Coaching focuses on developing employees who improve their skills and work behaviors, which, in turn, improves efficiency, effectiveness and productivity and not just impart knowledge. Coaching includes motivating, disciplining and rewarding employees–factors related to high performance. It’s a powerful tool–the only way to bring about genuine, enduring performance improvement in others. Without exception, managers who are effective coaches get more from their associates than managers who cannot or will not serve as a coach.
It is useless to coach an individual who has no idea of what is expected from him. An employee should be aware of the expectations and objectives of the organization. Without proper training, they are unlikely to deliver the expected performance and thus it would be pointless to coach them. Employee coaching is designed to cross performance barriers.
Coaching is not passing judgment; it is a partnership of continuous, mini-performance reviews (assessment and feedback) to help employees realize success in achieving the organization’s goals and their individual professional aspirations. When you serve as a guide, mentor, teacher, helper and supporter–working with an employee to improve his or her performance–you are coaching. Here are some pointers that can surely help:
SPEND TIME: Time is very essential while coaching employees. You need to devote time and be patient, to help the employees to identify the possible solutions, during coaching. You should not attempt to complete the coaching in a hurry, as it will not yield the desired results and the purpose will not be served. You will simply end up giving the employees instructions of what to do, rather than offering them the right solutions to the issues they are facing. It is very crucial for you to allot the necessary time to implement the coaching successfully.
AVOID HANDLING IN EMOTIONAL STATE: To start coaching employees, while you are going through emotional turmoil and stress is a bad idea. If you are frustrated or irritated with some development, you will not be able to display the essential traits of an efficient coach. You could end up sending out negative vibes to the employees that will hinder the coaching and make it ineffective. You should let the employees deal with the situations and avoid interfering every time there is a difficulty.
CLEAR OBSTACLES: Employee coaching helps the staff to identify obstacles and implement solutions. Coaching does not mean giving instructions and advice to employees. On the contrary it involves helping them to identify the right behavior pattern.
MANAGE THE MUDDLE: Monitoring the employee performance on a regular basis helps a manager to implement coaching at the right time. Coaching should be attempted in the case of an employee becoming a potential threat, either to himself or those around him. In such a case, you cannot sit back and simply monitor his behavior. You need to act immediately and provide effective coaching. Offer suitable options and alternatives to come up with a practical solution. Explain and give reasons as to why you think his behavior is not appropriate.
BECOME A FRIEND: You should not allow illegal or unethical practices at the work place, irrespective of whether they are intentional or by mistake. Provide them with suitable solutions and discuss with them how their illegal or unethical behavior is affecting the organization. When the employees have time and again tried to solve a problem but have been unsuccessful, you need to intervene and take charge of things. You need to coach them and enable them to find the correct choice
ENHANCE TEAM SPIRIT: Another situation that requires not only monitoring, but effective coaching as well is when the employees do not work as a team. If due to the practice and behavior of one member, the team spirit is affected, you need to step in and provide appropriate coaching.
COACH FOR CHANGES: Be supportive, understanding and patient. If your employee could do what you do, he or she would have your job, so accept mistakes and overlook minor problems. When you micromanage, people tune you out.Challenge the excuses that lead to failure. Ask the employee, “How could you have overcome that problem? What can you do next time to ensure success?”
COACH AND REWARD: Acknowledge every success. Celebrate, congratulate and reward. Rather than the usual acknowledgments such as plaques or employee-of-the-month status, ensure rewards are personalized–exactly what the employee prefers. How do you know what they want? Why not ask them only???
AVOID OVER CRITICISM: Criticism is often avoided because managers are uncomfortable presenting comments. However, every manager must provide criticism of poor work behaviors and products to improve performance. Criticism can be palatable, even productive when you involve the employee, making him or her partner in the process. Point toward solutions instead of analyzing errors; people will be less defensive and more willing to listen and learn
You need to carefully assess when coaching is required and when you simply monitor employee behavior. You have to be patient and allow them to learn and grow from their mistakes