Tom Clark's Blog

7 Ways to Use Performance Coaching in Your Business

In today’s corporate world, there is a growing need to constantly improve employees’ productivity and morale. This is often done through performance coaching where top-level managers are encouraged to adopt frequent discussions with their subordinates as opposed to annual performance reviews.
While a big percentage of managers find these discussions to be awkward, they’re highly effective when done right.
[b]What Is Performance Coaching?
[/b]It’s the process of guidance, mentorship, positive development and motivation that is used by supervisors and managers to help employees overcome hurdles and improve performance. This innovative approach creates a supportive environment where managers and employees can address individual differences such as value systems, language, culture or age.
The idea behind [url=]performance coaching[/url] is to improve the performance of individuals and that of the team. Employees who engage positively with their performance coaches to improve their performance end up becoming valued contributors to the company and its growth.
Those who fail to improve often find themselves in what is known as a [url=]performance improvement plan[/url]. Managers are then required to meet regularly with these employees to provide extra coaching. Failure to improve from the PIP often results in employment termination.
[b]Ways to Use Performance Coaching in Your Business
[/b]Getting a performance coach for your staff is important. The work does not stop there. Here are a few tips for using performance coaching to increase the efficiency of your staff.
[b]1. Regular Check-Ins [/b]
Take time off your busy schedule and allocate it to coaching your employees. The success of your business depends on the performance of your employees. Schedule regular check-ins where you get to interact with each member of your team individually.
You can also try regular team meetings, however, it’s much easier to open up to one person than a whole team.
Engage each member and try to understand the issues that ail them at work. Highlight the areas that they are performing well and also suggest areas that need improvement. Provide support where you can and appreciate their hard work.
[b]2. Decide What You Intend to Accomplish [/b]
Focus on what you want the result to be and how you will get there. Come up with an actionable plan and present it to your employees. Explain to your employees the importance of the project and how its success will impact the company.
Set clear goals and milestones for each employee. Discuss with them your expectations and how you intend to accomplish these expectations. Set clear guidelines for what the output should entail.
[b]3. Provide Feedback [/b]
As your employees set out to accomplish the goals you have set, be sure to check up on them regularly. Attend discussions between you and the team. Let your employees ask questions and give praise where it’s due.
Where you feel the improve make suggestions on how best to handle different problems.
Give your employees access to all the resources they require to complete a task. Provide them with all the tools necessary to smoothen the process. Continue your regular check-ups and give feedback until you are sure that the employees have met the set criteria.
[b]Feedback should:[/b]
• Be sincere. Approach the situation in a way that the employee feels comfortable. Focus on the positive side before diving into the negatives. Try to offer constructive criticism as opposed to being openly harsh to employees who fail to meet expectations. Also, avoid using a tone that is sarcastic or exhibits frustration and disappointment.
• Be precise. If an employee performed well, approach the said employee and congratulate them for a job well done. If the performance was below expectation, be precise and share your concerns. This will give your employee into the kind of behavior or performance that you except.
• Be timely. Give feedback immediately the task is over.
[b]4. Create Mutual Trust
[/b]For any working relationship to thrive trust is required. Without trust between the employers and the manager, performance is likely to suffer. Your employees should feel that you are approachable and can connect with you even on a personal level.
This will facilitate performance coaching and make it easy to check up on your employees. Trust is the foundation of every relationship and lack of trust between employees will affect the company’s performance.
[b]5. Explore Alternatives [/b]
Provide a platform where your employees can come up with solutions to problems affecting the company. Listen to the views and encourage them to identify alternative solutions. Allow them time to come up with the alternatives and only jump in when they are stuck.
This will foster creativity among your employees and maximize the number of viable ideas or alternatives.
[b]6. Emphasize Listening
[/b]Managers often perceive their subordinates as inferior and in most cases ignore their suggestions. As an employer, you need to understand that listening is not just about quiet as the person talks. Listening also involves body language, facial expressions that show that you are following the conversation.
A good listener will not just absorb your ideas, they will amplify the ideas and clarify your thinking. Where the ideas are great, the employee should acknowledge and give credit where it is due.
[b]7. Seek Permission [/b]
As a manager, you’ll often feel the need to offer advice to your employees. You are probably thinking that it’s within your duties to offer unsolicited advice to your subordinates. The best way to handle this is by seeking permission from the employee before offering advice.
It not only makes the employee feel respected but it also conveys a sense of dignity.
[b]Benefits of Performance Coaching [/b]
The advantage of performance coaching are vast but most of them are specific to individuals. Some of the benefits include:
• Increased engagement; performances coaching encourages lots of engagement and one-on-one feedback. Consistent engagement encourages employees to contribute to the organization or team. This helps increase productivity and retention rate of the employee.
• A deeper level of learning: performance coaching focuses on many aspects of an employee other than their work life. Through coaching, employees get to understand how other employees perceive him and areas of his personality that needs change.
[b]Embrace Performance Coaching and Improve Your Employees’ Output [/b]
Performance coaching will highlight the areas that need improvement, but more importantly, they will also illuminate your blind spots. These could be areas that improvement but you don’t necessarily know they exist.
Read more on our blog on how to grow yourself and your business’ productivity.

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