How do you coach your employees?

coffeePicture this scene – you are having coffee with a friend and mention that you had a coaching meeting with one of your staff. What is your friend’s response?

  1. “That’s too bad. I had to do a coaching last week and it’s my least favorite part of being a supervisor.”
  2. “How did it go? I’ve been coaching one of my staff and it’s really great to see how they’re growing in their job. I wish I had more time to devote to coaching.”

Depending on the organizational context, either response is possible. For some supervisors, coaching is something that only occurs when an employee is headed down a wrong path and needs correction. For others, coaching is a normal part of their development interactions with each of their employees.

If you’ve participated in our Art of Supervision course, you learned about both kinds of coaching.  Todd shared useful process from that course here: Do you have two minutes?

Supervisory coaching starts with providing feedback for all employees that is:

  • timely
  • related to a specific event or action
  • tailored to the individual

Along with ongoing feedback, supervisory coaching includes helping employees create and implement development plans. In some cases, you might sponsor an employee for additional training and learning opportunities. Besides helping employees succeed in their current positions, coaching may also involve helping people grow into new roles.

Think back over the past couple of months. Which kinds of coaching have you done? What coaching activities have been on hold, and how can you make time for them? Including coaching as an intentional part of supervision can be one of the most rewarding and productive parts of your role.

Dee Anne Bonebright





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