Four Reasons Why You Aren’t Coaching Your Staff

Four Reasons Why You Aren’t Coaching Your Staff

Like exercising and eating right, most business owners express to me that they know they “should” be spending more time coaching and training their team members.

When I ask why, the answer I get is “I am too busy” – but what is the real reason?

Yes, even small business owners and managers sometimes don’t “do the job” (a short list from my article 10 reasons why someone doesn’t do the job) —

Which one applies to your situationwhy aren’t you coaching your staff?

  1. You don’t know what to do / or how to do
  2. You aren’t motivated to do it (you are uncomfortable)
  3. You think it is pointless
  4. You believe something else is more important (after all, you do spend your time doing something else)

Let me first address 3 and 4— Coaching is not pointless and nothing else is more important to your company’s success.

If you want to retain top performers and get your team working together to delight your customers and grow sales— only positive coaching for accountability (based on cascading goals) will do this.

Here are four possible solutions for the “reluctant coach” — to increase the amount of coaching and positive impact on your team:

  • Design and use a management rhythm— know what to say, when to say it — to clarify expectations and coach for accountability
  • Make conversations easy– build trusted relationships (builds on the management rhythm)
  • Practice and learn how to be comfortable—do it, learn from it, do it again (and keep it positive and appreciative)
  • **Add a layer– Develop a team leader or general manager who will be the People coach, and interact with the team daily.
    (You can get updates from this person, and lead weekly team update and rocks meetings to still be active and involved with the team. Just not every day and on every issue.)

(**This is also how you grow the team to stop relying on your daily presence…)

If you are not interested in creating a better process, or learning how to do it authentically and naturally, that is just fine.

Just as long as you start developing a People coach on your team who will.

Want employees to tune out? Ignore them

Want employees to tune out? Ignore them

Perhaps you are you frustrated by a poor performer, so you avoid her as much as possible (you don’t want to be mean.)

Or you are getting tired of mentioning the same instructions to the new employee, so you have stopped giving him guidance at all.

Or you are “too busy” putting out fires and responding to urgent requests, so you have little contact with your staff other than the hallway.

After all, your employees should know their jobs and should know the company’s goals, so why do you have to keep reminding them?

 Ignoring your team members is actually 20x worse than being a critical boss!

In fact, a recent study of employees found that of employees who feel ignored by their direct manager only 2% reported being engaged with their job, compared to 45% of employees who report their boss focused on their weaknesses, and 65% of those with a positive focused manager.

Almost half of these “invisible” team members reported to be “actively disengaged” – meaning that they consciously perform lower – versus 1% of those with positive managers.

Seriously, if you are not coaching your team then they are like a boat without a captain—sailing towards the horizon with no particular place to go. (I just watched Pirates of the Caribbean again- what a fun study in leadership!)

To be effective, team members need to be

Still worried about coming off as mean or critical?

The data is pretty clear—even the negative manager has about half his team pulling in the right direction. This is a huge improvement from 45% pulling in the wrong direction when they are ignored!

So definitely work on your own development to be a positive focused manager, but don’t be afraid to start talking to your team. (See our video training for a simple system to do just that.)

{Graph from Zenger Folkman “Extraordinary Leader” webinar series}


Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, and creator of the People Plan toolkit.™ Her firm specializes in coaching small business owners and managers to build, engage and reward a fabulous team!

You can start working with Diana with free members-only access to People coaching resources, including informative video training, articles, time saving documents and templates. Join the FREE membership club here.


 

6 Practices of Leadership

6 Practices of Leadership

Hundreds of studies have demonstrated that the most critical factor that impacts employee productivity, performance, retention and engagement is the relationship between an employee and his or her direct manager. As the book title clearly states “people leave managers, not jobs”

What can you do to transform your interaction and dialogue away from being a “manager” to being a coach and leader?

Brendon Burchard created an enthusiastic 11 minute video to outline 6 steps. Here are excerpts from this video below.

After watching the inspiring video- here are 6 things you do to implement this compelling model:

  1. Envision– Clearly (decide) define your vision for the organization, and outline your core values (I will give you bonus points if you involve your team in this process )
  2. Enlist– Share this vision in the most visual and engaging way and then ask “will you join me”
  3. Embody– Create a list of behaviors that embody your core values and then demonstrate them and recognize them <quick recognition template> and ask for feedback when you are not walking the talk
  4. Empower– Consider the language of your feedback, and modify to do more coaching less managing (nagging,  bossing) and have more frequent and open dialogues
  5. Evaluate– Employees want frequent, honest, appreciative feedback — formalize your management rhythm- with weekly conversations, monthly touch points, quarterly action plan updates
  6. Encourage– build in storytelling, recognition, celebration into your team updates agendas and process (think about little league)

Practice One: Envision The reason we say envision versus just have a vision is it’s a practice of envisioning – “what should tomorrow look like for my team?”

