Did you know that highly engaged teams are 21 percent more profitable? And, a good leader can be all a business needs to take a team from mediocre and unengaged to a fully engaged and productivity powerhouse.
An effective way to boost team engagement is through leadership coaching. By coaching better leaders, you can boost your team's productivity and performance at work.
Invest a few minutes with this complete guide on how leadership coaching can help you build an engaged team and then take the steps necessary to put your company on a winning path.
What Is Leadership Coaching?
Leadership coaching refers to coaching the leaders within a company to become more effective at leading, managing, and communicating with employees. When employees feel empowered and heard, they'll be more engaged and do their jobs more efficiently.
To create more effective leaders, you want to think of the leaders in your company as mentors. Yes, they watch over the employees and make sure they're doing the job correctly, but they also give valuable advice and help employees grow.
Leadership coaching can be taught to managers by higher-ups in the company if they have been trained to use coaching methods. It can also be taught by an external expert or coach who can come in and teach the company's leaders.
Why Is Leadership Coaching Important?
Team engagement suffers when leaders don't do their job correctly. A bad leader might have an authoritarian approach that doesn't let employees get a word in, constantly criticizes employees, and sets unclear goals that are impossible to achieve.
You can see why having this kind of leader would create unengaged employees that hate their jobs (at best). When employees aren't engaged at work, the quality of their work suffers. They often perform far beneath their actual capabilities and will jump to another job as soon as they can find one. [quotesright]That costs you time and money as you bring in another person and get them up to speed. [/quotesright]
A good leader fosters open communication with employees and creates a work environment where employees feel heard and are enthusiastic about their work.
This shows in the work employees produce and results in better productivity for the company.
Start with Designating Your Company Leaders
You may already have designated company leaders in the form of managers and team leaders. In this case, these will be the people that you will coach.
If you're currently team building, you may have to choose who your leaders will be. Not everyone is cut out to be a leader, so don't choose someone just because you like them or because they have the most experience.
Make sure your chosen leader has key leadership qualities such as self-awareness, empathy, and vision.
[quotes]Some companies also like to bring in external leaders, called an External Coach Practitioner.[/quotes] This person comes into the company on a contract to help the team for a specified amount of time. It’s a wise move because people don’t retain much of what they learn in a self-contained “course.”
An estimated 80 percent of what is learned is forgotten within six weeks if there has not been a follow-on program that helps people apply what they have learned. That is why helping people implement what they learned occurs over time but pays off with massive changes in how they do things. Your best investment is in a "long tail" coaching approach.
Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Once you've selected your leader(s), make sure that employees are clear on what's expected of them.
Too often, managers don't clearly communicate business or team goals, leading to confusion and frustration on the part of the employees. Even worse, the company could lose a lot of time by having to redo work that could have been done correctly the first time.
Managers can also try using a combination of communication methods. They might communicate with employees in person, over email, or over the phone.
This is helpful because a particular goal might be better explained over the phone or in person rather than through email, especially if a project is complex.
[quotes]Being clear about goal setting also helps employees feel more included in the company.[/quotes] When employees feel like they're a meaningful part of something, they're more likely to work harder and produce better work.
As a good leader, you are accountable because you take responsibility for your actions. It's vital for team leaders and managers to be accountable so that they can be role models for other employees.
Accountability in the workplace also includes finishing tasks when you say you will. It also means that you are honest about how your work turned out, including where you could improve next time.
Accountability needs to be woven into company culture so that everyone takes responsibility for their mistakes. [/quotesright]Otherwise, the office would fall into chaos, with everyone blaming each other instead of solving the problem. [quotesright]
How you do an after-action review is critical. If it is a search for the guilty and punishment of the innocent punitive thing, it will be a disaster. You absolutely must give everyone a “get out of jail free” card for mistakes made. You are there to discuss what didn’t work and what did and learn the lessons so next time, everyone will avoid pitfalls and do better.
Accountability and fault-free reviews create more engaged employees because they lead employees to problem solve on their own and be responsible for their own learning.
