No matter what your job may be, all leaders need to coach. It doesn’t matter if you are a higher level or lower level manager–performance reviews once a year for your staff is not enough. The more frequently you can coach and be involved in their work, the better the results will be. Here are five keys to great coaching:
1. Build a relationship.
Not only do you need to show respect for your employees, but you also need to form a positive bond with them. If you have a larger staff, it may be more difficult to have a relationship with each one of them. However, show them that you trust them and give them reasons to trust you in return. Be involved in their work, but don’t micromanage. Make sure you offer them guidance when needed. Over time, your employees will begin value the relationship you have formed and will come directly to you seeking advice.
2. Challenge thinking.
A lot of times the best ideas in a company will come from the employees themselves. After all, they are the ones directly involved with the work and the customers. Invite them to share their ideas and frequently hold discussions. Ask your employees for feedback on how productivity and other areas of the company can be improved. Chances are, your employees will have a lot of valuable ideas that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
3. Provide feedback.
Make sure you are frequently providing your employees with meaningful feedback. Let them know what they are doing well as well as how they can improve. If you only focus on the things they are doing wrong, they will become discouraged and will no longer seek advice from you. Help your employees come up with solutions to problems, and make sure they receive the necessary training before given a new task. Frequently give praise, but don’t overdo it. Overall, the most important part is to make them feel like a valued member of the team.
4. Give encouragement.
Your employees need encouragement; this is what will give them the motivation to keep going when they are feeling discouraged. Always be there for your employees and help them when you can. You should also give them extra support when things go wrong in their personal lives, such as the death of a loved one. This will show them how much you really do care about them, and in return they will try their hardest to succeed and make you happy.
5. Drive results.
One of the most important parts of being a great coach is to drive results. To do this, you will need to set reasonable goals and make a plan on how you will achieve them. Make sure you clearly communicate this plan to your staff. Then, track productivity. You can do this using scoreboard programs, Key Performance Indicators, or timesheet software.