Employees are a company’s number one asset. Without them, very little gets accomplished. Companies that want to get the highest level of performance out of each employee need a labor management program that provides consistent coaching and engagement between employees and supervisors, and further develops the skills they need, even after the onboarding period ends. Performance coaching is a proven method to quickly achieve your performance goals and increase employee engagement, resulting in lower turnover. Employees who are properly trained and feel valued are much more likely to be retained over time.
What is High-Performance Coaching?
Performance coaching is an ongoing process. Done effectively it helps build and maintain effective relationships between employees and supervisors while supporting employee growth and development. Coaching should develop employee skills and abilities, boost performance, and proactively address any issues and challenges before they become problems. It should be a consistent, positive interaction that helps employees reach their goals by building on their strengths and working on their weaknesses.
Studies show that coaching works. According to the Institute of Coaching, 80% of people who receive coaching report increased self-confidence, and more than 70% benefit from improved work performance, relationships, and more effective communication. Those benefits bolster the business in multiple ways. Research shows companies link coaching outcomes to improved retention (65%), employee engagement (49%) and revenue (48%).
5 Steps for Effective Performance Coaching
Here are five steps to establish an effective coaching program that helps build a team of top performers.
1. Clearly Define Expectations
Nearly all the tasks in a distribution environment can be measured: receiving, put-away, replenishment, picking, packing, etc. An effective labor management program establishes best practices, preferred methods and SOPs for each activity, and validates those procedures with your employees. Using engineered labor standards is the most accurate means for setting clear and fair performance expectations and creates the best foundation for your coaching efforts.
2. Coach Regularly
Effective coaching should be conducted at scheduled intervals and on an as-needed basis. Remember, coaching should continue after an associate’s formal onboarding period ends to reinforce lessons learned, further develop employee skills, build manager/employee relationships, and ensure new processes are understood and followed by all.
3. Ask Questions and Listen
Coaching is all about developing the skills and performance of the associate, while also increasing engagement between the supervisor and his/her team. Establishing two-way communication is important as employees are oftentimes in the best position to identify obstacles in their environment or suggest better ways to do the work.
4. Capture and Share Performance Metrics
With access to real-time performance data provided by a labor management system (LMS), you can provide accurate and detailed feedback to associates in real-time. Use those metrics to guide your coaching sessions, so that everyone either receives that much-needed pat on the back or gets the help they need to improve. Accurate performance standards and real-time performance data also enable your organization to accurately and consistently reward employees who reach performance objectives. This can happen via incentive pay or other reward programs.
5. Help Improve Skills, Tools and Environment
The coach needs to make sure that associates receive the training and have the tools they need to reach and even exceed baseline performance. A one-on-one process observation and coaching session provides the ideal opportunity for floor supervisors to spot process and/or time management issues and provide guidance to improve. During the observation process, the supervisor should also be looking at the work environment for ways to improve performance, quality and safety. When a coaching program, based on real-time data and consistent execution, is rolled out across an organization, it becomes a key building block of a high-performance culture that will create overall improvements in the work environment and culture.
Connect with TZA today to learn how high-performance coaching can boost your team’s performance and take your operation to the next level.
Author: Evan Danner, CEO
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