Developing talent is an important aspect of any business looking to improve team member engagement, productivity and company culture. Companies can set themselves apart through an impactful coaching program. Through consistent practice, coaches are able to help team members set and reach their  professional goals, transfer valuable knowledge, and provide guidance to improve performance and skills.

When team members are engaged and have opportunities to learn and grow, it contributes to the overall success of the business. In fact, organizations with effective coaching initiatives can improve their business results by 21%. Team member growth leads to business growth.

Make the Most of Your Coaching Sessions with These Tips

Creating a supportive environment begins with how management and supervisors prepare new employees. There is a knack to supervising and coaching new employees so that they contribute their very best. As you look to build a coaching program within your organization or enhance an existing one, here are a few tips to make the most of coaching sessions:

  1. Clearly define performance standards. Make sure the new employee has a job description. Consider signing an agreement with the employee which clearly lists the employee’s work standards. This shows new employees that you are serious about their job performance.
  2. Ask Meaningful Questions: One way to show genuine interest in your new employee is by asking good questions. Use this opportunity to really get to know your new employee and use those learnings to guide the conversation. It is imperative that you develop and maintain a strong relationship with your new employee. That is the foundation of your coaching practice.
  3. Actively Listen: Make a conscious effort to hear and understand what your new employee is sharing with you. Actively listening shows that there is mutual understanding between both supervisor and new employee. Use this understanding to effectively guide and empower your new employee to set SMART goals and/or overcome challenges in an impactful way.
  4. Communicate constantly. Communicating with employees is especially important with new employees. They crave constant feedback, and you’re the one who can tell them if they are meeting the standards for their position. This also applies to communicating your expectations for the new employee to get involved in coming up with new ideas to cut costs and save money. If this is an important activity in your workplace you must communicate this to new employees, with sufficient details so that they know exactly what is expected and how they are to be involved.
  5. Keep a Positive Outlook: Sometimes, offering developmental feedback can be difficult for the giver and the receiver. Maintaining a positive outlook affirms that everything will be okay and that you believe in their success.
  6. Point out mistakes. We all make mistakes. Especially when we learn a new task. The sooner you point out mistakes to new employees, the easier it is for them to correct the mistakes. Here’s a technique that’s good when correcting new employees’ mistakes. Own up to your own mistakes. Example: “When I first ran this pump, I left a valve open and caused a flood in the basement!” The new employee is put at ease because you, as the boss, can admit to your own bloopers.
  7. Praise good performance. Humans value words of praise when they learn tasks. That’s why it’s important to praise new employees as they master tasks. They not only feel like they’re beginning to fit in, but your appreciation acts as a foundation for long-term employment at your firm. Make a public show of your appreciation at a staff meeting, a special luncheon or an informal gathering at the break table. Publicly pat the new employee on the back. Tell co-workers how well the new employee has performed a task.
  8. Include the new employee as “one of the team.” New employees won’t belong to your team until they plug into your organization’s social network. Ask new employees about their hobbies. Go the extra mile to match the employee with co-workers who have similar interests. And be sure to include him or her in impromptu gatherings of staff at a restaurant for lunch or at the bar for an after work drink.
  9. Guide with Empathy: While it is important to be honest in your feedback, take an empathetic approach to let your coachee know that you understand exactly where they are in this journey. Confidently remind them of your commitment to help guide them on their path to success!

There’s a connection between involving your employees in their own achievement, and the achievement and success of your business or organization. And one important strategy to increase your employees’ involvement in their own achievement is to switch from a traditional employee evaluation to an employee achievement plan.

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