If you’re a business person, then you know that managing people can be a challenge. There are so many things to think about, from ensuring everyone is productive to dealing with conflict to ensuring everyone is on the same page. One way to make the process easier is to use performance coaching as your management style. Performance coaching focuses on helping employees achieve their goals by providing feedback and support. This blog post will discuss how performance coaching can help you manage your team and improve performance.
Performance coaching is a process that aligns employees’ performance goals with organizational objectives. Therein, the performance coach identifies employee challenges and provides constructive feedback to help them learn new skills and boost performance. Performance coaching is an ongoing process of learning that helps managers improve the productivity of their employees by enhancing their self-awareness, setting goals, and supporting them.
Performance Coaching as a Management Style
Performance coaching as a management style is characterized by collaboration, support, and guidance. Performance coaching focuses on bringing out the best in people by guiding them through obstacles and encouraging them to succeed. Performance coaching as a management style has four key components:
- Identifying challenges,
- Creating self-awareness through feedback,
- Setting goals, and;
- Providing ongoing support.
Coaching from a performance management perspective is to enable or empower employees. In the same vein, managers and supervisors are able to develop and strengthen leadership skills. Over the long term, performance coaching is an ongoing process of continuous improvement.
The Manager is the Performance Coach
Managers and supervisors act as the performance coaches, and it is their responsibility to unlock employee potential and enable growth, rather than simply issue orders and micromanage. Instead, the manager actively supports and collaborates with trainees through coaching engagements. A vital role of the performance coach is to mentor team members to develop career skills and guide them in the right direction.
Two pillars of performance coaching are the principles of continuous improvement and personal development. Hence, the objective of each performance coach is to create a culture and an organization that is continuously looking for ways to improve performance. It is important to remember that the success of an organization depends not only on its employees but also on the coach’s ability to help them reach their goals.
The Performance Coaching Process
Step 1 – Assessment: identify strengths and challenges.
Performance coaching should be viewed as a learning process that can be broken down into actionable knowledge. As a manager, owner, or business leader, the first step in the coaching process is to observe the employee to; assess and identify their strengths and weakness as they perform their job tasks. In doing so, use the following questions to guide your assessment:
- Which tasks is the employee able to complete successfully? (strengths)
- Which tasks are challenging to complete? (challenges)
- Can the employee’s performance be improved through training?
In most cases, a job can be divided into duties/responsibilities, which can further be broken down into interdependent tasks and, at a granular level-skills. For the purposes of this example, we shall focus on tasks. On a piece of paper, take note of the employee’s strengths and challenges; this basic information will form the basis from which to coach.
Step 2 – Feedback: Create Self-awareness
Now that we understand the employee’s challenges, we can approach them. The objective of providing performance feedback is to instill self-awareness in the employee. They may not know they are struggling or that there is a more efficient way to complete a task. Approach the employee with open-ended disarming questions:
- What is the goal of this task?
- Why is this task necessary?
- What should the result look like?
- Demonstrate how you accomplish this task.
- How can we improve upon completing this task?
If necessary, the manager should demonstrate one or two techniques for completing the task within this process. Personalized performance coaching supports the development of new skills. Depending on the circumstances, more or less intervention may be required by the trainer. Nonetheless, the environment should be non-judging, constructive, and positive.
Step 3 – Identify goals
After the employee has completed the task successfully, it is critical to set goals for them to strive for. Setting goals activates motivational behavior, helps the employee focus, and maintains constructive momentum. Goals also assist in aligning focus and providing a sense of achievement. The employee should participate in setting the goals; for example, goals can be time-based, quality-based, or quota-based. The principles of the SMART goals provide a practical template:
- Specific: A specific goal for a production worker could be to produce X number of products throughout an eight-hour shift.
- Measurable: A measurable goal for a carpet salesperson could be to increase sales by XX% over the next six months.
- Achievable: An achievable goal for a retail cashier could be to ring up an average of $50 in transactions per hour.
- Relevant: A relevant goal for a network administrator could be to ensure that the network is running smoothly and without any unplanned disruptions.
- Time-Bound: A time-bound goal for a scheduling manager at a retail company could be to create and implement a new staffing schedule that is effective and meets the needs of the business within one week. TimeWellSchedule.com has the software and expertise to make this happen!
The SMART goal-setting model motivates employees by giving them targets to reach. Moreover, these principles should be applied to appropriately fit the task, circumstances, and trainees’ abilities. This way, both the individual and the organization can achieve their desired outcome.
Step 4 – Providing Support.
After the initial meeting, the manager must stay in touch with the employee to ensure they are progressing. If the manager notices that the employee requires additional assistance or is ready to take their work to the next level of development, the manager should act accordingly. Lastly, managers must notice and recognize improvements, if the employee’s performance improves.
Performance Coaching in Context
It is important to note that performance coaching does not always require a scheduled appointment, a formal process, or a planned one-on-one meeting with an employee. Performance coaching is a constructive, self-awareness-developing style of managing people. If a manager walks by an employee and sees them struggling, this is an opportunity to apply the performance coaching process by engaging the employee offering feedback and support.
Different types of Coaches
A high-performance coach is a type of performance coach that helps individuals or groups to achieve extraordinary results. They help their high-performers break through limitations and achieve goals that they never thought were possible. High-performance coaches are often used by athletes, business professionals, and entrepreneurs.
An Executive coach is a performance coach that helps business professionals and executives further their career path and ambitions. They provide guidance, support, and accountability to their clients to help them reach their full potential. Executive coaching can help with various things, such as improving productivity, developing leadership skills, and achieving career goals.
Business coaches are a type of performance coach that help business owners and professionals achieve their goals. They help their clients identify what they want to achieve and develop a plan to achieve those goals. Business coaches often work with clients on time management, goal setting, specialized business skills, and networking.
Life coaches are performance coaches who help people achieve their goals and live the life they want to live. They help their clients identify what they want to achieve and develop a plan to achieve those goals. Life coaches often work with clients on time management, personal development, goal setting, and networking.
A professional coach has been trained in coaching and has experience working with clients to help them develop career skills. Professional coaches often have a background in psychology, counseling, or business. They work with clients on various issues such as goal setting, leadership skills, time management, and networking.
Right Performance Coach
A right performance coach is someone who has been trained in coaching and has experience working with clients to help them develop career skills. They often have a background in psychology, counseling, business, or other related fields. Performance coaches work with clients on various issues such as goal setting, leadership skills, time management, networking, and more.
Organizational Benefits of Performance Coaching
The performance coaching style of management fosters a positive work environment that is proactive in addressing obstacles, flexible in dealing with change, decentralized decision-making, and accountability. The performance coaching process encourages increased team effort, idea-sharing, and collaboration. A coaching culture aims to align personal development with organizational growth. Performance coaching helps create an environment where employees feel valued and contribute to the organization’s success.
So, what is performance coaching? In a nutshell, it’s a style of management that focuses on helping employees achieve their goals. Managers can help team members become more productive and successful by providing support and feedback. Performance coaching has many benefits, including improved communication, improved performance, and reduced conflict. If you’re looking to improve your team’s performance, consider using performance coaching as your management style.