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Common Mistakes Managers Make While Coaching Their Teams

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing
An-amazing-coach-moulds-an-exceptional-leader-which-is-why-every-manager-should-strive-to-become-better-coaches

Recently Gallup conducted a survey on employee engagement amidst the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. They found that 49% of workers were not engaged with work. They put long hours into their work but were not passionate about it. 

As remote working continues and employees increasingly face burnout, there is a risk of disengagement.

One way to solve it is through coaching. Companies are looking for ways to offer meaningful mentorship and coaching to employees to equip them with the right skills so they can use it to upskill themselves and feel engaged with the work they do.

However, coaching should not be done like a drill. It has to be truly valuable and effective for the employees. 

Coaches can make it effective by avoiding a few common mistakes while coaching mentees.

Common Mistakes That Coaches Must Avoid During Coaching

  • Not understanding the strength and weakness of mentees

No two mentees are the same. Every mentee, even in the same position, may have a different set of strengths and weaknesses. For example, a mentee with good technical skills may not be effective in communication. Some thrive in challenging situations, whereas some others might crumble. Coaches often fail to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their mentees. This results in ineffective coaching that may not add value to the mentee’s growth. A good coach evaluates team members on their soft and hard skills and finds out their strengths and weaknesses before finalizing the coaching approach. 

  • Not personalizing the coaching

Imagine teaching an advanced course to a person starting from a beginner’s level. The person will not understand anything, which would make teaching ineffective. That’s what happens when coaching is not personalized and aligned with the skills and specific needs of the mentees. Mentees might find it uninteresting and tune out mid-way due to lack of engagement. Coaches often use textbook coaching methods to coach their mentees, which may or may not add any value and could lead to a loss of precious time and effort. If coaches want to improve the outcome of coaching, they need to understand the learning gaps, set SMART goals for their mentees, and develop a personalized coaching journey with the help of HR, Subject Matter Experts, and the mentee. Personalized coaching could help increase employee engagement and employee productivity at work. 

  • Lack of transparency and communication

Lack of trust and transparency could derail the entire coaching process. Coaches often get so involved in the routine tasks that they do not communicate with their mentees as much as they should. This results in a lack of transparency between the coach and the mentee and eventually leads to the mentee losing interest in the coaching process. Coaches have to make efforts to build transparency and have a regular conversation with the mentee to develop trust and improve engagement throughout the process. There should be an open-door communication between both parties to exchange ideas freely and discover new areas of improvement that can lead to successful coaching. There must be a way to provide holistic feedback to mentees to ensure continuous improvement. 

  • Not measuring the outcome of coaching

One of the common mistakes that coaches often make is not measuring the outcome of coaching. They set goals at the onset of the coaching process but fail to measure if the coaching has been effective. Lack of tracking renders coaching ineffective. Coaches must evaluate the mentee on their skillsets and identify the next steps to make coaching successful. The performance can be rated in different ways – through self-assessment, peer rating, and frequent feedback provided by the coach throughout the duration of coaching. The outcomes must be measured regularly to make coaching effective.

  • Lack of engagement

Lack of engagement is an issue that most coaches and employees face during the coaching process. Coaches and mentees do not fix a coaching schedule and tend to make it a mechanical process. Lack of engagement does not add any value to both parties, especially if it results in minimal transformation within the mentee during the process. If companies want to see real transformation in their employees, they have to encourage continuous engagement between the coach and mentee. From addressing concerns to guiding mentees to think critically and innovate, coaches need to have 1:1 engagement with them to improve their performance. 

  • Limited accessibility to content

Coaches tend to rely on the in-house resources to coach their mentees. Sometimes the in-house eLearning content may not alone suffice to develop the skills of the mentee. Real case scenarios could inspire mentees to build their capabilities and transform themselves and the company in return. That’s why coaches need to look beyond limited in-house content and tap into third-party eLearning programs and integrations to evolve their mentees.

Also Read: Power Up Your eLearning Initiatives with Coaching

Conclusion 

Coaching is no longer a nice-to-have feature in a company. It has to become a part of the company’s innate culture. Companies need to invest time and money in good coaches, robust tools, and coaching strategy. 

At Numly, we provide enterprises with solutions that can help make coaching a seamless part of the company. Remember, a company that invests in its coaching programs is the one that can quickly pivot during stressful situations and grow with an innovative mindset. 

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