Ah yes, leadership back in the news again as Gallup finds Millennial employees are seriously disgruntled at the poor mentorship they get from their Boomer and GenX supervisors. Their conclusion: Growing professionally will mean moving to a new job.
I once worked for an Executive Director who often would say 'My real job title is Head Coach". And right she was. It's a point I emphasize in my series on The New Executive Director. The idea that if you don't coach them, your best employees will look towards another organization.
While there are several thousands books on being an effective coach to your employees, I find they mostly boil down to nine basic principles:
- Put the employee at ease. This step is important when the coaching session is a response to poor performance--it's not as important in other situations.
- Find out what they already know. There are two reasons for this. First, there's little use in telling them what they already know. Second, prior knowledge serves as the foundation for new knowledge that's acquired. Hence, you want to link the "training" to what they already know and correct any misconceptions that could interfere with their learning.
- Present information or demonstrate work methods. This is the point where you deliver the content of the training.
- Repeat. Repetition enhances understanding and retention.
- Evaluate learning. Test whether the employee understands the information or can perform the skill.
- Provide feedback. Let the employee know what they have successfully learned and what they still need to learn.
- Correct. Show the right answers or methods again.
- Evaluate performance on the job. Periodically check to see whether the employee is using the knowledge or skills effectively on the job. Gradually increase the interval at which you check. The employee should eventually take responsibility for monitoring their own performance.
- Reward. Provide praise or other rewards for successful acquisition and use of the knowledge or skill.