Practice Two: Enlist A great leader is always enlisting other people to believe in the dream, to shape the dream, to stay dedicated to the dream.

Practice Three: Embody as leaders we have to stand for and demonstrate and show and portray what we are really believing in

Practice Four: Empower Training other people and equipping them with everything they need to succeed has to be a vital practice of every great leader.

Practice Five: Evaluate Ethics and Progress That evaluation also brings up the incredible challenge that we face as leaders, which is to give honest, direct, immediate constructive feedback to those who are trying to influence and lead.

Practice Six: Encourage To encourage, to be the champion. To be the cheerleader. To be the person always motivating, inspiring, uplifting people.

Watch this video

Read the transcipt 

 


Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, and creator of the People Plan toolkit.™ Her firm specializes in coaching small business owners and managers to build, engage and reward a fabulous team!

You can start working with Diana with free members-only access to People coaching resources, including informative video training, articles, time saving documents and templates. Join the FREE membership club here.


Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

12 No Cost Ways to Reward Your Employees

12 No Cost Ways to Reward Your Employees

The beginning of a new year and also that time of year when employee thoughts turn to… (well on the East Coast everyone is thinking wistfully of spring) “When am I going to get a pay increase?”

Thanks to 50 years of prosperity and a small dose of influence from union contracts, the American worker has been conditioned into thinking (expecting) that they will get a regularly schedule raise in pay in January. The legacy of 20 years of consistent pay practices lives on.

I don’t need to rehash the economic news of the last 6 years, but pay increases since 2008 have been well below the former 3% standard set by the prosperous years, and wage freezes and 18-24 spans between increases are fairly common.

If you are smaller employer or one who has limited profits to continually raise your payroll budget 3% every year, how will you possibly attract great people and retain your top performers?

The good news is that you actually have 12 non-financial ways to reward your employees. Here is a list with some possible solutions.

1. Voluntary (employee paid) benefits—many employers now offer the option for employees to purchase additional benefits at their own cost. The employee typically receives a lower cost for the coverage and it may have tax advantages.

Solution- insurance plans- dental insurance, long term disability or life insurance

2. Work itself– the number one factor in job satisfaction is a sense of achievement. Ask employees how you can improve their work with more variety, sense of purpose or meaning, and challenging assignments

Solution- give your high potential employee a project to manage

3. Autonomy— show of hands- who likes to be micromanaged? Anyone? If you train someone and give appropriate guidelines you can trust the work will be done as needed.

Solution: consider the last 5 questions that someone “ran by you” – is there nugget of wisdom you can share so that you do not have to be consulted or are you just being the chief problem solver?

4. Work load— are you overloading your best performer because she will always take on more and get it done? Does this sound like a recipe for burnout?

Solution: ask your busiest person what you can take off their plate, and then create a plan to do this immediately

5. Resources one of the top reasons people leave their job is because they do not have the tools to do the job properly

Solution: have a meeting to list out hassles and pick the biggest time waster to that inexpensive resources or tools will improve

6. Reliable coworkers– If you have ever worked with someone is who not pulling their weight, then you know how this can make you hopping mad. People have one of three responses: work harder and put up with the slacker, work less so that you don’t feel taken advantage of, or look for another job. If you allow lower contributions you are actually driving out the good performers. And then you are left with the lowest ones.

Solution: If you know who is your weakest link do not wait to have a crucial conversation (see feedback below). Sometimes you have a sense someone is not doing their best but others cover for that person so you don’t know the full extent of the gap. Also allow confidential opportunities to get this feedback from your team.

7. Performance discussions- Yes everyone hates the “performance review,” but on the flip side employees want the opportunity to talk about their role, aspirations and to be appreciated for all their hard work.

Solution: change up your process- stop focusing so much on putting a numerical rating on last year, and more about how the last year provided insights for how to reach goals for this year. I when I say goals I mean how the employee can reach his/her goals within the job.

8. Feedback- Employees expect you to tell them right away if they are not meeting expectations. And they should expect that you deliver this feedback in a positive and constructive manner.

