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Help your employees—and your company—grow with one-on-one communication.
By Daren Fristoe

Generally speaking, if a manager’s options for dealing with an underperforming employee are down to termination or coaching, and the workplace issues are correctable, it’s usually better to
try coaching.

The reality is that we need to keep and develop the employees who are already here. They know our culture and our ways of doing business, and repairing their inconsistencies should result in higher productivity for the business and a better use of time for management.

Coaching processes are an investment in the business that can pay dividends, but it does take time. You may be responsible for the roles of adviser, teacher, motivator, performance manager and recognition distributor—all in addition to running your business!

Your Game Plan for Success

There are seven keys to effective coaching in the workplace:

  1. Be clear // The coach’s job is to frame the discussion, detail the issue and create the plan of action to correct the workplace deficiencies. Lack of clarity is deadly.
  2. Listen more than you talk // To help ensure a successful outcome, the coach needs a two-way dialogue. Allow for a healthy interaction with the employee to gain mutual understanding.
  3. Honesty is the only way // If you want behavior modification, you need to be honest about the problem and how to fix it. This may not be an easy conversation, but it is critical to be straightforward with the employee.
  4. Value privacy // To make the conversation more meaningful, conduct a coaching meeting off the workplace floor, i.e., in a private office or conference room. The employee may be embarrassed or shocked or even angry at the attention from the manager. Find the right place and time to engage the employee.
  5. Have a plan // The coach should have a plan and a time frame for success for the coaching meeting.
  6. Follow up // By holding timely follow-up meetings with the employee, both the coach and the employee can review progress toward the proper job expectations.
  7. Celebrate success // When it works, communicate it, celebrate it and REPEAT!

Taking the Time Pays Off in the End

Coaching can improve the performance and retention of both struggling and average performers. By applying a simple cost-benefit analysis, we can see the payoffs in employee morale and performance outweigh the lost time used for discussion.

If we can fully understand the value of individualized support of employees and implement tools for positive outcomes, the business better positions itself for sustainability. Coaching for successful outcomes is the journey we are on, and it never stops.

Daren Fristoe is president of The Fristoe Group Inc., a provider of human resource management, training and employee development services. (816) 392-7298 // www.thefristoegroup.com

Source: Thinking Bigger

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