Coaching a Wide Range of Talent
Every organization has employees that outperform, and underperform. It’s no surprise that many managers struggle with how to have effective coaching conversations with team members who deliver performance at a wide range of commitment and accountability.
You don’t want to feel like you failed as their manager, and you don’t want them to feel like they failed you. Feelings aside, you need to have a plan for coaching both high and low performers. If you don’t, the risk includes staff issues, time management, and team/organizational success.
Imagine that the four individuals on your team are Julie, Brad, Scott and Tammy. Their goals are different, based on ability and past performance. As their manager, you must decide how you will spend your available coaching time. So what exactly will you risk if you don’t have a plan?
- You could lose your high performers. Many managers spend their time with Tammy or Scott because they appear to be struggling meeting their goals. But, Julie is your high performer and Brad is a rising star. They’ve earned your time; they meet and exceed your expectations. If you coach Tammy and Scott at the expense of Julie and Brad, you may be sending the wrong message. Spending time with high performers demonstrates your commitment to their success and the value they bring to your team.
- Your low performers continue to challenge your time. With time at a premium, you simply shouldn’t spend it on Tammy. But, it isn’t wasted time if you spend it doing the following:
- Clarifying your expectations
- Sharing your candid feedback (along with the data) about the current level of performance
- Exploring why the employee isn’t meeting expectations
- Gaining agreement that the employee will work towards meeting expectations
- The job continues to be a poor fit and your team continues to be impacted. It is the hardest thing you will ever do – to tell an employee that the job they currently have simply isn’t the right job for him/her. However, good managers and great leaders do this without hesitation. Your team should not be held back from the highest performance possible and your low-performing employee shouldn’t be stuck in a job that doesn’t fit with their strengths.
Center for Practical Management helps companies achieve organizational goals and behavioral change initiatives through tailored consulting services, leadership coaching, employee skills training and marketing services. Learn more at www.cf-pm.com.