Building Positive Team Engagement Starts with Coaching
The best way to create a healthy organization is to consistently seek feedback yourself. Take the time to get to know your team better. Ask questions, roam the halls, be present with each team member and really listen to what they are saying – and not saying. Look around. What’s the current climate? Are people smiling? Do they look you in the eyes? Is there evidence of success? (record posting, banners, gratitude, etc.) Great coaching begins by creating a safe, inspiring environment where everyone wants to be part of a winning team.
5 Myths About Delivering Feedback
1) The leader does all the talking. Make sure to give frequent and accurate performance feedback that includes clear expectations and specific goals. That’s a given. However, your employee should be doing most of the talking. What do they think is going well? Where are they stuck? What does success look like 6 months from now? Do they feel they have the right skills and training to do their job? What could help? Coaching your team through performance reviews and regular touch points can be a powerful way to boost engagement.
2) Top performers don’t need praise. There is a tendency to ignore superstars. Many talented people leave their companies because they don’t feel appreciated. Make sure your best people don’t go to bed “hungry at night” for some recognition from you. Tell them just how important they are to the team, and how proud you are of them. Get them involved in as many decisions as you can. Stretch them. And encourage them to teach, mentor, or fill in for you when possible.
3) Delivering developmental feedback is one-sided. Involve your team member in all aspects of the discussion. They will “buy in” to solutions that they co-create with you. Even if there is a problem, get agreement about it. For example, “I’ve been observing some behaviors that I think are getting in your way and I need your agreement we need to solve it to keep your performance on track with expectations. Do you agree that we need to fix _____________?” Once the team member agrees, you can coach them around what’s at stake and help co-create an action plan for improvement.
4) The sooner the conversation the better. Regular conversations are vital for top-performing teams, whether your conversation revolves around your superstars or poor performers. However, don’t rush and sacrifice clarity or heart. Giving feedback costs energy. Take your time and show up rested, relaxed, and clear about some potential next steps. Choose a comfortable setting where you both can be grounded and free from distractions.
5) Poor performance can be improved with clear feedback. Sometimes. However, if you have been making clear declarations, requests, and offers it could be that your consistent under performer simply isn’t a good fit for your culture. A good coach brings a person from where he or she is to where he or she wants to be. Remember, in the end you have very little control over this. It’s the team member’s responsibility to decide if they want to improve their performance. If they don’t let them move on. In the end, it’s their choice, not yours.