SafetyCulture Summit 2021
Published January 25th, 2021
Workplace coaching, or employee coaching, is the continuous two-way feedback between the employee and the coach with the intention to work on areas for improvement and reinforce strengths to sustain the progress of the employee’s performance. In other words, coaching in the workplace means empowering employees to be the best performers that they can be.
This article covers the following topics:
Workplace coaching is important to set employees up for success in the workplace by providing the tools that workers can use to increase their knowledge and improve their skills. Through effective employee coaching, employers can cultivate their workers’ willingness to do the job, leading to higher job satisfaction and productivity.
Ultimately, a workplace coach is responsible for empowering an employee to be the best version of themselves at work. For workplace coaches to be effective and build up a company’s workforce, they should be mindful of the following before coaching begins:
The coach should have a firm belief in the value of the employee. The coach must begin with the mindset that the employee is worth the coaching effort.
The coaching environment ideally should be conducive to learning and communication. It needs to be a safe space for open, honest, two-way feedback between the employee and the coach.
The coach (and the employee) should be able to realize if the performance issue/s arise from lack of knowledge, skill gap, or lack of direction to properly execute a job. The coach should gather information based on the employee’s performance to identify areas for improvement.
The employee is likely receptive to coaching if the environment is conducive and if the coach is ready. Also consider asking questions like how’s the day going so far for the employee and observe non verbal cues and body language to assess if the employee may be open to coaching at the moment.
Intentionality and preparation are important for coaching to be effective. The coach needs to adjust the method of coaching according to the employee’s learning style: visual, kinesthetic, read/write, auditory. The coaching process needs to be communicated well with the employee to get the most out of the session, leading to better outcomes.
Benefits of Coaching Employees
Coaching should be done daily and not just during scheduled weekly or monthly sessions. Whether it’s just a quick huddle, via video conference, one-on-one, catch-up, team meeting, as long as it’s an opportunity to address possible improvement, it is considered coaching.
Similar areas of improvement or challenges may be discovered during coaching and there may be a tendency to use one generic action plan for different employees–be aware that one approach may not apply to all. The coach should help the employee formulate own action plans and make sure that they are doable for the employee.
Coaching is not meant to assess past performance. The information gathered from past performance is meant to help determine what the employee should improve on moving forward.
The coach is not supposed to do all the talking during coaching. Majority of the input should be from the employee while the coach should guide the direction of the session with the intention to help the employee realize areas for improvement. Once identified, the employee comes up with an action plan and the coach is responsible for helping determine if it is a SMART action plan.
To make sure that action plans are S.M.A.R.T., ask the following questions:
Once the coach and the employee agree that the action plans are indeed SMART, document the coaching session, commit to the action plans, and monitor employee progress.
Use tools with cloud-based storage like iAuditor by SafetyCulture to record the coaching session and document the ongoing progress of the employee. Take advantage of the following features relevant to employee coaching:
Employee coaching forms that are easy to use and custom-made according to the company needs will be great tools for employees and coaches to document and monitor employee progress. Browse this collection of coaching templates and select which among these customizable forms you’d like to use for your next employee coaching session.
As a staff writer for SafetyCulture, Erick is interested in learning and sharing how technology can improve work processes and workplace safety. Prior to SafetyCulture, Erick worked in logistics, banking and financial services, and retail.
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