I am a firm proponent of the merits of ongoing coaching for your staff.
Why coaching, you ask? Shouldn't you just be able to hire a team of highly qualified and motivated staff who will accomplish your goals? After all, isn't that what you are paying them for?
In an ideal world that would be true. In the real world, we all have our strengths and weaknesses -- in the office and life -- and none of us are perfect.
Putting together a team that meets management’s objectives or your sales goals will frequently require not selecting the right people, but ongoing coaching.
If you tend to shy away from coaching your staff, you may be lacking the skills needed to be a great coach. The good news is that those skills can be learned fairly easily, if you want to.
First, ask yourself these questions:
- When was the last time a member of your staff needed feedback about a specific issue with his or her performance?
- Did you provide the necessary feedback in a neutral and constructive fashion or did you hope the staff member would self-correct?
- If you did not provide feedback, did the issue resolve itself, stay the same, or deteriorate?
I think you can see where I’m going with this. It’s in your best interests to coach your employees and provide ongoing feedback. Although it can be difficult, coaching truly provides a win-win for you, your staff member, and your company as a whole.
Many firms offer excellent training options when they first onboard a new hire. Many firms have detailed manuals telling employees what is and is not expected. Unfortunately, that’s where it often ends.
Ongoing coaching can make a huge difference to building a team that meets and even exceeds set goals, and whose members are able to work well together.
As a manager, if you desire this type of a team, you’re going to have to step up and learn to coach. Courageously. With skill. With respect. With an understanding that it really is a win-win.
“How?” you might be wondering. If so, you are certainly not alone.
In a future post, I’ll share how to begin coaching your staff, and what makes a great coach. Until then, if you have any experiences -- either about delivering business coaching or being coached at work -- I’d love to hear about them in the comments.