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How Managers Can Excel by Really Coaching Their Employees

Can we talk?

The answer to that simple question may have a profound impact on how employees are managed, now and into the foreseeable future.

It’s certainly a question that front-line managers will have to answer if they want to get the most out of today’s workforce.

The problem is, recent Gallup research finds that only about one in four employees “strongly agree” that their manager provides meaningful feedback to them — or that the feedback they receive helps them do better work. Even more alarming is that a mere 21% of employees strongly agree that their performance is managed in a way that motivates them to do outstanding work.

Many organizations know they have a serious problem with performance management — and they have already started to re-engineer their approaches. One big step that companies are taking is to place far greater importance on more frequent, ongoing performance conversations between the manager and the employee.

Those organizations know that managers and employees need to talk to each other more — a lot more — and much more frequently than during annual or even semiannual reviews.

Many Managers Struggle With Frequent Conversations

While we know that stepping up the frequency of these conversations is crucial, there is a huge caveat: Gallup’s research and experience with clients suggest many managers actually struggle in this area.

In talking with leaders who are beginning to make this shift, we find overwhelming agreement that more frequent conversations between the manager and employee are important. But in our work and discussions with managers, we’ve seen that many don’t feel comfortable assuming these new expectations or that they haven’t received additional support or guidance about how to have these conversations effectively. Some managers don’t even consider it part of their job, which begs the question: Are companies setting managers up to fail by asking them to do something they either don’t know how to do or believe they shouldn’t be doing at all?

The answer has serious implications for companies, as managers have the greatest impact on driving performance and engagement within their teams. Managers need to be at the heart of changing traditional performance management approaches.

Help Managers Shift to a Performance Development Approach

Gallup’s recent report on re-engineering performance management notes that companies are shifting from traditional performance management practices to a new approach that focuses on performance development. Essentially, this shift requires managers to create an ongoing dialogue about performance that is individualized to the needs and unique talents of each employee.

To master this new approach, managers must take ownership of their employees’ development and think of themselves in a new way: as a coach, not a boss. This approach also requires that leaders take ownership of manager development to teach them how to be effective coaches.

Great coaches aren’t hard to spot. They tend to be managers who take the time to connect with each team member authentically and individually. They value how their employees naturally think and behave and use that information to match employees with assignments and projects that energize them.

These coaches also know that their team members need to be engaged, which is not just about making employees happy. It’s about ensuring that employees have what they need to be successful in their roles and that they have the partnerships, opportunities, support and materials to get there. To this end, managers who excel at coaching have learned how to lead strengths-based and engagement-focused conversations.

The best coaches also know how to make the most out of their interactions. From an employee’s first day on the job to quick check-ins to formal progress discussions, managers who have effective performance conversations aren’t waiting for an annual review to discuss employee needs, successes or opportunities. They are actively involved in the process, day in and day out.

Here’s what the best coaches do in those conversations:

  1. Establish expectations that are clear, collaborative and aligned with the organization’s goals. As quickly as the workplace moves today, employees can become confused when there are conflicting priorities and shifting goals. The best coaches have collaborative dialogues with employees to clarify performance needs and define a path forward together. Working with employees to set clear objectives helps the manager and employee stay aligned with each other, with the team and with the organization.
  2. Have frequent, focused and future-oriented coaching conversations. To some employees, “We’re going to have frequent coaching conversations” can feel an awful lot like “I’m going to be micromanaged.” But there’s a fine line between frequent contact and micromanagement — and managers need to learn how to walk this line. Conversations have to be frequent, focused and future-oriented, even if they include tough feedback on current projects. Ongoing conversations are ultimately about inspiring and energizing employees for the future — not breathing down their necks and constantly checking on their work.
  3. Create accountability that is fair and accurate, as well as developmental and achievement-oriented. Holding employees accountable for their work, their team contributions and their value to clients is still essential. How to hold them accountable is what needs to change. Effective progress reviews don’t just focus on ratings, pay and promotions. They use metrics and evaluation practices that accurately reflect employees’ work and recognize their achievements. Effective reviews also incorporate development goals.

When managers learn how to have strengths-based and engagement-focused conversations aimed at achieving the core principles of performance development, manager-employee interactions feel more encouraging, purposeful and rewarding than the typical annual review. For some managers, this comes naturally. Others may require more help.

