Essential things you need to know about performance coaching
One of the latest management methods, performance coaching, is used to improve an employee’s overall contribution towards the organization by identifying their weaknesses and strengths. This technique uses a dialogue between the coach and the employee to recognize any issues. After analyzing the problems, the coach encourages the employees to adopt goals and measures so that they could successfully overcome workplace challenges. Usually, performance coaches are either your managers or professionals who are hired externally.
If you are running a business and want to enhance the productivity of your employees, then you should conduct performance coaching sessions regularly. Here’s how it can benefit your staff and organization.
- Clarity – It helps the employees to understand how they can put their strong suits to use, and at the same time it gives them an insight into what skills they are lacking. Likewise, through the conversations, the performance coach will also understand what kind of problems a particular employee is facing and how it could be resolved.
- Motivation – Performance coaching is all about constructive criticism, which can motivate the employees to explore unchartered territories and take up additional responsibilities. In short, such time-to-time feedback can bring a massive improvement in their personal identity as well as work.
- Efficiency – The primary goal of any performance coaching session is encouraging the employees to boost their productivity. By consistently and collectively working on the solutions, a permanent change can be brought in an employee’s working style, thereby ensuring maximum output.
- Support – Often employees might not be able to communicate their concerns openly. A performance coaching session can help them put all of their doubts and issues on the table without any fear of being criticized.
- Quick solutions – Performance coaching can help the employers to figure out the fastest and most efficient strategy to address the concerns of both the parties. This saves time as the seniors are now aware of all the crises and know which direction to take.
Picking the right performance coach
If your establishment is vast, you might need to hire an agency that provides specialized services for performance coaching. However, this also translates into the fact that you have to spend huge finances. Therefore, before choosing a performance coach, ensure that they have the following attributes.
- Excellent communicators – Since they are going to be unknown faces, your employees might initially feel conscious while having a discussion. So, ensure that the coach you are appointing has perfect communication skills. This not only extends to general verbal skills but also the body language and the approach they are planning to pursue.
- Active listeners – Any performance coaching session won’t be valuable if the communication is just one-sided. The coach should possess effective listening skills so that they don’t just critique but also design solutions based on the employee’s concerns and feedback.
- Friendly personality – Most employees might efficiently communicate only if the coach comes across as open-minded and friendly. Therefore, gauge their basic demeanor, so that your employees can feel comfortable while responding.
- Experience – It is essential that you inquire about their experience. Also, ask what their scope of specialty is. For instance, if you are particularly facing a problem regarding inefficiency in teams, then ask the potential coach if they have handled such a situation earlier, and if yes, know the solutions or tactics they had implemented.
However, if you or your managers are planning to lead the performance coaching sessions, then you should prepare thoroughly to derive the best results. Since, this will be a new responsibility for you as a manager or head, start off by researching about such techniques. At the same time, do your homework about every employee, so that you know their achievements and drawbacks.
Firstly, you will need to understand that performance coaching is a long-term commitment. So, you won’t see rapid changes just after one session. This is because every employee has a different response mechanism. Therefore, it is advised that you start slow.
Secondly, try to keep every session brief and meaningful by asking the right questions. This is because it involves internal resources. So, both the manager and employees will have other work duties to take care of. Based on the responses, you can dig deeper and design weekly or monthly targets for tackling one or two primary issues. Once these are resolved, you can gradually move towards the concerns that are of secondary importance.
Thirdly, be open to feedback. Ask employees what they liked about the sessions or if they are having any doubts about it. Do this at the end of every session as it will help you customize your approach accordingly for the next meeting.
Lastly, apart from keeping track of the staff’s performance, you should also inform and praise them about all the goals they have managed to accomplish.