As with all people-related endeavours you need to work with others. Be it a startup or business, you need to strategically assemble a team that you work with. Assembling that team is not enough though, you need to equip and nurture it. Not as a once-off thing but as a regular effort. Part of that involves training your employees. Their being your employees (a team) makes you their head, leader, or more suitably, their coach. It is not enough to merely just be their coach, there is a winning way of coaching them. In this article, the focus is on how to effectively coach your employees.

Determine The End From The Beginning – What Is The Vision?

You cannot embark on any journey without having a destination in mind. In assembling a team and training it, there must be specific outcomes you have in mind. Remember putting together a team is part of your strategy formulation. It is always a rule of thumb in strategic planning to have goals and objectives. As should be they must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. When you have them laid out you need to communicate them to all relevant parties. For instance, you will have to communicate them to the trainees and those involved in training. That way everyone involved will know what you are all driving at.

Get To Know Your Employees

This should be your foremost effort upon which everything else will hinge on. Every individual is unique and functions a certain way. Strengths and weaknesses vary from individual to individual. Skillsets and experience also vary from individual to individual. Personality traits are yet another aspect that varies from person to person. You need to find ways to figure out your employees. That way you can best know how to approach coaching them, individually and collectively. Once you nail this you can come up with a high-performance team.

Use Interactive Approaches And Solicit Feedback

In your coaching efforts, seek to make everything interactive. This involves allowing employees to be expressive and ask questions. It should not be a tense setup where employees are scared to say anything. There is a balance you must strike between being firm and being casual. There are times when you have to be strict and there are times you have to be casual. Either way, your approach should always be interactive. I remember in high school I was a prefect and one of my responsibilities involved nurturing one of the junior classes. In essence, I was coaching them throughout an entire year. When I had to discipline those who would have misbehaved, I had a certain approach.

I would punish them in such a way that they would happily do their punishments. However, the nature of the punishments was so annoying that they would never want to do them again. Meaning they would behave better to avoid getting punished again. That took blending two extremities i.e. being firm and casual. That class knew me as the no-nonsense prefect but at the same as an approachable prefect. That is what you should strive to become as you coach your employees. In all that you also create fertile ground to elicit and get honest feedback. This feedback will provide you with vital knowledge to improve your coaching.

Provide The Necessary Needs – Material And Immaterial

Coaching your employees is more than just you telling them stuff. Some things are needed to provide a wholesome experience. Your employees need certain resources to enable them to do their work effectively. You cannot expect an employee to conduct themselves a certain way if they lack resources. They also need intangible support such as moral support. Any employee navigates a delicate work-life matrix. There will be times when they are going through medical or emotional challenges. Provide them with the room to be able to open up and get help.

Conflict in team dynamics is inevitable too. As a coach, you must be actively involved in resolving conflicts. Mediate, where needs be, when employees clash. If you ignore or scantily address such issues, the effects will cost you one way or another. Be known to your employees as the fair and just peacemaker. Allow employees to even make requisitions for things they feel they need to perform better. As much as you will decide on what to ratify but at least give them room to spell out their needs. By providing your employees with material and immaterial support, coaching will be smoother and results will be enhanced.

Coaching your employees is a full-time commitment. Your startup or business must be built upon a system of continuous employee development. Your enterprise is as good as its employees. If you do not invest in them, you will lose out more. Paying attention to coaching your employees significantly reduces employee turnover. After all, well-developed employees are most productive which brings in more revenue and profits.