Do you ever wonder why professional athletes have coaches?
After years and years of playing their sport at the highest levels you would think they know everything there is to know.
That could not be farther from the truth.
Every professional athlete knows that a great coach can take their game and their team to new levels.
Great coaches leave a mark that lasts forever.
So why doesn’t that apply in the world of business?
Coaches coach to get the most out of their players which results in winning.
Why don’t all people managers in business do the same?
The root cause begins with a skewed perspective of role priorities for people managers.
Some will say it is all about the numbers.
If you don’t hit your numbers nothing else matters.
In situations like this they may hit their numbers every once in awhile but they also experience high turnover and inconsistent performance which brings it’s own set of issues.
The best and most successful people managers that I have worked with or met have 3 simple priorities:
1) Deliver Plan on Budget
2) Focus on People Development
3) Do #1 and #2 the “Right Way”
Deliver plan on budget is pretty self-explanatory. The numbers are the numbers.
Doing business the “Right Way” is all about staying true to your company values, following a strict code of ethics and acting with integrity and honesty.
The People Development priority is more complex.
Companies that believe in investing in their people have these 6 formal processes in place for their people managers to follow:
1)Recruiting and Hiring
It all starts here. You get this area wrong more often than right and it is going to cost you dearly.
This can be the determining factor of the success of the new employee. It is not just about the technical training of how to do the job. It is about training and teaching about culture, values and the “Right Way” to do the job. Proper resource allocation during this period of time will ensure a very high ROI.
3)On the Job Coaching
Consistently observing and measuring “How” people are executing against the standards is critical. It provides an opportunity to praise good habits and to course correct execution where needed.
4)Manager/Employee Fireside Chats
Coaching provides feedback on execution. Fireside chats provide a higher-level discussion around performance, progress and goals. It is a forum for an employee to talk about their successes, challenges and aspirations. It is an opportunity for the employee and manager to align on priorities and expectations.
5)Mid and Full Year Reviews
The content for these reviews are all captured from the coaching observations and Fireside chats. Employees need to formally be made aware of how their manager and the company perceives their performance and growth.
Training should never stop after the On-Boarding process. Formal training should happen at least once a year. Whether it is refresh training on existing processes or new ones, it should support a culture of learning.
Yes, numbers are important.
But you are not going to hit your numbers if you are:
Not hiring the right people.
Not on-boarding them properly.
Not providing them formal feedback on how they are executing against the standards of the job.
Not giving them a forum to get better alignment with their manager.
Not providing a scorecard on their performance thru reviews.
Not providing a learning environment with on-going training that keeps people engaged, informed and gives them a competitive edge.
Perhaps if we gave people managers the title of “Coach” they might look at their priorities in a more effective way and that is by putting people first.
Focus on your people and the goals with come!!
Photo courtesy of Tyler