The workplace is evolving, and our performance management practices have to change along with it. Employees today want more feedback on their performance. Implementing coaching conversations can achieve that. Performance coaching helps employees focus on short-term gains without losing sight of their long-term goals.
But implementing coaching conversations requires new competencies from managers, as well as the support of improved policies and processes. Here are some steps you can take this week to move your workforce towards coaching conversations.
- Reassess what makes a good manager. In order to have effective coaching conversations, managers need to bring an arsenal of soft skills to the table. Traditionally we’ve promoted high performers to management roles, but that doesn’t always translate into good leadership. Consider what makes someone an effective coach: emotional intelligence, communication, humility. Incorporate those skills into their job description.
- Pilot a training program. If current managers don’t have the skills needed to become performance coaches, they’ll require training. Before launching organization-wide training, draft a pilot program in your department. Identify modules to educate participants on the bigger concepts behind soft skills, and identify opportunities to put those concepts in action.
- Empower coaching conversations. Review your current performance management policies and processes. Does your formal process leave room for coaching conversations? Does your system allow you to track data from those conversations, or enable employees to see their performance progress? Consider what might need to change to empower coaching conversations.