By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Companies are at the cusp of digital transformation and are making ‘upskilling’ employees their priority. 

Take AT&T, for instance. They decided to overhaul their legacy systems and hence had to upskill their employees to keep pace with the emerging technology trends. 

While an overall upskilling of all employees is necessary, companies have started taking a specific interest in upskilling their engineering and tech teams due to the dynamic landscape of technology. But what worked yesterday may become redundant tomorrow. 

However, merely teaching new programming languages or new technologies is not enough. Tech and engineering teams have to be coached on power skills to bring in behavioral changes in their team members. 

Read: Power Up Your eLearning Initiatives with Coaching

Let’s look at some coaching strategies that can be used to upskill the engineering and tech teams.

7 Upskilling Coaching Strategies

Identify learning gaps

The first step towards designing a coaching strategy is to identify the learning gaps and fix them. One way to find the gaps is by asking each employee to fill a self-evaluation survey to identify their strengths and weaknesses. The assessments must be prepared according to the nature of the employees’ role. Ensure that the self-evaluation survey includes questions about both – the soft and hard skills, so that mentors can create a coaching plan accordingly. For example, a person with excellent hold on Python language may score low on communication skills. For a team leader, communication is as important as technical skills. Such gaps can be found and fixed for each employee.

Set up coaching goals

Once the assessments are done, the HR and the employees’ coach must identify the core goals that the employees must meet to close the skill gaps. They must communicate the goals they expect the employee to meet. There could be two kinds of goals – the short-term goals that aim to close the immediate gaps, and the long-term goals to achieve a specific outcome such as nurturing an employee for the leadership role. The coach must ensure that the goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to the employee, and time-bound. This will help both the coach and the employee to remain on track. 

Personalize the coaching

No two employees in the same role or title are similar. That’s why the same learning or coaching path for all employees is not advisable. Employees engage better and show up to 180% improvement in their jobs when their coaching is personalized. Personalized coaching involves aligning the coaching goals based on the employees’ strengths and weaknesses, their interests, their readiness, and their current proficiency levels. The coaching journey is tailored based on various parameters and tested in an individualized manner.

Offer one-to-one coaching

The most crucial thing about coaching is to choose the right coach for the right employee. Finding a coach cannot be based on guesswork. It has a science behind it and might require the help of technologies such as AI to assess and find the right match. Based on the skills gap, companies must identify the areas in which the employees require immediate attention, discuss them with the employees, and pair them with the right coach for each area of improvement. Coaches must help employees face the complexities in their careers and focus on transforming their future for better by improving their skills. Although this form of coaching aims to hone the skills of employees; coaches have admitted that the process has also helped them become a better coach. 

Make coaching holistic 

Engineering and tech teams cannot be proficient in technical skills alone. Of course, it is necessary to master technologies and new programming languages. However, these teams also need to acquire soft skills such as communication, negotiation, creativity, and leadership skills to build meaningful engagement with customers and peers. That’s why it’s essential to make coaching a holistic process. Coaches must assess employees based on their soft and hard skills and ensure that the coaching plan covers all the aspects required to build a good future leader. Even the evaluation and progress should be measured based on all the aspects. 

Make communication a continuous process 

A coach-employee relationship goes beyond a few weekly or monthly meetings. It requires commitment from both parties. A continuous and contextual communication process is needed to make coaching more productive and useful for employees. The idea is to build a healthy personal-professional relationship between them. This one-to-one communication can happen through various devices such as phones, tablets, and internal portals. The communication process must also involve evaluating the employees and coaches and sharing the feedback. So, the coaches know what they must do to offer a more meaningful mentorship to employees, and employees would know what they must do to achieve the goal earmarked for them by the coaches. There should also be a system to provide engagement scores to both the coach and the employee to assess and improve their engagement levels. 

Measure the outcome

Evaluation is not a one-off process. It is a continuous process. Coaches must use data analytics to measure the overall progress of employees and offer feedback on their skills, engagement, and performance. Continuous feedback will help employees to become more mindful of their strengths and weaknesses and transform themselves proactively. The outcome of  coaching should not be only on an individual level. The impact must be evaluated on the overall enterprise-level too. 