Business Consultant, Jan Makela, Hits Amazon Best-Seller List With Cracking the Code to Success

 

   Jan Makela, recently ranked on the Amazon.com best-seller list with the new book, Cracking the Code to Success, co-authored with Brian Tracy.

Ellicott City, MD – May 15, 2017 – Business expert, Jan Makela, joined the legendary Best-Selling Author® and success expert, Brian Tracy, and a select group of ThoughtLeaders® from around the world to co-write the book, Cracking the Code to Success. This title aims to provide the reader with strategies to find success in their health, wealth, and business, and also features content from JW Dicks, Esq. and Nick Nanton, Esq., International Best-Selling Authors® and marketing experts. The book was published by CelebrityPress®, a leading business book publisher that publishes books from ThoughtLeaders® around the world, and was released on April 13, 2017.

On the day of release, Cracking the Code to Success reached best-seller status on Amazon.com – reaching as high as #26 in the “Direct Marketing” category. The expert information shared in his chapter, “Be The Manager People Won’t Leave,” has helped the book reach optimal best-seller placement and will help readers gain similar success in their endeavors.

CelebrityPress® describes the book:

How often have you chased the Code to Success? If you are like most people, you have tried Cracking the Code to Success before. From observation, you may also have noted that there is no specific roadmap that guarantees success. We are all endowed with different personalities and come from any number of different backgrounds, so we approach different tasks in our own individual ways.

Everyone has experienced some measure of success in life. To move up to a higher level, whether it is for recognition, financial reasons, or some other definition of success that you choose, there are many qualities of successful people by which you can be guided. While we often hate to ask for help, mentoring is one of the key ingredients to help you crack the code to success much faster than you could on your own.  The Celebrity Experts in this book are happy to mentor you with their expertise based on their proven experiences and core principles.  They have “been there and done that.”

Mentors will help you avoid the ruts and potholes and save you “oceans of time” while you are trying to get onto the highway of success. In addition to mentoring, you will need specific knowledge, clarity of goals, perseverance and passion to get you past the “no’s” and naysayers, as well as an action plan and a willingness to help others along the way. To Your Success!

Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.
~ Conrad Hilton

After such a successful release, Jan Makela will be recognized by The National Academy of Best-Selling Authors™, an organization that honors authors from many of the leading independent best-seller lists.

Click HERE to order a copy of Cracking the Code to Success.

A portion of the royalties earned from Cracking the Code to Success will be given to Entrepreneur’s International Foundation, a not for profit organization dedicated to creating awareness for charitable causes.

About Jan Makela:

Jan has a long successful history of making a difference wherever he has been.

He has held a number of senior level positions in the military and private sector organizations.

His background includes a solid track record of having profitably managed and grown business units, including two de novo regional offices, as well as having successfully led the turnaround of a troubled business unit. He has worked with companies of all sizes, including start-ups, and is occasionally sought out for strategic advice by senior executives and business owners.

Jan is a Gallup-Certified Strengths & Workforce Solution Consultant as well as nationally certified trainer in behavioral based interviewing to insure quality hires and trained manager how to get and keep quality people.

He has additional experience in building sales teams, restructuring and sales force design and has managed the operations of sales forces of greater than 600 sales people.

Additional experience includes sales cycle management, sales forecasting, incentive compensation planning, as well as sales management training for both new and experienced managers.

As well has working with clients and discovering their strengths, Jan travels the country conducting seminars on a variety of topics including Human Resource Law, Employee Accountability, and Being the Manager People Won’t Leave.

Jan is a volunteer for the SCORE organization under the Small Business Administration where he mentors for profit and nonprofit small business startups or struggling organizations to flourish in their endeavors.

Utilizing his strengths and extensive business experience, Jan provides valuable guidance and insight to his clients, working purposefully to assist his clients to maximize their potential and achieve their goals in order to enjoy success and fulfillment both in their professional careers and personal lives.

His specialty is strength based leadership development with a particular focus on working with senior (CEO, COO, and CFO) and mid-level executives, business owners, and professionals. He will work with companies of any size with no specific industry focus.

His promise to his clients is:

“Everyone has the ability to be great at something. The trick is finding that something. I promise I will help you find you’re something. Engaged employees are more productive and want to contribute to the organization’s success which in turn leads to increased job performance and personal satisfaction.”
You can connect with Jan at:

jlmakela@gmail.com

http://www.strengthbasedleadership.net

Linkedin: @jlmakela

Twitter: @JLMakela