Great managers are also great coaches. Coaching in the workplace is a critical part of a strategic plan for business.
Coaches can have a positive effect on the development of employees. And, developed employees are assets to any business.
Many organizations encourage their leadership team to coach employees in performance, skill development, and career planning.
Why Employee Coaching Is Important
We all come from different backgrounds and have different frames of reference.
Some people are taught professionalism growing up and others have never been exposed to proper business protocol or etiquette.
A coach can help teach employees how to earn the respect of others and behave professionally in the workplace.
This becomes even more important as an employee develops, grows professionally, and is promoted to higher levels of responsibility.
The higher someone is promoted in an organization, the more important their skills are in how they interact with others and behave in the workplace.
As an employee prepares for more responsibility, there are certain competencies required for promotion.
And, as the level of leadership changes the competency requirements also increase.
The primary objective of coaching is to develop the next generation of managers and leaders.
Successful coaching supports a succession planning process to ensure there are smooth transitions when others leave the organization, move up the ladder, or simply retire.
5 Examples of Coaching Employees
1. Professional Communication
One of the many skills of an effective leader is the art of communicating in a professional manner.
Communicating professionally in the workplace can help to build trust and minimize conflict.
However, when there is a lack of professionalism, conflict is often the result.
As an example, if someone sends an email when they are angry, it can be received negatively by the recipient.
This can result in misunderstandings and hurt feelings.
An effective coach teaches employees how to communicate professionally via email or how to determine when it is better to simply pick up the phone and make a personal phone call instead.
2. Diversity Sensitivity
Diversity in the workplace is another area that can be coached.
Whether we’re dealing with someone of the opposite sex, someone of a different sexual orientation, a different race, or a different generation, we need to be sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of all workgroups.
It’s amazing how a couple of misspoken words can cause misunderstandings and potential strife in the workplace.
A good coach can help employees recognize how to respond appropriately and professionally.
Diversity training is always a good idea, but some people need one-on-one coaching in this area.
Supervising managers should coach employees on how to resolve those performance obstacles.
Make sure you document coaching sessions and establish improvement goals to achieve higher levels of employee productivity.
4. Career Tracks
Coaches can also help employees strategize career goals.
A good coach will help an employee focus on their strengths and develop skills to help them achieve career objectives.
For instance, an employee who has a natural gift for negotiating can be developed into someone who can negotiate contracts for the business.
Effective coaches can also teach employees how to network and gain exposure to professional organizations.
5. Work-Life Balance
Coaches can help employees learn how to manage the balance between home and work responsibilities.
This balance is important for employees and can affect their productivity if one or the other is out of balance.
I tell employees that they need to keep their gas tank full because a low gas tank can affect the operation of the engine.
Meaning, if we don’t take time to renew and refresh, it can affect how we function and operate at work.
A balanced approach always works much better.
Qualities Of A Great Workplace Coach
Effective workplace coaches address and help solve, employee performance and behavior issues.
This important conversation helps the employee think through problems and figure out how to come to their own solutions.
Often a coach will personalize the conversation by using their own experience and perspective.
For instance, a coach will share examples of times they encountered a similar situation and resolved a workplace issue.
Effective coaches are able to provide honest feedback and are comfortable pointing out areas that need improvement.
For instance, a coach may point out that an employee’s communication style is abrupt and could be interpreted as rude. This honest feedback allows the employee to reflect on how others interpret their communication style.
Unfortunately, not all employees are open to this and may not make necessary changes. It is through this process that under-performers can and should be weeded out.
It makes no sense for an organization to carry employees who have no desire to improve and are dead weight to the organization.
The ability to coach others should be a required skill for anyone in management.
A good coach has the best interest of the employee in mind and has no personal motives or selfish intent.
One of the most rewarding aspects of managing people is watching them grow and develop professionally.
This is a big responsibility because the future success of our employees is often determined by our ability to coach them.
How often do you have coaching sessions with your employees?