We have developed a coaching program, especially for engineering and tech teams, to help them learn hard and soft skills. The program will benefit engineers who seek guidance, managers and executives, engineers who wish to coach, and the SME and HR teams. Check out how we help in transforming the engineering and tech teams through our AI-based coaching platform.

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

One of the most pertinent and powerful conversations managers have with their teammates is about their growth and success – not the company’s growth. Not KPI’s. Not targets. But individual goals.

Irrespective of age, all employees have certain goals. When managers identify and tap into those goals, find ways to enable them to reach their goals, and connect with them, employees become more willing to put in the discretionary effort. Better employee outcomes and higher productivity then become natural consequences of the effort.

Let’s take a look at some basic tenets on how managers can effectively coach their teams.

Personalize it

Personalization has become such an intrinsic part of our lives that without it nothing works; coaching included. 

With retailers offering personalized experiences even for online shopping, can employees be motivated by a sub-par experience when it comes to something as important as coaching?

To build successful teams and to become good coaches, managers have to personalize the coaching program to make it relevant and contextual for their team members. A novice/ new employee will have different coaching needs than an expert. Managers need to understand where to drive coaching with instruction, where they need to provide constructive correction, and where they need to guide with feedback.

Coaching is not a one-size-fits-all process. Since each member brings something unique to the team, it is essential for managers to have a genuine understanding of each of the team members. To establish a good coaching relationship, managers should ask guiding questions relevant to the employee and provide them coaching in areas that need help.

It’s a two-way street

In coaching, the conversation has to flow both ways. For example, if a manager is donning on the coaching hat, his/her job is not just to disseminate information endlessly. To be a good coach, a manager has to develop the skill to listen and identify the obvious, latent or dormant needs and cries for help, even when they lie unspoken.

Managers have to work on developing their capacity as good listeners without judgment and capably hold space for their employees. Coaching is not just about providing criticism and praise. It is also about being a good sounding board that gives balanced aempldvice and guidance.

Read: The 3 Most In-Demand Power Skills for Managers Today

Stay open to feedback

Coaching needs both encouragement as well as empowerment. Managers have to make sure that they build relationships with employees that lead to better performance. 

Employees are likely to have queries, doubts, inputs, and feedback. They need to know that their manager is listening to them without judgment. They have to know that their managers care for their feedback, opinions, and fears, and will not dismiss or hold employee feelings against them. Feedback also has to be clear, quantitative, and action-oriented.

Creating a safe space for employees is essential for coaching to deliver the intended results. People cannot feel safe sharing views and opinions if they feel that the information can be used against them, or they shall be judged on the same. Approaching things from the employee’s perspective, providing clear and action-oriented feedback, developing the maturity to accept feedback, and not taking things personally are key skills to develop for managers.  

Good coaching starts with developing emotional intelligence. This is because coaching isn’t only about the employee. It is also about how the managers interact with team members, how they understand problems, how they level with people, how sensitively do they deal with opposing outlooks, and how well they identify the explicit and the implied growth needs of their team members. 

Building emotional intelligence in managers helps them empathize with others’ views while having clarity of thought on their own views. Hence, it provides the basis that they need to work closely with their teams to bring about transformational change.

The importance of analysis

Gone are the days when feelings trumped facts

Today, with the growing reliance on data, coaching also has to be driven by data analysis. Be it is hardcore engineering skills or soft skills such as collaboration, learning agility, communication, adaptability, and such, coaching has to be driven by rich analytics.

Analytics provides the engagement insights to drive coaching for successful outcomes irrespective of skill development, performance, employee engagement, or more. Analytics, driven by technologies such as AI and Machine Learning, play a big role in improving learning interactions by providing personalized and contextual nurture actions that include notifications, reminders, alerts, kudos, and more.            

Empowerment and enablement  

One of the most important roles of a manager is to help organizations identify high-potential employees and help these employees to maximize their potential. 

Managers need to know where the employees want to go and also have to be acutely aware of the areas they need to grow.

Often people themselves are unaware of their talents and skills. People also often underplay or overplay their skillsets. Human nature is a complex web to understand. Managers need the right tools to first identify where their team members need help and then help them bridge the gap. 

Leveraging tests such as 16 Personality Factor evaluations, for example, can help a manager identify who is the high-potential employee capable of filling the enterprise pipeline and which one is the brilliant jerk who needs to amplify their soft skills to become a good leader.

