Shana Bosler - Dec 4, 2019

Empower People Leaders to Be Effective Coaches

Learning & Development trends continue to evolve based on many factors, including the availability of new technologies and the influence of younger generations entering the workforce. According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report, employees are growing more interested in training and increased budgets and executive support are paving the way for talent developers to play an even more strategic role in the business.

Even with growing budgets, the responsibility of developing employees cannot be placed solely on one department. If you want to create a true learning culture at your organisation, the job of L&D professionals needs to extend beyond training staff. Make a long-term impact on your company’s success by empowering others take an active role in training.

The relationship between a manager and employee has a major influence on that employee’s workplace engagement, so working with team leaders is a great place to start.

How will you get your managers on board? Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Four Tips to Equip Managers with the Tools to Coach

1. Work together to create a plan

Talk to managers about what their team is experiencing—what’s going well and where there are opportunities for growth. The manager likely has a sense of where individual team members could improve and what skills they would like to develop. As the L&D professional, you can help assess their needs and pull from your expertise to make recommendations.

Perhaps the team is adopting a new software and would like training to gain confidence. Or maybe the team could benefit from workshops that target specific challenges like building trust or strengthening performance. By engaging the leader in the conversation, you can come up with more personalised solutions for employees and ensure manger buy-in.

2. Provide follow-up activities after a training

Without follow-up sessions and practical – even guided – opportunities for employees to apply their learnings, it’s hard to change behaviour. Choose programmes that provide resources for continued learning such as implementation tips, worksheets and exercises.

Instead of trying to schedule several additional sessions with the team, provide managers with these follow-up activities to lead with their staff. Based on the manager’s preferences, you could offer a selection of options to choose from or you could share the activities over the course of the weeks or months following the training.

3. Deliver tools to help managers interpret the needs of their team

If a manager has a strong understanding of their team members’ work styles, they can coach employees in a more effective manner. Give your leaders tips to help reach their staff.

Use a tool like Emergenetics® to gain self-awareness and better understand the ways colleagues and direct reports prefer to think and behave. With this insight, you can provide managers with different approaches to address specific challenges.

For example, if a team is experiencing change, give managers strategies to help their team members successfully navigate the transition based on individual preferences.

Tips Through the Attributes

Graph iconAnalytical:

Needs to research or understand how change came about

Strategy: Provide data that supports the decision

Pen on paper iconStructural:

Prefers to develop a plan with thorough steps to create workable solutions

Strategy: Provide as many details about the transformation as possible

People with talking bubbles iconSocial:

Processes transition through personal stories

Strategy: Ask how they feel about the development

Light bulb with brain inside iconConceptual:

Relates transformation to other experiences

Strategy: Provide a big picture description of the change

ExpressivenessTwo talking bubbles icon

First-Third: Prefers to process internally

Strategy: Create space for introspection

Third-Third: Prefers to process externally

Strategy: Create space for dialogue

AssertivenessCar icon

First-Third: May ensure agreement within team before pushing forward

Strategy: Provide individuals time to adapt at their own pace when possible

Third-Third: May address conflicts quickly to accelerate the pace of the change

Strategy: Recognise the need to resolve conflict at a comfortable pace

Flexibility Arrow on sign pointing in different directions icon

First-Third: Wants reasons behind the development

Strategy: Provide information that explains why the shift is important

Third-Third: May continue to suggest more modifications throughout process

Strategy: Communicate which changes are final and which are open to modification

Delivering reference tools that managers can easily access will help them gain confidence and skill as they improve their ability to individualise coaching.

4. Get employees involved in the coaching process

The responsibility of training can extend beyond managers. Leaders can empower their team members to be a part of the coaching process as well.

Build skills by pairing up teammates to help each other through a stretch assignment or to coach one another after a training.

Here are a few tips you can offer to managers to help them guide participants:

  • Share the purpose of the process.
  • Ask each individual to identify one skill they would like to build in the next 21 days.
  • Provide instructions to clarify the peer coach’s role in the process.
  • Arrange for check-in points throughout the 21 days.
  • Schedule a meeting on the 21st day to assess the process and recommend changes.

By giving employees the opportunity to coach one another, they are building new talents as well as valuable management experience.

With the growing expectations for Learning & Development teams as well as increasing opportunities to weave education into business initiatives, the responsibility for employee growth should be a collaborative effort. Empower your managers to continue the learning beyond the training room and maximise the potential of your employees and organisation.

Want to learn more about building a learning culture at your organisation? Fill out the form below to connect with an Emergenetics team member today.

This article was originally published in Emergenetics International Blog Empower People Leaders to Be Effective Coaches". 

Written by Shana Bosler