At the heart of every business stands a group of dedicated people who are united to achieve a common goal. As such, inspiring each individual reach their full potential will greatly benefit the group as a whole. Effectively encouraging and coaching employees can significantly improve company morale, productivity, and profitability. Let’s take a look at some great examples of coaching employees that will change the way you lead your team.
Setting the example
Despite his position as CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates spent significant chunks of his time “in the trenches” with his employees, editing code and making tweaks that assisted in the creation of Microsoft’s personal computing empire. His relentless work ethic and innovative ideas set an example for his employees that ultimately made Microsoft a juggernaut in the world of tech. Drawing on his own experience, he reflected that, “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Success is a permanently temporary achievement. Gates reminds us that nothing is constant in life, except for change. He understood the worth of demonstrating a dedicated and robust work ethic. He passed that value on to his employees and reaped the benefits of setting a positive example.
Leading by Example
“Lead by example” may seem as if it has become cliché, but executing on and understanding the implications of this concept often proves difficult. It is easy to forget that employees are watching and evaluating to learn how to assimilate into the culture of a company. If you fall into the traps of sidestepping process, grumbling and complaining, blaming others for your setbacks, or settling for “good enough,” your employees will pick up on those practices and follow suit. An effective leader will remember that “more is caught than taught.” Those who maintain positive habits and actions throughout their careers set a high standard for those who look up to them. One main advantage to coaching employees in this way is that it does not require much preparation or typical coaching practices. Mindfulness of your own actions and habits as a leader in your business can significantly improve your employees’ performance. Having a strong work ethic and high level of execution demonstrates commitment to your business, which will resonate strongly with the members of your team.
Benchmarking and Goal-Setting
As a team leader, commit to helping all of the members of your team identify their goals and assist in setting them on a realistic path to achieving them. Members of your team may want to move into a career path that follows their passions more closely. As a team leader, you can help
them identify their skills and passions. Tracking quantitative milestones through benchmarking is one of the best ways to ensure that goals are accomplished.
Benchmarking consists of two main components:
1) Identify which key metrics will best measure progress towards an employee’s goals.
2) Continually evaluate progress and mark milestones on the way to their goals.
The key metrics would be their relative skill levels in relation to their desired career path. You can use qualitative and quantitative tests to evaluate this. Then, you can use benchmarking to evaluate their current levels in those skills and where they can improve most. From there, you would encourage them to improve their skills in those areas and monitor their progress for accountability. Becoming a mentor in this way allows you to mine your employees’ potential, all the while providing them with the tools and support to achieve their goals.
Being a Visionary
Being a visionary for your employees means seeing their unique potential and communicating the talents and qualities you see within them. You do not have to set aside extra time or create additional processes to take advantage of this technique. You should be interacting with your team on a daily basis. Watch what they do. Listen to what they say and how they say it. These observations will undoubtedly result in their best qualities being revealed. All you have to do is tell them what you see.
This, paired with effective benchmarking, creates a recipe for a truly successful team environment. Fostering a relationship in which you are the cheerleader for their skills and positive attributes creates a culture of mutual respect and positivity – winning qualities for any team.
To drastically improve the way your team operates, you’ll likely need outside assistance paired with key internal changes. We are passionate about the myriad benefits of effective employee coaching, and it is our mission to show team leaders it is all about. Fivestone Solutions has worked with companies across a variety of industries, focusing on helping teams to maximize their potential and profit through employee coaching and sales consulting.
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