There’s no denying it! When it comes to business success, your staff are the determining factor between success and failure.
Employees are your greatest asset because of the knowledge, interpretations and judgements they make for your business every day and the relationships they have with your customers. But these attributes are not something you, as a manager/owner, can easily measure or monitor. They are intangible metrics.
However, there are ways you can coach your staff to generate positive behaviours and ensure business success.
To create motivated staff, it’s important to remember that the ‘why’ is a major factor. It is also a double-ended one. When coaching your staff you need to share your business’s why; the mission, goals and benchmarks of your organisation. This will create a deep sense of connectedness because the employee understands how their work affects the growth and achievement of the bigger business strategy.
You also need to learn your employee’s why; their goals, intentions and motivations. This can be started during the recruitment process and nurtured through team and individual coaching. Finding common ground that aligns the ‘why’ of the business and each individual employee will strengthen your staff’s motivation and commitment to achieving peak performance.
Once the ‘why’ is aligned, you can move onto measurable goals that encourage mutual benefits. These benefits may include growth in staff confidence resulting in higher customer satisfaction from face-to-face interactions. It is difficult to accurately measure the number of judgements your staff make in a day or how your customer’s mood changes after speaking to a staff member. But you can track final outputs eg. converted sales, reducing customer wait times, etc.
After you identify the results you want to measure, involve your staff in the process of achieving them. Make sure you communicate the links of the goals to the bigger picture business strategy. By being flexible with these metrics and tweaking them as necessary, you can find the right mix that will generate a sense of achievement within your staff, while growing your business.
It is vital to note here, that the way you monitor the metrics and your staff’s achievement of them, needs to be done in a respectful, structured way. It’s not productive for a manager to hover on the frontline. Micro-managing is detrimental to team morale and it’s not time-efficient. You need to trust you have employed the right team while giving them space and support to work independently. Your staff should be allowed to take initiative, make decisions and manage their time effectively. The metrics (if you have chosen them correctly) will highlight any issues of staff performance.
During your coaching sessions, encourage staff to report their successes but also to identify and ask for support if needed. Positive reinforcement, personalised training, coaching and mentoring are all proven strategies for creating an empowered, successful team. Make sure your staff know these resources are available to them.
Finally, always remember that coaching a high performing team requires feedback that is two-way in its communication and accountability. In addition to asking your staff where they can improve, get their insights on how you, as their coach, can help them improve. Offer and seek feedback regularly, not just during quarterly performance reviews. This can help identify issues and detrimental behaviours early, allowing change, growth and progress to be the dominant actions.
Understanding the value of coaching, not just managing, your staff will help in developing their potential and aid in their success. Those achievements will flow on throughout your business, ensuring it runs productively and profitably into the future.