Employees don’t want to be told what to do; they want to be guided. Learn how to unleash people’s potential by transforming managers into effective coaches.
The days of command-and-control leadership are over. Instead, a new model of managing is emerging in the workplace that shifts the focus from direct instruction to guidance and support. While managers simply tell employees what to do, coaches help guide their people toward answers and contribute to their professional development through mentorship and collaboration. In fact, a global study by Gallup found that great managers are completely different from adequate ones. And, coaching is what sets them apart.
The emergence of this coaching role is, in large part, due to the arrival of a digitally-savvy generation entering the workforce. People today are accustomed to making instant connections and receiving real-time feedback — and that’s what employees expect from managers.
When managers shift their focus from instruction to coaching, they develop teams that feel inspired, motivated and empowered. That’s because when given guidance as opposed to being told what to do, employees are encouraged to act on their own initiative without second guessing themselves. It also helps them feel more connected and allows them to take more ownership over the work they are doing. Here’s how managers can make the shift and, in turn, help to boost the employee experience.
When employees feel like their ideas and feelings are being heard and responded to by their superiors, productivity improves, loyalty is enhanced, and an atmosphere of collaboration is promoted.
Listening is the crucial and foundational building block of coaching. As both employees and managers have grown more accustomed to communicating through digital channels in place of face-to-face interactions, continuously listening to employees has become more important than ever.
But, listening is a two-way street. When employees feel like their ideas and feelings are being heard and responded to by their superiors, productivity improves, loyalty is enhanced, and an atmosphere of collaboration is promoted. That’s why leaders need to capture ongoing feedback in the daily flow of work so they can regularly provide coaching and support in the areas where their employees need it most.
One way to tap into insights through captured feedback is with text analytics, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning. This tool can help to surface emerging trends and issues that will inform managers on when and where to spend time coaching employees before real problems arise.
Beyond direct employee feedback, other types of feedback are also necessary in informing how to best coach employees. For example, it’s a good idea to incorporate customer feedback as what improves the customer experience will undoubtedly help you to define how employees can improve in their roles.
Peer feedback is also a useful component of successful coaching. An employee’s co-workers can have unique and valuable insight into their peer’s performance because they observe that person’s work from a completely different angle than a manager can see. Co-workers can provide feedback about the daily operations and help to deliver a clear picture of an employee’s place in a team or organization. Additionally, they can contribute to other employees’ feelings of being heard and their opinions valued.
Tools such as signal capture, which brings direct and indirect feedback together from sources like video, helpdesk tickets, chat bot logs, performance reviews and more, will give managers a complete picture of their employees’ day-to-day work experiences.
People today are accustomed to making instant connections and receiving real-time feedback — and that’s what employees expect from managers.
Finally, coaches need to ensure they are fostering a safe atmosphere in which employees can bring new ideas without judgement, criticism or retribution. Creating this sense of a safe space gives employees the confidence they need to try new things and learn from their mistakes when things don’t go as planned. Not to mention, employees are a top source of creativity, and their ideas and solutions can help drive innovation across the entire company.
By bringing together all forms of experience management into the coaching process and making it available at all levels, managers will be able to unleash their employees’ greatest potential.