Coaching Employees is Job #1

Whether you’re a team leader, a supervisor, or contact center manager, coaching—giving feedback to your employees—is one of the most important thing you do leader. As a leader, your job is to set goals, and guide your team toward those goals as you inspire them toward new heights.

What Is Coaching?

The term coaching refers to the practice of giving feedback to improve performance. Coaching can be one-way or two-way. One-way coaching is when you do all the talking and two-way coaching is when you and an employee have a discussion about performance. Most often, one-way coaching is brief, spontaneous and timely, while two-way coaching is more likely to be scheduled, longer in length, and off the floor in your office or conference room. Over time you will be able to tweak your coaching technique to best suit individuals and team needs.

Why Is Coaching Important?

Not only does coaching validate an employees’ job performance, it also shows that you take the success of your team and the company seriously. Being seen as dedicated to continual improvement is very inspiring and will no doubt be motivating for your staff.

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Being a great coach comes naturally for some. But for the rest of us it requires some study, patience and practice. Here are the two main skills to focus on:

Praising

It’s hard to feel good about yourself and your job when all you hear are negative comments. To ensure your employees perform at optimal levels they will need to hear words of

encouragement and praise from you. There are many effective ways to praise but we have found the below exercise most effective.

B = Behavior. Identify preferred behavior so the employee can continue doing it.Coaching Employees is Job #1 image never offering any praise4

E = Effect. Explain how the behavior contributed to the customer’s positive experience, company bottom line, or anything else that details why the behavior is desired.

T = Thanks. Always thank the employee. This shows appreciation and reinforces that the employee performed well and encourages them to continue performing in the same manner.

Correcting

Although not as much fun as praising, correcting is a very important part of coaching. It is not easy to tell someone that they did something wrong or are not behaving per company guidelines, but avoiding such issues will affect your team’s productivity and morale. Use this easy to remember exercise to effectively correct performance.

B = Behavior. Clearly point out the incorrect behavior.

E = Effect. Explain the effect the incorrect behavior had on the customer, call, etc.

E = Expectation. Clearly state what you expect the employee to do differently next time.

S = Secure Commitment. Secure a commitment from the employee to try what you’ve asked.

Avoid Using “But”

In some cases, coaching sessions will involve both praising and coaching. Always praise first. This will relax the employee and allow the employee to be more receptive to correcting. However, avoid using the word “but” as a transition from praising to correcting. Using but will quickly negate all the positive things you just said. Instead use a segue such as, “Now let’s talk about…” as a smooth transition from praising to correcting.

Use these skills regularly to praise and correct your employees and watch their performance improve.

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