Create a Culture of Feedback
Giving both positive and negative feedback is a vital part of keeping employees engaged. When employees know exactly how they can improve, they'll feel motivated to do so.
When employees get positive feedback, they'll also be more engaged because they'll feel that their efforts are being recognized and appreciated.
However, feedback can easily become only negative or unconstructive. If employees are constantly criticized, they'll feel like they won't know how to improve and will become disengaged at work.
When selecting your leaders, make sure they rank highly in emotional intelligence and are able to show thoughtful criticism and compassion. If you need help with determining these traits, let’s talk. We have great solutions.
Build an Engaged Team by Encouraging Teamwork
A teamwork environment is vital for creating a smoothly functioning workplace where each employee feels supported.
One way to foster teamwork is to encourage employees to learn from each other. Even if two employees are working in the same role, they have different backgrounds, personalities, and approaches to work.
Another way to create a teamwork environment is to encourage employees to work together to solve problems. By sharing ideas and brainstorming, they can figure out creative ways to approach a new project and build on each person's unique strengths.
Teamwork also helps to create a more diverse company that is resilient and better able to deal with challenges.
Ask and Listen
[quotes]A good leader always asks employees how they can help.[/quotes] Perhaps a new employee would benefit from feeling safe in asking you for advice from time to time, while another might be having trouble with the new office messaging software.
Asking employees if they need anything helps them feel that their opinions matter and that they are truly part of a team.
You also want to make it a habit to listen to employee's ideas, as they might have an idea you hadn't thought of. When employees feel heard, they're going to be more engaged and feel more enthusiastic about the project at hand.
You can also ask employees for feedback to improve your own performance as a leader. [quotesright]Try implementing some of the employee feedback and check in with your employees to see how you did. [/quotesright]
Foster Confidence and Independence
Employees feel more confident when they're not being micro-managed all the time. While you might need to keep a more watchful eye on someone new, seasoned employees often benefit more when you show them that you trust them with the work.
To encourage independence even more, try not to do employee's work for them when you notice a mistake. Even though you might be able to finish the task more quickly, the employee needs to be able to learn to do the procedure properly and learn from mistakes.
You can also foster confidence by praising employees when they've earned it. For example, when they put in extra effort or do a spectacular job.
This way, they'll know what they’ve done well and be even more motivated to achieve the same results next time. [quotesright]Even better, make the praise public in the office or on your website to encourage and motivate other employees. [/quotesright]
Push Employees to Be Their Best
Pushing employees doesn't mean creating inhumane working conditions. Sometimes, all an employee needs is someone to believe in them and give them that last nudge forward.
One of the best benefits of leadership coaching is that it enables leaders to help employees see what they're capable of achieving.
You also want to give employees the chance to excel, grow, and be their best. This could mean giving them opportunities for promotion or the chance to work on a bigger project. It could also mean giving them opportunities to improve their skills. This could include paid training or professional development opportunities.
Don’t Punish Failure
[quotes]Failures can be used as learning opportunities.[/quotes] While you don't want to gloss over failure and move on as if nothing happened, you also don't want to punish employees so severely that they lose all motivation.
Instead, focus on solutions and how you can prevent the same problem in the future by learning from what didn’t work out as expected.
You could have a talk with the employee about where things went wrong and how they think they could improve next time.
Make sure to offer support to the employee. This could mean helping them improve their skills or improving how project goals are communicated.
Ready to Increase Your Team’s Engagement?
Whether you are a new business or you have an existing company, you can benefit from learning how to build an engaged team.
By properly coaching your company's leaders and managers, employees feel heard, supported, and more engaged. [quotesright]And when a team is engaged, you set your company up for increased productivity and success. [/quotesright]
Still have questions about increasing your team's engagement and performance?
Whether you want to improve your business or learn more about leadership, let’s set up a time to talk. Brian Tracy USA: 877.433.6225 Email Me firstname.lastname@example.org