Coaching in the workplace is central to a successful business. Happy employees, satisfied customers and continuous improvement in an increasingly sophisticated and competitive landscape are all essential benefits of a strong coaching culture. Sometimes, it can be difficult for managers and directors to know if their coaching is effective. How can they know if they’re making a difference? What are indicators of good versus poor coaching? Consider some of the following measurements of good coaching:
A huge indicator of effective coaching is employee retention. When employees are happy, they stay with their jobs. Effective coaching gives employees a sense of control over their own destinies by giving them the tools they need to succeed. Clear feedback, actionable instructions and a sense of progress all contribute to a satisfied employee who wants stay put. Effective coaching certainly isn’t the only factor in employee retention – demand for skills, salaries and benefits all play a role. However, any organization can improve its employee retention with strong coaching.
A company’s ability to maintain clients and customers is a huge indicator of how well management does at coaching. Every organization’s management team has a vision in mind for a client or customer experience, but the execution of their vision comes down to their ability to coach. Teaching specific behaviors and giving employees confidence in their customer/client interactions helps manifest the ideal client experience. Consider a financial institution: When a potential customer walks into a branch, what is the most pertinent information they’re looking for? What are their preoccupations about opening an account? How should the staff interact with this new customer, and what information should they be provided? In what order? All of these details are coachable opportunities that can help gain new clients and maintain existing relationships.
Staff should have a constant sense of improvement in their roles. Regular meetings with a workplace coach can help them focus on small, specific behaviors and give them actions to take. These coaching sessions allow for constructive conversations, where behaviors can be tweaked. Rather than employees being concerned about infrequent (e.g., annual) meetings where their overall performance is criticized, they know feedback will be specific and help them understand if their performance is off-base.
Creating a Culture of Innovation
Innovation is difficult to measure, but is incredibly obvious when a strong culture is established. In a positive feedback loop, innovative thinking is welcomed, acted upon and rewarded, encouraging more innovation. Employees should feel like they have ownership over the tasks and responsibilities they oversee on a daily basis. When they feel like they have a sense of ownership, they will want to improve and fine-tune those processes.
Importantly, managers and directors shouldn’t underestimate the value of employee innovation. Often, these individuals have insight into processes that managers will overlook, due to the high-level nature of their work. When staff can create change within their organization, they enable themselves to do better work, feel like an appreciated member of their organization and look for future opportunities to improve the way their approach to their workplace roles.