can remind employees and managers to keep their eyes focused on the big picture and moving forward.
7. Be Available—
If you have the opportunity for live-action coaching at your workplace, being available to guide an employee as they do their job in real time can make a big difference in their performance. It can make some employees nervous to have the boss nearby, so reassure them you’re there to offer suggestions and help, not criticize.
8. Feedback is Fine—
A little reassurance can go a long way for an uncertain employee, so don’t be afraid to give useful feedback along the way, even if you’re between “official” coaching sessions. Giving guidance and direction can really boost the morale of someone who is feeling a bit lost.
9. Converse Confidentially—
In order to promote trust, coaching conversations should be done in private, if at all possible. Some people are more sensitive than others, and would prefer that performance plans and goals be discussed in a confidential setting.
10. Debrief Without Grief—
It’s always disappointing when a goal has been set, yet unmet, both to employer and employee. But rather than making a strike on someone’s permanent record, stay positive and consider it a teaching moment. What should have been done differently to avoid this unwanted outcome? Help your employee figure out why the goal wasn’t achieved, and find solutions to make sure they accomplish what they set out to do next time.
Remember, a good leader and positive coach can mean the difference between a so-so business and a thriving, successful company. You can use many of these steps to effectively coach employees, boost morale, and help your team achieve the productivity and results you’re all seeking together.
Jeff Arnold is a professional blogger that provides news, information and advice for small business growth, human resources and executive recruiting in Memphis TN. He writes for Reach Human Capital, a top human resources consulting and executive search firm in Memphis TN.