The Manager as Coach--A Winning Combination
If we have learned anything from the Great Resignation, it is that employees want a different kind of employment experience than they were willing to accept prior to the pandemic. They want to feel cared for by their employer—both personally and professionally; they want their input and ideas to matter and be considered; and they want their job to be a meaningful and fulfilling part of their lives—with an emphasis on “part”. And as the numbers of people leaving their positions has demonstrated, they are willing to leave if they are not getting this at these things at their current jobs, even if they do not have a new job to go to.
No doubt, the vacancies that employers are experiencing disruptive (to say the least) on organizations’ ability to do business. Since retention is generally better and less costly than recruitment, making the kind of changes that will encourage employees to remain with you are worth the effort they may take. One change that checks many of the boxes that employees are seeking in new position is changing front the traditional “Command and Control” model of management to one of a “Learning Culture” where managers give support and guidance rather than directives.
In moving to a more supportive management model, the role of the manager changes from telling their employees what to do and then evaluating how well they did it, to that of a coach that assists their employees in gaining insights and answers by asking the right questions. The Manager-as-Coach asks and listens rather than tells and sells. Their conversations don’t consist of just trying to get agreement from their employee on what they have already decided should be done. They ask questions that help others arrive at solutions on their own, resulting in greater commitment and ownership by the employee in their course of action. They are able to draw creativity and innovation out of others, resulting in a more energized workforce and environment.
Some tips to try as you move towards a Manager-as-Coach model:
- Have frequent, authentic and individualized conversations with those you work with.
- Enter conversations with an open mind rather than already having decided what the outcome will be.
- Use your listening skills and remain alert to non-verbal cues such as body language and tone of voice. Repeat back what you have heard to verify that the message your received was what the other person intended.
- Know when to impart your knowledge and when to help them discover it themselves.
- Get comfortable with the silence, especially at the end of your conversation. The other person may have something great to add but needs some time to say it.
- Ask open-ended questions, which expand thinking. Yes/No questions require very little thought. Sometimes a simple “What else?” is powerful.
- Demonstrate your authentic interest, investment and caring for the person you are coaching.
While not a quick-fix, the Manager-as-Coach model is an investment that may help you survive the Great Resignation by retaining your best employees. It will not only enrich their employment experience but also that of your managers.
If you would like more information on how to train your management team on the Manager-as-Coach model contact Chris Reinhard at www.chrysaliscoaching.us