One of the most important goals that organizations and leaders around the world have is to boost employee engagement. An engaged employee does their job well and truly enjoys what they are doing in turn doing their best for your customers. They are actively involved in organizational events and activities and establish great relationships with their coworkers, supervisors and customers.
However, it is possible for an initially engaged employee to lose their drive, perform poorly, or even leave the company if they see a lack of proper leadership or feel undervalued by the organization.
Leaders should not be overseers, leaders should be coaches
This is where coaching plays an important role. If you want to boost employee engagement and retention, it is crucial to build a trusting relationship with your employees. This requires very specific skills such as active listening and speaking with intention — which is what coaching is all about.
Coaching sits at the heart of employee engagement and it is time to leverage what coaching has to offer for your company. By equipping your C-suite leaders, managers, and team leaders with coaching skills, you can build trust, help your employees develop and reach their highest potential.
Here are 7 coaching tips that can help you boost your company’s employee engagement.
1. Help them set a goal
Goal setting is an important part of coaching and as a coaching leader, you should be helping your employees set their goals. Take the time to have one-on-one goal-setting sessions and help them figure out what kind of personal goals they want to develop to further their career and skills.
After having a goal in mind, now it’s your job to connect their goals with the organization’s mission. This will help your employees picture how their effort can contribute to the growth of the team and the whole organization.
2. Don’t do their work for them
If you want them to learn, don’t do their job for them — no matter how tempted you are to take matters into your own hands. Although this might be good for the short term, your employees will not get the chance to learn the lessons they should be getting through the trial and error process. If this happens often, it might make them dependent on you to solve their problems and this will not help them grow.
What you can do instead is guide them on how to handle the situation or problem. Ask them a series of leading questions that will make them think and help them navigate this challenge. Not only will this help them learn and practice their independent thinking skills, it will also make them feel empowered when they figure out a solution on their own.
3. Embrace failure
There are some leaders who do not tolerate failure at any cost. However, failure is a part of learning and our response to failure is what truly matters. So how can you ensure that your employees learn from their mistakes and are not discouraged by failure?
What you can do is sit down with your employees and ask them to reflect on what they think went wrong and how they could have performed better. After hearing what they have to say, you can ask more leading questions to help them reflect on what changes can be made and how they can improve in the future. Staying positive and being solution-oriented is the key to encouraging constant improvement and engagement.
4. Ask and listen to their ideas
Encouraging employees to contribute ideas during discussions is essential for employee engagement. Not only will it provide you with fresh perspectives, solutions, and creative ideas, it will also make your employees feel heard. When your employees feel that their opinions are valued, they will be more engaged and take even more initiative at work.
5. Build a culture of 360 feedback (or feedforward)
If you are looking for constant improvement, then you need to establish a culture of regular feedback in your organization — or even better, feedforward.
Feedforward is an excellent way to provide suggestions for the future that are solution-oriented, in a more positive manner. You can read more about feedforward here. You can schedule regular one-on-one sessions to provide feedback or feedforward suggestions for your employees so that it becomes a consistent habit in the company.
However, it should not stop there. Feedback should not be one-sided — only from the management to the employees. The team should also be encouraged to provide feedback for the management as well as their teammates. In fact, everyone should be actively asking for constructive feedback from the people they are working with so that they can have more insights on what to improve.
Building a culture of 360 feedback is not only crucial for employee engagement and development, but also in building psychological safety within the organization. Those sessions act as a safe space for all levels of the organization to make sure that their concerns and opinions are being heard, and that everyone is learning and improving together.
6. Encourage continuous learning
Continuous improvement requires continuous learning. As a coaching leader, you should push and inspire your employees to learn — not only through training, or books but also from their peers.
Your employees come from different backgrounds, with different perspectives, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. Encouraging your employees to interact with their peers and learn from each other will establish a stronger bond and open up endless possibilities. Not to mention, this will also create a more diverse and inclusive workplace for everyone.
7. Show appreciation and build confidence
Showing recognition and appreciation is no doubt one of the most important keys to employee engagement and retention. As a coaching leader, it is important not to get too caught up in providing constructive feedback that you forget to celebrate your employee’s accomplishments. It is crucial that you let them know that you appreciate their hard work and celebrate their wins with them.
The recognition can be as simple as a shout-out during team meetings, a celebratory email, or a thoughtful gift — any token of appreciation will go a long way in making your employees feel seen, valued, and appreciated.
Recognizing their effort and accomplishments will also help in boosting morale and instilling confidence — which is equally important. Confident employees are more likely to put in the effort and achieve their goals than the ones who feel unsupported and misguided. As a coaching leader, it is your responsibility to inspire and motivate your employees to reach their highest potential and set them up for success.
Interested in learning about how to become a better leader and coach?
At Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching® we help leaders such as yourself learn how to become a better leader for your stakeholders. With our award-winning and field-proven Stakeholder Centered Coaching® methodology, we guarantee behavioral change and leadership improvement in our leaders.
Marshall Goldsmith himself creates and uses this methodology to improve the leadership effectiveness of Fortune 500 companies and top executives around the world. Interested to join our exclusive coaching community and our world-renowned program?
Download our program brochure here or reach out to our program advisor here.