As a leader, it’s important to also be a coach. Coaching your employees through both struggles and successes helps them to become better employees. Through coaching, they learn what types of behaviours to repeat and what types of behaviours to avoid, and they learn to be more self-sufficient and overcome challenges on their own. Coaching can be time-consuming, and even a little bit frustrating, but it pays dividends in long-term employee performance improvement.
Asking questions is important because it prevents you from solving a problem for an employee. By asking questions about a situation or problem, it gets the employee thinking through the challenge and helps them work towards a solution on their own.
Let’s say, for example, an employee has been missing deadlines. You might be inclined to simply tell the employee to get it together. But a coaching strategy is to sit the employee down and ask what is preventing them from hitting their deadlines. Listen to their answer, then help them work through a solution. If you don’t know what questions to ask an employee, start with “Why do you think (the problem or challenge) is happening?”
Let Employees Lead Conversations
Coaching isn’t about telling, it’s about guiding employees to success. So not only should you ask questions, but you should also genuinely listen to the answers and try to talk less than the employee. The key is to guide them through and keep them focused on the company’s needs without simply telling them what to do.
If, for example, you promoted someone to team lead and they are struggling with their newfound authority, you might be inclined to tell them how you handled your first leadership role and then move on. However, a coach would ask them what’s specifically challenging them and help them work through their own solution.
Manage The Entire Person
While you must apply rules and expectations universally, coaching should be much more of an individual process. When working with an employee, consider the whole person. Are they sensitive to feedback? Are they touchy about their lack of skill in a particular area? What type of motivation do they respond to the best?
This can take a lot of time as you work to understand each employee on an individual level, but it is much more effective in the long term. Strong coaching leads to growth, a deeper level of trust, and a far more engaged employee who can bring your team to the next level.
Looking For More Tips On Building An Effective Team?
For more tips on improving employee performance and boosting long-term retention, or to access top tech talent in Ontario, contact the expert recruiters at Employment Professionals Canada online or call 1-800-842-0421 today. We look forward to helping you achieve your organizational goals.