The challenge is clear. The need for managers and supervisors who can coach employees effectively is greater today than ever before. Why? Recent surveys have shown that companies list “finding and keeping quality workers” as their biggest problem. The severe concern of being hit by a multi-million dollar law suit as a result of poor managerial behavior – behavior that would have been considered merely annoying a few years ago – has led to permissive and passive management of employees. And while it is obvious that doing nothing is not a recipe for success, managers and supervisors have succumbed to the ineffective approach of “keep employees happy.”
Managers and supervisors are searching for solutions, and coaching is one of the critical solutions. The single purpose of coaching is to influence employee performance results that directly impact the organization’s business strategy. Coaching is not a skill set that is intended to make people happy, build morale, or make the boss well-liked – although those are predictable by-products of effective coaching. The skilled coach routinely clarifies expectations and standards of performance, teaches new skills as needed, shows others how to improve, redirects when necessary to get performance back on track, and uses delegation, inclusion and autonomy appropriately. There may be no other skill set as paramount to manager or supervisor success as coaching skills.