Read: What Can Organizations Do to Develop an Entrepreneurial Growth Mindset Amongst Employees? 

The manager is not just the leader of the team. The manager is also the coach. 

Just like a coach helps professional athletes achieve their goals, a manager can also coach his/her team member to  succeed, and as a ripple effect, help the organization grow. 

But coaching cannot be confused with directing. Most managers might ‘feel’ that they are coaching their team when in fact, they are just telling their team members what to do. Coaching is central to improving team performance. The key to successful coaching rests not with telling people what to do but helping them achieve a higher level of action and awareness, by taking carefully calculated steps that matter.

Know more about NumlyEngage Innovation & Engineering Coaching Program

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Benjamin Franklin famously said, “An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”. 

If organizations know that investing in one thing could increase employee productivity by 200%, wouldn’t they do it? So, what is this magic bullet that delivers such a productivity wave? The answer rests with ‘training’. 

It is no surprise that employee development initiatives like training are becoming an essential arsenal in the HR ammunition box. 

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Companies investing in training and development have a 218% higher income per employee and a 24% higher profit margin than companies without formal training programs. 

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If this is the case, then shouldn’t establishing a training program be enough to drive organizational success? If yes, then why do so many training programs fail?

Do your employees need training or coaching? 

There is a subtle difference between training and coaching. 

While training is focused on knowledge transfer, coaching is about enhancing skills and knowledge. Let’s take culinary skills as an example. Basic culinary skills can act as a foundation on which we layer general training to learn how to bake the perfect cheesecake. But not all cheesecakes are created equal. And the more you train to make the cheesecake, the better you will get at it. So, a person is taught the essentials needed to bake an acceptable cheesecake over a period of time. 

But what happens when this training is complemented with coaching from a veteran baker? Not only will the person learn to make the best cheesecake but will also learn the tips, tricks, and secrets that take a cheesecake from ‘ok’ to ‘oh wow!’

Training, owing to its basic structure, attempts to ensure that learners will remember the knowledge and apply it. 

But humans usually have very short attention spans. As such, day-long training programs usually fail to make an impact simply because humans don’t remember very well

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70% of new information gleaned from a training program is lost within a day. People forget 50% of the information received from a presentation within an hour!

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With organizations investing billions on training each year, these numbers don’t evoke much confidence. It almost seems like pouring water into a pot that has a hole in it. 

The only way to plug this hole is by coaching since coaching helps to overcome the forgetting curve by ensuring information is repeated at intervals to strengthen and reconstruct memory.  

Why coaching works 

Coaching brings about sustained change because of its very nature. 

Coaching conversations are continuous and, hence, more impactful. 

Coaching is a focused effort and helps employees with the tools they need to navigate their work successfully. The relationship between the coach and the coached (the Jedi) is development-oriented and helps employees identify challenges and opportunities for career growth.

Training could use a little help

HR departments globally are now under pressure to increase the impact of their training initiatives. However, it is myopic to look at training as an activity to just navigate the skills gap. 

Reskilling and upskilling initiatives have become organizational prerogatives. Yes, training can help your employees increase their technical skills knowledge. But the effectiveness of the training program rests on how the knowledge is ‘applied’. 

Technical or any hard skills training can be called successful when employees use this knowledge. They will only be compelled to remember what they learn and apply it when they understand how these skills impact them personally, professionally, and the impact it makes on the organization. 

Clearly, training needs to be complemented with coaching to ensure that organizations are filling their leadership pipeline with employees who have sound technical skills complementing their power skills. Hard skills training is not sufficient to ensure that employees develop the right skills to become forward-thinking, progressive leaders who take the organization further down the path to success.

The objective of all training programs is to ensure that the organization is future-ready, capable, productive, and agile to battle out today’s competitive landscape. And coaching can help an organization develop employees who are not only proficient in their technical skills but also have the capacity to lead the organization on the said path of being future-ready.

Coaching – this is the way the cookie crumbles

Coaching is the silver bullet that helps all the parties invested in it. 

Coaching the managers can lead to high-performing teams since coaching helps managers understand why and how to lead by example. It helps build their EQ, resilience, strategic and critical thinking skills and helps them become better team leaders.

