NextGen Know-How: Six strategies for successfully coaching employees

Employ active listening skills and ask thoughtful questions to foster engagement.

by Laurie Maddalena, MBA, CPCC, PHR, CU Management

Managers account for at least 70 percent of the variance of employee engagement scores in business, according to Gallup. And only 30 percent of employees in the U.S. report being engaged at work. One way to increase engagement is through coaching. In my experience, many managers think meeting with employees is coaching. Going over a task list and following up on items is not coaching. Performance coaching is a process.

What Is Coaching?

Coaching is a partnership you form with an employee that focuses on helping them learn and develop, for the benefit of all. As the coach/manager, your objective is to guide your employee toward his or her goals. By taking a coach approach with your employees, you can improve work performance, productivity and ultimately success in their jobs. One definition of coaching is “a mutual sharing of experiences and opinions to create agreed-upon outcomes.” It’s about helping successful people achieve results faster and easier than if they were working on their own. Good managers use coaching skills as part of their regular management style.

All employees can benefit from coaching, not just the rising stars or the struggling employees. The goal of coaching is to develop employees so they become more self-reliant and better able to handle problems and challenges. Coaching is also a more helpful way of getting things done—rather than just assigning orders and measuring progress, coaching enables employees to feel part of the process and become more productive.


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