How much time are your managers devoting to coaching?
Numerous studies, including research from The Hay Group and the Sales Executive Council, have found that no other productivity investment pays off more than coaching for improved performance. There is a caveat to this ROI, however, and it is dependent on who is being coached and how they are being coached.
Assuming there is time devoted to coaching, let’s drill down one step further. Are the employees all “coached” or “managed” in the same way or - even worse - only as a team rather than as individuals? Do your managers spend the same amount of time with every one of their team members, whether they are a top performer or not? Left to their choice, most managers find themselves spending all their time on the “ends of bell curve” ; the really high performers (because it’s easy and fun) and the really low performers (because they think that’s the key to raising the overall results). It might surprise you to know that very little positive impact comes from the efforts applied to these two groups.
The real coaching impact comes from a personalized approach on the middle 60% of an organization. Who are they? And how do you best identify them?
We recommend that you utilize a 4 quadrant matrix to plot your employees along the current level of success/performance and the current level of engagement.
Those in the lower left quadrant need a different kind of discussion. Set clear expectations and assume you will help them find success somewhere else.
Those in the upper right quadrant don’t need performance improvement coaching, but you certainly need to invest in their development and keep them engaged. These are your star performers and if tapped into appropriately can help raise everyone in the organization. See our white paper on Knowledge Teams for some further examples.
The other two quadrant areas are your 60%. These employees are excelling in either performance or engagement and need some help making them both work together. Many of your high potentials sit in the lower right, where they are highly engaged in their work and the company, but have not mastered the skills to consistently deliver high performance. In the upper left, you will find many of your long-term employees, who know how to deliver, but for some reason are distressed about the company or their work.
The truth is that in most companies, talent development is reactive and/or intermittent at best. A study by The Hay Group found that most admired companies take a systematic approach to talent development. They are consistent in their approach and they carefully plan leadership development at all the levels of the organization. They went on to say that even with the most structured approach, there is still gap. A gap that can only be filled by taking a truly personalized approach to coaching.
Assess your coaching infrastructure. It may be that there is no time for coaching because of the daily whirlwind your internal managers’ face or because they really don’t know how to coach. Whatever the reason, developing a pool of coaching resources is vital to your organizational growth. Incidentally, these resources don’t have to be experts in your products or customers, but rather skilled at delivering the following:
Finding the coachable weakness and drilling into root cause
One-to-one, on-going and consistent
Planned, personalized and adaptable to the learner
Focused on a measurable outcome
Enabling rather than prescriptive or imposed
This personalized approach is often best served through executive coaching, and should be considered a benefit for those employees who deserve your investment. Outside executive coaches also ensure that talent development remains a priority and turn your middle 60% into highly engaged, top performers.
At Butler Street, talent development is our core business. Helping you to build a “system of reinforcing activities” around coaching is what we do. There is not sustainable competitive advantage in terms of a product or service. A company’s only sustainable advantage is their people, and their ability to learn faster and change faster than the competition. Click on CONTACT and let’s talk about how we can help.