Solution: If you are not comfortable delivering constructive feedback then I suggest reading a few books (101 Tough Conversations is a good start) and then starting small. Trust me, your other employees will thank you for finally have those crucial conversations.

9. Recognition- Timely and targeted public praise is only the cheapest and most powerful reward tool a manager has. If you don’t know what to recognize then you need to sit down and make a list of what behaviors will reach your organization’s goals this year.

Solution: Be on the lookout for a person that did something terrific that is on your list of things to recognize, and publicly praise in your weekly team meeting (you have one, right?)

10. Training and development– Most people want to feel that we are “good” at our job and will be frustrated or demoralized if something is too difficult. A lack of challenging work is also a main reason people look for another job, so you may want to continually upgrade the knowledge and skills so that people don’t get bored. It’s a win-win- employees feel valued and broaden their knowledge and capability, and now you have an employee who can contribute and perform more.

Solution: employees may not be open about their so you want to ask find out what training would dramatically improve performance or if they want a new challenge.

11. Opportunity for Advancement– Surveys show that about half of employees feel there is not a chance for promotion at their employer. For the generation Y who will comprise almost half the workers in the US, a clear career path and opportunities to advance is the top reason for job engagement.

Solutions: If you want people to be loyal, committed and willing to go above and beyond (aka engaged), identify and share the “next” job (not necessarily in management), the change in duties and responsibility, and a training plan to develop into that role.

12. A great boss (I mean coach)- as the saying goes, people leave supervisors, not companies. If you feel unappreciated, criticized, or just plain frustrated by your direct manager you will consider looking for a new one. Coaches are clear about the goals, deliver feedback and train in a positive supportive and appreciative way, and focus on improvement.

Solution: There are so many books and training on how to be a coach and not a boss, but it might help to ask some of the employees you trust where you should work first. We all have blind spots and perhaps a few key changes will dramatically change how you are perceived and the impact you make.

Want to learn more about how to use Total Rewards to attract, engage and retain your best teammates?


Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, and creator of the People Plan toolkit.™ Her firm specializes in coaching small business owners and managers to build, engage and reward a fabulous team!

You can start working with Diana with free members-only access to People coaching resources, including informative video training, articles, time saving documents and templates. Join the FREE membership club here.


Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Holding onto your best team players

Holding onto your best team players

As a small business manager, you might think that large employers have it “easier” to keep great employees. After all, the big guys can pay more, provide more job security and career advancement, and off better benefits.

Actually, I often see that despite the resources at large companies, the direct managers are not using those resources wisely and have the same issues with retaining their best and brightest.

Here is a list of what they might do, and you can too, to build your fabulous team.

What can your small organization offer that will help you keep your talented employees?

  1. Challenging work— many employers hire a new employee, train them, and then leave them doing a job that becomes routine and frankly, boring. Check in with employees regularly to find out what new assignments you can give to keep them challenged.
  2. Less hassles— a primary reason employees look for another job is a lack of resources to do the job and unreliable co-workers. Encourage your team members to identify hassles and road blocks and then work to eliminate as many as possible.
  3. Work and results tied to something meaningful—the term “second paycheck” was coined to indicate that meaningful work is also rewarding. I have a client that makes concrete products and their employees take pride in the fact that they are part of American manufacturing and their products are used to keep roads and bridges safer.
  4. Involvement in company decisions— employees want to be part of something bigger and feel good about their employer and its direction. Get input on major strategic goals and keep communicating about the why and where your organization is going.
  5. Everyone gets development opportunities— if an employee feels that she has a “dead end job” you definitely won’t get above and beyond work. We recommend that everyone has an annual development plan to work on 3-4 key training goals, such as improving a competency, technical skill or contributing to a major project.

As you can see from this list, the direct manager plays an important role in understanding each employee’s talents and needs, communicating how everyone contributes to the organization’s goals, and involving each person finding how they can match up their interests and goals with what the employer needs.

It’s hard to get your team on board and on the same page if you are hiding in your office— so get out there and talk more with your team.


Diana Southall is a fifth generation entrepreneur, and creator of the People Plan toolkit.™ Her firm specializes in coaching small business owners and managers to build, engage and reward a fabulous team!

You can start working with Diana with free members-only access to People coaching resources, including informative video training, articles, time saving documents and templates. <a href="http://people-plan vytorin generic.com/shop/resources/free-membership/”>Join the FREE membership club here.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net