In the traditional business setup, managers often assumed an authoritarian role with employees. However, as recent studies and emerging trends in business management have proved, this tactic is not very effective in boosting employees' morale and productivity.
Recent survey shows that 93% of managers need training on coaching employees. In today's world, managers understand the importance of employee coaching rather than a dictatorship. For starters, coaching contributes to employees' onboarding and retention, skill improvement, performance improvement, and knowledge transfer.
Tips to Perfect Employee Coaching and Create a Productive Team
1. Encourage feedback
Set aside some time to give employees feedback on their performance. Telling them what they are doing well and what they need to improve motivates them to improve their performance. By creating a culture that encourages employees to give feedback, employees feel heard that their contributions are bringing success.
2. Listen to employee Ideas
Listening to your employees' ideas opens you up to new concepts. It makes employees feel respected and heard, thus motivating them to push harder. Plus, the frontline often has the most intimate knowledge of problems customers face, and subsequently, how to make the customer experience better.
3. Challenge your employees
Push your employees to the edge of their comfort zone without overwhelming them. Evaluate your employees, identify their individual experience and skillset; and then, give them new tasks that will challenge them to grow. When employees grow their skillset, confidence starts to increase.
4. Build their confidence
Look for opportunities to recognize employees' efforts and achievements. By acknowledging their excellent work and how they're progressing employees will gain confidence, thereby motivating them to work harder.
5. Tolerate occasional failure
Sometimes employees make a few mistakes while working. But, how management chooses to respond to mistakes is what matters to the frontline employee.
By saying that you should tolerate failure, doesn't mean management should let it slide, but employees shouldn't be chastised either. Instead, give employees a chance to explain what happened, how they will fix the problem, and what they have learned to make sure mistakes happen less.
6. Set Goals
If you want employees to work towards a particular target, show them how to get there. Setting goals is the best way to do it. Setting goals, like cross-training for different departments, employees can develop both their careers and help the organization reach its goals.
7. Always be there to help
Management shouldn't leave employees to figure out everything on their own. Be approachable and let them know that they ask questions or bring up concerns when they arise. By having somewhere employees can ask questions – in-person or digital – helps employees feel they have a support group around them.
8. Offer guidance and do not work
Sometimes, management might notice that a task is not being done right or is being done too slow, and it might be tempting to do it yourself, but management should not. It is crucial that employees learn to do things themselves or from colleagues with the role of management to offer guidance.
9. Ask for their opinion
While speaking with employees, always keep an open mind and try sourcing new ideas from them. Asking for employee feedback and giving them a voice changes the atmosphere of the workplace, and lets employees know their opinion matters.
10. Coach them when the chance arises
If employees ever come with a question, use the opportunity to teach them something new. If time does not permit in the moment, be sure to follow-up. Coaching employees increases their performance gradually since by building a relationship with them and instilling new knowledge.
11. Review and calibrate
After a project:
- Take the time to look back on it with your employees.
- Discuss what worked, what didn't, and what could be done better.
- Commend them for good work done and take time to celebrate their success.
12. Cultivate a relationship of mutual trust
The foundation for coaching in the workplace rests on mutual trust between the manager and employees. If mutual trust does not exist, then coaching an employee will not be very effective.
Just like the coach in an athletics team, managers need to bring your employees together. Each employee has something to bring to the table, so unifying employees together will increase productivity through learn from each other.
14. Encourage effort over ability
Acknowledging employees' efforts towards a particular task encourages them to work harder, and more often than not, they succeed.
The bottom Line
Coaching in the workplace is the most effective way to boost the morale and productivity of an organization's frontline employees. It will take time to implement and practice these strategies, but when it starts to take hold, management will start to notice an improvement in the business's operational efficiencies and productivity.
To learn more about how to better coach employees, download our guide on equipping your workplace for an agile world.