The latest SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey found that, when asked if managers need training on how to coach employees, 93 percent of those surveyed said yes. Even an underperforming employee can recognize when a manager is lacking in coaching skills. It is easy to get discouraged when it appears your coaching methods are not paying off, but it is important to try and try again. There are 4 simple tasks you can follow to strengthen your coaching style.
Anyone is more motivated to put effort into a task when they are aware of the task’s purpose. Explain to your team why you are having them do certain tasks. There are 4 common questions that you should be prepared to answer:
Where are we going?
What are we doing to get there?
What can I do to contribute?
What is in it for me?
These questions cover the basis for a plan from start to finish; they represent the strategy, plans, roles, and rewards, respectively. And the thing to remember is not to wait for them to ask, because they might not always have the openness or forward thinking to bring up the question.
You should be asking questions just as much as your employees are. Ask if they understand their responsibilities. Ask if they have the tools they need to complete tasks. Ask why they believe they underperformed last week. Ask what they think will help them improve performance. As a leader, you should spend 80 percent of your time listening, and 20 percent of your time talking.
Don’t make decisions on your own. Involve your team in discussions for potential solutions and approaches. Everyone should work as a team to set goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-framed. Discussing ups and downs with your team will open up the possibility for more solutions than you would come up with on your own.
Acknowledge and reinforce successful efforts and beneficial ideas. Don’t wait for your team to come to you with an achievement, pay attention to them and point out their successes yourself so they know you are aware of their efforts.
Sometimes, in order to coach employees, you need some coaching yourself. But it’s not as challenging as you think. Take these tips into consideration and see how your coaching style improves.