It’s Never Too Late:
Adopting a Culture of Coaching in Your Workplace
It isn’t uncommon for managers and leaders use coaching as a means to help under-performing staff members. As a result, many people associate coaching as a stigma – or even a scarlet letter that identifies them as needing additional support.
Why not create a culture of coaching so that our people know that it is a norm? What about the good ones? You know – our really strong team members. Our best front line workers. Our model HVAC installer or our best entry-level engineer.
Even our best employees can and will benefit from coaching.
They are actually the fun ones to coach because they’re on the ball. They already know what they’re doing. Instilling a culture of coaching, a workplace where coaching is the norm, is a widely valuable consideration. It puts us one step ahead and the benefits stretch far beyond what initially meets the eye. After all, coaching a strong employee is going to … make him even stronger. Even better.
Why not contemplate on a couple of ideas – thoughts for an-already-great-employee:
- Coaching our top mechanic on the importance of customer relationships places him in a position to not only be excellent in his trade, but great with our customers, too
- Coaching our best project manager on the art of ‘choosing his words carefully’ when communicating with team leads further improves his success rate because not only can he manage some of our most complex projects, but those on the receiving end are more likely to really hear the messages he’s delivering
- Coaching our finest hairdresser in taking initiative so she isn’t relying on existing customers, but positioning herself to become an even stronger asset to the company
Plus, when our organization’s managers and leaders take on a coaching mindset, our company’s culture will evolve naturally into one of continuous guidance, support, and opportunities. On a side note, when we instill a workplace of coaching, it helps to remove any stigma that employees are being coached because of a particular performance situation. Remember, coaching can be likened to a mindset. Once we get in the groove, it becomes more natural.
When our staff knows that they are supported, they are more comfortable with presenting creative ideas. Innovation starts to flow. They want to be involved. When our people know that there are opportunities for growth, the level of commitment ensues.
Tips for Transitioning
Some tips for transitioning if you aren’t already supporting a culture of coaching in your workplace might include:
- sustain some structure and boundaries (this requires some planning on our end)
- create a routine, until it becomes more mainstream
- be flexible and adaptable. It makes it easier on your people as they adjust
- offer opportunities for learning. We usually have some employees who want to know what it takes to move up in the company. This is a good way to start to transform their mindset
- make sure the words, tone, and inflection you choose is an open and inviting one
- remove judgement. This is especially important in the early stages when people are trying to adjust to a new and transforming culture
- the key is in asking the right questions at the right time. Let us know if you want some more tips in this area (our team has lots of tips that might serve you well here)
- hold them accountable. Hold your direct reports accountable too, for making sure their staff is following through
- don’t forget: spend more time listening than talking
Please don’t shy away from this concept. I promise it will serve your organization well. We know we are being modeled with every move we make. That means that the best defense is a good offense here. To shift the paradigm, start by using your own dedicated coach. If you are leading a larger organization, it is oftentimes recommended that your team of direct reports participate in some training so they have the tools they need to successfully coach their staff.
One more tip: your efforts here need to be as strategic as any other. Know the difference between coaching and mentoring or coaching and consulting. There is a difference. If you need additional support or training, don’t hesitate to let us know. The rewards are endless, so you have a lot to look forward to~