One of your leaders has a standout team member who is always there when he needs her. Just two years into her job, his enthusiastic direct report is self-motivated, innovative, and respected by her co-workers at every level. In short, she’s a dream to supervise.
At her last performance review, your manager was so pleased that he simply told her, “Everything is fine. Keep doing what you’re doing.” And when asked about his superstar subordinate, more than once he has bragged with a smile, “I just leave her alone and let her do her thing.”
Ahhh, this is music to your ears. But is it a disaster waiting to happen?
Unbenownst to your leader, someone else has noticed your motivated team member: your company’s biggest competitor. And while your manager is leaving his most trusted worker alone to “do her thing,” your rival corporation is in full recruiting mode and armed with a 15% pay raise.
Change the Strategy with Coaching
So, what should your manager be doing differently? By employing one regular practice, he could keep his best player on the team.
The answer is simple: Coaching.
The Harvard Business Review found that leaders who are supportive, provide clear expectations, and give regular feedback--all core parts of a coaching relationship--increase engagement by 40%. And in today’s competitive work climate, companies can’t afford to neglect this low-cost, high-return resource.
Coaching Promotes Professional Growth
In addition to providing the necessary technology, resources, and other tools necessary to do a good job, supervisors should exhibit a keen interest in the career aspirations of their subordinates. When a manager holds regular conversations with an employee about today’s work goals as well as tomorrow’s, it demonstrates that the leader is investing in him and cares about his future. Retention figures reflect the need for this kind of attention: LinkedIn’s 2018 Workplace Learning Report stated that 94% of employees who felt that their organizations invested in them would be motivated to remain in their jobs longer.
Coaching Enables Timely Feedback
Whether formal or informal, ongoing coaching discussions with employees yield up-to-the-minute feedback that can benefit both parties. Supervisors can praise accomplishments as well as constructively redirect undesirable behaviors, and employees can provide valuable insight regarding whether or not processes, procedures, and personal relationships within the organization are running smoothly. These continuous conversations keep employees engaged, which in turn increases an organization’s profitability: according to the Human Capital Institute, 51% of organizations that possess a coaching culture have seen an increase in revenue.
Coaching Clarifies the Bigger Picture
Coaching conversations help employees connect the work they do to the bigger mission and vision of the company. When a leader shares an organization’s long-term goals, purpose, and action plan, their team members not only feel included, but can see themselves as part of the company’s future. With their own roles more clearly defined, their work takes on more meaning, and engagement rises: Harvard Business Review stated that employees who feel what they do is meaningful are 2.8 times more likely to be highly engaged.
Don’t Let Your Top Talent Become a Flight Risk
We’re all thankful for those rare employees who seem to just “get it.” But don’t assume that being hands-off with a superlative team member is the best approach. In fact, it maybe a ticking time bomb. Statistics show that constructive coaching between supervisors and employees boosts professional growth, enables quick and accurate feedback, and makes a murky future seem bright.
Now, imagine this scenario… During the entire two years his rock star employee has been on the job, your manager has been conducting weekly one-on-one meetings with her. He routinely helps her problem-solve, talks with her about the contributions she’s making to the overall vision, and discusses different paths for advancement within the company. With communication at that level, it’s doubtful that a 15% pay raise would lure her away when your competitor comes knocking.
If you notice that engagement is falling throughout your organization, take a serious look at your leaders' coaching skills. Do they need polishing? Contact us to book a complimentary discovery call; we can help.