6 Steps to Help You Coach Employees More Effectively

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Corny as it may sound, but your employees are your company’s most valuable asset. 

Your relationship with them is what sets the tone for their attitude towards work and engagement. Speaking of the latter, according to the latest reports, 85% of employees are either not engaged or are actively disengaged at work. 

These figures can be translated to $7 trillion in lost productivity. 

One of the best ways of avoiding such a bleak scenario is motivating and coaching your employees properly. 

Here are some tips to point you in the right direction. 

1. Know Your Employees 

It’s essential to know your employees and understand what makes them tick. 

That way you’ll be able to structure your coaching and tailor it based on your employees’ individual traits, strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. 

Use personality testing to get to know your people better and figure out what coaching approach works best for each of them. Another valuable source of information can be self-evaluations, as this form of feedback shows you whether you’re utilizing their skills and talents effectively. 

2. Build Strong Relationships With Your Employees

Employees need managers and leaders whom they can trust and respect. 

Establishing meaningful relationships with your team can make all the difference when it comes to the success of coaching. Besides, by fostering a culture of honesty, transparency, and fairness in the workplace, you can significantly reduce your turnover rate.  

To achieve this, be an active listener. Ask your employees open-ended questions to get them to open up and give you more detailed answers about their aspirations, work ethics, and goals. This will lead to more productive coaching conversations. 

3. Provide Regular Feedback 

No, annual or even quarterly reports won’t cut it. 

Similarly, the fact that you don’t complain doesn’t mean that you’re satisfied with how they do their job. 

It’s important to clarify your expectations, set goals, and keep your employees in the loop. 

Your employees need to receive regular feedback about their performance in order to keep up the good work or make improvements if necessary. Otherwise, they’ll be in the dark and this will impact their ongoing development. 

Here’s how to provide constructive feedback:

  • Do it right after you notice a certain behavior or event. That way you can draw your employees’ attention to the problem and help them avoid it in the future. 
  • Make sure to pick the right time and place when it comes to communicating some negative remarks. Do it in private, be honest, and offer to help in fixing the issue. 
  • Be generous when it comes to positive feedback – use every opportunity to praise your employees. It’s best to show appreciation by acknowledging your top-performers and their hard work during weekly staff meetings. 

It’s particularly important to offer effective coaching and timely feedback to employees who return to work after a break. They need all the support and guidance in order to get up to speed and catch up after being absent from the workplace.   

4. Help Your Employees Get Out of Their Comfort Zone 

Complacency in the workplace is one of the biggest productivity killers. 

Complacent employees feel that they have learned all the ropes and are satisfied with the way things are working out. This usually results in their being unlikely to change anything. 

Soon, boredom and disengagement set in, and your once competitive and hard-working employee stops being proactive and is stuck in a rut. 

To prevent this detrimental behavior, make the most of your employees’ skills and expertise and assign them new, more challenging tasks. By constantly setting the bar higher, you’ll encourage them to push their limits and grow. 

5. Encourage Collaboration 

Coaching isn’t a one-way street. 

You need to encourage your employees to share their opinion and participate in the process not only as passive recipients but as those who help in creating it. 

It’s important to make sure that your employees assume a part of the responsibility for coaching through collaboration. It’s their call to inform you how well the process progresses and what can be done to make it even better. 

Such an approach will improve your communication and get you on the same page, which is essential not only for coaching but for your future work.

6. Understand Your Team Dynamics

Did you know that women who have a best friend at work are twice as likely to be engaged as those who don’t? 

Your employees don’t need to be the best of friends in order to work effectively side by side, but it’s a good idea to team up those who work well together and get them on the same project. 

Also, given that your employees all come from different backgrounds and are endowed with different skillsets and talents, try to make use of this workplace diversity.

In other words, encourage them to interact on a regular basis and learn new skills and strategies from one another. 

As you can see, most of these tips heavily rely on good communication and active listening. Coaching your employees effectively is critical to the growth of your company, so it’s important to follow these steps and make the most of it. 

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