Improve employee performance through coaching

At Talentevo, we believe that at the heart of a great performance management process, is the conversation between a line manager and his/her employee. When this communication is an effective and positive experience for both, there is an opportunity to accelerate learning and to therefore improve performance through coaching.

So how can we start coaching in a line management role?

  • Look for opportunities to coach “on the job”.  Coaching can be sometimes be done in day-to-day interactions especially if this is something new to the coach and/or employee being coached – water-cooler moments! This gives both the manager and the employee a focus on a skill or behaviour in action rather than “sitting down to be coached” which may feel a bit false or contrived!
  • Ask your employees how they believe they are getting on with a particular activity, e.g. how did you feel that presentation went? How are you getting on with a particular project? Again, this can provide a good starting point for a coaching conversation between you with an external focus and is directly linked to a particular activity.
  • Set the foundation for open and honest communication through receiving and giving feedback. Without this, attempts to coach may fall flat.
  • Don’t overdo it. Not every conversation should be seen as a coaching opportunity.  Use coaching appropriately and when situation best suits it, e.g. skills development, developing good performance into great performance.
  • Remember coaching is about more asking and less telling, a different style of management from more traditional forms and one that is essential in organisations as we try to build and sustain employee engagement. So prepare yourself not to dive in and fix things or tell employees what to do or how to do it. This can be difficult but it can be practised and developed – the key is awareness of self and your natural ways of working.

So give it a go. Start small and don’t expect to change the world overnight. Coaching for a line manager should be seen as  an ongoing activity used (and developed) throughout the year, that forms part of your tool box (alongside other management tools such as decision- making and planning) to help you to get the best performance out of your team.

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