This is a continuation of Creating a Culture For the Millennial Workforce. If you have not read it, I will advice you read the first part of the series to understand the importance of why coaching culture should be implemented? How to Create a coaching culture? and how to create the blue print and understand management role in a coaching culture. We are living in interesting times.
A Gallup study revealed that Seventy-two percent of American workers are “Not Engaged” or they are “Actively Disengaged” in their work environment. When you have disengaged employees you have disengaged customers and disengaged customers are no good for business. The majority of the workforce are emotionally disconnected from their workplace and are less productive which impacts the productivity and contribution of organizations and revenue.
A big issue I noticed in this economy is the lack of leadership. A leader’s job, in my opinion, is one who aligns the organization around a clear and achievable vision which is why I feel that a leader who lacks vision, can’t breath life to sustain value in a team or organization.
Another major issue facing America is that the majority of organizations are not implementing training programs to develop or recognize leaders with vision. The majority of companies also have to start finding ways to provide proper support to help leaders fulfill their roles. In order to successfully implement a coaching culture for the new generation, employees have to feel like they are part of the design.
This is why in the first part of this series I covered why it’s important for leaders to get to know their employees and set a 1 on 1 meeting with each employee to uncover their behaviors. And uncover how they like to be inspired.
From Information to Transformation
Once you have got a feel of your team and are familiar with the personalities each employee holds we can start getting ready to fit people into roles that suits them best and interchangeably build on their strengths. If the right behaviors are identified, expectations are set, and an accountability piece is in play then results will be delivered. But keep in mind that results will vary depending on the quality of support received from the leadership organization.
Some results you can expect in implementing this guide goes as follows:
- Increase in employee engagement
- Increase in customer satisfaction
- Peer to Peer coaching
- Employee development
- Decrease employee turnover
- Increase Moral
In implementing this guide it is important to note that a coaching model cannot be successfully implemented if there is no room for accountability. Therefore, accountability is crucial and is a center piece in creating a coaching culture because through accountability correct behaviors are reinforced. It’s our habits that make us and accountability holds us responsible for our actions and clears our judgement causing development of new habits that are productive as oppose to it being counter productive.
Accountability should not be associated with reducing the work force, accountability should be about improving your workforce and yourself in the process. It is important that leaders become more transparent. The team at Buffer.com are doing an amazing job at taking transparency to the next level by actually sharing their formula and all employees salaries. By doing this they were able to attract the right talent to help support their organization mission. One of the best ways to create transparency and make employees feel that they are part of the design is to hold effective team meetings.
After the 1:1 feedback you receive from your employee, one should move forward to the next step and hold a team meeting. When I say “hold a team meeting” I don’t just mean throw a meeting, but have an effective meeting that will deliver results because the best form of team meetings is where the employees can receive information that leads to transformation.
Setting An Effective Meeting
As a species we have accomplished a lot, we learn to embrace change, spit the atom, and are even advancing in technology at what seems to be at lightning speed. But we are plagued with a billion dollar problem of running meetings poorly even though it may seem like an easy task compared to everything else we can do. A great meeting can provide great value to any organization or achieve a common goal. By definition, meetings are the act of people coming together to get information to achieve a common goal through communication and engagement.
Amazing meetings can accomplish things like:
- Deliver information that allows employees behaviors transformation
- Reinforce spirit of creativity
- Increase employee moral and engagement
- Build collaboration and commitment to a goal
In contrast, meetings that are run poorly drain employees energy making the employees feel that this was a waste of time. This is not what we are trying to accomplish so it’s important that before setting the meeting, an agenda should be created and make sure to run the meeting in a timely manner.
Preparing Meeting & Reinforcing Conviction Through Technology and Visuals
Technology is at the core of most Millennials. Instead of making the meeting about turning technology and wireless products off why not use it as a way of enhancing the goals that the meeting has to offer?
These are Three Books I found to be successful for running meetings more effectively;
1. Boring Meetings Suck by Jon Petz, talks about how to incorporate technology and social media into the meeting agenda and using technology in a creative way to enhance overall the mission and purpose of the meeting. Through this book I found a few great nuggets.
2. Visual Meetings by David Sibbet is another great book where it shows you a clear vision of collaboration through team meetings and creating sustainable solutions. This amazing book shows you how visualization can bring clarity to the growing complexity around us. Why not incorporated I-pads, tablets, smart phones, white boards, and even doodle to to enhance your company message?
3. The Big Book of Meeting and Training Games by Doni Tamblyn and Sharyn Weiss. Meetings and trainings do not have to be dry. Its time to make meetings fun, interesting and interactive. The techniques in this book work for all levels of employees from management down to Customer Service Representative. Lets make meetings fun and productive by allowing our employees to walk away from these meetings retaining far more information than before , lets start using visuals and other creative ways to target multiple brain regions in training our employees. Doni Tamblyn and Sharyn Weiss training book helps you increase engage and drive participation. Make sure you add The Big Book of humorous training games as a tool for your next meeting.
The Direct Coaching Model
In the first part of the series I discuss, that every interaction with a client is an investment of time and energy on the part of the customer, and every investment of time and energy should result in some kind of an action step to measure employee performance. If the goal is to successfully arrive at the ultimate resolution, the perceptive employee will have an understanding that the means to performance is a step-by-step process.
The step by step process we will follow is called “The Direct Coaching Model” I personally like to use this model for two reasons.
1. It creates a guide for me to uncover employee behavior and allow my employee to participate more during our coaching conversation.
2. Its a great introductory for leaders/managers who are acquiring the skills of coaching. What I like about allows flexibility to incorporate other coaching models.
