Today organisations in all sectors, from industry, to finance, to medical and healthcare to retail, need managers who lead, inspire and motivate employees to achieve organisation-wide goals. Relying too heavily on leading or managing can be detrimental. Add to this the growing need for, and proven results of workplace coaching, and you have the fundamental requirements of a great manager. As a leader, manager and coach, the ultimate goals are the same – the path to getting there is where they differ.
To be a credible, effective leader, manager and coach you need to build and foster relationships with all your employees, and to encourage them to build solid relationships with one another. As relationships of trust are built between employees and between the employees and the manager, a more productive environment will self-generate.
Do you struggle with poor employee engagement?
Employee surveys conducted over the past decade show that employees want coaching – a process where the manager / coach guides the employee through a coaching framework enabling them to find solutions within themselves, ultimately leading to performance enhancement and focused career development. The surveys show that effective coaching raises employee commitment and engagement, productivity, retention rates, customer loyalty, and the employees’ perception of the strength and credibility of their managers. It has been scientifically proven, the more effective the leader / manager is at coaching and developing others, the more engaged and committed their staff will be.
Coaching is not something that comes naturally to everyone. Nor is it a skill that is automatically acquired in the course of learning to lead and manage. And done poorly, it can cause a lot of harm.
Some key attributes which are required to move from the more traditional management practices towards good coaching practices are:
- take a step back, and try to draw out the views of your employees;
- rather than jumping in to give advice, take time to help your employees discover the best solution from within themselves;
- take care to not behave as a complete equal, with no special role or responsibility in the coaching discussion.
To help you find a balance between leading, managing and coaching, try to:
- develop healthy relationships of trust;
- inspire your employees;
- develop a productive environment that fosters growth and achievement.
If you need to build positive relationships of trust with your employees, try these tips:
- Know Your Employees – consciously keep in regular contact with your employees, hear about what they are doing and what might be going on in their personal lives. They will appreciate your understanding if they need some additional support.
- Develop Employee Accountability –build accountability into your employee’s responsibility for their work, attitudes and behaviours. This goes hand-in-hand with you understanding their workload and deadlines.
- Empower Your Employees –offer guidance certainly but also delegate to your employees and let them make decisions when possible. This will make them feel valued and encourage them to do and learn more.
- Inspire, Don’t Micromanage– controlling and micromanaging deters employees from taking decisions, taking the initiative and in some organisations, taking educated risks and it can dampen a positive and focused work ethic.
Good leaders, with strong management and coaching skills can learn to be more collaborative as opposed to always being directive. They can learn the skill of helping people to discover solutions rather than always first offering advice and they can learn how satisfying it is in today’s world of work to treat their employees with absolute respect.
Are you a manager who knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing, or do you know both the cost and, more importantly, the value of your employees?
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