Also Read: If You Want to Win the War for Talent, You Must Train Your Managers to Lead

The employees obviously benefit from coaching – be it for hard or power skills. 

  • Coaching is a continuous process and is directed to bring about behavioral change.
  • It is heavily focused on how learning is not only acquired but also how it is ‘implemented’. 
  • Coaching does not stop when the presentation ends. It stops when the ‘learning’ from the same has been internalized. 
  • High motivation and productivity are by-products of good coaching.

The organization naturally benefits from robust coaching practices since its managers and leaders have the coveted balance of technical and power skills needed to lead the organization towards success. 

Highly engaged employees and elevated levels of employee experience influence people to become more invested and put in discretionary effort. High productivity levels and greater innovation capacity come as a result of the same. A higher ROI on training efforts and a positive impact on the bottom line are the natural outcomes of coaching.

It’s time to modernize coaching 

A one-size-fits-all approach never worked for anything, and it does not work for coaching as well. 

HR departments need coaching programs that improve productivity and performance by reinforcing learning, extending eLearning, and increasing employee engagement. This becomes even more relevant as we delve deeper into the age of remote working or working from home. 

Basing coaching decisions on guesswork becomes counter-productive. In the age of personalization, organizations need to deliver personalized and skill-specific coaching continuously and iteratively. They also need to grow in-house skill sets to complement external coaches to increase their coaching footprint. How can they achieve this?

The answer lies in modern technology. Coaching has to be now modernized and the only way to do so is by leveraging an easy-to-use and comprehensive AI and Machine Learning enhanced AI platform such as NumlyEngage

It comes with custom program templates and rich engagement tools that help organizations identify skill gaps and pair Coaches and Jedi for each skill.  Built-in and customizable processes enhance coaching relationships. 

  • AI-enabled bot addresses individual skills gap and identifies their learning process. 
  • Through personalized, contextual ‘nurture actions’ help in increasing the efficiency of the coaching program. 
  • AI and Machine learning algorithms help to pair the right coach with the right Jedi, which contributes to better coaching outcomes.
  • With the data analytics capabilities, such a platform can assist organizations in understanding the effectiveness of their coaching programs, the outcomes, and the path to course correction by using actionable insights from rich analytics on employee engagement, performance management, and much more. 
  • HR teams can also benefit from the platform’s deep engagement insights to manage, develop, engage, and transform the entire employee experience. This becomes even more relevant as we are diving deeper into the age of remote working and distributed teams. 

There is immense pressure to ensure that employees, irrespective of their location, are engaged, motivated, and skilled to boost engagement and productivity. Organizations also need to keep their employees connected through shared values and ensure that they  are bound to the organization by common work principles and attitudes. 

Coaching is an effective way to drive engagement with today’s employees to make them feel connected and to help them remain engaged to contribute positively towards the organization’s health.

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

Worldwide, organizations are investing heavily in employee training and leadership development programs. But research points out a disconcerting fact. 

According to studies, while 99% of organizations offer management training programs, 87% of first-time managers from those organizations felt that they needed more training to prepare for their job role. Given that new managers are making a leap from being individual contributors to leading a team, this can be quite a challenging transition to make.

Most organizations promote their high-performing individuals to managerial roles. But even the most talented and star employee can face hurdles and stumble as he/she settles into this new identity. 

Quite obviously, organizations need to give more than a pay hike, an induction meet, a day-long training program, and a ‘good luck’ handshake to make sure that these managers can lead high-performing teams.

Here are a few things to focus on to coach managers for success.

Develop people management skills

One of the biggest changes that a first-time manager has to internalize is transitioning from working in a group to being responsible for creating the right work environment. The focus thus automatically shifts towards developing their people skills.

New managers have to be coached on recognizing the needs of their team members, developing empathy to understand team challenges, and improving their problem-solving, critical, and strategic thinking skills.

We have often heard that “People don’t leave organizations. They leave managers”. Since managers have a significant impact on team performance, employee morale, and employee engagement, organizations have to identify the people management skills their new managers lack and coach them on the same. This can help them create better nurture and enable relationships with their team members.

Develop the Emotional Intelligence

While intelligence and technical skills might be important to take on the role of the manager, developing Emotional Intelligence is what is going to help managers succeed in their roles. 

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to realize, comprehend, and manage individual emotions and recognize and influence the emotions of those around you as well. It is what sets apart a good leader from a great one.

