Using Coaching to Increase employee Performance and Retention

Imagine for a moment that your employees were consistently improving their skills and developing new capabilities. Clearly it sounds like a manager’s dream come true. You’ve got to admit that employee development sounds incredibly attractive. But bosses have already got so much on their plates so when are they meant to find the time to develop their employees? And besides employee development sounds like one of those things that HR does.

Now HR does have a role to play in employee training and development. But what I want to share with you is why effective managers take ownership for their employees development. And if you can spare 10 minutes a week then I can show you how you can improve your employees skills and capabilities and why your employees will love you for it.

How Effective Managers Use Employee Development as a Management Tool

The secret to manager success is that managers succeed when their employees succeed. Instead of trying to be the super hero boss who does everything themselves, effective managers know how to get the best from their employees. Employee development is one of the ways that you can help employees perform better.

This isn’t just because training improves the skills and capabilities of your employees, but also because employee development is an effective way to motivate and retain your employees.

PS: Are you looking to Develop Your Own Manager Skills? This article includes extracts from the online training course: How to Develop Your Employees. If you are responsible for the performance of employees as a manager or as someone who works in HR, Find out how to develop your employees in just ten minutes a week.

How Developing Employees Increases Employee Motivation & Retention:

How do you motivate your employees? Effective managers have got better answers than the proverbial carrot and stick. That’s because effective managers don’t treat their employees like donkeys. Effective managers know that humans have a need to learn and grow. It’s what some people call mastery. Because:

  • Your employees want to feel like they are learning and growing,

  • Your employees like to do work that they are good at, and

  • Your employees want to know that you care about them enough to invest in their future

When you don’t grow your employees you run the risk that your employees will leave because they feel stagnant. But when you develop your employees you’re going to help your employees find value and meaning in their job. Did you ever have a teacher, mentor or a coach that helped you to grow? Did that help you to do better? If so, don’t you think it’s time that you played the same role to your employees?

Tip: Help your employees to help themselves by assigning the “How to Develop Yourself” course to them.

What About the Time?

If you help your employees to learn and grow they’ll love you for it. And obviously more capable and motivated employees are going to make your job as a manager easier. But because so many managers are seriously snowed under with work I just wanted to speak about finding the time for development.

Some managers think that they don’t have the time to develop their employees, but effective managers know that investing in employees saves them time because:

  • Skilled employees make fewer mistakes that managers have to fix,

  • Skilled employees know how to do their job faster and,

  • Managers can manage their workload better when they up-skill their employees to support delegation (related resource: Delegation Essentials)

The 10 minute, Step by Step, Coaching Process

Now the trick to developing employees in just ten minutes a week is that you as a manager don’t do the time consuming part of developing your employees. The time consuming part is the actual time spent training your employees. Unless you’re an expert trainer, it’s not your role as a manager to train your employees. Instead your role is to act as a coach. What this means is that you:

  1. Secure your employees motivation and commitment to the development process,

  2. Help your employee to identify development opportunities,

  3. Collaborate to set performance improvement goals (TIP: don’t set training goals, set performance goals to ensure that the development results in a business benefit),

  4. Collaborate to identify training resources,

  5. Collaborate to agree on an action plan,

  6. Track your employees process and keep your employee on target,

  7. Recognize achievements and follow up.

And the ideal place to do this is in your One on One Meetings with your Employees.

Related resource: If you want more detail on how to do this (including a script to secure your employees commitment to the coaching process) then look at How to Develop Your Employees.

Have Confidence in Your Manager Skills

Managing employees is a difficult job, especially when so few managers are trained in essential management skills. Improving your manager skills will give you the confidence that you know how to improve employee performance. And I can tell you that when you help your employees to learn and grow, it feels pretty awesome too.

Developing Employees as An Essential Manager Skill

So now that you’ve seen how developing employees improves employee performance you’ll see why I consider Developing Employees to be one of the Essential Manager Skills. Like any skill, when you first do it, it might feel a bit strange, but after a few practice goes, you will become more comfortable in your role. It’s tempting to leave development in the hands of HR but I believe it’s worth taking an active and regular interest in developing your own employees. After all - it’s you as the manager who gets the benefit of a skilled team.


Do you have any comments, questions or tips about employee development? Please share in the comments below.