Top Tips For Coaching Employees

The following tips are from the brand-new Bud to Boss™: A New Supervisor’s Guide to Turning Around Poor Performers. This indispensable toolkit offers first-time leaders everything they need to successfully coach their teams to winning performance. For more information about this valuable multimedia package, click here.

“Congratulations! You’ve been promoted!”

Those words are cause for celebration—and also for a certain amount of trepidation. After all, too often, new leaders receive little if any formal training. Complement on-the-job experience with proven advice like the following. You can lead your new team to success when you learn how to coach them to improve and sustain performance excellence.Here’s how:

  • Coach with compassion. Your No. 1 priority when coaching employee performance is to offer feedback that is both warranted and constructive. Before critiquing an employee’s behavior or performance, always ask yourself “Do I have [insert employee’s name] best interest in mind?” If you honestly can answer “Yes,” move forward with the feedback session.
  • Tell employees what’s in it for them. Highlight the benefits of receiving coaching, or it won’t seem worthwhile to your employees. Explain the positive consequences, such as receiving a sales bonus, to prompt staffers to buy into the process.
  • Share your expectations. Employees should know exactly what they need to do to meet the goals you set for them. Use specific terms as you lay down guidelines and action steps for meeting objectives.
  • Tailor your coaching sessions for individual employees. Each staffer has a different way of learning. Ask employees how they want to organize and execute the coaching sessions. Some may wish to watch you in action, for example, as you work with real customers. Others may prefer to receive training in a private setting. Bottom line: They will learn more if your coaching matches their learning styles.
  • Take your time. Plan for in-depth training sessions, and find the time to execute them. If you rush through meetings with employees or offer only mediocre feedback, their performance will not improve. Coaching in haste makes employees feel as if they are not worth your time or effort.

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