Employers in most companies big and small, conduct annual employee performance reviews. This helps the latter understand the things they are good at and areas where they could use some improvement. Coaching employees can be used as an effective method to improve employee performance or help them reach their optimum potential.
Consistent feedback, mentoring and counseling are some of the steps managers can take to help employees improve their performance at work. However, the coaching needs to be done in the right way. Do it wrong and your employees may feel unappreciated, berated or like they are being punished. Here are a few steps to follow while coaching employees which will help you achieve success in your business:
#1 Mutual Trust Is Essential
A manager’s day-to-day interactions and relationships with employees are the core of any coaching process. It is impossible to conduct coaching sessions unless there is a level of trust between these two parties. This trust comes only when you, as the employer go out of your way to listen, communicate and interact regularly with your employees.
#2 Start the Coaching Session
In an open meeting, it is crucial for the manager to address the specific reason for the meeting. Conduct it in a friendly and nonjudgmental manner. The key is to restate the purpose of the meeting that had been set when the session was scheduled.
#3 Employee Agreement
It is essential for the coach to get the employee to agree that a performance issue exists. Ignoring this aspect and assuming that the employee understands it, is one of the commonest mistakes many managers tend to make.
A manager must have the capability to discuss the nature of any performance-related issue. This will help impress upon the employee, what the consequences of not altering their behaviour will be. Specifying the behaviour issues includes three parts:
- Talk about specific performance issues.
- Clear out all performance expectations.
- Ensure that the employee agrees on this issue.
#4 Other Alternatives
Look for other methods on how the issue can be fixed. You can do this by boosting your employee’s confidence to help find new solutions. If he or she fails to come up with any solutions, it is crucial for you as a manager to be specific while providing alternatives. Generalisations will only confuse the person and won’t give them a clear idea about what needs improving. Provide multiple choices, and then discuss their pros and cons. You need to be good with acknowledging any suggestions the employee makes and expanding on them.
#5 Getting a Commitment Is Important
As mentioned in the previous point, it’s necessary that you give your employee the chance to make suggestions or provide alternatives as solutions. It isn’t the manager’s decision to make the choice for an employee. A key aspect of this process is that the manager gets a commitment from the employees about the action they need to take. Praise your employee if they come up with a great solution.
#6 Provide Feedback in A Positive Manner
While providing feedback, it is necessary to be positive. Here are a few tips on how to provide feedback to your employees:
- Be specific & timely with your feedback.
- Discuss the “what” and not the reasons.
- Maintain objectivity in your outlook.
- Be sincere in your approach.
Providing employees with positive feedback helps strengthen performance and makes them feel appreciated and recognized. A happy employee will always be incline to work productively, which helps improve the profitability of a business as well.
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