Personal Cheerleaders: Should Management Double as Employee Coaches?

Posted by Richard Jacobson

The most important part of any organization is its employees. The effective engagement of employees can be the difference between business success and failure. However, as mentioned in a previous blog post, Gallup reports that 63% of U.S. employees are unhappy with their jobs, while 24% actively hate their position. Together, these number reflect a bleak reality where just over 1 in 10 U.S. employees actually enjoy their work. 

Personal Cheerleaders: Should Management Double as Employee Coaches?

Many organizations facing a disengaged workforce may be overlooking the key role that management plays in creating a happy, engaged company culture. 

Employees want to feel like a valued part of a team rather than just a cog in the corporate machine. By taking a personal interest in their employees, managers are engendering a spirt of comradery and reinforcing the idea that the employee is respected as an individual, not just as another member of the organization.

The new managerial mindset needs to shift from “How can I get the best performance from my team?” to “How can I help my team develop?”  By focusing on employees’ development, managers no longer have to ask the question of how to get top performance. Only by supporting and facilitating the personal and professional development of employees, can managers truly attain top-performing staff.

Armed with this understanding, what can managers do to fully embrace this role? Here are three tips to help you transition into a “cheerleader” management mindset:

  1. Schedule regular conversations and one-on-ones. Don’t just rely on the standard annual discussion to talk to your employees about their personal and professional goals. Try and connect with your staff on a more frequent basis to learn more about how they are progressing towards their professional goals and to support them in their development efforts. These short conversations will allow you to spot potential learning opportunities and refine their goals as needed.

  1. Encourage employees to take on new roles. When starting work on a project or assigning tasks, ask your employees for their input on how they feel they can best contribute. Allow them the opportunity to take on a new task or expand their responsibilities. This allows organizations to provide on-the-job learning and to avoid only assigning employees with tasks they are already proficient at.

  1. Make sure your staff is aware of the organization’s goals. Employees want to feel like they are contributing to the overall success of their organization. Be transparent about the state of the company and any upcoming changes or projects. Not only will this improve employee morale, but it encourages employees to consider how their projects fit within the scope of the entire organization. 

In order to foster a positive, engaging work environment, today’s managers must embrace their roles as coaches and cheerleaders. Helping employees develop and pursue meaningful development milestones not only strengthens employee commitment and happiness, but goes a long way in increasing retention and improving performance.