How to Use Employee Coaching to Improve Productivity
A lot of factors contribute to the success of an organization, and employees are one of the most important. Engaged employees usually equate to productive employees, and can greatly contribute to the success of an organization. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. When engagement is down, productivity suffers.
Employee coaching is among the most effective ways to improve productivity and skills among the staff members in your organization. And as a manager, part of your job is to make sure employees have the tools and training they need to reach their full potential.
Productivity is a significant factor in determining employee success, both individually and as a team. By implementing a coaching and career development program, businesses can improve employee productivity and overall organizational performance.
What Is Employee Coaching?
You may be familiar with what it means to coach in an athletic sense, but what is employee coaching? The simple definition of coaching is to train or instruct, specifically referring to a team or player. This definition applies when it comes to employee coaching as well. Simply put, employee coaching is a method of training employees where they are taught by a more experienced employee. Employee coaching isn’t just for new employees, in fact, even leaders in an organization can benefit from coaching.
Employee coaching is not the same concept as mentoring, although a mentorship program can complement and enhance any coaching initiative. Employee coaching typically focuses on improving productivity and performance rather than the overall well-being of the employee. In an employee coaching program, the length of the program is also shorter and more targeted, whereas a mentorship program may go on indefinitely based on its structure and the relationship between the mentor and mentee.
In a business, employee coaching begins with an experienced leader or designated trainer instructing employees on how to improve skills and job performance. Many organizations hesitate to put a coaching program in place because they don’t want to invest the time and effort, or they may not know where to start. While it may seem intimidating at first, establishing an employee coaching program is easier than you might think, and the benefits are well worth the effort.
Assessing the Benefits of Employee Coaching
There are many benefits to establishing a career or professional development program in your organization. Coaching serves as a great starting point, and is among the most effective ways to help employees succeed. Here are a few of the benefits of employee coaching:
- Improves job satisfaction for employees
Most employees show up to work and give it their best effort because they care about doing a good job, but sometimes they need additional training and development to perform at their best. While it’s important for employees to have a positive outlook towards training programs, employees who are able to take part in a well-prepared training program are more satisfied than employees without such opportunities.
- Enhances employee performance
No matter your field, there are always ways to help employees improve performance. A coaching program helps your employees hone their skills and get better at what they do. By empowering your employees through coaching, you improve their self-confidence and increase their workplace engagement. Ultimately, helping employees focus on their strengths and areas for growth in a coaching program will improve their individual performance.
- Raises productivity
Not only does employee coaching improve performance, it also improves productivity. In fact, improved productivity is one of the main reasons to put a coaching program in place. How productivity is defined and measured varies from business to business, but wherever you work, productivity is an essential driver of organizational growth. Increased productivity means employees are not just getting more done, but are working smarter, more efficiently, and at higher quality levels. They’re decreasing the amount of time they’re spending on tasks, and performing those tasks better, faster, and more collaboratively.
How to Maximize Coaching Effectiveness
There are employees in your organization with great leadership potential, but as a manager, you may not have identified them yet. Coaching, especially when employees can refine their skills and receive one-on-one feedback, is strategic way to cultivate leaders as well as improve productivity. Here are several ways to get the most out of your coaching program:
- Factor in Employee Level and Experience
Not everyone can be coached in the same way, especially if they have different skills, experience or job levels. An employee with the company for five years requires different coaching than a newly onboarded one. If you have multiple employees at each level, consider grouping them together to maximize their coaching experience.
- Listen and Learn from your Employees
Whether it’s an ongoing coaching program, or a specific training program, elicit feedback from employees to gauge the effectiveness of the program, what’s most beneficial to them, what additional instruction they’d like to see, and material is unnecessary or redundant. Although more experienced employees may feel they don’t need coaching, most employees will appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow their areas of expertise.
- Create a Consistent Culture of Learning
There are many reasons why professional development programs are ineffective or don’t produce the desired results. For example, one-day training sessions are often overloaded with information and instruction that employees rarely retain because they never put them into practice. But when coaching consistent and exercisable and not just a one-off event, it becomes part of your organization and your culture. Your employees are then more likely to embrace it as both a positive experience and a value-added opportunity to enhance their skills and job performance.
- Lead by example
One of the best ways to ensure successful implementation of your coaching program is to lead by example. If leadership actively participates and shows the willingness to be coached, the rest of the organization will follow. This demonstrates the relevancy of coaching, regardless of position or how long someone has been with an organization, and sets an example for newer employees to follow.
- Celebrate success
Increased productivity isn’t something that happens overnight, but it’s possible for small changes to occur immediately. Even if it isn’t something that greatly affects the overall organization, take the time to celebrate the incremental success of employees. If someone is slightly more productive and their performance has improved, recognize it. This helps employees feel valued and appreciated, and it encourages others to continue to give their best effort.
Most organizations seek out ways to increase productivity, and employee coaching is one of the most effective ways to achieve it. But even when you’re working to coach and train employees regularly, it may seem like you’re not seeing the growth you would like to see. This may be due to an existing skills gap, which can constrain businesses looking to hire and develop employees with specific skills. If your business is affected by the skills gap, read this ebook today to learn how to find and develop the employees you need to grow your business.