The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) reports that over three quarters of the organisations recently surveyed now use coaching and mentoring as a wider staff development tool. Whilst external coaches are still employed, the bulk of coaching in the workplace is delivered by line managers. Why is this?
It’s become clear that coaching by managers is probably the most effective way to build employees’ engagement and skills. It is essentially a supportive conversation between a manager and their team member, which is focussed firmly on developing performance.
Here are some of the benefits we’ve seen – for a manager as well as a coachee:
- Firstly, you don’t have to do all the thinking for the team…so you can free up time to work on more important, less urgent stuff
- Good coaching conversations build trust in a relationship….they help you to understand the strengths as well as the weaknesses in the team – don’t ignore your talent!
- They also help you to steer the person’s development so it aligns with the wider strategy. Being able to see exactly how they are contributing to the bigger picture can be a highly motivational experience for the person.
- When it comes to applying what they’ve learned on a training course, people often give up at the first sign of failure. Pro-actively coaching your team member through the implementation of their learning action plan following a training course can really reap rewards.
- At the end of the day, anything that has a positive impact on morale, self-confidence and performance has got to be a good thing.
The GROW model is a widely used tool for structuring formal coaching sessions. However, there will be many informal opportunities for you to provide coaching more informally. In fact, you’ll probably find that a majority of your workplace coaching as a manager is conducted ‘at desk’ and ‘just in time’. It may involve just one or two 10 minute structured conversations on a specific topic.
Informal coaching sessions like these should still be structured, but simplified into 3 steps:
1. Establish - confirm the issue the person is facing and probe for a deeper level of understanding. Discuss initial ideas and desired outcomes.
2. Options - Discuss and evaluate the various options for what might be done and look at the advantages and disadvantages of each. Next consider the priorities and re-define the solutions if necessary.
3. Actions - through guided questioning and discussion you help the person select the best option, identify their actions and put a plan together. Don’t forget to help them work out a couple of contingencies.
In our experience, this structure is easy to work with, highly scalable and can be successfully employed whatever the situation.
Give it a go today and let us know how you get on!