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Dr. Cassidy Blair, Psy.D. Licensed Clinical Psychologist | PSY 22022

Dr. Cassidy Blair, Psy.D.

performance coaching
Understanding the Power of Performance Coaching to Help Employees Reach Their Potential

Did you know that 85% of employees hate their jobs?

That’s right, only around 15% of people (around the world!) enjoy and actively engage in their work.

Those are exceptionally high rates of work-related unhappiness. It’s no small wonder that employee motivation, effort, and results can suffer.

Understandable, perhaps. But employee performance is of the utmost importance to the success of your team. For instance, it’s been found that just one poorly performing employee can reduce a team’s overall productivity by 30-40%. That’s an enormous impact.

This is where managers or team-leaders need to step in.

Performance coaching is an important way to handle the situation, restore employee focus, and overcome work-related obstacles. Likewise, it’s a helpful way to prevent such issues in the first place.

But what goes into this coaching, and how can you do it effectively?

Keep reading to find out.

What is Performance Coaching?

Think of a sportsperson.

Whether it’s a tennis player, footballer, rugby player or athlete, having a coach is considered essential to success. It’s just a given. Play sports? Then you need a coach.

For whatever reason, this approach is often missing in a working environment. Employees are commonly expected to work well, hit targets, remain focused, and motivate themselves, all without regular and ongoing support (or coaching) from superiors.

Performance coaching is a term that’s often given to the practice or providing this support. It’s a process of mentorship, guidance, encouragement, and positive development.

Everyone benefits when this coaching is in place.

Employees feel supported, concerns are addressed early on and their potential is maximized. They feel valued and are more likely to remain motivated and engaged. Likewise, managers and leaders get the best from their teams, stop problems developing, and encourage a positive atmosphere in the workplace.

Below you’ll find 6 tips on how to effectively coach your workforce.

How to Use Performance Coaching in the Workplace: 6 Top Tips

It is one thing to know what coaching is. It’s a totally different thing to know how to do it properly. Here are 6 top tips that will help you get the most of your employees in no time.

1. Have Regular Check-Ins

Time is a foundational component of good coaching.

You need to find time amongst your busy schedule and be generous with it. Make coaching a priority. After all, it’s of utmost importance to the success of your team.

Schedule regular check-ins with your team members on an individual basis. Team meetings are good too, but it’s often easier to be open in one to one settings.

Check-ins are the perfect time to offer and ask for feedback. Be sure to highlight what they’re doing well, and suggest areas where they could improve. Ask whether they’re having particular issues you can support them with, and make a plan for how to do it. Offer encouragement and thank them for their hard work.

Oh, and schedule a time for another check-in at some not-too-distant time in the future.

2. Cultivate a Culture of Openness

Every member of your team should feel able to speak up and be heard.

Actively encourage feedback. Make the effort to ask how you, as a manager, can improve too. What do they need from you? How can you deliver?

Cultivating a culture of openness in this way will sustain a positive working environment. Employees feel valued, respected and included. It also helps to prevent negative emotion and any worry or anxiety about work.

Moreover, setting openness as a standard will help you deliver difficult messages in the future. When an employee is under-performing they can expect to be told as much (in a constructive way).

3. Coach and Encourage from the Beginning

It’s no good starting to coach when a problem has already developed.

You don’t want to coach your way out of a hole. You want to coach from the outset to prevent the hole being made in the first place.

Make the effort to meet with new employees as soon as they start. Tell them about the role, what’s expected of them, and that you’re there to support them however they need. Ask them about their goals and intentions in the job. And set a plan for how to make it happen.

Then follow up over time to see how everything is going.

4. Push to Grow

Boredom is the enemy of a team leader.

Bored employees are problem employees. Feeling underused and undervalued is a recipe for disaster. That’s why it pays to keep your team busy. Constantly push them (within reason) to work. Provide constant opportunities for them to engage, learn and develop in the role.

Challenge is the antidote. Find how they work best and what they enjoy most. Then goal set and provide tasks accordingly.

5. Recognize Hard Work and Achievement

You want to build the confidence of your employees.

After all, confident staff members are better at their jobs. There is nothing quite like confidence to nail an assignment, smash a pitch or presentation, and generally work well in their position.

If an employee has been working hard and performing well, then absolutely acknowledge it. Be sure to recognize hard work as much as achievement though. Offer rewards and incentives as you go.

Feeling appreciated cultivates a growing satisfaction with work.

6. Give Second Chances

Don’t overreact when a team member isn’t pulling their weight or fails at a given task.

Now’s the time to schedule a check-in, compassionately address the issue, and see what needs to be done to improve. This is where that culture of openness comes in handy.

Remember, you never know what someone is going through. There might be personal issues or some other unknown reason behind the problem. Shouting, disparaging and criticizing an employee is good for nothing.

Time to Get Coaching

There you have it: understanding the importance and use of performance coaching in the workplace.

The vast majority of employees around the world don’t enjoy what they do. That’s bad news for everyone involved. After all, a lack of enthusiasm and enjoyment are severely detrimental to the workforce.

It’s the job of managers and team leaders to do what they can to create a positive working environment that encourages employees to work their hardest for the organization.

That’s where performance coaching comes in. Hopefully, the information above has given you all the information and tips you need to begin effectively coaching your teams.

Enjoy this piece? Are you looking for some personal coaching and/or therapy to enhance your experience with work and life? Be sure to contact us today to see how we can help.

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