We define coaching in the workplace as, inspiring behavioral change and growth through experiential leadership. You want to inspire growth and allow them to be more effective and want to learn in their daily work, not just have them do the correct things day after day. Translating insights from data and analytics into meaningful action unleashes the potential of everyone within the workplace.
It’s also important to note that a coaching culture is not created by scheduling 1-1 meetings to discuss performance. In an ideal world, we would hire a perfect person and give them the perfect tools and they would produce the best work. But people aren’t perfect and sales is more complex than that. Because of this, reps need guidance on their work and where they can best spend their time to get the best results.
A Coaching Culture
The authors of Creating a Coaching Culture in a Global Organisation, mention, “a coaching culture is present when all members of the culture fearlessly engage in candid, respectful coaching conversations about how they can improve their performance. All have learned to value and effectively use feedback as a powerful learning tool to produce high-trust working relationships, continually improving job performance, and ever-increasing customer satisfaction.”
To further this, a culture of coaching in the workplace is pervasive and ongoing. It is defined and reinforced by the relationship between coworkers. And, once that relationship is established the coaching becomes continual.
To build a coaching culture, it’s important to start with an assessment looking at what is happening within the company. As top management the following questions:
- How well is coaching understood and currently integrated into performance and employee management?
- What competencies does the organization need to develop within five years?
- How well is coaching embedded in the policies and procedures in your organization?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you have an understanding of where you need to start.
Better Results — Less Time
Equipping managers with the tools to have coaching conversations will result in a more positive workplace. To move closer to this idea, following these 3 steps is important:
Step 1: Train managers to think like coaches. Managers need coaching to build awareness about themselves. They also need the tools to have conversations to build trust and accountability with their teams. Finally, they need to develop a positive relationship with their employees.
Step 2: Identify opportunities for coaching. With every exchange comes an opportunity for coaching. It’s important to pay attention and practice, to lead and respond as a coach in each conversation.
Step 3: Engage in the coaching conversation. There are a few attributes that lead to having an effective coaching relationship. These include: asking questions, listening actively, seeking to understand, and encouraging exploration.
In order to have better results while making sure you have ‘time’ in the back of your head is accountability. You need to make managers accountable for developing employees. Now you see that we didn’t say make managers accountable for coaching. No, we mean the result of coaching, which is the development of making employees effective. If we make managers accountable for coaching, then they can say “yes, we spend 15 minutes coaching each day,” but they may not be getting any results. If we make them accountable for the developing employees then they actually have to focus on that. This is much more important than just filling in the checkbox that coaching was done for the day.
Employees that are more effective in their work spend less time doing “nonsense work” and this allows them to be more successful quicker.
Create a structured process with clear goals for coaching employees. Be sure to make time and resources available to guarantee success. Reward managers who meet or exceed these goals and reevaluate those who don’t.
A strategy for still doing a good job in less time is deciding in advance how much time you will spend on a particular task or part of a task, and then sticking to it. This specific activity is called timeboxing. Coaching your sales reps to timebox gives them the opportunity to focus better and understand the importance of each task. Thus, allowing them to allocate their time better.
First, timeboxing into a calendar enables the relative positioning of work. If you know that there is an important client coming in and you need to prepare a sales presentation on Tuesday there are certain you need. For example, the marketing team needs 4 hours to work on your presentation and then you need time to review and practice. So you can put all of these needs into your timebox. This practice enables you to communicate and collaborate more effectively with your team while giving you a record of what you’ve done
The benefits of timeboxing are many, varied, and highly impactful. It improves how we feel (control), how much we achieve as individuals (personal productivity), and how much we achieve in teams (collaboration). This may be the single most important skill you can develop as a modern professional. It’s also straightforwardly applied and at no cost. Box some time to implement a version of this that works for you.
The investment in coaching is increasing, but few organizations evaluate the process or identify the ROI. Some expected outcomes of creating a coaching culture are:
- Expanded leadership skills are developed
- Key challenges are addressed collaboratively
- Coaching empowers people to take responsibility
When managers are skilled and aware of their opportunities, they can capitalize on every interaction with their employees. Thus, leading to dynamic and robust coaching conversations. Doing the items listed above, the company and the individual, will gain significant returns on the investment.