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

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