Do Leaders need to Coach?

How important is it for a manager or supervisor to spend focused and uninterrupted time with each of their team members?

Assuming it is one of their important tasks, which I believe it is, then how much time do they spend, what is the purpose and what do they talk about? 

This is almost a “How long is a piece of string?” type of question, however, it is one that needs to addressed by everyone who leads others. Why? Because of the saying “People don’t care how much you know they only want to know how much you care”. 

What has prompted this article is two comments I have read recently from very successful business owners who basically said keeping staff satisfied and happy is more important than customer satisfaction. You are kidding is probably the first thing entering your brain at this point in time, however, think of the logic behind it.  What is the end result that companies strive to achieve? Profit and positive cashflow probably.

To achieve this companies must deliver products and services that meet the needs of customers and keep them very satisfied. Who is responsible for delivering these products and services at a level that reflects the standards and passion of the owner? It all starts with happy, well trained staff who are listened to, coached and developed.

How aligned are your team members to the vision and goals of the overall business? Do they know how they fit in and how they contribute to the big picture? If not, there is agenda item number 1. 

What skills do they currently have, soft and hard skills, both for their current role firstly and for other roles that they aspire to? Do they know what opportunities are available to them across the whole organisation? Are plans in place to work towards developing skills with specific target dates and action steps?  

What prevents managers and team leaders from undertaking a consistent ongoing coaching program with each of their team members?

Is it time? The daily pressures of workload can certainly override the task of coaching and developing team members. So is coaching given the right priority? 

Is it a willingness to do it? Sometimes it is just not seen as a responsibility that needs to be done.

Is it just not knowing what to do and how to do it? Like any new task or responsibility, unless proper support is provided then the fear of failure kicks in and avoidance of the job happens. Worse still, the leader tries and due to inexperience and/or lack of adequate support the whole process just doesn’t work as it should. 

It has been proven that coaching and developing team members at all levels works, improves efficiency and effectiveness and in the end positively impacts the bottom line of the business.

Three final questions are;

  1. Do you and your organisation want to do it? 

  2. Do you know how to do it?

  3. Have you got the time and tools to support it? 

 

If the answer to the first question is “Yes” then fantastic go to it. If the answer to either of the other two questions is “No” then get in touch and we may be able to help. It doesn’t cost anything to talk, apart from the phone call itself of course.  

December is a great time to do this as it is a time when both businesses and importantly, employees of those businesses, are reflecting on their future. So Act today.

 

Contact Michael Laing