Saturday, September 23, 2023

How to take your teams from good enough to high quality with employee coaching

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Shreya Christina
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By Tonika Bruce, CEO of lead beautifulhelping startups, nonprofits and leaders WIN with unique and innovative marketing and business strategies!

Coaching employees is basically just delegating thinking, which enables the team to improve their performance.

Google is known for having some of the most flexible employees and for its award-winning workplace culture. It offers unparalleled benefits and amenities for employees, such as massages, dry cleaning, naps, game rooms and a pet-friendly environment on its majestic Silicon Valley campus – this is no surprise.

Even more interestingly, in hiring, skills are often not the most critical factor in the selection process.

The real success of Google’s high-performance teams lies in a robust People Operations department where HR and science come together. Unlike regular human resources departments, Google’s People Operations department researches and applies science-backed strategies to build high-performing teams. It has an entire department dedicated to employee development and happiness.

Of course, not every entrepreneur runs a multi-billion dollar business or can provide their teams with chef-provided meals and naps. Fortunately, they can focus on the development of people by means of coaching employees.

Here’s how to integrate coaching into team activities to improve them.

Create high-quality teams

Organizations achieve peak performance when they have a team that works together.

Real production, innovation and experience take place within teams. In its search for what makes teams effective, Google realized that creating high-quality teams was about dynamics that enable people to work well together and not necessarily about who was on the team.

Simply put, stimulating the individual potential of members to find free expression in a team setting.

Teams underperform, not because of a lack of talent, but because of a lack of psychological safety and support of members. These two aspects indicate how authentic people can be in the group and how much they want to help each other in this team.

Coaching allows employees to thrive in their role and make meaningful contributions in group environments. The hallmark of employee coaching is identifying team dynamics and guiding teams in leveraging those dynamics for success.

Below are key questions that coaching entrepreneurs can help answer:

What is the goal of the team?

How comfortable is each employee expressing their thoughts and ideas?

What can the team count on each member for?

What reputation should the team build?

What other approach should the team take to achieve this reputation?

Choose skill, but emphasize attitude

Simon Sinek once said, “You don’t hire for skill; you hire for attitude. You can always learn skills.”

While it is essential to align skills with the existing company culture and position, a candidate’s attitude is a game changer to a team’s success. Remember that a high-quality team does not work well because of great talent, but because of reliability. Reliability is about character and cannot be taught, but technical skills can.

Bring coaching to your business

Entrepreneurs who want to see progressive results and value from their workforce need to invest in their growth. There is a desire for further training among employees, with 57% of US workers (download required) show interest. Sixty-seven percent of them want these opportunities within their employment framework.

A previous study by the International Coaching Federation outlines findings on the positive results (download required) that companies that employ solid coaching strategies will enjoy:

80% had a boost in self-confidence

73% had better working relationships

70% saw improvement in overall performance

51% saw improvement in team effectiveness

67% achieved a work-life balance

It’s a fact that employee coaching doesn’t have to be expensive for entrepreneurs; it can be as simple as adopting the coaching style of leadership. Here are three options for employee coaching in the workplace to look at:

Senior Junior coaching

Senior-junior coaching in the workplace is a process in which a more experienced employee helps and guides a junior employee at work.

This may include mentoring on appropriate work habits and skills and providing advice and support in dealing with challenges. In teams with excellent dynamics, senior junior coaching can naturally occur where intergenerational diversity is present.

It is free coaching and one of the reasons for companies to connect employees with mentors.

Peer-peer coaching

Team members who support each other form a high-quality team. Based on the Aristotle project, by Google, this was the second most crucial element. Entrepreneurs can set up coaching programs for their company where colleagues coach each other.

Peer coaching creates an opportunity for employees to learn from each other in a safe and supportive environment. This coaching style can help build trust and open communication between team members, leading to better collaboration and productivity. In addition, peer coaching can help employees feel more involved in their work, increase their job satisfaction and improve their overall well-being.

External coaching

While it is easier and cost-effective to implement senior-junior coaching and peer-peer coaching, these options are not without limitations and bottlenecks.

One is confidentiality, which makes it difficult for the team to be 100% open to vulnerability about areas where they need to improve. The valuable aspect of external coaching for employees is the systematic and proven method to identify the team dynamics and focus the improvement efforts.

External coaching is an integral tool for leadership and employee development in modern top companies. This is quite a shift from the early years when IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola hired outside coaches to help work with troubled employees. Now, like Google, companies that employ professional coaches usually do this to find the best way to combine individual personalities and talent in teamwork for fast, efficient and higher output.

It’s time to dispel the myth. While people often think of an entrepreneur as the overwhelmed person trying to keep a business together, companies with valuable employees run themselves.

More entrepreneurs should see the team as a valuable asset. Coaching can help take them from good enough to great.

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