Engaged employees are more productive, attentive, creative, and happier, which makes for a more cohesive growing company. One way to improve employee engagement is to utilize coaching.
What exactly is coaching?
Has anyone ever asked you, "What do you think you can do to ___?" and you felt free to answer without fear of being judged?
That's actually an example of coaching.
As you can see, coaching is a strategy that can be done by anyone. The requirements of a coaching relationship include confidentiality and trust, active listening, and questions asked in a way that encourages exploration of the situation with no judgement on either side.
It's like having an idea sparring partner.
It encourages free flowing ideas, improved innovation, more self awareness and reflection, which leads to increased innovation and productivity. Especially when practiced by everyone in the company - from higher ups to managers to the receptionist.
However, it is a skill that can be learned and very consciously implemented.
Give me some numbers...
Gallup's latest meta-analysis on companies who implemented strengths based coaching and its impact on business performance in 2015 revealed that amongst 1 million individuals and 500,000 business units, 90% experienced an increase of up to 19% of sales and 29% in total profits and up to 72% lower turnover rates.
So if your company has 20 employees and your net annual earnings is $5 million, you could be making up to $6 million in sales and $6.5 million in profits. If you’re making $50 million a year, you could experience up to $60 million in sales and $6.5 million total earnings for fiscal year 2017.
All of this sounds great – so where do you start? Remember, strengths-based development involves speaking and asking questions in a way that encourages employees to discover, develop, and use their greatest strengths.
Start with hiring the right way.
When interviewing new prospects, you want to find out their current strengths and which ones they are looking to develop. This will help you decide whether your current open position or any future positions can offer them something that they would find fulfilling while working for you.
Managers, have a discussion with your new hires.
After a new hire is introduced to their new manager or boss, their boss should have a conversation with the employee to discuss this more in-depth as well. It would be beneficial to block out at least 45 minutes for this discussion.
Do weekly scheduled check-ins to discuss development.
After that initial long conversation, weekly check-ins are greatly beneficial. These don’t need to be long – only 5-10 minutes – but they do need to be intentional. See this blog post on what it means to be intentional.
Check out the following 6 questions you can ask new hires and existing employees during these strengths-focused conversations with the intention of developing them:
- What are your top 5 current strengths or skills that you enjoy working with?
- How do you prioritize developing them?
- What did you do this week that you loved?
- What did you do this week that you hated?
- What will you be doing next week?
- What could you be doing bette r?