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The performance of any company is directly tied to the performance of its employees, but business leaders often struggle to utilize this knowledge to maximize the success of their team and their organization.

One of best ways to develop your company is to develop the people who work for you – but how?

While you can motivate your employees by rewarding success and disciplining failure, these incentives and disincentives will only get you so far. If your employees only perform well to get a reward or avoid discipline, they’re not truly invested in your company’s success.

Adopting an effective employee coaching program enables you to develop the success and performance of your team, without compromising their loyalty to the success and performance of your company.

What exactly is employee coaching?

“Coaching is unlocking people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” – John Whitmore, Coaching for Performance

Coaching is a management style that develops employees by assessing, improving, and tracking their knowledge, skills, and abilities.

When discussing employee development, many people use terms like training and coaching interchangeably, but these two methods actually have distinct purposes.

Training is task-oriented, often teaching employees how to do something or in what circumstances to do something. Coaching is people-focused – encouraging employees to generate solutions and problem solve with the guidance of a mentor.

It’s important to remember these different focuses; while training can be standardized for your organization, coaching should be customized for each of your employees.

Although there is no standard process for coaching all employees, there are a few key concepts you can utilize to maximize the effectiveness of your coaching efforts.

Below we share our 3 Keys For Effective Employee Coaching to help you develop and implement a successful coaching program.

Change in just one individual can have a cascading effect throughout an entire organization. If you’re interested in learning more about increasing the performance of your employees through Integrity HR’s coaching services, check out our website here or give us a call at 877-753-0970.

3 Keys For Effective Employee Coaching

1. Develop A Collaborative Approach

Coaching works best when employees assume ownership over their own professional development and improvement. Taking a collaborative approach to coaching, rather than a top-down approach, helps to create a more enriching coaching experience.

The ideal coach is there to support, guide, encourage, and empower employees to problem solve successfully, not provide them with the solutions they need.

Collaborative employee coaching is rooted in asking strategic questions, rather than making declarative statements.

For example, rather than telling an employee how they could be more efficient with their time, an effective coach would ask the employee to brainstorm ways to be more efficient.

By asking employees thoughtful questions, the coach gives the responsibility of identifying solutions to the employee and enables them to take ownership their ideas.

Presenting the employee with questions is also a beneficial way for coaches to provide feedback on the quality of ideas that were generated. Coaches and employees should discuss together the potential success of each idea, rather than the coach simply accepting or rejecting the suggestions.

2. Offer Coaching To All Employees

Unfortunately, many people assume that coaching is only for employees who are struggling. Whether they’re failing to meet their goals, expressing an unsavory attitude, or slacking in their responsibilities, coaching is commonly offered as a path to remediation.

Coaching is a good tool for employees in need of a performance adjustment, but effective coaching isn’t confined to this group alone. If you only coach your poor performers, you reinforce the misconception that coaching is a disciplinary consequence and an indication that they’re “in trouble.”

Unsurprisingly, in workplaces where coaching is viewed as performance management instead of professional development, employees often want to avoid coaching.

In reality, anyone can improve their skills and learn new approaches, so all team members should have the opportunity to experience effective coaching.

Coaching for top performers may focus more on developing strengths or building new skills needed for advancement in the organization. For less consistent performers, coaching may focus on identifying areas of weakness or fostering beneficial habits to increase success.

Incorporating coaching into the career paths of all your employees indicates your commitment to their success, which will hopefully encourage your team to be committed to your success in return.

3. Coach To Achieve Future Goals

Effective coaching is proactive coaching. Engaging all of your employees in a collaborative coaching experience enables you to prepare your workforce for the future needs of the company.

As your company grows, your employees will need to improve or refine their knowledge, skills, and abilities to meet your new business goals.

While you may need to hire new team members to meet new needs, you can work to proactively prepare your current team to grow into their future company roles. In other words, you can align the professional goals of your employees with your long-term company goals.

Start by asking your employees about their professional goals and how they imagine their goals contributing to the success of the company. Develop coaching plans based upon the professional goals of your team members and the strategic goals of your company.

Communicating to your team that their professional success supports the organization’s goals will remind them that their growth and work are valuable and appreciated.

While you can’t prevent employees from going elsewhere with the knowledge, skills, and abilities they gain with the help of your coaching, your investment in your employees will encourage loyalty to you and your company while also solidifying your reputation for developing successful contributors.

Effective Employee Coaching

Investing in your employees’ development and communicating your commitment to their success through an effective employee coaching program will help you build a loyal, skilled team for your business.

Remember that coaching should be customized for each employee based upon their knowledge, skills, and abilities, but you can apply these key concepts to your unique coaching program in order to maximize its effectiveness.

We hope our 3 Keys For Effective Employee Coaching help you to maximize the success of your team and your organization.

Do you need a partner to help you improve the performance of your employees? Check out our website here or give us a call at 877-753-0970 to learn more about Integrity HR’s coaching services.

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about the author: Integrity HR

Integrity HR's human resources blog is filled with expert advice (and sassy commentary) on those everyday employment issues that give business owners and managers HR headaches. From tips on how to retain key employees to how to write your dress code policy, our blog has all the HR resources you need. Problems we solve: HR Outsourcing, HR Consulting Projects, Professional Recruiting Services, HR Audit & Operational Review, Employee Training Programs, Compensation Consulting, Leadership Development & Coaching, Succession Planning.