In today's challenging environment, organizations need to put programs into place to help their employees achieve their full potential. One way of doing this is to create a coaching environment where employees are inspired, encouraged and rewarded for success. A benchmark study done between Cylient and The Center for Creative Leadership reveals leaders believe that when coaching is ingrained in the culture, the focus on developing others and managing performance increases, resulting in seismic shifts in organizational performance.
Coaching conversations between the manager and employee are a collaborative process which ultimately supports employee development, strengthens the supervisor-employee relationship and achieves business objectives. As managers are encouraged to adopt a coaching approach and style to their interactions with employees, one of the underpinning assumptions is that the manager believes in, and is dedicated to, the success of that employee.
To lead effectively, managers need to know when to manage and when to be a coach. By teaching mangers how to listen actively, reinforce positive behavior, and ask open-ended questions, you help them become better leaders.
The more employees are able to have an impact, the better positioned they are to be effective in future years.
When it comes to coaching, one size does not fit all! Different employees need different coaching approaches. Hersey & Blanchard's Situational Leadership model defines four coaching styles summarized below:
1. Directing is for new employees or people who are struggling with a skill (or don't want to do it) and need a more directive approach. There will be more "telling" involved in this approach.
2. Coaching is a highly engaged approach which involves more teaching and demonstrating - a lot of participation from the coach. There is a focus on "asking" in this approach. It's about partnering, teaching and offering lots of feedback.
3. Supporting, an encouraging approach, is used with more experienced employees who usually already know what to do; they just need more support and follow up from their coach, and perhaps more pats on the back.
4. Delegating is a hand-off approach used with highly skilled employees who need acknowledgment, recognition and check-ins to maintain their engagement. People at this level enjoy being delegated to as long as the delegation comes with true authority. They still need an occasional coaching session, but the coaching is not to check up on them or micromanage, but to check-in and support.
Employees will need various approaches depending on their skill level, motivation and situation. And sometimes the same employee needs all of these approaches at different times in their development, or as they deal with specific situations. As such, managers need to develop the ability to flex coaching styles and coach employees based upon needs as they change behaviors, try new things, and develop new skills.
A study by Bersin & Associates found that organizations highly effective at teaching managers to prepare for a coaching relationship are 130% more likely to state that they have strong business results. Additionally, managers who coach effectively foster increased alignment, retention, engagement, productivity and business results, enhance the ROI of all other training and grow development investments.
To learn more about creating a coaching culture for your organization, contact us for details on Torchiana's Manager as Coach Learning Series!
Photo Credit: Dell's Official Flickr Page