The Direct coaching model focus on the idea that employees can direct their own destiny by aligning their core values and belief systems to the mission of the entity. This coaching model enables the coach and the coachee to form an accountability partner that is base on trust, openness, honesty and respect.
Data Development – Focuses on Opening The Relationship with Employee
This stage is the most important stage but is often bypassed. This stage is important because it creates an emotional bond and opens the relationship between people providing the coach and the one being coached with a sense of each other’s concerns
How Do You Open the Relationship and Acquire Behavior Data? It’s important to establish a relationship where the one being coached feels that you care about their progress. By creating a two-way communication stream the stage for dialogue to hear each other out is initiated. The best way to start this is by asking a question based on a follow up discussion you have had in the past. In doing so this shows employees their voice was heard, that not only are you coaching but you are listening and it makes it easier to open the relationship because comfort is established.
“Hey Rachel, how was your weekend vacation to catskill mountains?”
“Hey Brian, I know your a big patriots fan. how did you spend your super bowl weekend?”
Just a warning, do not allow your comfort level with your employee to be a determining factor if you should execute this step or not. This is an expectation to better your employee behavior not an option.
Remember you want to open up your employee!
Impact – Focuses On Communicating The Impact To The Organization
As we move on, once you have Acquired Data, you will move the conversation into the Impact stage. In other words, what behavior did the employee exhibit that impacts the business? Either negatively or positively or both?
In this stage focus on taking control of the conversation and letting the employee know what the coaching conversation will consist of.
If your wondering, How Do You Move the Conversation from Data Behaviors into Impact Behavior Stage? These are some suggestions to help you make transition between the DIRECT Model.
- Set an Agenda and outline what will be discussed
- Provide Metrics and Analytics To Help distinguish opportunities
- Provide specific feedback
- Set time on how long the coaching session is expected to last
“Rachel, I am glad you enjoyed your vacation. It sounded like a lot of fun and you had a great time. I noticed during the last customer interaction the customer seemed a little irate, I want to take a few minutes to discuss what I was able to observe when you offered B2B packages.
“It was a great Superbowl Brian and I’m glad you enjoyed it too. I notice during your last interaction you did not talk to the customer about Buffer Application and opportunities surrounding that. I want to take 5 to 10minutes to discuss what I was able to observe.
Again remember you are following a step by step process to make the employee receptive that you are listening and you are there to help them out without deviating from the task at hand.
Requirement – Focuses on setting the performance expectations
This step will reinforce the required behaviors necessary and areas of opportunities. In this area we will focus on areas of opportunities, recognizing the employee success, and connection of behaviors. Under the requirement step you want to be able to ask questions that encourage participation.
Some questions that can help assist you under this stage are questions such as:
- What do you think went well during this interaction?
- How did you feel after doing that behavior?
- What do you think went well during that meeting/interaction?
Make sure to add compliments and share additional successes you saw. But be specific and use reference points during observation and prior commitments to reinforce and encourage further participation.
“I would also add, you did well with…..”
“In our last meeting you mention that this is an area you were focused on your making progress in……”
Remember you want to set the expectations for the performance your looking for.
Explore – Develop a solution and action plan through coaching
In the explore stage the employee will assess their behaviors and how it impacts the company mission.
This step is usually referred to as the “wow” moment since it helps the employee discover and explore their behaviors.
As a Coach you want to ask open ended questions
- What could you have been done differently to overcome that obstacle?
- Is there anything you could have done differently or phrase that in a different way?
- What are some areas where you would like to develop your strengths?
- Do you feel there are any hidden opportunities that you could have uncovered?
Do not tell the employee, let them tell you what their action plan is and you hold them accountable for what they are saying. As a leader is your job to help them become stronger, you can’t achieve that if your always micromanaging the process.
Commitment – Focuses on gaining commitment to an action plan
In this stage you want to uncover why specific behaviors are acquired and how can an action plan be implemented to prevent the behavior from repeating itself.
- This step requires asking questions to find out “Why”
- What are action steps you can take to change the outcome?
- What steps can be taken to build confidence on that behavior trait?
- What are some solutions that can be implemented in xyz?”
You want to be able to set the platform for support and serve as a guide in the process of helping them achieve their own goal but for the employee to come up with and create his own solutions.
Track – Focuses on a process to monitor, track and follow-up
This is the last step we arrive to after a coaching conversation. This is where the coach and the one being coached set an agreement on behaviors changes that are needed in order to accomplish the company mission.
There are 3 things you want to accomplish during this last step
- Is there a buy in with employee commitments?
- Is there anything that can prevent them from accomplishing this goal?
- When will Coach Set follow up meetings for each behavior
Questions that can help you engage further with the employee are questions such as;
- When will you try to accomplish this change?
- How will management know your making this change and commitment?
- What will this behavior accomplish?
Lastly do not forget to end the meeting in a positive note. Reinforce to the employee that you are their accountability partner. The employee should know you have your best interest in helping them achieve their goals and that you appreciate them being open to feedback. Let the employee know you’re also available to them.
Even though there are many different Coaching models to choose from. I find the DIRECT Coaching Model guides you through the proper behaviors as a coach to help uncover employee behaviors and build a connection with employees. What I find great about the DIRECT Coaching Model is that it works well if you even want to incorporate other coaching models along with it. I personality like to incorporate the DIRECT Coaching Model with Keith Rosen’s “Sales Coaching Playbook Coaching Sales people into Sales Champions”. I Highly recommend this book as a tool to any sales professional that has a team or is seeking to coach his sales team into becoming a sale champions.
So why do you think 72% of workers are not engaged in American? And what can we do differently to engage these minds? Please leave feedback below or reach me and lets explore ways in how we can transform employee engagement/employee transparency. I would like to continue updating this guide with proven ideas and that have been implemented in other entities.