Research shows that EQ is the strongest predictor of performance. It is also the trait that most effective leaders have. Emotional Intelligence comprises of four core competencies:

Self-awareness – The ability to understand personal strengths and weaknesses. Working with colleagues who are not self-aware can cut a team’s chance of success to half.  

Self-management – The capability to manage and regulate emotions especially in stressful situations and retain a positive attitude despite setbacks.

Social awareness – The capability to assess and understand other’s emotions and the dynamics at play. It involves developing empathy to understand the feelings and challenges of colleagues to communicate and collaborate more effectively with them.

Relationship management – The ability to coach, influence, and mentor others, provide positive reinforcement, and effectively resolve conflict. Unresolved conflict can waste almost eight hours of company time in unproductive activities such as gossip, which can drain resource morale and lead to low team performance.

Coaching new managers to develop their Emotional Intelligence helps in promoting healthy team collaboration. It also generates better employee engagement and leads to happier and more productive teams.

Guidance for managing age and gender dynamics  

For the first time, there are five generations at work together. These generations have their own dynamics at play. A majority of the workforce is also made up of the millennials, a generation defined by their focus on ‘value’ and ‘purpose’. Then there are the baby boomers, a task-based generation that has different motivations working for them. Gen X and then Gen Z are two other generations who are poles apart in their approach, drive, and motivations for work.

New managers have to be coached to learn effective strategies to connect with each of these generations. They need coaching on how to generate awareness, resolve conflict, build relationships, and communicate with them effectively.

Managers also have to be coached heavily to manage gender dynamics within their teams. Coaching helps them understand how to identify issues, address challenges, communicate, and chart career paths, be sensitive to diversity and inclusion initiatives

This often demands a rewiring and reprogramming of old beliefs, which can only be achieved by developing understanding and deep empathy towards others different from us.

Coach for Collaboration

Learning how to foster collaboration is one of the hardest transitions for a new manager. Helping managers to navigate this transition demands coaching them on their communication skills and their ability to motivate their team members and leverage positive reinforcement. It also guides managers to help their team realize their ‘shared purpose’, keep them motivated even in challenging situations, and become a propellant for better performance.

The focus on developing collaboration skills and inspiring collaboration for new managers is also essential since the world of work is now collaborative. We no longer exist and succeed in silos. And to inspire collaboration, managers must lead by example.

A cursory glance at these ‘must-have’ skills reveals that these are ‘power skills’ – skills that are highly complex because of their behavioral nature. But these are essential for individual and organizational success. Organizing a day-long training session for new managers to absorb and internalize these skills is an ineffective strategy since it does not bring about behavioral change. These skills need constant reinforcement and, hence, lend themselves well to coaching. 

By providing a robust coaching and mentoring platform to their new managers, organizations give them access to a ready knowledge base. Coaches can guide new managers and hand-hold them as they transition into their new roles. The coaches also act as information repositories, something new managers can access anytime they face managing issues to drive transformational value. 

Organizations can also enable continuous learning for their new managers by providing timely nudges on aspects they need to improve and then connecting them to the right coach to get them the guidance they need. Doing this ensures that these skills become second nature to the new managers, and they lead their teams, themselves, and, consequently, the organization to success.

Ready to drive employee engagement through internal coaching? Get a demo of NumlyEngage™, the world’s leading, AI-enabled, Skills Coaching and Employee Engagement Platform.

 

By Shalini Ramakrishnan, Director of Product Marketing

Industry disruption and technological change are present-day reality. 

Digital information networks have made the world more connected than ever before. Opportunities to grow and cross-fertilize innovative ideas across the organization are becoming more plausible. 

These changes are bringing about a renaissance of sorts in a department that has somehow continued to retain its traditional format – the R&D department. 

However, companies that are successful in pushing the R&D teams out of their traditional avatars have turned this department into a major powerhouse for business. Think about industry leaders like Amazon, Google, Apple. All of these companies have created a strong innovation culture that has permeated to their R&D teams. 

So, what can organizations do to create an innovation culture and grow strong R&D teams?

What is an innovation culture?

An innovation culture, simplistically, creates a climate that is conducive to innovation. 

