Five Coaching Skills to Boost Employee Performance
The complex and constantly changing world of work is fast paced and high pressured, and places increasingly tough demands on employees within organisations.
A particularly powerful tool in the modern workplace is coaching. This has proven to be a highly effective way of developing individual and organisational performance by unlocking talent and capability. The focus is on growth, progression and results.
Line managers are key to improving employee performance and improving their coaching skills is the fastest way to facilitate the development process.
Coaching is identified by CMI Research as the single most important tool for driving up performance, however many organisations still do not implement this initiative. High performing organisations provide 20 per cent more coaching than lower performing organisations; they integrate coaching into their daily management activity, and it is executed across the entire business at all levels.
Here are five ways in which line managers can implement their coaching skills daily:
1. Initiate Informal One-to-One Discussions
Coaching doesn’t have to be a long-winded or over-complicated. One of the most effective ways that line managers can integrate coaching daily is to have productive and considered dialogue with team members. Given how busy everyone is, pre-schedule these important discussions to ensure they happen. A 15-minute one-to-one discussion can make a huge difference in building relationships and improving employee performance.
2. Adapt line management approach
Ideally, coaching isn’t an event that takes place occasionally; instead, it should become a style of and daily approach to line management. Rather than directing and telling team members what to do and how to do it, managers that adopt a questioning approach will better engage their staff and create a more productive environment of empowerment.
3. Use coaching skills to help facilitate tricky conversations
It’s easy to say thank you and ‘you’ve done a good job’ when things are going well. But when things are not going so well, we find that many managers struggle with how to say what they really want to say to their staff. This results in them not saying anything, which escalates the problem. We often find that managers have a lot of mental blocks when it comes to giving feedback, which are usually down to irrational fears, such as coming across in the wrong way or causing conflict or upsetting people etc. Utilising line manager’s coaching skills will enable them to facilitate these tricky conversations with more ease and confidence.
4. Give motivational and developmental feedback
We’re not talking about saving up feedback for the annual appraisal; we’re talking about tackling performance related issues in a way that motivates staff and nips ineffective behaviours in the bud to avoid these mushrooming. Delivered correctly, feedback is a tool that motivates staff, raises capability, improves employee performance and develops confidence in others.
5. Encourage staff to progress on the job
Many managers may think that it is quicker to complete tasks themselves when team members come to them for support. But is it really quicker over time? Coaching is an effective way to help team members start to think through the answers themselves so that they learn on the job and self-discover how to complete new tasks or improve on what they are already doing. Not only does the manager benefit from team members gaining more confidence and developing their skill-set, they create more time to complete their own tasks rather than those of others!
Line managers can gain internationally recognised coaching and mentoring qualifications to develop their coaching skills and knowledge, and significantly improve employee performance. Short qualifications can be achieved in as little as 4 weeks.
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