Coaching Your Team to Top Performance

When a company recruits a new employee they are making a significant investment, not only in the time it takes to identify the right person for the role, but also the financial investments that are made in any recruiting tools that are used in the process.  Next, comes the on-boarding process where they are teaching a new employee the culture of the company – essentially “how things work around here”.  In addition, they are being trained in their job duties, and responsibilities and any systems the company uses.  Here is where a majority of bosses end the development of the employee.  If you are a small business owner, it is even easier to get distracted with all the activities it takes to effectively run your business.

It is important to remember that coaching should be an on-going process in which you provide continuous feedback to your employees’ in order to help them consistently improve and succeed.

A common misconception is that coaching is only done when you need to hold an employee accountable for doing something wrong.  Or that a coaching session needs to take an hour or more, eating up even more of your precious time.  However, there ARE some best practices when it comes to coaching that help make this an effective and quick tool at helping drive your employees’ to top performance.

1.       Understand your employee’s role.  If you do not know what tasks and activities your employee is responsible for to help you set the right expectations, it would be helpful for you to sit with your employee to understand what he or she does.  This can help you understand and shape his or her goals and what metrics they are held to so that, in tandem, you and your employee can create a road map for performance improvement.

2.       Be timely with your feedback.  If you notice an error or are not satisfied with how your employee has completed a project or task, ensure that you gather the recent examples and make time to briefly meet with them to discuss the error and how they think it can best be resolved. That way, you can learn how they think and guide them to self-identify the resolution – increasing their confidence.

3.       Be specific.  When coaching your employee, ensure that you are specific about what has not been accomplished to your expectations.  Bring examples of their work and also provide examples of what the work should look like.  Also, when providing feedback regarding behaviors, ensure that you are focusing on the behavior and not the person!

4.       Coaching is also about positivity!  When your employee completes a task correctly or achieves a metric or goal, feel free to give them a call and congratulate them!  And remember to be timely with the coaching – this will reinforce that your employee has done a task well and with your reinforcement will continue to perform at that level.

Taking the time to coach your employees will not only help you by having a more competent staff, it will also give you more time to focus on successfully running your business!