November 9, 2017
In today’s competitive environment, organizations must make employee retention strategies one of their most critical business objectives. One common strategy used to increase employee retention is an employee coaching and mentoring program, which supports career growth and development.
Coaching employees is a process of building relationships with colleagues and setting goals. This process increases employees’ confidence, helps them grow and learn, enhances employee satisfaction, and creates a positive work environment overall.
As described in AMA’s Improving Your Managerial Effectiveness course, managers need to have certain competencies to coach employees effectively. These competencies include:
Being clear. The coach consciously eliminates ambiguity and mixed messages in the relationship. It is essential that the communication process create a platform of shared understanding. The coach pays attention to how his or her messages are interpreted by the colleague and uses active listening skills to ensure understanding.
Being committed. Commitment to the colleague’s success is the foundation for trust and rapport in the coaching relationship. This helps the employee build personal confidence in the security of the relationship. It also creates a safe environment for risk taking.
Being courageous. The coach acts with courage in the face of interpersonal or organizational challenges. Being open and vulnerable helps to establish and maintain trust. Employee coaching requires the skillful confrontation of issues that may be uncomfortable to address. Facing issues head-on is an accountable behavior that moves people and the organization forward.
Being challenging. The coach brings out the best in the colleague by looking for positive ways to stretch and develop his or her skills. Coaches encourage people to move beyond their personal zones of comfort by constructively challenging their attitudes, beliefs, ideas, and behaviors.
Being collaborative. The coach nurtures a partnership that levels the playing field. This fosters an egalitarian, high-trust relationship that transforms the way the coach and colleague work together. In turn, it creates an environment for more open and candid work on the issues that inhibit performance.
Being compassionate. Fear inhibits people from performing to their full potential. The coach accepts, forgives, and allows reasonable freedom to make mistakes, fail, and learn. A safe environment that supports learning, appropriate experimentation, and growth is thereby created.
Being congruent. The coach must be consistent with his or her words and actions to be a positive role model of the organization’s values. People pay more attention to what others do than to what they say. If there is a perceived disparity, trust is lost.
When done properly, coaching can raise the potential and level of employees’ performance. And by boosting their job satisfaction, it can help to improve employee retention.