4 Ways to Coach Your Employees to Success

July 27, 2017

As an employer, you can do all the right things to hire the most qualified, skilled employees to get the job done. However, getting the most from your team—in productivity, creativity and next-level results—requires a leader who can really help them shine. Coaching and development are critical components of employee management and among the most worthwhile business investments you can make.

So how do you lead your team to greatness?  Here are some tips for efficiently coaching employees to their best performance.

1) Don’t skimp on onboarding
There are four components in a successful onboarding program. You can remember these as the four C’s:

The human resources team or your HR services provider frequently completes the compliance phase of onboarding, which includes an overview of policy-related rules and regulations.

The hiring manager is typically responsible for completing the clarification component. Clarification is the first opportunity for the manager to establish the foundation for the employment relationship, including the employee’s job description, applicable goals and your expectations for the employee. This is also where coaching really begins. Without clarifying expectations, it is hard to have subsequent development and performance conversations if it’s unclear what is expected of the employee.

The direct manager usually takes the lead on establishing both company culture and connection between the new employee and other colleagues.

These phases are important in helping the new employee understand company standards. It also provides a foundation for the employee to network throughout the organization.

It’s important that managers work collectively with the HR team to ensure that all of these components are included because they create a foundation for an engaged employee who will be ready to make a positive impact on the organization.

2) Lead like a coach, not a boss
Effective managers do not sit behind their desks dictating tasks to their reports. They look to develop employees and share in the successes and failures of the team. They collaboratively work with their employees to solve problems. Managers who are

effective coaches develop a mentor relationship with their employees. A good mentor invests in developing the employee, not just for success in their current role but for future elevated roles.

Often, managers get so caught up in the day-to-day tasks of managing that they overlook this part of an employee’s development. A good approach to mentoring is to ask employees what their career goals are and help develop a plan for them to get there. These conversations can be a formal part of the regular performance review process or can be touched upon in weekly one-on-one meetings with each employee.

Regardless of your approach as a manager, showing an employee you care about their career goals will keep them engaged and performing. It will also help ensure they are ready to grow with your company.

3) Give (and receive) frequent and consistent feedback
It’s important that all coaching and development conversations are two-way streets. Managers should give feedback but also seek feedback from the employee. Managers should ask their employees, “How can I support you with this?” or “Is there anything I can do to help you achieve this goal?” These questions show that managers have a personal stake in the employee’s overall job success as well as in a project’s success. Asking questions like these help gain the employee’s trust, maintain employee engagement and encourage employee development.

Managers should remember that this is also ongoing feedback. To be effective, feedback should be given—and received—on an ongoing basis, as needed.

4) Coach as a team
To coach effectively and efficiently, it’s important to leverage the resources around you. Effective managers seek input from all the employees they manage and take a collaborative approach to problems. They also utilize other tenured employees, team leads and training resources to work with their team when additional development or training is necessary. By allowing others to assist in the coaching process, you give the employee who receives the coaching a different perspective on how to approach a problem, as well as allow the employee to develop peer relationships within the organization. 

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

By Kelly Pacatte

Kelly Pacatte is a senior employee relations consultant with TriNet.

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