In such an environment, employees are growth-oriented, keen to take on challenges, and eager to come up with new ideas for value creation. They can do so because the organization is supportive of new ideas and idea generation. 

Organizations with an innovation culture also encourage and reward discovery. 

Innovation culture and the R&D team 

The pressure on organizations to build and deliver world-class products is only increasing. This trend is not going to change. To stay ahead of the curve, organizations have to boost the innovation culture in their R&D teams to make it stronger. 

How can they achieve this?

Deliver world-class innovation

An innovation culture demands a high level of accountability from all those working in this segment. Everyone is expected to be hyper-focused on delivering the best product, services, platforms out into the market. These people not only have to be focused inwards to explore innovation opportunities but outwards as well to make sure that they out-innovate competition. 

But this culture begins with a philosophy that is almost analogous to parenting. Parenting demands that you give a child both roots and wings. Thus, at an organizational level, it is essential to ground creative and innovative minds in accountability towards organizational goals, focus areas, capabilities, and commitments. 

It involves 

  • Identifying the barriers to innovation and helping the R&D team members see where their work fits in and where it could go. 
  • Helping them seek out and enabling opportunities to interact with people who can help them grow and excel in areas where they might need help. 
  • Reinventing the concept of productivity. Instead of relying on traditional productivity metrics such as on-time delivery, productivity has to be linked with time spent on research and discovery and value generation. 
  • Reinventing and fine-tuning business processes so that these don’t become impediments and barriers to innovation.

Focus on building a strong culture 

Innovation culture is rooted deeply in the growth mindset. 

Growth mindset is a belief that intelligence can be fostered, abilities can be developed, and that mistakes are not signs of failures but opportunities for improvement. 

To develop an innovation culture in the R&D teams, organizations have to create systems that support employees to grow their skills and abilities. These systems have to help employees remain on the path of continuous learning and continuous improvement to become change agile and recognize their own value and potential. 

These processes have to generate energy within employees to improve and excel. They also have to have the right measurement metrics to help employees understand their barriers of excellence and success and then provide the right tools to scale this chasm.

A strong innovation culture also lies deeply rooted in being customer-obsessed. Developing the ability to think ahead and to think from the customer’s point of view involves an amalgamation of scientific and creative skills. Skills like empathy, observation, critical, and strategic have to be cultivated so that the R & D teams can create products that customers love.

Additionally, to create a strong culture, organizations also have to focus on creating diverse, equitable, and inclusive technical excellence. This involves not only improving the technical dexterity of the employees, but also honing their problem-solving skills, adaptability levels, creative thinking capabilities, and curiosity. It also involves developing the capability to apply continuous learning to technical challenges to come up with creative and innovative solutions. 

Grow a strong team 

Driving innovation culture demands developing strong teams…teams that are focused and motivated to excel in their job roles and eager to push the envelope a little bit further each time. 

The first step towards this involves providing clarity in roles and responsibilities, expectations, and outcomes. When employees are acutely aware of what is expected of them, it becomes easier to map the steps needed to achieve these goals. 

Managers play a critical role in helping team members gain clarity regarding their roles and responsibilities. They are instrumental in pushing team members to raise the bar through positive reinforcements. They are critical in raising the employee engagement and employee experience bar to have team members who willingly put in discretionary efforts. All of these initiatives rely heavily on power skills. Working on these aspects helps in generating energy within the team members where they become self-motivated and innovation inclined. 

When implemented, all these efforts help in creating an innovation culture that helps in growing strong R&D teams. 

While organizations will need to look at the technical dexterity of their workforce, they have to focus more on developing the power skills of their employees. This is simply because being innovative, is a Power Skill. 

The AI and ML-powered NumlyEngage™can help you grow a strong team, build an innovation culture, and deliver world class innovation. Get a demo today

By Madhukar Govindaraju, Founder & CEO

One of the London Business School case studies, co-written by Herminia Ibarra, mentions that when Satya Nadella took over as the CEO of Microsoft in 2014, he noticed that the company had lost its momentum. Microsoft doubled its profits, and the revenue grew steadily too, but there was growing dissent in the workplace.

The technology was rapidly moving from personal computing to cloud and smartphones, but the culture had turned risk-averse, and senior leadership was not encouraging innovation. Many of them had not even updated their knowledge or skills for a long time. Innovation had taken a hit. 

That’s when Satya Nadella brought a transformation in the organizational culture. He stressed on having a growth mindset in the organization and directed his leaders to shift from the ‘know-it-all’ to the ‘learn-it-all’ culture. He encouraged his employees to fail and learn from the mistakes, which cultivated a learning environment throughout the organization.

The change in mindset enabled Microsoft to become an innovative organization. It was no longer averse to risks.

Microsoft’s revival is a classic case study on why managers have to develop a coaching mindset to promote organizational growth. 

According to a Gallup survey, employees prefer to work with managers who have a coaching mindset.

A lack of coaching culture leads to dissatisfaction among employees and could even result in a high rate of attrition. Employees could easily get distracted due to lack of guidance, and that could affect productivity severely. Distraction can also result in a poor quality of work. 

The only way to stop these challenges is by becoming a coach to your team. Coaching motivates employees. According to McKinsey, 32% of employees feel committed to their jobs when they feel motivated. It also increases sales by 19% and improves profits by 29%. 

However, one cannot become a coach overnight. Gallup’s survey reveals that only two out of ten managers are capable of knowing how to engage employees and develop their strengths.

You will have to follow a few coaching strategies consciously to drive your team to success.

How to Drive Team Success with Coaching?

If you want to be a successful coach to your team, you must take a leaf out of the late Bill Campbell’s teachings, the famous trillion-dollar coach of tech stalwarts like Google’s Eric Schmidt and Apple’s Steve Job. 

Let’s look at a few coaching strategies managers can adopt to make their team successful.

  1. Listen to the team members: My manager does not listen to me,” is a common grouse that employees have. Bill Campbell was known for his listening skills. It is what differentiates a good manager from an average one. To practice active listening, make direct eye contact with your employees. Ask them questions to understand their motivations, ideas, and the challenges they face. Keep your phone and laptop away while speaking to your employees and use a combination of verbal and non-verbal signals to indicate active listening. Your team members feel valued when you listen to them. So, practice it often.

 

  1. Show trust in the team members: Bill Campbell called trust his superpower. Trusting your employees will encourage them to adopt a more proactive approach to their work. An organization thrives only when you trust your employees. Delegate the responsibilities to your team members and trust them to complete it. Avoid micromanaging them. Keep an open-door policy and be non-judgmental. Let your team members know that you are there to support them so they can work on their tasks without any fear.

 

  1. Encourage the team members to explore and innovate: Just like a sports coach helps the players to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, you too must closely monitor your team members and find out their strengths. You must encourage them to push their limits and hone their strengths so they can add value to their tasks. Show your confidence in them, so they are motivated to explore their potential and develop more skills. The more you encourage your team members to step out of their comfort zone, the more innovative your team becomes. 

 

  1. Give continuous feedback: Many organizations are designed to give feedback to employees on an annual basis. However, if you want your team to be successful, you must think like a coach and provide continuous feedback. Conduct regular one-to-one feedback meetings with your team members. Offer constructive feedback and remember to appreciate your employees wherever due. You must also be willing to listen to the feedback your employees have about you. This will help in establishing trust and begin an ongoing communication between the team members and you.

 

  1. Manage internal disputes: A good coach always keeps his team united, even in the times of intense competition. Internal conflicts are common in every team. It can stop the team from progressing ahead. Ensure that there is transparency in your team. Do not tolerate bullying or harassment from your team members. It takes some time for minor misunderstandings to go out of control and become a full-fledged dispute. So, look for red flags and find ways to solve them before it blows out of proportion. 

Conclusion 

Shifting from a managerial to a coaching mindset can be quite a challenge. You will have to take a backseat and let employees learn at their pace with some guidance from you. However, this could become a challenge when you work in a fast-paced environment. You may feel compelled to ask your employees to adhere to the process rather than experiment and explore new avenues. However, you will have to find ways to balance both to create an environment of constant learning and innovation. Eventually, the company that constantly innovates is the one that thrives for a longer time. And innovation can be fostered only when you coach your employees to discover their path to success. 

With NumlyEngage™, companies can foster the culture of coaching and innovation, and deliver greater employee engagement. 

Want to know how? Let’s connect

Upcoming Webinars - Engaging and Up-Skilling Your Employees From a Distance

3rd and 17th December, 2020